This is entirely dedicated to my favourite travel make up; I don’t wear a LOT of makeup while travelling, additionally I am very lazy when it comes to makeup. Because of these things, I have three rules –1. It has to be widely applicable. 2. It has to be easy. 3. It has to be carry on compatible (…duh).

makeup essentials pin with eyeshadow pans in background
Pin me for later!

This means that everything I take with me has a purpose; it can’t be justified with but MAYBE I’ll need it for … a fancy thing?? If I don’t wear it at home, I don’t take it with me. The way this rule plays out will obviously change from person to person – if you wear blue lipstick on the reg then you do you! On the flip side, if you rarely wear anything bold or bright then don’t bring it with you travelling.*

*obviously if you are travelling for an event that is themed outside your normal colour patterns then do that…

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How to Pack Makeup For Travel

Biggest and most important – make sure to take your liquids out! Separate those liquidy babies to your liquids bag, including stuff like lip-glosses because some countries (Australia and the UK spring to mind…) count them all as liquids. Yeah there may be some sneaky tricks like having two clear liquids bags and putting them in different trays just hoping that none of the security agents figure out they’re both yours**, or arguing that “it’s designated in grams or ounces NOT millilitres or fluid ounces so it’s not a liquid….” BUT these can backfire and no one wants to choose between which bag to throw in the bin.

I always like to pack my palettes together, and preferably within a bag of their own. That bag is then put in the centre of my clothes. This way the pressed powders are less likely to smash on impact if you drop your bag, but if they do the pigment won’t make its way into every single thing you have with you!

** Check the rules for your country, airport, and airline. In some places you’re allowed two clear bags but in others you’re strictly allowed one, and this ‘trick’ is super blatantly breaking that restriction so you may also then have to deal with a grumpy security agent. Worse, if the guidelines are set out by the government security agency, you might actually be breaking the law by trying to flout the regulation.


If I’m Being Extra

If I want to be my flawless and glowing skin beast mode self, I will take three pieces for my face – primer, foundation, translucent powder.

Best Primer for Travel

For a reliable primer which gets me every time, it is Porefessional. It feels light and breathable while disappearing the appearance of the pores on my nose, which is the biggest issue for me.

benefit cosmetics professional primer tube
Porefessional is my FAVORITE and is IMO the best primer for travel


If you need to be both casually made up and full faced on the same trip, bringing a buildable foundation is absolutely key. I use Inglot AMC foundation because it is so buildable, I love that I can do a casual day look or a full coverage glam style with the same product.

Now, obviously the photo of me in the top hat is SOMEWHAT stylized and retouched (though there is no slimming and only minor skin editing to remove a scar I hate, haha) this shoot was done with my “extra” face, black smudged out eyeshadow, and Nars lipstick in shade Pigalle)


Now I generally skip a blush because I have pretty rosy cheeks anyway, but it is nice to have if you have the space! I this is the same for highlighter, unless I am feeling seriously extra, I won’t add a highlighter. But I will ALWAYS use a face powder because I am shiny AF. But hey, when you can combine your powders into a sleep bamboo freedom palette from Inglot…. Why the heck not!?

close up of inglot freedom palette, obsession over eyeshadows, too faced Christmas palette
Shown here is my Inglot bamboo freedom palette, my Obsession swappable, and my mega palette from Too Faced which I snagged on boxing day!

This is easily one of my favourite things, its cute and eco and I can do whatever I like with it! Snap in a pan of whatever the hell you want, I have my face powder and my blush from Inglot in there right now, but they have a gorgeous selection of highlighters that I’ll choose from once my Obsession Mega Lightning runs out.

IF I contour, I take a powder contour – CYO is my current favourite, I just can’t get on with sticks AND they may count toward your liquid count depending on how strict your security agent is! (I’ve had lipsticks counted as liquids before “because they could be melted”… Yeah I know, that was my reaction too, luckily they all fit in my clear bag and I didn’t have to abandon any)


My brows belong to the wild lands. Honestly. I haven’t had them done in several months, I used to get them tinted and shaped but … honestly, I got lazy. These days I will fill them in with Benefit Gimmie Brow (pls excuse my old packaging, the new one is VERY shiny and lovely but this is MY tube <3 ) It is seriously amazing and lasts AGES. It shapes, combs, and fills in volume where you’re looking a little sparse AND comes in a bunch of shades to keep it natural looking.

close up benefit gimmie brow
My ride or die eyebrow love – Gimmie Brow. Yes it might be an old bottle (and maybe even an in store sample from getting my brows done years ago??) but it is still my best!

If I was to be extra with my brows, I’ll also add a highlight with High Brow, because um hello it’s gorgeous. It opens up the look of my eyes, makes the shadow pop, and adds a bit of definition to my wild grown face caterpillars.

highbrow benefit cosmetics pencil close up

If I’m Being Minimalist

When I am flying a bit closer to the limit or going somewhere that I won’t be wanting much makeup I cut my ‘base face’ down a lot.

I will combine into a SPF BB or CC cream which was always Rimmell Matte until my skin tone changed and it became too orangey for me, very weird. My next experiment is going to be with Maybelline Urban Cover because 40 SPF, reasonably buildable coverage, anti-pollution reasons.

My ride or die powder is 100% my Mac Cosmetics Studio Fix, this has such a great look that I use it over the top of everything. If I could only bring absolutely minimal makeup for travelling this compact would always be on the list!

Another great option is to combine your cheek and lip tint with Benetint. I mostly use it as a lip tint but it is designed to go on cheeks as well.

close up mini bottle of benetint
Benetint is a really cool combo, which I mostly use on my lips but can also be a blush!

Best Combination Primer and Setting Spray

Too Faced Hangover 3-in1. Omg. This changed me. Its oil, silicone, and alcohol free plus can be used a bunch of ways. I mostly use it as a setting spray, though if I am doing a mega lewk I will use Porefessional on my nose and Hangover on the rest of my face to prime.


Eyeshadow palettes for travel

There are … numerous choices because it is almost impossible to have too many because they’re so small. So you need a plan or you’ll end up taking five of everything. There are three main ways this can be approached.

1. Pick a minimal eye look, source an appropriate tri-colour palette (like one of these awesome Freedom System Rainbow Eyeshadows from Inglot), and stick with it.

2. Take a small but mighty nudes’ palette and an equally small but mighty brights palette.

3. Take a palette with EXACTLY what you want in it like a customizable palette.

My current obsession is customizable palettes for travel, because I love the idea of having all my powders in one place.

Z Palette is probably the best known and most specialised company, and this means you can whack whatever brands and shades you want, they even sell depotting tools, pans, and jars for your liquids and loose stuff, as well as metallic sticker for anything in a plastic pan! This is technically true of any magnetic bottomed palette but Z Palette have made it their zone.

I currently use two eyeshadow palettes; one is the Too Faced Dream Queen which was a Christmas 2018 special that I snapped up at a boxing day sale! This is awesome because it also has a bronzer, blush, and highlight in addition to many eye colours.

The other swappable I’m digging at the moment is from Obsession (Revolution Beauty), this is one I would recommend for the bright palette if you can swing two. The only thing with this one is it only fits obsession singles, so you’d have to know what you liked from their range to use it – although they’ve got an amazing colour selection and the singles are affordable!


I cannot get on with false lashes. Don’t get me wrong I adore them, desire to wear them, and gaze enviously at others who manage them – I just cant get them on my face. And even when they’re on, I then feel like I’m wearing dumbbells on my eyelids, and they brush up on my glasses and I just can’t. So I have several mascaras that I love and BADgal BANG! is one of my absolute favourites ever. It makes my lashes look hella long and thick and dark which are all the things I want. I also have a travel mini of the Better Than Sex from Too Faced which I take if I am really pushed on space.

badgal bang benefit mascara tube close up
Awesome mascara, just awesome. Plus I just love the packaging <3


I’ll be honest I completely suck at a liquid liner, so I generally smudge some dark brown or black shadow to line my eye or use a kajal pencil. The moral or the story is, take what you’re used to. If you’re tight on liquid space, take a kajal, but if you’re dedicated to the sharp wing then make space for your favourite liquid liner.


Minmalist brows for me are, I’ll be honest, bare brows usually. But if I am wanting to look a bit more put together, I will use the Gimmie Brow OR the Goof Proof Pencil if I’m more restricted on liquids. Benefit Cosmetics offer a whole range of eyebrow grooming kits which are quite compact.

collection of benefit makeup
some of my Benefit favourites, they really go 100% for my eyes


Lipsticks don’t take up much space, I say take 3 and you are set. I am currently living for my NARS nude in the shade Pigalle, though I found a much cheaper similar shade from Rimmel (Get Dirty) though it is a bit darker. For my everyday causal looks I am loving my Vintage Pink, also from Rimmell, which is a real variation for me, but it is SO moisturising and lush. (the IG post below is with Vintage Pink!)

close up of lipsticks
MY lipsticks! I have a real obsession with lipstick, I would take a bold lip over almost any other make up style, and these have become the shades I always reach for and take with me travelling

I also, as a general rule, have a Mac Cosmetics Russian Red on me when I travel. This is because it is a precise colour match for me and I simply adore it.

Super Tip: I always have either Lucas Paw Paw with me, or if I am going somewhere particularly sunny I will take a lip balm with SPF. It is super important to keep your lips conditioned when you’re travelling because generally out doing more, often forgetting to hydrate as well as normal – so don’t forget!

Travel Make Up Brushes

If you use a blender or a sponge then you’ll basically be fine because they squish down so compactly, and you’ll only need an eyeshadow brush or use the little dabber foam thingie that comes with some palettes. However, I have really gotten into my brushes and now I don’t want to give them up when I travel. So, when I saw the MASQD travel set I was IN LOVE. They’re all double ended so there aren’t so many, and they all fit in a handy tube. They are a bit shorter than regular brushes so you’ll have a bit of a learning curve but other than that, I would say that they’re super easy to use and feel really nice.

close up of masqd travel brushes
MASQD Travel Makeup Brushes


I make no apologies; I am 100% that person. SPF 30 minimum for the face. Whack it on as your first layer, then let it all settle in while you organise your look and sip some water because water is life.

I currently use La Roche-Posay because about five people recommended it to me within the space of a week – then I saw it on sale at Boots so… It is genuinely the nicest sunscreen I have ever used and it doesn’t seem to whiteout with photo flash but it IS still early days for me using it under flash.

So, that’s it! These are my go to products, everything here is loved for different reasons. And just to note, my definition of extra might be different to yours but whatever our definitions are YOU DO YOU.

I loathe the elitist mockery of other people’s priorities, so what I’m saying is if you want to take a whole damn kit with you then don’t let anyone crush that sunshine. The correct amount of makeup to wear while travelling is exactly how much you wanna wear <3

Also – I just want to say a massive thanks to George Keleny Photography for all my product shots <3

Travel Make Up Check List

travel make up checklist image listing types of products to take with you