I love to travel and I love the challenge of bringing only carry-on luggage. It’s a good opportunity to realise how little you really need and how you can minimalise your essentials. In this post, I collected all my personal favourite tips & tricks on how to pack a beauty bag that will fit your carry-on AND see you through a whole week or more.
You’ll need something that you can layer easily depending on how much hydration you need. Take a small jar (or decant some of a big one) of Egyptian Magic cream, which is a multipurpose balm made of olive oil, royal jelly and propolis. Now you have a cleansing balm to take your makeup off, hand cream, body lotion, lip balm, and you can also use it on your hair as a conditioner. A little goes a long way, but that also means it will last you more. :) It’s also good for burns, rashes or bug bites; an ideal travel companion! For a similar product that can be used as a skin cleanser & moisturiser, try Lush’s Ultrabland.
Yay for solid products! No spillage, less waste (solid products are often without packaging!), eco-friendly travel.
- Lush is especially amazing in this area. I love their solid shampoo bars — one can last for around a month in our household (approx. 30 uses), so for a shorter trip, you can cut it in half.
- If you never tried brushing your teeth with tabs, you’re missing out on a carry-on superstar! These toothy tabs come in all different flavours, are all natural, and take less space than toothpaste. Just chew one and use a wet brush! If you’re also a fan of good breath (who isn’t!), you can also try the mouthwash tabs — great for on the go. As for toothbrush, opt for an eco-friendly version, like this biodegradable bamboo brush that also comes with a travel case.
- Instead of shower gels (which can easily spill), pack a regular bar of soap — this Fuji Green Tea soap also serves as a body scrub. Win-win!
- You can also go with a solid option for deodorant — Salt of the Earth create lovely, unscented, natural deodorants that work (I personally tested it in 35°C).
Let’s not forget about this, because you’ll need sun protection whether you’re going for a city tour, a lovely week in the mountains or for a classic beach holiday.
- For your face, go for a multi-purpose option again. This daily moisturiser from Paula’s Choice has been my favourite for years — it is also lightly tinted and has SPF 30.
- For your arms and legs, try a long-wearing spray, like a 100 ml bottle from P20 — it’s just small enough to fit your make-up bag but has enough product to last you a long, long time.
Multipurpose is the name of the game. Also, you don’t need much, you’re on holiday!
- A 2-in-1 lip & cheek tint can solve your lipstick & blush problem.
- Pack a bronzy-highlighty brick blusher (I love this one) with a travel sized brush, and you have a subtle sheen & colour in a single swipe. The deeper colours work great as an eyeshadow as well!
- If you need heavier coverage than the tinted moisturiser, pack a concealer.
- Add mascara (waterproof if you like — don’t worry, the cleansing balm will take it off!), a couple of microfiber face cloths (great for make-up removal even just wet, ideal for cleansing balms, and also exfoliate gently), and you’re done!
Anything else you want to take with you?
Try decanting your products into smaller containers — empty bottles (100 ml or under) are widely available. The ones on the picture are from IKEA, so is the see-through plastic bag to put all your stuff in them for the security check. If you have unused & clean contact lens holders on hand, you can also pump products into those. Think of heavy duty foundation, a small amount of serum or a teaspoonful of a face mask. Product samples also work great, but create more waste, so if you can, stick to decanting and reusing smaller bottles.