The airport’s stifling security regulations have made preparing a makeup bag one of the most stressful parts of packing. And although buying new products upon arrival may seem appealing, you probably won’t be able to find your favorite mascara in Mexico or that perfect eyeshadow at the airport in Istanbul. And even if you are able to find it, you definitely don’t want to drain your first day of vacation shopping for it.
Despite all of the new airport regulations (and the fact that you don’t want to carry an extra suitcase for your cosmetics alone), preparing your travel makeup bag doesn’t have to be a drag. So next time you’re finishing up some last-minute packing, follow these 1o simple steps to mastering the perfect travel makeup bag.
Choosing the correct makeup bag is one of the most important parts of the packing process. Choose a bag that is compact (go smaller than you think you need), easily cleaned with soap and water, able to be hung up in the hotel room and contains clear plastic pockets. A compact bag makes your products easy to access and keeps them safe from bouncing around throughout your travels.
The easiest way to pack your makeup bag is to go through your daily makeup routine, taking note of every product you use. These are the ones you’ll want to take you with you on your trip. Packing only the essentials (not the glitter lip gloss you wear once a month to the dance club) is key to ensuring your makeup bag stays compact and manageable.
Many makeup brands are now producing travel size versions of their products. Eliminate all of your problems with TSA by outfitting your bag with as many miniature versions of your daily cosmetics as possible. Or seek travel-size containers to hold your makeup if you can’t find miniature versions. Free samples — if available — are also a great way to get travel-size versions of your favorite products.
Condensing your makeup for travel is a must. Choose items that serve more than one purpose — such as a product that cleanses and moisturizes — over items that only do one thing. You may also find that some of your makeup items aren’t essential to looking and feeling good during your travels, so leave those products behind.
Girls’ vacations have some pretty great advantages, including sharing makeup products with your friends. Find out which makeup items you and your friends have in common, then decide who will pack each one. Not only will you save on the amount of travel-size makeup containers you each have to buy, you’ll both have a little extra room for less essential items (which can be fun for girls’ nights out).
Your makeup bag may be the last thing you pack before a trip, but resist the urge to toss everything in, zip and go. Start by grouping similar items together and packing them into Ziploc bags to protect your other items in case something spills or breaks. Although TSA doesn’t require Ziploc bags for liquids in your checked baggage, you’ll be glad you used them anyway.
Place the heaviest, least breakable items on the bottom of your makeup bag, then stack the more fragile items (like powders or brushes) on top. Pad the Ziplocs with makeup sponges or cotton balls to keep fragile cosmetics safe.
Pack your makeup bag tightly, so your items shift as little as possible during transit. Makeup sponges, cotton pads or tissues can help protect your entire makeup bag against (sometimes) careless airline personnel.
Whether you’ll be carrying-on your makeup bag or packing it away in your checked baggage, you won’t want to leave it at the top or bottom of your suitcase. Sandwich your makeup bag carefully between two soft layers of clothing, and because all of your makeup is contained inside Ziploc bags, you won’t have to worry about damaging your clothing at all.
When you return home from your travels, take note of the items in your makeup bag that were never used as well as items that you had to purchase or wish you’d packed. Consult the list the next time you’re packing for a trip, and the process will get easier every time.