What's in My Travel Makeup Bag?

(Photo: Kimberly Wang)

(Photo: Kimberly Wang)

When I’m on the road, I like to pare down my makeup bag to the essentials…plus a couple of fun things added in for those unexpected nights. Trust me, this is no easy task when you look at the quantity of my beauty collection at home. (Maybe I’ll show you all someday.)

To streamline my bag, I love products that do double duty. Travel-sizes and sample sizes are also great when you’re dashing off for a quick getaway. Here’s what I’m currently carrying with me.


ILIA True Skin Radiant Priming Serum ($52). This silicone-free firming serum has hibiscus extract, aloe, and beta-glucan. My combination skin can sometimes look dull, and this is great for moisturizing and soothing skin. Plus, tiny gold flecks give my skin a boost of radiance.


ILIA True Skin Serum Foundation ($54). My skin is super sensitive to a lot of foundations and I tend to break out whenever something doesn’t agree with me. This medium coverage foundation isn’t too oil in my T-zone, nor too dry on my cheeks. It’s also got lots of healthy ingredients like aloe leaf, rose hip, jojoba and marula oils for calming and plumping the skin.


Amazing Cosmetics Illuminate Eye Primer ($24). I can’t stress enough how much a good primer helps ensure that your eyeshadow pigment shows up and doesn’t budge. My favorite is currently Amazing Cosmetics Illuminate Eye Primer because you need just a drop for both eyes. This tiny tube lasts forever.


MAC Prep + Prime Fix + Mini ($14). A priming spray helps ready your skin for makeup and a setting spray helps keep everything in place. Get you one that can do both. It’s no surprise Fix+ has so many fans, because this MAC classic not only does the job, it also smells great. Sometimes I spritz this in place of a touch up when I simply don’t have time.


Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Pact ($9). I’m super oily in my T-zone, so I need a mattifying powder to keep the shine in check. What I love about the Innisfree Mineral Pact is that it’s tiny, but mighty. It also doesn’t hurt that it clocks in under $10.


Tarte Tarlette Toasted Eyeshadow Palette ($39). While there are many, many palettes out there that I like, Tarte’s Tartlette series tops my list. My Tartlette in Bloom One and Two palettes are also well-loved, but lately I’ve been really feeling a warm lid, so I’ve been toting the Toasted palette everywhere. The brick tones and corals are particularly flattering on brown eyes.


Fresh SUGAR SPORT SPF 30 Sunscreen Treatment ($25). I always prep my lips with a balm ahead of lipstick. It’s usually the first thing I apply after all my skincare so that it can set in when I do my lips last. Your lips are also often the most overlooked part of your face when it comes to SPF, which is why I’m a fan of the Sugar Sport SPF 30 Treatment. (You can also use this all over your face!)


Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop Mini ($22). I’m always trying out new highlighters, but I somehow always come back to Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfectors because they truly shine. This mini size is great for travel, because even though it’s tiny, it packs the same punch.


Benefit HOOLA Matte Bronzing Powder Mini ($15). I often find that bronzers are often too shimmery or too warm to be an effective contour on my skin. While Benefit’s HOOLA does lean towards warm, it blends beautifully as a contour and also does the job of a bronzer.

3CE x Maison Kitsune Soft Cheek in #Sweety Meringue ($23). This was a product I copped in Korea, but was thrilled to find I could still purchase online in the States. I really like the subtle flush that this Soft Cheek gives, since a strong blush can actually look doll-like or childish on me.


Tarte Shape Tape Contour Concealer in Light Honey Medium ($39). I’ve been using Shape Tape concealer for ages now — in part because a tube of this lasts forever. This super creamy formula is medium to heavy in coverage, and I usually build up thin layers when I’m trying to cover a spot.


Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser in Neutralizer ($7). This is my desert-island product and you can find it at your nearest drugstore (or online if you’re lazy like me). It’s so good at banishing under eye darkness and a quick sweep under each eye makes you look like you got a full eight hours.


Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat in 2 Luminous Ivory ($35). When my dark circles are particularly stubborn or I want a more subtle highlight on my nose, I turn to the class YSL Touche Eclat for an extra boost. Meghan Markle is apparently also a fan.


Tarte Tarteist Double Take Eyeliner ($24). Tip: For extra staying power on your liner, use a pencil first and then go over it with a liquid. The beauty of the Tarteist Double Take Liner is that is has both mediums in one compact pen. I usually go into my waterline with the pencil side, then thinly line with the liquid side.


Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Micro Tip Liquid Eyeliner ($22). I’m a professed cat eye fan, but my eye shape works best with a very thin one. To help make it easier to achieve the finest of cat eyes, I turn to my fave Stila Micro Tip Liquid Eyeliner. Tip: Q-tips and micellar water are great for helping you achieve a flawless look just in case.


It Cosmetics Superhero Mascara ($20). I got this sample size of the It Cosmetics Superhero Mascara and I will likely commit to buying the full size sooner rather than later. I like how it really does elongate and delineate each individual lash. My only qualm about it is that if you have smaller lids, it does tend to smudge along your lower lash line, so I only use it on the top lashes.


Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Hot Gossip ($22). This hue is my perfect “my lips but better” color. Seriously, Charlotte knew what she was doing when she came up with the formula of her Lip Cheat liners: it’s both creamy and yet doesn’t go on too strong, so you never get an obvious lip line.


Jane Iredale Triple Luxe Long Lasting Lipstick in Gabby ($35). I received this lipstick from the previous days as a lifestyle editor and when this tube is done, I’ll be buying more for myself because it’s amazing. It’s so moisturizing that sometimes when I can’t find my balm, I’ll go ahead and apply this lipstick.

Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey Perfume Rollerball ($28). I’m not a huge perfume person, mainly because I’m hypersensitive to scents, but I always re-up on the Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey scent because it soft and floral without being overpowering. (My husband is also a fan.)


3CE x Maison Kitsune Glitter Liner in #O’Honey ($15). This was another Korean beauty purchase that I realized was also available online Stateside. This is definitely not an everyday product for me, but on those nights out with my girlfriends, it’s that perfect pop of shimmer that catches the eye. I used just a thin line of it along my lower lash line in place of regular liner, and it’s just enough.

While The Off Hours may at times use affiliate links, we always offer genuine editorial recommendations. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.