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How To Pack Makeup: 6 Steps

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Your boss just informed you that she’s sending you to Japan next week. Or, you realized today that your family reunion in Nebraska, planned three months ago, is this weekend. In either case, the initial thrill and excitement quickly gives way to panic — because, well, trips are stressful.

So let’s chip away at that stress by tackling one subject that’s especially troublesome for budget fashionistas: how to pack your makeup. It’s hard enough to spend your precious pennies on beauty products, but then to risk ruining them for the sake of a beach weekend…my blood pressure is spiking just thinking about it.

How to Pack Makeup for Travel

1. Invest in multi-taskers

I’m a big fan of multi-tasking products anyway, but they really prove their value when traveling. You have limited space, after all. Why bring two separate products when one will do the trick?

Soft Sweep is a gentle makeup remover, cleanser and toner all in one. And, unlike a gel cleanser that comes in a jar, it’s very easy to pour this stuff into a smaller, travel-sized container.

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Use Triple Threat to add waterproof, long-wear color to your face, lips and body. So it’s a blush and lip color in one, and it comes with a built-in blending brush.

2. Leave the eyeliners at home

You don’t need to give up on eyeliner for the entirety of your vacation, but you should leave your pencils and crayons at home. They can break, melt or otherwise make a giant mess of things in your makeup bag. And if the eye pencil stays at home, you don’t need a sharpener either.

Instead, bring a dark shade of shadow and an eyeliner brush. You can either invest in an eyeliner pot or use the darkest shade in that palette you already own. To convert your powder shadow into a workable liner, just get the brush wet before you dab it in the powder. That way, the powder goes on smooth and stays where you want it. .

If the shadow-turned-liner isn’t a bold enough look for you, try traveling with a waterproof wet liner. This at least spares you the risk of melted goo on in the inside of your luggage.

3. Squeeze the air out of containers

Pressure changes in airplanes can cause your shampoo bottles to explode, either in flight or as soon as you open them. This issue is fresh on my mind, thanks to a post-flight BB cream explosion that left a stain on my sister’s bathroom rug. Avoid that embarrassment and do what you can to squeeze the excess air out of those containers.

4. Double-wrap your liquids

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never met a travel-sized container that didn’t leak. Keep the mess to a minimum by double-wrapping anything that has a liquid in it. You can use a zip-top bag around each container, but that will take up lots of space (which you probably don’t have). Another option is to add a tight layer of plastic wrap around each container. If anything leaks, simply toss the plastic wrap and wash off the container.

5. Choose loose powders over compacts

Pressed face powder and eyeshadows can crack and break in flight. And liquid makeup can explode — see the BB cream incident I described above.

A tub of loose powder takes up more space, but it’s less fragile than a pressed powder and less messy than a liquid.

6. Remember the rules

TSA has a say in how to pack makeup, too. The agency restricts you to one quart-sized bag of liquids, with each liquid being 3.4 ounces or less. If you need a refresher, check the official TSA page here.