What’s in Your Makeup Bag: Travel Beauty Essentials

Travel Beauty Essentials

Staying fresh and pretty while travelling, especially in hot countries, can be really tough. No matter what kind of skin you have, a change of climate can take it’s toll – not to mention the fact that you’ll probably have a pared-down makeup bag. It can be tricky to know what products to pack, so I asked six awesome bloggers what travel beauty essentials they never leave home without. Keep reading for some great travel beauty tips and product recommendations for the following skin and trip styles:

  1. Hand Luggage Only
  2. Oily Skin
  3. Dry Skin
  4. Keeping Skin Healthy
  5. Scuba Diving Beauty Tips
  6. Simple Beauty

Hand Luggage Only Travel Beauty

Georgia Hughes – Glamorous Globetrotting @globetrottergee

Travel Beauty Essentials

Over the last year, I have travelled to a few places across Europe. As you may know, cheap flights come with a small cost – no baggage allowance besides your carry-on bag, so I have had to accustom myself to 100ml bottles.

Carry-on Travel Beauty Essentials 

  1. Daily Energizer Cream Gel by Clarins
  2. Creme de ChanelWhat's in Your Makeup Bag: Travel Beauty Essentials Cream Blush in Affinite
  3. Bobbi Brown lipgloss in Bare Sparkle
  4. Benefit They’re real! mascaraWhat's in Your Makeup Bag: Travel Beauty Essentials
  5. Bobbi Brown Long Wear FoundationWhat's in Your Makeup Bag: Travel Beauty Essentials in Porcelain
  6. Kerastase Soleil Hair OilWhat's in Your Makeup Bag: Travel Beauty Essentials

Travelling Europe does not quite give you the same bronzed glow that travelling elsewhere may, so I have included a blusher and a lipgloss as they give my face some life. I carry these particular essentials because I suffer from both dull and dry skin, and an oily T-zone. Whilst my moisturiser brightens, my foundation ensures that my face stays more matte for longer. My one golden rule would be to never skip on moisturiser, wherever in the world you are; it provides a basis for all activities and is especially useful if it has SPF in it. If I were to include my top makeup bag essentials for warmer weather, I would most certainly include the Kerastase Soleil Hair Oil – it prevents hair from being ruined in the sun or sea.

Dealing With Oily Skin in Heat and Humidity

Samantha – There She Goes Again

Travel Blogger Beauty Tips

Samantha in humid Hoi An, Vietnam

Oily Skin Travel Beauty Essentials 

  1. Skinfood Aloe Vera Foam CleanserWhat's in Your Makeup Bag: Travel Beauty Essentials
  2. InnisfreeWhat's in Your Makeup Bag: Travel Beauty Essentials Kale Toner
  3. Innisfree Green Tea SerumWhat's in Your Makeup Bag: Travel Beauty Essentials
  4. Any Sunscreen meant for the face

My face is definitely on the oily side, and heat and humidity like to test that. My skincare routine becomes incredibly light–no heavy creams or oil based cleansers. A foam cleanser twice a day to keep build up at bay, a toner to balance the skin, and a serum versus a lotion or cream to finish it all off. If you put your toner in a small spray bottle, you can also use it for a quick spritz in the heat.

I’ve also found face-specific sunscreen does go a long way in preventing breakouts than if I get cheap or lazy and just get all over sun screen. The Neutrogena Ultra Sheer StickWhat's in Your Makeup Bag: Travel Beauty Essentials is the best if you can get your hands on it. Also, if you find yourself with a toilet seat cover, it makes a great blotter!

Dealing with Dry Skin in Hot Sun

Monika – Bewildered in Morocco – @monikamizinska

Travel Beauty Essentials

I am a Pole spending most of the year in Morocco, so I am taking an advantage of the Moroccan beauty goodies. I am a light-skinned blonde so sometimes the sun treats my dry skin in a very bad way! To prevent redness and irritation I use some gentle multi-task cosmetics when I am on the road and have limited space in my bag:

  1. Pure Argan OilWhat's in Your Makeup Bag: Travel Beauty Essentials – It’s a miracle-working mixture! As my skin is dry, it is a perfect moisturizer (I don’t recommend it to people with oily skin though!). As my eyes are sensitive and I am allergic to most of make-up removers available on the market, I also use it to remove my eye make-up. You don’t have to rub your skin and it removed mascara fast! I got used to its texture and I am loving it, it absorbs quickly. You can use it as a body lotion too!
  2. Orange Blossom Water – Another Moroccan treasure. It’s a very handy thing, you can use it too freshen your skin in the morning, clean after the whole day or just get moisture during the way. It also soothes irritated skin and is chemical-free!

Keeping Skin Healthy Whilst Travelling

Loren Ferguson – Think Elysian

Travel Beauty Tips

Travel Beauty Essentials:

  1. St. Tropez’s In Shower Gradual Tan
  2. Clinique’s Moisturizing Gel
  3. Urban Decay’s All Nighter Make-up setting spray.

I always try to have a nice tan when I travel because that means less make-up for me. My skin looks more even and healthy when I have a summer glow. My favourite new product is St. Tropez’s In Shower Gradual TanWhat's in Your Makeup Bag: Travel Beauty Essentials. It only takes 3 minutes and you rinse it off. You get a great tan without a stinky and slimy residue on your skin while you are traveling.

When I am travelling moisturiser is a MUST. You never know how your skin will react to a different climate and environment. Be sure to have a moisturiser on hand to calm your skin and protect it! My favourite is Clinique’s Moisturizing GelWhat's in Your Makeup Bag: Travel Beauty Essentials – it is lightweight and keeps my skin looking fresh.

If you are wearing makeup during your travels be sure to grab Urban Decay’s travel size All nighter make-up setting sprayWhat's in Your Makeup Bag: Travel Beauty Essentials to get the most out of your makeup. While travelling you don’t want to be constantly fixing runny makeup or complexion problems. Make it all stay put the first time with this awesome spray!

Scuba Diving Beauty Essentials

Annika – Midnight Blue Elephant – @nightelephant

Scuba Diving Beauty Tips

I plan my trips around the best scuba diving destinations these days. Therefore, I always think about being in the water for a long time when I pack my beauty products.

Scuba Diving Beauty Essentials:

  1. Benebalm Lip BalmWhat's in Your Makeup Bag: Travel Beauty Essentials from Benefit
  2. Argan oil
  3. Reef-Friendly Sunscreen like Mexitan Tropical SandsWhat's in Your Makeup Bag: Travel Beauty Essentials
  4. Waterproof Mascara

The biggest change in my daily well-being came along when I switched from hard contact lenses (I am almost blind without) to soft dailies. Whether I am diving or hiking, they are just so much more comfortable and I am not scared of losing them anymore. And, of course, I still want to blink my eyes at little Nemo and for that, I recommend the toughest waterproof mascara you can find – like DiorShow Iconic Extreme Waterproof Mascara.

You would assume it is hard to get sunburned when you are underwater, but I have managed on plenty diving trips. Reef friendly sunscreen is a must for anyone in the water to protect your skin and the corals!

After a day in the salty sea, my hair is usually a mess and my skin screams for nutrition as well – for both I love 100% Moroccan Argan oil, which I lather on thick. A bit of Benebalm on lips and cheeks, another coat of that mascara and I am good to go.

Simple Travel Beauty Essentials

Francesca Collins – Two Backpacks One Adventure – @fcollinss

Travel Beauty Essentials

I always like to keep my beauty routine simple, especially when I’m travelling:

  1. Mary Kay Facial Cleansing Cloths
  2. Macadamia Nut Oil
  3. The Super Sizer Mascara
  4. Chapstick / lip balm

My Mary Kay Facial Cleansing ClothsWhat's in Your Makeup Bag: Travel Beauty Essentials are a must and they come in a travel pack that’s always ready to go whenever I need to hit the road.

My miracle moisturizer is Macadamia Nut OilWhat's in Your Makeup Bag: Travel Beauty Essentials. I discovered this gem on a little farm just outside of Antigua, Guatemala & I swear, I will never use anything else for this basic beauty & health need.

Everyone has a favorite mascara, but I love Super SizerWhat's in Your Makeup Bag: Travel Beauty Essentials from Covergirl in black/brown. It’s great for giving you that effortless “oomph” you need to start a day of travel or sightseeing adventures!

Also, I am totally addicted to both Burt’s Bees Vanilla BeanWhat's in Your Makeup Bag: Travel Beauty Essentials and EOS Sweet MintWhat's in Your Makeup Bag: Travel Beauty Essentials chap sticks. Soft, hydrated lips are just heavenly!

Simple. Clean. Beautiful. That’s what’s you’ll find in my make-up bag!

What are your travel beauty essentials for makeup and skin care? Share your top travel beauty tips in the comments – and perhaps you’ll help a fellow traveller out! 

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What's in your makeup bag: travel blogger beauty tips

About Emily Luxton

An award-winning writer and travel blogger on a mission to explore the world through deeper, more intelligent travel. Seeking out adventure, cultural exchanges, food experiences and more as she attempts to get to know the world. Lover of the great outdoors, sunsets, good food, and the odd bit of luxury!


  1. Francesca @ twobackpacksoneadv.com

    Great group of writers giving recommendations for all sorts of skin types and travel styles! Glad I could be a part of this with you all! :)

  2. The Kerastase hair oil is a great suggestion, I love their products. I take Skinade collagen travel minis and nail varnish remover pads

    • Nail varnish remover pads are something I WISH I had in my makeup bag right now! I had a manicure in Thailand which has not survived the past few weeks of travel, sea, sun etc and now my nails look a state! Just had to go out on a mission to find some nail polish remover (I tried rum first but it didn’t work haha!).

      I’m going to do a second post to follow up as I’m still getting great tips. Do you fancy featuring?

  3. Whee! The post turned out lovely! Agreed with the moisturizer tip. Never skip, just find what kind works with your skin type!

    • Thanks again for taking part Samantha :) So right about moisturiser too – and I think it helps to try to stick with the same one whilst travelling as trying something new might confuse your skin!!

  4. Some great tips here! When travelling I’ve come to abandon makeup altogether but moisturiser is always a must for me! I also wish I had nail polish remover as treating myself to a manicure happens from time to time.

    Thanks for sharing, some tips for me to consider on my next trip! :)

    • Yeah I had to buy nail polish remover a few weeks after my manicure in Thailand. I hadn’t planned on getting one but they’re so cheap!

      I usually abandoned make up completely in hot countries, especially when I’m backpacking. But when I go on press trips with other bloggers a lot more photos get taken so I’ve started wearing a little bit so that I don’t look like a total washout!

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