Between visiting both Puerto Rico and Virginia, jetting off to Austria for skiing, and taking a mini holiday in the Czech Republic, it’s safe to say I have been traveling quite a bit recently. And as an ex-pat living halfway across the world from my family, I generally travel cross-atlantically at least once or twice a year. Over time, I feel that I have also amassed a wealth of knowledge when it comes to preparing and packing for both short and long haul flights, train rides, bus rides, holidays both long and short, and about everything else in between.

Travel Makeup essentials - tips on what to pack for a girl on the go - photographed by Rae Tashman -

I’ve shared with you guys a lot of travel tips here on LFB including how to travel alone, how to work while on holiday, and collecting consciously while travelling, but one area that I have not really touched upon much is the actual preparation and packing for travel.

So today, I would like to give you guys a bit of a peak inside my travel makeup bag and share with you the bare essentials* that I bring along with me while traveling as well as offer up some tips on how to pack as minimalistically as possible.

*Please note that not all of the brands here are cruelty-free or vegan. I have only just begun researching and learning about which brands are ones that I ethically jive with, but in the meantime, have many products that I am still in the process of using up. Ideally, all of these products would have been cruelty-free and/or vegan from the start, but as these products have already been purchased, I see no use in being even more wasteful and throwing them out for them only to end up half-used in a landfill somewhere and will continue to use these products until they have been used up and can be replaced with cruelty-free alternatives.

Travel Makeup essentials - tips on what to pack for a girl on the go - photographed by Rae Tashman -

What’s in my travel makeup bag

001: Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Concealer in Medium Light
002: Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus mascara
003: The Face Shop Face it all about mascara
004: essence eyebrow designer eyebrow pencil
005: shu uemura eyelash curler
006: Sephora highlight lowlight face contour duo in tan
007: alverde naturkosmetik Puderrouge in 07 Flamingo
008: Sephora Professionel brush – complexion poudre 53
009: Dolly Wink eyeshadow in 01
010: elf baked eyeshadow trio in Brown Bonanza
011: nyx slide on eyeliner pencil in sl15 brown perfection
012: Astor soft sensation lip color butter matte in 023 vivid divine
013: Pacifica natural minerals power of love powerful color natural lipstick in super love
014: MAC cream contour base in Luna frost
015: dinoplatz blotting paper
(016: I also generally bring along liquid black eyeliner as well)

Travel Makeup essentials - tips on what to pack for a girl on the go - photographed by Rae Tashman -

and now on to some tips and tricks for traveling as lightly as possible…

Get rid of your brushes (or at least most of them)

When trying to keep things down to the bare minimum, the first things I like to leave behind are eyeshadow brushes. You would be pretty amazed how great your fingers work at applying eyeshadows. I have also found (and heard) that eyeshadows from many asian makeup brands actually apply better with either the small sponge applicator that comes with most cheaper eyeshadows or your fingers. I have definitely found this to be the case for my dolly wink quad and for several western drugstore brands as well. As for facial brushes, I don’t really wear foundation or powder, so I never have these brushes with me anyway. I do however bring along with me a blush brush, but if you even want to cut back on a blush brush then…

Go with cream products

I would definitely not advice attempting to apply a powder blush with your fingers (but hey if you are able to, more power to you!) but if you really can’t spare the space for a small blush brush, then go with a cream brush, as they can be applied just fine with your own digits. My contour stick is cream based, which makes it insanely easy to blend with just my index fingers

Bring along small duo, trios or quads

I only really rely on two small eyeshadow kits when I travel as they include all the colors I need and fit perfectly in the balm of my hand.

Choose neutral colors that work well together

This goes for your shadows, blush, and lip colors. Being able to mix and match everything means that you can keep the number of products you bring with you to a minimum.

Bring double-duty products

my essence eyebrow brush is awesome because not only is it dirt cheap, it also has a small brush on the other end which makes this little guy both a tool and pencil at the same time. Same goes for my double-ended contour stick. Twice the product, half the size!

Limit yourself to two lip colors and one blush

Pick two colors that you know you will be happy with on your entire trip. I generally like to go for one that is a bit more bold and one that works well for daily use. Same goes for my blush – I generally pick a shade that gives me a pop of color and can be applied lightly for the daytime but can also be built up for a more dramatic look for the evening.

Skip heavy foundation and powder…

and opt for a concealer wand and blotting paper. Now I know not all ladies feel comfortable doing this, but if you only suffer from minor skin imperfections, this is definitely the way to go. Bringing along a small tube of concealer with a wand also cuts down on the need to bring extra brushes.

I am in no means a makeup pro by any stretch of the imagination, but this is what I have found to work for me. When I am staying longer in a place and want more makeup looks and have the room in my bag for extra products, I generally pack a second small makeup bag, but I find that these 15 items really do the trick.

What are your makeup tips and tricks for packing minimally while on the go?

Travel Makeup essentials - tips on what to pack for a girl on the go - photographed by Rae Tashman -

Travel Makeup essentials - tips on what to pack for a girl on the go - photographed by Rae Tashman -

Travel Makeup essentials - tips on what to pack for a girl on the go - photographed by Rae Tashman -

Travel Makeup essentials - tips on what to pack for a girl on the go - photographed by Rae Tashman -

Travel Makeup essentials - tips on what to pack for a girl on the go - photographed by Rae Tashman -

Photography: Rae Tashman

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Stay conscious, Rae


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Rae Tilly

Rae the EIC of LFB and YEOJA Magazine. She is also a photographer and social media influencer.


  • Such great tips, really helpful!
    The Sephora contour stick is so amazing.

  • Alona Bronstein

    Love everything about this post! The photography, the tips and the lovely writing. I’ve been really enjoying these travel posts :) Hope there will be more in the future! x Alona

    ps- I’d love to see posts about cruelty-free or vegan products you recommend once you find once that you love :)

  • I used to never feel confident wearing only concealer because I had the WORST acne. But once my skin cleared up I started using that method more and more! It definitely helps save room in my makeup bag and is perfect for traveling!

    Natalie | Natalie Was Here

  • This was such a great and helpful post! Especially skip a heavy foundation and powder, I’ve been there and it’s terrible, I’d prefer to not wear make up at all! My must is a blotting paper :) You travel posts are the best!!

  • loving this post! i’m always packing either too many or not enough products :(

  • Love how styled these images :) I don’t normally wear makeup when traveling but ever since I’ve been blogging about my travels, I’m trying to look more presentable for the camera, haha. The idea of cream blushes sounds like a good alternative to powder + blush brush.

  • Rajwant Kaur Singh

    Great picks, always love hearing what products you rely on… even better if space is tight
    Surprisingly, I haven’t tried any of the products you mentioned, so will definitely be checking them out, and look forward to hearing your cruelty free options too!

    Thanks for sharing such brilliant reviews & gorgeous photos

    What Raj Wants

  • I love the numbering system you have in the first photo and now I want to get my hands on the Dollywink quad! I think quads and trios are excellent ideas for traveling. I rely on those as well because they are portable and versatile. In regards to lip colors, if you pick a tinted balm or something of the sort, you can knock out two birds with one stone. You’re so blessed to have nice skin and not need foundation! x

    Alyse (J.X.L.) | LUMIÈRE & LENS

  • These are such great tips! I love your idea of bringing double duty products…I need to do that more often! :)

  • I LOVE these photos! And some great minimalistic tips! Lately I’ve been mixing my foundation with a light moisturizer and just applying it with my hands the way I would a regular moisturizer. It gives me just enough coverage, but I don’t feel cakey, and I don’t have to lug a bunch of brushes around!
    XO Alex //

  • Diana Maria

    These photos are so lovely, and I love the products you’ve mentioned! Surprisingly I haven’t tried any of them, but I’m in need of new makeup and am looking for some natural/cruelty free based products! I always end up over packing and carrying around way too many things, even if it’s just in my purse. The photography of this post is so beautiful!

    My Lovelier Days

  • I just went on a quick trip to Kuala Lumpur the other week and brought my bare essentials!…Well, I tried to anyway. Personally, I follow this scheme too except I bring my colour corrector along and highlighter as eyeshadow. I brought my mascara but I left my liquid liner. Oh for shame!

    xx Bash |   go say   H E Y   B A S H

  • Aisha

    Sometimes is not easy to bring with you just a few products ! Sometimes I use also a light lipstick for cream blush :) one products to use in two different ways ! xx

  • Nice tips and interesting makeup products. I´m from Slovakia, which is next to Czech republic! I hope u enjoy/ed your time there :) ♡

    ~^^ Happy Easter ^^~
    ♡ Je suis la Licorne ft. Freedom Eyeshadow Palette ♡

  • Interesting tips Rae! I applaud how you’re able to squeeze everything down to those few items. Especially with the lipstick!! Just two??? Oh dear me I don’t know if I could possibly survive with just two colours!! *mouth drops open*

  • Nice to know someone packs little lipstick like me haha, sometimes i don’t even bring one, but a lip balm is my non-negotiable though haha,xoxo BING.

  • Yes, I was happy to see this today as I am packing right now for my own big trip. This confirms my own planning of packing – I think I’m on the right track :)

  • Len Dela Peña Parent

    Great post, Rae! Thanks for sharing! Have a fabulous Monday!
    Much love, Len

  • Loved this post – great tips and beautiful photography as usual!

  • Like that lipstick tip about bringing one that can be builded up! :)


  • Such a great post! Great choices!

    We Shop in Heels

  • Zorica

    Great tips…
    Amazing picks

  • First of all, I LOVE these photos. Absolutely stunning and fairytale-like. And secondly, I completely agree with you – opting for concealer over heavy foundations is what I prefer most days.

    xo, mikéla /

  • Esme Madeline

    Your photos are gorgeousssss and these tips are so s useful! I’ll definitely be using some of them xx

  • Ooh, I love having a look around people’s makeup bags (that shouldn’t come as any surprise!) It’s funny because I can pack seriously light with clothes and hardly take anything and make sure it all works together and that I can get the maximum number of outfits for the smallest number of items, but I’m really bad at cutting down on toiletries. I can do with skipping a few makeup products, but I still bring my whole skincare routine and just decant everything into smaller containers or use up travel sizes/samples. But I think as long as all your makeup can fit in one reasonably-sized bag then you’re doing alright!

    Jessica –

  • Love your pictures!! Tbh, I hardly wear makeup when on holiday, but if I do need to look presentable for an event etc, then I stick with the bare minimum – bb cream, mascara and lip gloss :)

    Pop over to my blog!


  • Great minds, but you beat me to it..! ;) I’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to make-up! But I’m going to have to try some of these products out!

  • Sophie Lee

    This post is so cool, i’ve always missed the makeup and skincare while traveling <3

    xoxo, Best Bags for Women and Men 2016