Traveling Light as a Beauty Addict: What I Bring When I Travel

Packing Light While You Travel–For The Beauty Addict

Packing light is not my forte, I’ll be honest. Minimalism, as much as I love the concept, is not something I’m capable of in reality. I’ve gotten pretty good at minimizing the amount of clothes I travel with over time, which has only served to allow me to pack even more beauty products. One day I looked into my bag and realized that over half of the space was being used to hold beauty products, and decided it was time to figure out how to downsize. Now, lets not get crazy. I’m not going to bring less–I actually do use all of the things I bring with me. But, it’s a bit ridiculous to have to check a forty-five pound bag for a week long trip.

It seems pretty obvious that tiny bottles and decanting certain products is the way to go. I’m admittedly a bit of a packaging snob. I really hate the little bottles you can buy specifically for decanting products to travel with. Thankfully, my years of beauty addiction means I have plenty of cute minis at my disposal to fill up with my favorite products.


To the average person this probably seems like a lot, but for me, a certified skincare addict, this is a pretty minimal amount of products to bring. I love these little La Mer jars because they’re super sturdy and don’t ever open up in transit. Whenever I finish one up I make sure to hold onto it. I actually have a little bag under my sink full of empty minis. I’ve also held onto my empty Lancome Bi Facil Mini because it’s the perfect size for holding a liquid product. So onto what’s in these little jars:

  • Inside the Fresh Vitamin Nectar Jar (hated this product, by the way) and the Creme de La Mer Mini is my La Roche Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser $14.99. I use this every single morning in the shower. When I travel, I use it nightly as my second cleanse as well to reduce the amount of cleansers I need to bring.
  • Inside the La Mer Soft Cream Jar is…La Mer’s Soft Cream. Who would have thought? Maybe I’m just unlucky, but I feel like I never get minis of products I actually use and love. I also make it a point to never bring products I haven’t tried before with me when I travel. So, when I do get a mini of a product I like I always hold onto it for traveling. This particular cream wears wonderfully under makeup, so I’ll be using it every morning on my trip.
  • Inside the Lancome Bi-Facil (also despise this product, 10/10 do not comprehend the hype) I funneled in a bit of my Bioderma Hydrabio Micellar Water $14.90. I know they sell the travel version of this product, but I already own two huge bottles at the moment and don’t feel like I need more of it. The Bi-Facil bottle holds enough to last me around 2 weeks. This will operate as my “first cleanse” all week.

I mainly focus on decanting my products that come in massive containers into these minis. The rest of my products aren’t as large, so I just chuck them into my bag as is. Here’s what else I’ll be bringing:

  • Jordan Samuel Skin Hydrate Facial Serum–this is a staple in my collection. I use it daily and cannot be without it.
  • Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum $27.19–I’ve yet to talk about this, but have been testing it out in my morning routine for the past month or so. It’s a blend of Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C, Ferulic Acid, and Konjac Root. So far I really love this. I feel like it brightens up the skin, bonds moisture to it, and soothes pretty well. I’ve been noticing that my skin tone looks really even when I wash off my makeup at night since I’ve started using this. Plus, the fact that it has Hyaluronic Acid in it means I can save my beloved Jordan Samuel Skin Hydrate Serum for nighttime.
  • Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado $29/$48–you might be sick of hearing me (and everyone else) praise this endlessly. Sorry, but I can’t stop. It’s that good. The cooling factor is so nice on tired eyes, which is great because I never sleep right when I travel.
  • I always bring a few sheet masks with me when I travel. They’re the easiest way to bring a variety of treatments with you without taking up room. I love the Joanna Vargas Bright Eye Hydrating Mask $70 ($60 on Amazon)–I use this as soon as I can the day of flying. It totally revives and brightens up the eye area. I never sleep well the night before flying and my skin dries out awfully on planes, so this is a total life-savior. I’m also bringing two of the Joanna Vargas Euphoria Masks $75, which are similar to the Bright Eye Hydrating Mask. I’ve repurchased these countless times, even though they’re really expensive. Flying is one of the biggest disruptors to my skin, and it can really ruin a trip to be dealing with the aftermath all week. These are full of hydrating, soothing, and repairing ingredients that help heal from the moisture loss. One day I’ll work up the courage to actually try one in-flight.
  • Bringing my Biologique Recherche P50 PIGM 400 is a no brainer. I have the largest bottle of P50 V and the mini version of P50 PIGM 400. This one is a bit stronger than P50 V, but the tiny bottle is better to travel with. It feels too dangerous decant P50–even spilling a drop hurts because it’s not cheap stuff. I’ll generally use this every other night when I travel because it is stronger than what I usually go with. I also threw in a mini of Sunday Riley’s Good Genes $105–I would estimate that I’ve used almost a full bottles worth over time just through minis. I’m a Sephora point hoarder, so when I saw these in store as a 100 point perk I grabbed about 5 (which, yes, I realize means I spent way too much fucking money at Sephora).
  • As always I have to bring my trusty Avène Cicalfate $28 and Paula’s Choice Resist Moisture Renewal Oil Booster $36–both are my hydration HGs and are very versatile products, which makes them great for traveling. I also love to bring products that are almost out on trips because it means I have little distraction from finishing them up. The Avene Cicalfate is very similar to Creme de La Mer, except it doesn’t congest my skin nor does it cost hundreds of dollars.
  • Another product I’m close to finishing is Glossier’s Priming Moisturizer Rich. Which, by the way, has the most annoying order of words in the name. It irks me to no end that it isn’t “Rich Priming Moisturizer”. It’s not quite hydrating enough for me where I live, but thankfully where I’m traveling is very humid.
  • Lastly, I’m bringing my Foreo Luna Mini 2 as well as my Smiths Rosebud Salve. The Rosebud Salve is always in my bag for lips and other chapped or dry spots. The Foreo Luna Mini 2 is a staple for me. I love the stimulation and gentle exfoliation it provides.

Picking what makeup to bring for a trip is always the most fun part of packing for me. Again, I like to focus on versatile products, but I also make sure to bring things that are tried and tested.

  • Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Radiance $38–This is one of my favorite products ever, I always go back to it. Adds to longevity of foundation and gives a gorgeous brightness to the skin that shines through foundation. I feel like this really helps avoid that mask-like effect of fuller coverage foundations without being glittery or disrupting the coverage.
  • The Ordinary Serum Foundation $6.70–this is a controversial foundation, a lot of people dislike it. I’m a fan, but I will admit that skin-prep is essential with this product. It can highlight dry patches and sit on top of the skin if you don’t prep well. I make sure to really hydrate my skin before using it. I’ve also found that it looks best when applied with a damp sponge over a radiant primer. That combination seems to work it into the skin better than a buffing brush does.
  • Anastasia Foundation Stick in Contour Shade Fawn $25–I’m not sure that I’ve ever posted about these, which is odd because they’re my all time favorite contour product. The shade fawn is the lightest of the contour shades and is perfect for fair skintones. It’s a brownish-tan color with a grey undertone, which perfectly replicates shadow. These are the exact same formula as the Anastasia Foundation Sticks, which people didn’t like because of the somewhat waxy feeling they have. I personally would never use this formula as a foundation, but for contouring it blends seamlessly into any kind of liquid base I’ve tried. I know a lot of people are scared of cream contouring products because they’re often depicted in a kind of over the top manner (on IG and via beauty guru’s), but no one has ever been able to tell that I’ve contoured when I use this.
  • Pixi by Petra Flawless Finishing Powder $20.49–this is a new product to me, but I’m enjoying it a lot. I hate traveling with my Laura Mercier Translucent powder because it’s so messy. I grabbed this on a whim at Target the other week to keep in my bag for touch ups and was pleasantly surprised by how good it is! The powder itself is incredibly finely milled and silky. It doesn’t look chalky and isn’t drying at all. I think it might even have some blurring technology because I’ve noticed it smoothing out the pores in my t-zone. I still love my Laura Mercier, but this is my new travel/on-the go favorite.
  • Hoola Lite Bronzer $29–@benefit, people are still waiting for the deeper shades of Hoola. Just saying. I’m so glad they brought out another shade, but it just goes to show that Benefit is really only here to cater to white people. That said, I do love this product (which honestly kind of annoys me. Anyone else hate when they love a product from a brand that they find disappointing?) it’s perfect for warming up my skin just the absolute tiniest bit.
  • Anastasia Brow Wiz $21–hands down my all time favorite brow product. I’ve tried every drugstore “dupe” you can imagine and none of them have the lasting power, precision, or shade match for my brows. It’s unfortunate because this stuff is pricey, but my brows only really need a little bit of filling in, so I suffer and fork over the cash every single time I run out.
  • Benefit 24-HR Brow Setter $24–this is flippin fabulous. Again, I’m so annoyed at Benefit for being shitty because some of their products are HG for me. If you’re into fluffy brows that DO NOT BUDGE look no further. This is better than Boy Brow. I swear. Boy Brow frustrates me because I love the look, but it has zero hold and always removes my pencil from underneath. And then gets crusty when I try to layer more on top. Try this if you want model-like fluffy perfect eyebrows.
  • Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer $28–I always like to bring my most hydrating products with me when I travel. There is nothing worse than being in a climate where your products aren’t enough and then you get dry and crusty. No thanks. You can always set with powder if you end up over-hydrated. This has medium coverage, but a beautiful luminous finish and is really long lasting. It covers pimples, redness, and minor darkness well and is one of my personal favorites for highlighting.
  • Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara $9the best discovery of last year. Fluffy, thick, voluminous lashes with zero flaking or smudging. The tube does go bad faster than other mascaras, but it’s so worth it to me for the look.
  • YSL Touche Eclat $38–I love to have this in my bag when I travel because I tend to be away from my products for long periods of time and it’s nice to be able to brighten and cover a bit when I’m out.
  • NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer $30–My dark circles are no joke. I always bring custard with me for its hint of peach, which combined with the light reflecting particles in this formula really covers my circles.
  • Marc Beauty Twinkle Pop Shadow Stick in Volver 402 $28–I use this every single day as my inner corner highlight. If you like Stila Kitten Eyeshadow this the exact shade, but more shimmery and in a cream-to-powder formula that does. not. budge. Like ever.
  • Makeup Forever Aqua Lip in 1C $20–my perfect lip liner shade. First of all, I just want to say that creamy lip liners are a scam. If it doesn’t have a waxy finish and feel unmovable I don’t want anything to do with it. This will stay put all day and keep your lip shape and lipstick perfect and in place.
  • Marc Jacobs New Nudes Sheer Gel In Hey Stranger, 156 $30–the formula and shades of this line are impeccable. This particular shade is a coppery rose with no shimmer. It’s very similar to Bond Girl by Charlotte Tilbury, but is less intense, and obviously not a matte formula.
  • Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb $18–I caved and I’m so happy. Despite absolutely despising lip gloss, I’m loving this. It’s definitely tackier than I usually enjoy, but it does seem to wear down into more of a balmy feel.
  • Mac Viva Glam VI $17.50–for whatever reason I’ve always associated the Viva Glam shades with old ladies. I don’t know why, but wow have I been missing out on what is probably my perfect lip color? It’s brown, it’s pink, it’s nude all in one. It’s also fucking perfect if you are anywhere from NC 15-NC 30. MAC describes it as a “terracotta plum” but I don’t get any purple in this on myself.
  • Bobbi Brown Blush in Pastel Pink and Tawny $30–Bobbi Brown blushes are probably the closest thing to perfect I’ve ever found in a product. Tawny is the most gorgeous pinky/brown shade that makes me look warm and alive. Pastel Pink is scary bright in the pan, but gives the most beautiful just worked out glow. The thing I love about Bobbi Brown blushes is that even though they’re matte, the colors are so perfectly tailored to how our skin naturally flushes or tans that they make people look so raw and alive.
  • Viseart Theory Eyeshadow Palette in Minx $45–the perfect neutral palette to travel with. I’m not really a palette person. I know a lot of beauty addicts go hard for palettes and are very critical of brands for not putting out exactly what they think should be released. I don’t really understand any of that, to be honest. This is small enough and basic enough that there’s no room for disappointment. Viseart makes some of the best shadows I’ve ever used, specifically the mattes. I usually bring some singles to spice it up with, which keeps me from needing to carry around a ton of palettes.
  • Tom Ford Cream and Powder Eye Color 06 Young Adonis $62–Ok guys, I’ll be real and admit I’ve shit talked on these before because of how expensive they are for what you get. I’m going to eat my words and let you know how wrong I was. I’ve yet to encounter an eyeshadow shade that comes close to how incredible this is. It’s the most beautiful neutral brown with the slightest silver to it. I have never in my life been able to pull off cool-toned shades, but this just flatters me in a way I didn’t expect. I use the cream with the powder on top and it lasts on the eyes forever, but imitates a wet/glossy finish so well.
  • Hourglass Flash Highlighting Stick in Gold Flash $42–talked about this in my latest On Trial Post. The finish and formula on these are insanely good and I love that it’s not another boring champagne highlighter.
  • The Wet Brush $8.90–these have cult status at this point for good reason. It detangles without tugging or breaking the hair and is also really affordable. I find that it doesn’t matter if the hair is wet or not, it always gets knots out with no pain or fuss.
  • IGK Jet Lag Invisible Dry Shampoo $14–another new to me product I’m really enjoying. I’ve seen mixed reviews: some people love how fine the product is and some people think that it’s too light to be effective. I find that it does a really good job at absorbing oil, but isn’t going to give volume, texture, or “fluff” the roots up at all. If you enjoy a dry shampoo that plumps up the roots along with being oil absorbing skip this. When you want your hair to maintain a silkier, less gritty feeling this is awesome.
  • Bumble and Bumble Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner Minis $11–to be honest I’ve never used this particular range from Bumble and Bumble before. I’m obsessed with the Invisible Oil line, but couldn’t find those so I grabbed these instead. Check in on My Instagram, I’ll review them there in a few days.
  • Davines Oi Oil Sample and Oi All In One Milk Travel Size $17–both of these are really nice and I appreciate the size of them for traveling. The Oi line is a Davines classic. The oil is smoothing and hydrating without being greasy. The Oi Milk is really great for prepping the hair for a blow dry–it’s very smoothing and nourishing.
  • Harrys Razor $9.99–my favorite razor. The blades are really affordable, stay sharp for a decent amount of time, and don’t give me razor burn (which I pretty much always got before switching to this).
  • La Roche Posay Lipikar Eczema Soothing Relief Cream $14.99–This is a new product from La Roche Posay. It’s formulated for Eczema to soothe itchy skin. I don’t have Eczema, but I do suffer from super dry, hive-prone skin. When I get out of the shower I’m usually covered in histamine spots for an hour or two. This has calmed them down noticeably and I love the sheen it gives my skin.
  • Bioderma Atoderm Shower Oil $11–Bioderma sent this to me in a big PR package and out of everything that I love from them, this takes the cake. I will be repurchasing this the second I run out. It’s a shower oil that gently cleans the skin and it adds so much hydration while in shower. I’ve started using this the second I get into the shower because the oil creates a protective layer on the skin. I’ve seen a dramatic difference in the dryness of my skin and he amount of histamine spots I get since I’ve started using this and the La Roche Posay Lipikar together.
  • Dedcool Chaz Stick in Rosé–Carina Chaz, the owner of Dedcool sent this over to me along with 05 and I’ve been loving it to hydrate my lips ever since. I love to slather on a big layer right before bed and I always wake up with nice full lips.
  • Dedcool Roll on in 01–She also sent this roll on in 01 over to me when I mentioned loving the sample of it. I really love how cozy and soft this scent is, without being cloying or overly sweet. Plus, the size is perfect for travel!

Let me know what your downsizing tricks are for packing while still maintaining the integrity of your beauty addiction down below! I’m signing off now because ya girl is sleepy after typing all of this out. Love you all!