What’s in my Skincare & Makeup Bag (Travel Edition)

19 November 2019

Travel makeup and skincare

We love to travel. As a family, travel is what fuels our soul. Even though we travel ultra-light, I still like to have all my bases covered when it comes to skincare and makeup items. I don't carry a 9-step skincare system and multiple eyeshadow palettes, but I sure as hell carry all the basics. I also don't like to experiment/gamble with skincare or makeup while travelling. Hence, in my toiletry bag, you'll find all my trusty products. Products that I've been using for years and I swear by them. In this post, you will get a good peek into all my firm favourites. Look out for a blog post on Aiza’s little toiletry bag next (my 1-year-old daughter). I will cover our best packing tips in another blog post soon.
If there’s one tip I have for travelling light toiletries-wise, it's 'transfer the contents to a smaller container'. Anything and everything you can tip into a smaller container, JUST DO IT! Containers of lip balms, masks, scrubs and oils that I have saved from years ago always come in handy each time we travel. I keep re-using the same for every trip.
For our Europe trip in 2018, I had two big makeup pouches. Needless to say, for Europe 2019, I learned to do better. I reduced my toiletry bag to just one for the two of us (me and husband), with less than half the products. The only criteria for choosing what to carry along was weight (& multiple uses!). I had multiple lipsticks last time, none this time. I knew doing makeup every morning with Aiza around (then 8-month old) would be a challenge so I carried basic stuff that will make me look put together in pictures. I also picked makeup that could be worn with every piece of clothing I was to carry. I don’t experiment on my face while travelling. I stick to my tried and tested products that work each time, without fail. I can put on a presentable face in under 7 minutes with my products.

travel light tips
Top row: What I carried, Bottom Row: What I would have to carry if I didn't transfer into smaller containers of the top row
best sunscreens for travel
All the sunscreens I carried for European Summer (details below)

best skincare for travel
All our skincare for 5-week trip

Without further ado, here’s what was in our toiletries bag. FYI I actually used each and everything I carried with me.
easy travel makeup

travel makeup

In terms of makeup, I had
  • Estée Lauder Double wear foundation (Shade Tawny) transferred to a very tiny MAC sample container. I underestimated my foundation use for 5 weeks. I ran out of it 3 days before the end of the trip. Next time, I’ll take 2 of these sample containers. Why carry a heavy glass bottle, unless you want to flaunt it?
  • Chanel Loose Powder- Transferred to a small container
  • Wet n Wild eyebrow pencil
  • Benefit Hoola Bronzer
  • TheBalm Bonnie-Lou Manizer highlighter
  • MAC Melba blush (yes! only one blush)
  • 4x Karen Murrell lip pencils. No lipsticks. I carried KM lip pencils because they are practically weightless, they sit matte, stay for long and are also natural & clean so I could keep kissing Aiza without worrying about putting chemicals on her face.
  • 4x Makeup Brushes - WetnWild foundation brush, Real Techniques Powder Brush, Real Techniques Blush Brush, a random Brush for highlighter
  • No eyeshadows coz who has the time!
  • No makeup remover wipes because Aiza’s Baby Wipes (WaterWipes) do the same job pretty good
  • Hair ties
  • A sharpener for lip pencils
  • Eyelash curler
  • A clear zip-lock with basic medicines- paracetamol, ibuprofen, upset stomach meds (Pudin Hara etc), some cough lozenges, band-aids, anti-histamines, Avomine for any possible seasickness, ORS rehydration packet, baby paracetamol liquid, Bonjela gel for a teething baby, Weleda Teething powder
I packed the toiletry bag a week before the trip. Till the time we left, I kept revisiting the bag to make sure it had everything I needed and nothing I was in two minds over. ‘If in doubt, take it out’ is my mantra when it comes to packing.

how to pack makeup and skincare in luggage

In case of clothing, I had clothes to cover all seasons as Europe can be quite unpredictable in this season. My husband has a saying ‘I could either travel light & enjoy this trip more or I could make it a fashion show’. I pick the former. Hence I didn’t carry many clothes, but whatever I carried, it absolutely had to be worn multiple times. I’d suggest googling ‘Capsule Wardrobe’. It’s the art of packing light. All clothes should mix and match and be worn in multiple ways. No one-time dresses. If I carry a skirt, it has to work with multiple tops. As I did in makeup, I shortlisted clothes a week before the trip and kept re-visiting that pile and taking out more clothes off it. The lesser the clothes the better.
During the trip, both I and sunny felt we actually had more clothes than we needed. Ideally, we needed 3 sets of clothes, as we did laundry on alternate days. The Airbnb homes we picked had a washing machine so husband did laundry every other night while I fed and put Aiza to bed. We regretted having those two extra handbags and will definitely be working in eliminating them entirely the next time. One backpack for the entire family is the goal for the next trip.

how to travel light in europe
All our luggage (and us 3!) in one frame

How much skincare and makeup do you carry while travelling? Basic or full glam? Talk to me in the comment below.

Happy Travelling

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