When it comes to packing, most of us have a tendency to try and cram as much as humanly possible into our suitcases, even if it’s only for an overnight. And despite having packed about 10 different shoe options, we somehow always seem to forget to bring the important stuff — like sunscreen or shampoo. It’s time to kiss that bad habit goodbye, because after checking out these tips, overpacking will be a thing of the past.
1. Pack Up What You Have: Sure, you can pick up a few travel-size items for your trip, but if you already have a slew of products at home that you love, why not take them along for the ride? You can pick up 30ml-size bottles, like these spray ($3), pump ($4) and cylinder ($2) ones, almost anywhere and fill them up with your favorite products. Easy peasy.
2. Malin + Goetz 1 oz. Essential Kit ($30): You never know what you’ll find in the way of toiletries at your hotel. And even if you do find yourself in possession of some pretty sweet soaps, the facial products will more than likely be lacking. Pick up this kit to help you pare down your beauty routine for vacay and keep your skin glowing.
3. NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 ($43): Keep things simple and leave the foundation, concealer, primer and highlighter at home. Opt for a tinted moisturizer or BB cream instead. Not only will it smooth out your complexion with a natural-looking veil of color, but it’ll keep your skin hydrated and protect it from the sun too.
4 + 5. Tarte Poppy Picnic Amazonian Clay Eye & Cheek Palette ($38) + Lorac Pro To Go Eye & Cheek Palette ($38): Don’t lug around every eye shadow, blush and bronzer you own. Pick up a palette that does double duty with powders for both your eyes and cheeks. Be sure to choose colors that play off your destination, or opt for neutral tones that can work for both day and night.
6. Urban Decay Naked2 Basics ($29): Speaking of eye shadow… the Naked palette is a must for any makeup maven (and one of our very favorites!). Slip the smaller version in your carry-on especially if there’s a fancy event (see: all those weddings on your to-do travel list this year) at your destination.
7. Yves Saint Laurent Volume Effet Faux Cils Waterproof Mascara ($27) + Stila All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner ($20): Mascara and eyeliner are two products that can transform your look in two seconds flat. Classic black or dark brown are all you’ll need for your getaway. And if you’re headed to a balmy beach spot, waterproof is definitely the way to go.
8. Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick Duo ($12): A good ‘ol lipstick rounds out your list of vacation makeup must-haves. Even if you’re a lipstick-obsessed lady, try to limit how many you take. One neutral and one bright hue should do the trick. This nifty number by Bite Beauty gives you a two-in-one option that’ll work for both day and night.
9 + 10. Avène Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion Travel Spray SPF 50 ($10) + Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 70 Face & Body Stick ($9): Since sunscreen is already part of your daily beauty routine, there’s no way you’d leave on vacation without taking along a tube of the stuff, right? But don’t try to bring that giant bottle you have sitting at home. A travel-size spray or solid stick are two no-mess options that will free up precious space in your bag.
11. Bumble and bumble Surf Travel Set ($28): Those two-in-one shampoos at the hotel have a tendency to leave hair looking flat and dry. Keep your locks looking their best by bringing along a mini bottle or two of the good stuff. This Bumble and Bumble trio is on point for a beach vacay (or a staycation, because beach waves ALWAYS look good).
12. Pacifica Purify Coconut Water Cleansing Wipes ($6): Travel can really do a number on your skin. Breathe some life back into your face after a long flight or car ride by giving it a quick swipe with one of these cool cleansing wipes. Take them along for a day out by the pool or exploring the sites to freshen up in a pinch. And if you’re exhausted after a night out, they’re an easy way to remove all your makeup, no water (or effort) required.
13. Clinique Acne Solutions Emergency Gel-Lotion ($17): Nothing is more of a buzzkill than a zit. Don’t let an unexpected — and totally unwelcome — blemish put a damper on your trip. Keep an emergency spot treatment lotion on hand and apply at the first sign of trouble.
14. Butter London Scrubbers ($10): Chipped manicures are a bummer, but a few missing flecks won’t stop your nails from looking flawless. On the other hand, if they’ve started to look all kinds of raunchy rather than ravishing, it’s time to do a little damage control. While packing a bottle of nail polish remover isn’t exactly going to fly, a few remover wipes will do the trick.
17. Pinrose Sample Starter Kit ($9 for 13 “Petals”): Since luggage transportation isn’t always the most delicate of processes, putting a prized bottle of your favorite discontinued scent into your suitcase might not be the best of ideas. Pick up a few samples (Pinrose is super fun for sampling and finding a new signature smell) or a purse-sized roll-on tube to take on the road instead.
18. Tweezerman Fashion Color Mini Slant Tweezers ($14): From cleaning up whack-looking brows to keeping ingrown hairs in check and even taking care of a surprise splinter, a trusty pair of tweezers can solve any problem. Don’t leave home without them.
19. Scünci No Slip Grip Comfortable Hair Elastics ($3) + Scünci No Slip Grip Hair Pins ($3): If you’re not the type to keep an elastic constantly on your wrist, make sure to pack a few in your bag. You never know when one will come in handy. The same goes for hair pins too.
20. The Container Store Clear Quart-Sized Zippered Pouch ($7): Airport security means business when it comes to your carry-on cosmetics. Make their lives, and yours, easier by being prepared. This clear makeup will get you through security fast and will keep your products a lot more organized than a plastic bag.
21. La Fresh Insect Repellent Wipes ($20): Bug bites? Um, no thanks. Instead of getting eaten alive, swipe these bad boys over your skin for some serious bug-busting protection.
What are your must-pack beauty essentials? Tell us in the comments!