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Best Travel Makeup Kit Essentials for your next trip

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Traveling is fun and little of makeup doesn’t hurt. Over the years, I have mastered the art of sponges and brushes and curated a mini travel make up kit essentials list to carry with me when I am on the go.

I am not a make up artist, but a girl next door who wears make up and loves to be prim and proper (without being too loud). The products recommended here are tried and tested by me and I use them in my daily make up routine and LOVE them.

Travel Makeup kit
Travel Makeup kit essentials

Most of my makeup products are from Sephora and I usually stock up on them when they have 20% off for VIB members. I have also included a few items found on Amazon as they carry some of the drug store make up products that are worth it as well. (Read to find out – there is ONE product that I can’t let go).

Hope you enjoy my travel beauty and makeup tips. 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Best Travel Makeup kit Essentials to carry on your next vacation

Before we start off, let me share that all of the items I mention below come with me in my carry-on bag. So they are airplane safe and security – TSA approved.

I have a few clear toiletry bags (that I have collected over the years) that I use to keep and organize my make up items. I also bring in my skin care items in the same clear bag – face cream, facial spray, travel size perfume to name a few.

Remember each liquid item should not be more than 100 ml and the total of the bag contents (for liquids) should not cross the 1 litre limit.

As per TSA Regulations/ Website (Image Source and Credit)


CARRY ON > Each liquid and containers of liquids must be 100 ml or less. And all of the liquids you are carrying should fit into 1 litre, clear, resealable bag per traveler. 

There are zip lock bags available at the airport – at security. But you can also purchase clear bags to avoid switching items around at the security gate.

CHECK IN > Any thing over and above – 1 L or more than 100 ml each, will not go inside a carry on. So your full size hair sprays, shampoos and such. Don’t carry a perfume (eau du parfum) of 100 ml in your checked in baggage. Due to the ingredients, perfumes over 100 ml is considered a DG – dangerous goods for transportation. 

Carry on Tips – Best Travel Makeup Kit Essentials 

Make up Liquid Restrictions

As an example, here is what I carry in my travel makeup kit

  • Foundation (full size) – 30 ml
  • Face cream (full size) – 50 ml
  • Mascara (full size) – 19 ml
  • Travel size perfume – 12 ml
  • Facial Mist/Spray – 30 ml
  • Sanitizer – 12 ml 
  • Shampoo & conditioner – 20 ml (in a clear re-usable bottle)

Eye pencil, blush, eye shadow, brushes and sponges are not liquids.

This totals 173 ml. You have room to put in body wash, body lotion if you like.

Travel Makeup kit essentials

I am a carry on lover, so I keep a stock of travel, mini size products to carry with me. They are super handy if you own mini or small purses too. If you wish to take items like me in a carry-on, then invest in a good toiletry bag (TSA approved). I will provide a few product recommendations below that are functional and cute.

Remember, if you are carrying liquids in a carry-on, you will have to take the clear bag out and then place it in a bin for security checking. 

Clarity Jetset Case from Truffle – TSA Approved

 TSA approved bags mean clear toiletry bags that are compliant with TSA 3-1-1 rules for all airlines. It makes things easier and helps to pass through airport security check quickly.


TSA Approved Toiletry Bag 3 pcs Clear Travel Makeup Bag Set









9 Pack Travel Bottles TSA Approved Containers and bag


This one comes with refillable containers in one TSA approved bag. 


So let’s start with the list – Best Travel makeup kit essentials

Liquid Foundation – IT Cosmetics 

Foundation builds the canvas for us. After cleansing and applying my Vitamin E moisturizer I use my “medium tan” liquid foundation. My go to products are – Nars, Too Faced, Bobbi Brown and IT cosmetics.

In the recent months, I have been using IT cosmetics CC cream for my travels and that is what I would recommend carrying. This foundation has become my favorite makeup item. It provides medium coverage and can be build up to provide full coverage. It has SPF 45 included in it – which is a plus. It works well on my normal to dry skin.

This product is developed with plastic surgeons and dermatologists and it is clinically tested and cruelty free. 

A bigger plus is that the container is in the tube format and is not made up of glass (which can break in transit if you are carrying a clear toiletry bag.) I carry my IT cosmetics cc cream with SPF in my carry-on. The full size bottle of 32 ml and I never had any issues carrying it.

IT Cosmetics CC also comes in a travel size container with 3 shades only. 

I apply the liquid foundation using a sponge. You can also use hands or a brush. I find it easier with a sponge and it takes less space.

This foundation has been super handy. Trust me. Once I carried a full size Nars Sheer foundation and the neck of the bottle broke open inside my toiletry bag and since then I have been avoiding “glass” products in my carry-on. 

My pro makeup tip is avoid glass containers for foundations or powder based ones. Powder based foundations might break or crack while in transit. They are perfect for work though, but would not recommend for travels.  

Bobbi Brown has stick foundation that is good too and the container is not made of glass. 


Note: I do not use concealers. But Nars, Bobbi Brown and Too Faced concealers are available in the market and the bottle size is smaller then the foundation. So if you use concealer add them in for sure. 

Click to view concealers from Nars 

Click to view concealers from Bobbi Brown 

Eye pencil (Rimmel Exaggerate) and Mascara 

Eye pencil – I really NEED my eye pencil and this is my number one makeup essential . And I carry 2 of them because that is the only brand that I have been using for the past 10 years. And it is a drugstore product – and that’s my Rimmel Exaggerate Eye Definer 

You guys, whether you are sweating or teary eyed, this waterproof eye pencil will never ditch you. Plus if I don’t apply eye liner, it means my day hasn’t began – so yes I need it. I apply it twice on the lower line and twice on the eye lash line. And I am good for the whole day. Rimmel eyeliner had never caused me any irritation on the eye. I usually stock up when I find them online. My favorite is color is blackest black.

Buy this 2 pack Rimmel Exaggerate Eye Definer here 

Mascara – I use mascaras off and on. Whether you take a full size or a small size you should be fine. It won’t add a lot of weight.  Tarte 4-in-1 mascara is one of my favorites.

It is a good idea to shop for mascaras in a travel size packs. Remember you should replace mascaras every 6 months. So if you use them frequently and like smaller containers, then stock on these little babies! 

Eyeshadow palette – Urban Decay

My go to eye shadow makeup palette brand is Urban Decay. Their colors are luxurious and long lasting. I own two of their Naked line full size eye shadow makeup palettes – Naked Heat and Naked 3. Both palettes work well on my skin tone.

After years of using it, I realized that I have 1-2 all time favorites that can wear on my travels. So when I travel I purchase an eye shadow case. It is the size of a coin and is super compact to carry. The Urban Decay Naked line also comes in a small travel size, but I don’t see myself using all the shades.

Here is the Urban Decay – mini eye shadow palette 

One thing to keep in mind is that Urban Decay’s single eye shadow names are not identical to the Naked palette line – so you will have to choose something which is closer to that shade. But these are super small and great to carry in your travels.

Blush from Tarte

Tarte produces some of the chicest beauty products. I started using their blush in the spring of 2017 and have been a fan since. The full size blush is a still a lightweight item to carry.

My favorite is nude/paarty shade. They also have a pretty pink/sparkly one. The color is fabulous and will complement all skin tones.

Click here to view nude/paarty shade 

Click here to view the bright rose shade

I adore these blushes in the small size – they are packed with Amazonian clay. 

Note: Carrying eye shadow and blush means packing 2 travel size makeup brushes. Travel or mini size brush will take less space and does the same job.

Here is what I recommend 

Eye shadow brushClick here to view the eye shadow brush 

Blush brush – Click here to view the mini blush brush

If you like to bundle, buy this brush set from Sephora – these are perfect mini travel brush set


Lip color, lipsticks and/or lip balm

Last but not the least is lipstick or lip color. Invest in a hydrating lip color so that you don’t have to carry an extra lip balm. I prefer carrying 2-3 shades of lip color. I use a bright red or pink for photos, a nude mauve color and a shade closer to my natural lip color.

Here are my favorite favorites –

Nars – My Super luxurious NARS Audacious lipstick in red 

Stella – This lipstick is SUPER hydrating. LOVE this pinky biege color

YSL –  YSL Plumping Lip Balm but this one is with CORAL color. Check it out here


Sorry never used lip liners and have survived! Well, other then during our wedding reception. 

Now here are some of the beauty essentials – My skincare items that go along with my travel makeup essentials and is in the kit.

Facial Wipes

They are super handy transiting or in layover. My facial wipes are make up removal wipes with hydration – so they remove make up and clean up the face. Occasionally I carry a small face wash (but it is very rare). For long term travel, I just buy a face cleanser upon arrival. 

Facial wipes clean up all the grim and dirt plus make up. Follow up by washing with clean water. Most facial wipes will have anywhere from 10-25 wipes – that’s more then enough for a 4 day trip. 

Click this link to buy my Sephora facial wipes

Face Cream

My Vitamin E moisturizer is my go to face cream. I carry it in full size and use it day and night. My skin care routine at home is a little different and I use facial serums and a night cream.


If you must follow this regimen then purchase smaller/ travel size face creams or put them in a travel size container.

Facial Spray or mist

Facial Spray – Facial Spray – I LOVE THEM. They help set makeup and provides an instant pick me up when you are traveling all day long.

There many brands that manufacture purse size facial spray or mist and they are perfect for travel as well. Here are my 3 favorites –

1 Caudalie Facial Mist > Click here to buy Caudalie Facial Mist

2 Aglow Facial Mist > Click here to buy Aglow Facial Mist

3 Body Shop Rose Dewy Mist > Click here to buy BodyShop Rose Dewy Mist

Travel Size Perfume 

I prefer carrying a travel size perfume spray and not a roller ball. So for me the perfume list is limited, as most perfume brands only carry a roll-on option in their mini sizes.

But I have 2 of these that I love and carry them on my travels as well as it has a permanent place in my work handbag as well.

These brands have perfume spray

1 YSL Opium > Click here to buy

2 Loccitane Lumiere > Click here to buy

Coconut Oil or any type of facial oil

Coconut oil is useful for a multitude of things – like dry hands, elbow, knees, hair or even lips. Sometimes facial oil like the Argan oil is great and is useful not only for face as a night cream but also for dry areas. 

Travel Makeup Kits in gift sets

To save money and keep a good stock of travel minis (for travel or in your daily essentials packing list), it is a good idea to purchase gift sets or pack of minis – a little bit goes a long way. Some of these items could be limited edition or available during the holiday season – so stock up!

Click on the images to view all the travel kits that are included in each gift set

Additional Travel tips and packing lists post 

Last Update – August 31 2019

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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Travel Makeup kit essentials list
Travel Makeup kit essentials list

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