Travel Makeup Capsule: Lightening the Load

Travel Makeup

Alright.  Let’s talk travel makeup.  Who here is guilty of overpacking? 🙋🏻🙋🏻🙋🏻  This is a judge-free zone, so it’s okay, you can admit it! In fact, admitting you have a problem is the first step,😉.  I’m kidding of course, but my guess is, you probably consider yourself to be an over-packer as well since you’re here with me!  Well let me tell ya, I used to be TERRIBLE! I mean, it was borderline embarrassing how much I would pack.  So unnecessary; and let’s be honest, when you’re traveling, the lighter the load the easier it is to get around!!

Now, since I’ve started my capsule wardrobe, I am no longer guilty of overpacking clothes!! Woohoo!! I can usually pack for up to 2 weeks of travel in a carryon! Crazy right?! This coming from the girl who used to take 2 suitcases to Europe (I told you…embarrassing)! 🤦🏻‍♀️ So, HUGE accomplishment for me….HOWEVER, I noticed, that even though I was seriously planning & packing my wardrobe, I was NOT as serious about my makeup & toiletries.  Again, embarrassed to admit it, but my beauty products alone began to take up half the space (& the weight) of my little suitcase. 😳  So, that’s what brought me here, to this blog post! I was determined to get both the weight (man, makeup & beauty products are HEAVY!) & the quantity of my travel makeup down!!

Travel Makeup
This is the look! Keep reading & watch the video tutorial to do it yourself!

The Secret to Simplifying

I’m gonna share how you can pack your travel makeup bag with just 10 items!!! 10!!! Yep, that includes the brushes!! WHAT?! Yes! It can be done!! Now, I know everyone’s makeup routine is a bit different so I did add some “optional” items (that exceed 10) for those who may need/want a little more Va-Va-Voom, but me personally, I could do without them while traveling.  Even if you included all the optional items though, you’d still be packing LESS than 15 items in your bag!!

So what’s the secret?! You need items that can pull double duty!! What do I mean by that? Well how about a foundation that doubles as a sunscreen! Yes please!! A highlighter that is also a rockin’ eyeshadow! A blush that can also be worn on the lips!! Let me show ya what I mean, & which products I love for their multitasking abilities!!

The Line-Up

Basic Must Haves

  • Concealer
  • Foundation/Powder (also a sunscreen if it has SPF)
  • Blush/Lip
  • Highlighter/Eyeshadow
  • Bronzer/Eyeshadow
  • Eyeliner/Eyeshadow
  • Mascara
  • Dual Ended Brush (Foundation/Contour/Eyeshadow)
  • Dual Ended Brush (Bronzer/Contour/Blush)
  • Dual Ended Brush (Highlight/Eyeshadow/Smudger)
Travel Makeup
What To Pack


  • Brow (Tinted Gel)
  • Setting Powder (Set makeup & eye shadow base)
  • Beauty Blender
  • Eye Shadow Palette
Travel Makeup
Optional Items

How It Works

So if you notice in the list, the only travel makeup items that don’t have two jobs are mascara and concealer.  Everything else is multipurpose!  If we’re being technical we could say that concealer also doubles as a highlight when you’re contouring but y’all get the point, lol.

Mascara and concealer pretty self explanatory (just go with what you love) so we’ll move on to a blush that doubles has a lipstick!  The thing I love about these products is that they’re super creamy and don’t dry out my skin!  They’re available in a variety of shades AND they create an effortless, cohesive, very put-together look that guarantees the perfect shade match!!  You only need one of these bad boys, but here are my 3 faves!

Blush & Lips

Ps.  That NARS “Orgasm” shade is a cult fave!

Highlighter & Eyeshadow

Alright, next on the list…highlighter that doubles as an eyeshadow.  My absolute favorite product for this is the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter.  I love it because it creates the perfect glow with no glitter, looks silky smooth on your cheeks, and when used as an eyeshadow creates a beautiful brightening effect on the eyes.  My Favorite color is Champagne Pop! This stuff goes a long way y’all!  I’ve had mine forever and use it every single day!  It even comes in a smaller travel size!  I also LOVE the Laura Geller Baked Highlighter in French Vanilla.  On top of being a highlighter AND an eyeshadow, this one is also great for the inner eye corners and highlighting the brow bone! Multitasking at its finest!


These are my absolute favorite foundations that also contain a good amount of SPF to double as a sunscreen.  They look really natural on the skin and aren’t too heavy for those beach days!  Add  some contouring and a fun smoky eye and they still work great for evenings. (I provided a couple options for those who prefer liquid or powder, but I will only pack one for my trips.)


Another favorite of mine! The Too Faced Bronzers.  I will typically pack the Sun Bunny over the Chocolate Matte shade for my trips simply because I like it better as an eye shadow.  It’s not overly shimmery though so don’t worry about being too sparkly bronzed all over your face.


So here you can pretty much go with whatever pencil liner you love.  It just needs to be creamy enough to be able to smudge so you can also use it as a shadow (to put in the outer corner of the eye and/or smudge the lower lash line).  This one is my favorite.


This might be my favorite category.  I use to have an obsession with makeup brushes.  I really don’t know why.  I thought I needed them all.  Turns out.  You don’t.  You really only need these three.  With these three you can pretty much do any look you want.  (The ONLY thing I MIGHT add is an angled shadow brush to do liner with but that’s it, seriously…and if you use a pencil liner, you don’t even need that).

The first brush below you can use for bronzer or blush on one side, and foundation and/or concealer on the other.  the second can be used to contour with bronzer, add a pop of blush or even highlight.  And the other end is perfect as an all over shadow brush or to add color to the crease of the eye.  It’s also good if you’re looking for a more chiseled contour look a night.  That third brush is good on both sides for all your shadow needs!  See! That’s it!  3 brushes, all your makeup needs!  And let’s not be afraid to use our fingers either! Sometimes I apply shadows, foundation, concealers, and cream blushes with my fingers…it’s just easier.

Optional items

The last items I listed above are completely optional!  If you don’t use them at home regularly then obviously there’s no need to bring them on vacation.  But, if you DO use them on the regular, then just pack your faves!  These are mine in case you’re wondering.

The Look: Here’s how to achieve It

Travel Makeup

Voila! It’s that simple!  (And no, there are no filters or edits on these after photos!  You really can creat a full make up look with just these few items!!  Plus! You’ll save so much space in your suitcase using these travel makeup tips! And I promise, you won’t even miss all the stuff you left at home! You can always use more eyeliner and smudging to create more of an evening look, or throw an eye shadow palette in there!  If you’re only packing 10 items, there should be more than enough space for your favorite palette!

Well, I hopE that helped all you fellow over-packing makeup addicts! 😂  It’s been a game changer for me, for sure!! Let me know in the comments below if you have any other packing tips!! I’m always looking for ways to simplify!

Talk soon buddies!

My Rustic Retreat Signing Off

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