Travel makeup kit essentials

10 Must-Have Travel Makeup Kit Essentials for Effortless Glam on The Go

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Are you wondering what to pack in a travel makeup bag?

As a beauty enthusiast, I’ve learned that packing a travel makeup kit is an art in itself. Thankfully, I’ve somehow been able to master the balance between packing light and having enough makeup options to feel confident during trips away. 

Today, I’m excited to share with you my top 10 travel makeup kit essentials that have never failed me. 

In this handy guide, you’ll discover some brilliant versatile and compact makeup products that also offer excellent quality and performance:

  • My favorite travel kit essentials list for makeup and beauty, including products that are perfect for creating a mini travel makeup kit.
  • Learn about some of the best travel makeup brushes, ideal for packing when you’re on the go.
  • Minimalist travel makeup options for those who love to pack extra light.
  • The best multipurpose products for putting in your handbag when you’re travelling.
  • Robust travel makeup bag options that are highly practical yet aesthetically pleasing. 

My Travel Makeup Kit Essentials

If you’ve ever asked yourself, ‘what makeup should I pack for travel?’, you’re in the right place. These 10 travel makeup kit essentials have you covered from morning until night. 

BB Cream or Tinted Moisturizer

Even if I’m heading somewhere warm in summer, I like to have a base product with me. I prefer using a BB cream or tinted moisturizer over a heavy foundation since many of these multi-tasking products offer lightweight coverage, hydration, and sun protection all in one. 

My personal favorite is the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, which gives a natural, dewy finish and has SPF 30. I love that it’s easy to apply with my fingers, saving me time and space in my makeup bag as I don’t need a foundation brush or sponge. 


A good concealer is a must-have in my travel makeup kit. After long flights and late nights exploring new cities, a little help to brighten up my under-eye area is always appreciated. 

I swear by the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, as it blends seamlessly into my skin and has buildable coverage that can tackle any dark circles or blemishes that may appear during my trip. 

If you’re looking for a more affordable alternative, the Revolution Radiant Concealer is a good option to have. 

Multi-Use Stick

A multi-use stick is a lifesaver when I’m trying to save space in my makeup bag. Products like the NARS The Multiple or the Nudestix Nudies All Over Face Color can be used on cheeks, lips, and eyes, to create a variety of looks with just one item. I adore the creamy formula and how easy it is to blend with fingers. 

Travel-Sized Eyeshadow Palette

Having a versatile eyeshadow palette on hand is essential for creating various day-to-night looks. I always bring a travel-sized palette with a mix of matte and shimmery shades, like the Urban Decay Naked Petite Heat Palette. It’s compact, and the warm-toned shades are perfect for adding depth and dimension to your eyes.


This will probably be a skip for a lot of people, but eyeliner is a crucial product in my travel makeup kit. It’s super versatile, and you don’t even need to wear shadow. 

I can go for a natural look by smudging it along my lash line or create a bold wing for a night out. My go-to is the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner. Its fine tip allows for precise application, and the waterproof formula ensures it stays put throughout the day.


I never leave for a trip without my trusty mascara. It instantly makes my eyes look more awake and adds the finishing touch to any makeup look. 

One of my travel makeup kit essentials is the Clinique High Impact Waterproof Mascara. It adds volume, length, and curl without clumping or smudging. Plus, the waterproof formula is perfect for any weather or watery adventures I may encounter on my trip!

Brow Pencil

A well-groomed brow can make a world of difference to the face. I never skip filling in my brows, even when I’m traveling. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer is my go-to brow pencil. It has a fine tip for precise application and a spoolie on the other end to blend the product, making it perfect for travel.


A bold lipstick can instantly elevate any look. I like to bring a couple of shades, usually a classic red and a neutral pink, to give me options depending on my mood and the occasion.

MAC Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo is my all-time favorite red – it’s flattering on every skin tone, and the matte formula is long-lasting. For a more subdued option, I love Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk. It’s a gorgeous nude-pink shade that complements any makeup.

Makeup Remover Wipes

After a long day of sightseeing, the last thing I want to do is spend ages removing my makeup. That’s where makeup remover wipes come in handy. I don’t normally use wipes but they’re easier to pack than a makeup remover. 

I always pack a travel-sized pack of wipes like Neutrogena Towelettes. They’re gentle on my skin, remove makeup effectively (even waterproof mascara!), and don’t require any rinsing.

Travel Makeup Brushes

No travel makeup kit is complete without a set of travel-sized makeup brushes. Having the right tools makes all the difference in applying makeup flawlessly, even on the go.

The EcoTools Start the Day Beautifully Kit is a great option. It’s an affordable, high-quality set that includes all the essential brushes for face and eyes, all neatly packed in a compact storage case.

Here are a few more travel makeup brush suggestions to help you apply your makeup flawlessly while on the go:

  • Real Techniques Mini Travel Brushes. These affordable and compact brushes are perfect for applying powder, liquid, or cream products and are made with soft, synthetic bristles for a smooth application.
  • Eco Tools Travel and Glow Set. This brush set comes in a cute travel pouch, making it convenient to keep them organized and protected during your travels.

Minimalist Travel Makeup Options

For those who prefer a minimalist approach, here are some multi-functional and lightweight makeup options that will help you look stunning while saving space in your luggage.

  • Tinted Lip Balm. Swap out your lipstick for a tinted lip balm that offers both hydration and a subtle pop of color. The Glossier Balm Dotcom comes in a variety of tints and doubles as a skin salve for dry patches.
  • Compact Duo. Look for a compact duo that combines a blush and bronzer, like the Urban Decay Stay Naked Threesome Palettes which also include a highlighter. It’s an excellent space-saving option that offers three products in one.
  • Brow Gel. Simplify your brow routine with a tinted brow gel, such as the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow. It fills, shapes, and holds your brows in place, eliminating the need for a separate brow pencil and spoolie.
  • Cream Eyeshadow Stick. Opt for a cream eyeshadow stick like the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color. It’s easy to apply, blend, and can be used as an eyeliner, eyeshadow, or even a highlighter, depending on the shade.

Incorporate these minimalist travel makeup kit essentials into your bag to achieve a polished appearance while reducing the number of products you need to pack. 

Best Multipurpose Makeup for Travel: My Go-To Products for Maximum Versatility

One of the keys to packing light and maintaining a simplified beauty routine while traveling is choosing multipurpose makeup products. These versatile gems not only save space in your luggage but also streamline your makeup application process. 

Here are my top picks for the best multipurpose makeup for travel, guaranteed to keep you looking beautiful without the extra baggage.

Dr. PawPaw Original Balm

This cult-favorite balm is a true multitasker. Dr. PawPaw Original Balm can be used as a lip balm, skin moisturizer, cuticle conditioner, and even to tame unruly brows. 

It’s made with natural ingredients, like fermented pawpaw fruit and aloe vera, and is perfect for soothing dry or irritated skin during long flights or harsh weather conditions.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter is a game-changer when it comes to multipurpose makeup. This versatile product can be used as a primer, highlighter, or mixed with your foundation for a dewy, radiant finish. 

The lightweight formula blends seamlessly into the skin, creating a gorgeous, lit-from-within glow that’s perfect for any travel destination.

Trinny London Eye2Eye

Trinny London’s Eye2Eye cream eyeshadows are perfect for creating quick and easy eye looks on the go. The creamy formula glides on smoothly and can be blended with your fingers or a brush. 

The best part? These eyeshadows can also be used as an eyeliner or smudged along the lash line for a more dramatic effect. With a variety of shades to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect hues for your travel makeup kit.

Travel Makeup Bag Options for Functionality + Style

Need a new travel makeup bag? I got you. Here are some brilliant travel makeup bag suggestions that combine functionality, style, and durability to keep your makeup essentials organized and secure while on the go. 

  • Sonia Kashuk Weekender Makeup Bag. This chic and spacious makeup bag features multiple compartments, zippered pockets, and elastic bands to keep your makeup products organized and easily accessible. 
  • Bagsmart Travel Bag. This sleek and stylish makeup case offers a gorgeous design with plenty of space for your essentials. 
  • Mac Carry All Cosmetic Bag. This simple yet elegant bag is perfect for travelers who prefer a more casual, easy-access storage solution. It can store many items so if you prefer to take a lot of products on the go, this is the bag for you. 

Choose a travel makeup bag that suits your personal style, organizational needs, and budget, ensuring your beauty essentials are always within reach during your adventures.

FAQs: Travel Makeup Tips and Guidelines

How do you travel with a makeup kit?

Traveling with a makeup kit requires organization and a focus on practicality. Choose a makeup bag with compartments or pockets to keep your products separated and easily accessible.

Opt for travel-sized or multi-purpose items to save space and keep your makeup bag light. When packing, consider the climate of your destination and prioritize items that’ll withstand various weather conditions. 

Does makeup need to be in a clear bag for travel?

For air travel, any liquid, gel, cream, or aerosol makeup items (such as foundation, mascara, or lip gloss) should be placed in a clear, resealable plastic bag to comply with airport security regulations. Solid makeup products, like powder or solid lipsticks, do not need to be placed in a clear bag.

How do you pack makeup for a flight?

When packing makeup for a flight, start by selecting travel-sized products and multi-purpose items to save space and weight. Keep fragile items, like powder compacts, cushioned with clothes or bubble wrap to prevent breakage. And, pack your makeup bag in your carry-on luggage to minimize the risk of lost or damaged items during transit.

Can I take mascara on a plane?

Yes, you can take mascara on a plane, but it must be in a container of 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less, and it must be placed in a clear, resealable plastic bag. 

These Travel Makeup Kit Essentials Will Keep You Looking Flawless on The Go

These travel makeup kit essentials help me to maintain my beauty routine while exploring the world. They’re versatile, high-quality, and compact – making them perfect for any adventure.

Remember, it’s all about finding products that work for you and your personal style. So, start curating your own travel makeup kit and feel fabulous on your next journey!