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beauty essentials travel makeup kit where is tara

I’m a FAIRLY low maintenance girl, but I do like to take care of myself and look decent for a few holiday snaps. So, what beauty essentials do I swear by after all these years of travelling?! PLENTY! From what to pack in your travel makeup kit to the products that will keep your hair in tip top condition, here’s everything I recommend.

These are the things that will stop you from turning into a sweaty puddle on those sun holidays and that will keep your skin from drying out from all that sun, salt and hideous recycled air on planes!  NOTHING on this list will set you back too much money either as I’m not the kind to drop half a pay check on outrageously pricey luxury beauty products (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I wouldn’t want to add to your holiday expenses! Okay, let’s look at what you need to take with you.

My Beauty Packing Secrets REVEALED

Travel Size MakeUp 

pureology beauty essentials travel makeup kit

Photo via Pexels.

Of course, nobody NEEDS makeup, but if you do enjoy painting your face every once in a while here are the products that I love to keep in my travel makeup kit. Waterproof makeup is a must if you’re going somewhere warm. It’ll stop the heat and humidity from causing your makeup to sweat off. Also, it’ll mean you can jump in the pool/sea without worrying about looking like a panda when you resurface.

I use Catrice 24hr “Made to Stay” waterproof foundation and “Rock Couture” 24hr waterproof mascara (available in pharmacies). I also LOVE a powder highlighter as it means I don’t need to put it in a liquid bag. I just picked up a cheap PS. Glow one from Penneys/Primark for £5/€8 and it’s perfect.

Sometimes when I don’t want to wear too much makeup in the heat I’ll just use a bit of concealer under my eyes (to hide the bags) or on my spots if I have anyHourglass Hidden Corrective Concealer is worth the £25 it costs but I also love the more affordable Catrice “Camouflage Cream”concealer as it’s tiny, gives great coverage and lasts ages (very handy for packing).

Compact translucent powder is always helpful to keep with you as travelling in warm tropical climates does tend to make a girl sweat. Just a dab will stop you from looking too shiny!

I tend to just bring one pink/nude lip colour and one red and then just a lip balm as I don’t want to haul around too much makeup on my travels either. If I feel like I’ll be going to a few fancy dinners or some evening events I’ll bring a Revolution eyeshadow palette because they usually have tonnes of colours in one palette and don’t cost the earth, but usually I don’t bother.

And, of course, all of the above can be taken in your carry on as they are less than 100ml. Just make sure they’re in a plastic bag so that nothing explodes and ruins the rest of your luggage.

The Perfect Travel Hairbrush

beauty essentials travel makeup kit where is tara

I always hear people talk about Tangle Teezers for detangling hair, but I don’t buy it. I’ve tried them and I really really don’t like them. They just seemed to make my hair completely static and knotty. Maybe they work OK for short or super thin hair but I have TONNES of thick hair and they just don’t cut it.

I am a FIRM believer in detangle shower combs and good old-fashioned cushion brushes. Boar bristle brushes are also great alternatives to a Tangle Teezer. You can read more about these by clicking here. If you’ve been scuba diving or surfing I highly recommend brushing your hair in the shower with a tonne of conditioner and a detangle comb to get rid of all the biggest knots and tangles. That should keep your hair silky smooth.

Carry On Essentials

Beauty sleep on long flights is SO important. Makeup can’t fix everything! Make sure you bring the right items with you in your carry on so that you look fabulous by the end of your flight. Beauty sleep is a must.

I recommend an eye mask, a face mask (just one of the single use pre-packed sheet ones from Primark/Penneys ), moisturiser, lip balm, deodorant, a hairbrush, a few beauty essentials for a touch up before you land and that’s about it. You’ll leave the plane looking picture perfect! For more of my tips on how to survive a long haul flight have a read here

Sunscreen and After Sun

pureology beauty essentials travel makeup kit

Photo via Pexels.

Suncream is an absolute MUST. You gotta take care of that skin! If you’re not taking sunscreen on your trip, what on earth are you doing with your life?! Even in cold climates sunburn in possible!

Despite what you may have heard, burning your skin will not give it the gorgeous bronze you’ve been hoping for. It will, however, age your skin faster and ensure that it’s like leather by the time you are thirty. SO, pack sunscreen. I love the little travel sized sunscreen bottles from Nivea (I think they’re called “pocket sized”). They’re super handy for packing and for slipping in your beach bag when out and about.

If you REALLY want a tan then you’ll need to apply a slightly lower factor sunscreen regularly throughout the day. But always have factor 50 on your face! After Sun is also an essential to stop your skin from drying out. I always go for one that contains aloe vera as it’s much more soothing on burnt skin. After Sun is basically just a moisturiser and helps your skin to recover from any sun damage.

You can opt for alternatives like body oil, various lotions and pure aloe vera gel. But I always like to use a well known brand so that I’m sure of the ingredients. 

Hair Care

pureology beauty essentials travel makeup kit


I dye my hair so it needs a lot of care or it will dry out. Luckily I have naturally straight hair so I don’t use straightners, but if you need one I recommend packing a mini straightners. Usually hotels and AirBnBs will have hairdyers.

However, if you’re staying in hostels you might need to pack your own mini hairdryer, or just let your hair dry naturally depending on what type of hair you have and how warm the country you’re visiting is. These will easily fit into your luggage and won’t add a lot of weight so you’ll still be able to buy plenty of souvenirs. Of course, if you have seriously thick hair, they might not provide as much of a benefit as their full-sized counterparts.

I love the solid shampoo bars from LUSH, they smell divine and don’t need to be put in a liquid bag if you’re travelling hand luggage only. I also love the Pureology “Hydrate Superfood Treatment” hair mask. It smells like holidays and is full of lovely nourishing ingredients like avocado and coconut oil. If I’m heading to a seaside destination I ALWAYS bring detangle spray because the salt makes my hair absolutely impossible. The L’oreal Kids “Super Pear Tangle Tamer” spray is my favourite.

Essential Skincare Products for Travel

pureology beauty essentials travel makeup kit

Love me a bit of Cetaphil!

If you follow my Instagram you’ll know I love Cetaphil’s moisturising cream for dry and sensitive skin, in tube form, especially since it’s small enough to come in my carry-on with me. I also have a small bottle of Argan Oil that I use for my face and the ends of my hair.

I can never bring myself to haul around a huge bottle of cleanser or toner with me, so I get small sample bottles from the pharmacy (usually LaRoche Posay) and bring them with me. The La Roche Posay Micellar Gel Cleanser bottle lasts for WEEKS even though the sample bottle is so tiny! Or, I empty some L’Oreal “Extraordinary Facial Cleansing Oil” into a small bottle and bring that with me.

I’m a bit addicted to facial mists as I use them to refresh myself in the heat and they double as a makeup setting spray. Evian and La Roche Posay do great ones. You can find them in pharmacies. 

I hope I’ve given you a bit of inspiration for packing your beauty essentials for your next big trip. Obviously we all have different hair and skin so the products I love might not suit you, but I’m pretty sure there’s something in there for everyone. Let me know what you keep in your travel beauty kit in the comments section and maybe I’ll find something new to try.

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7 Responses

  1. Dolores Ferris

    Great tips Tara. Will be heeding them…I’m off on Saturday 🙂 first trip ever without checkin bag!!!!

  2. kiara

    I am still figuring out what to pack in my carry-on during long haul flights beauty wise, so I love to read about what others take.

  3. Lucy Russo

    Thank you very much for this article!! I’m definitely going to try the Catrice waterproof foundation. Thanks for the tips!

  4. Danielle

    Wow first of all thanks so much for this lovely article. I really like it. I’m definitely going to try some of these tips for my next trip. Especially the waterproof make up!

  5. Darby

    Wonderful article! Sometimes a sacrifice too much space for my essentials but I feel like I’ll fall apart without them. Great suggestions!

  6. Esther Diaz

    Thank you for sharing this. One of the ultimate moisturizers that I’m using is vaseline petroleum jelly and planning to buy a new one soon, I might try some new ones.


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