4 ways to streamline your makeup bag for business travel

a black tube with a clear glassOne of the questions I get all the time is how to compress a full makeup routine into a bag small enough for travel. Honestly, some people don’t. They bring their full makeup bag on every trip, and save room in the suitcase other ways. That is certainly one way to do it, but it’s not the only way.

If you don’t have the space or inclination to bring your entire makeup bag, here are some tricks I use to fit everything I need to make me feel gorgeous.

Tips to streamline your makeup bag for business travel:

  1. Don’t bring everything. It’s tempting to bring your entire makeup collection, but think realistically about what you need for work. Like with everything else you’re packing, figure out what you need to feel your best and bring only those things.
  2. Use travel sizes. I have a small bag of everyday makeup that comes on every trip. The main reason it’s small: I use travel sized makeup for several of my necessities, including mascara, CC cream, and eyeshadow. My makeup brushes are also travel-sized, and for trips I make do with only two brushes. I primarily get sample or travel sizes from Sephora and Birchbox.
  3. Try sticks or creams. There are stick versions of eye shadow, concealer, and blush that don’t require brushes and take up less space. There are also plenty of creams that you put on with your fingers, not a brush. (Pictured: Burt’s Bees All Aglow Lip and Cheek Stick)
  4. Decant into a smaller container. Before I got my new (smaller) size of CC cream, I would decant my tinted moisturizer into a contact lens case. This saves a ton of room, and I didn’t have to purchase anything extra. Another suggestion I read years ago in Real Simple: rub a q-tip in your eye shadow and pack in a plastic bag. For a short trip, if you only use one or two colors, that could work well!

Bonus tip: I keep an extra travel mascara in my toiletry kit, on the off-chance I forget my makeup (which has happened before, and is basically terrible). In fact, now that I’m thinking about it, I need to add some CC cream and a blush stick! Oh darn, guess I have to go to Sephora again. Yessssssss!

Readers, how do you streamline your makeup bag for business travel?


Be sure to check out my page with products I recommend for travel!

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  1. I keep my makeup routine very simple. I use a neutral eyeshadow palette (Naked 2 mini from Urban Decay), powder foundation (Clinique Double face powder), mascara and lipstick. I have rosacea, so my cheeks are always naturally rosy. It keeps everything simple and low maintenance makeup wise. I transfer my lotions and potions for maintaining my skin into smaller containers and this all can go into my computer bag.

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