You’ve booked the travel, you’ve reserved the accommodations, and now, the time has come for the dream vacay you’ve been waiting for. All that’s left to do? Pack your bags! But if the thought of stuffing your suitcase with your entire skincare regimen and makeup routine is giving you anxiety, not to worry—because we know a thing or two about acing the jet-setting beauty game with travel-sized beauty you’ll actually use (that’s right: That full-size cleanser doesn’t need to come with you!).
It’s a must that your travel checklist includes beauty products that are TSA-approved in size, spill-resistant, and ideally, feature a bit of multitasking magic (more benefits means less bulk). So to help you pack your carry-on full of the best travel-sized beauty products for your next getaway, we’ve created this list of the top skincare essentials, makeup must-haves, hair-care holy grails, and more to have in your travel makeup bag. Bon voyage!
We all know that as relaxing vacations are supposed to be, some level of stress is inevitable. That’s why we love this cleanser, which is basically a golden ticket to a calm complexion and mind. With the power of turmeric, manuka honey, and chamomile, this cleanser removes dirt, makeup, and impurities while leaving your skin feeling cleansed and soft. Plus, the scent of sage and oat milk encourages stillness and helps to soothe the mind.
Warning: intense glow ahead. This two-minute scrub will help reveal smoother, brighter, and more refined skin. Packed with AHAs, BHAs, and fruit enzymes (like papaya, pumpkin, and pineapple), this treatment will help dissolve dead skin cells, minimize pores, and leave you with a radiant glow.
Whether you're heading to the beach, the Swiss Alps, or grandma's house, there's one skin essential that absolutely must find its way into your makeup bag: broad-spectrum SPF. This travel set from cult-favorite sunscreen brand SUPERGOOP features the best-selling Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 to protect the face, and the fast-absorbing PLAY Everyday Lotion SPF 50 for the body. Together they create an easy, super packable head-to-toe SPF routine.
If there's one thing we need travel-approved beauty products to do, it's multitask. This travel-friendly toner does just that—it’s hydrating, clarifying, and exfoliating, helping to reveal healthy, radiant skin wherever you are on the globe. This is the perfect product to use post-flight to reset your skin and get that vacay started off right.
The secret to stepping off the plane with hydrated, glowy skin? Doing your skincare before the flight, then applying a face mask while en route. While applying and rinsing off a traditional mask in those tiny airplane sinks may not be ideal, sheet masks make for the perfect way to do a bit of pampering in-flight. This mask set features five sheet masks that calm, soothe, hydrate, and refresh so that you can touch down with out-of-this-world skin.
If your face wash or makeup remover almost always explodes in your toiletries bag during travel, try bringing along a cleansing balm instead. The thicker consistency of this cleanser isn't as prone to leaking, plus the cleansing balm texture means it can also act as a makeup remover. This mini version of ELEMIS' best-selling formula melts off all traces of makeup, deeply cleanses, and plumps up fine lines and wrinkles with collagen-rich ingredients.
If there's only one serum you bring along with you on vacation, make it a vitamin C serum. This antioxidant-rich ingredient brightens, protects against free radical production, sun damage, and fights to fade dark spots—all benefits that will be particularly helpful if you're traveling to a sun-soaked destination. This formula is a beauty editor-approved favorite because it's potent enough to show results but gentle enough not to irritate sensitive skin.
This head-to-toe face and body oil is truly the ultimate multitasker. You can use it on your face, hair, lips, hands—wherever you may need a boost of hydration, thanks to the squalane. When you're traveling to foreign lands, you never really know how the climate will affect your skin. This travel-sized bottle may look too tiny to do much, but a little goes a long way here. It only takes a few drops to see a noticeable difference in the health of your skin. You may even be able to leave behind your body lotion completely.
There’s nothing quite like the panic of realizing you forgot to pack your go-to face moisturizer on vacation (except maybe realizing you also forgot deodorant!). Avoid that nightmare altogether by stocking up on this luxe moisturizer and leaving an extra in your travel bag at all times. This formula drenches skin in long-lasting hydration and is proven to visibly plump fine lines.
Between running from one attraction to the next and eating most meals out, you could spend hours away from your hotel or Airbnb while on vacay. Since you may not be able to wash your face much—if at all—during the day, you’ll want to make it count when you do. That's why we love this brightening face wash from PACIFICA, which includes both AHA and vitamin C to cleanse, exfoliate, and help brighten and even out your skin tone.
Prep your skin to look its best for all those IG photos you’ll be posting. This multitasking night cream combines plant stem cells, antioxidants, and plant extracts to help your skin look smoother, firmer, and plumper. Use it nightly for the best results.
This trio of makeup essentials is perfect for mastering the no-makeup makeup look while you're on vacation. Packed with GLOSSIER's iconic brow gel, cream blush, and everyday black mascara, it's perfect for polishing up your look while keeping your vacation beauty routine to a minimum.
Our preferred makeup remover tends to be a bottle of micellar water, but when traveling, it can be hard to beat the ease of makeup wipes. Keep all the cleansing powers of magical micellar water when you use these pads. As it cleanses and removes makeup simultaneously, it also infuses pentavitin extract into the skin to keep it healthy and glowing.
For those days or nights when you do want more coverage, here's a carry-on-friendly foundation option. This foundation stick won't be taking up precious space in your cosmetic cases. However, it will create comfortable matte coverage that covers redness, uneven skin tone, and hyperpigmentation with ease. Plus, the 12-hour wear and waterproof formula makes this a particularly great choice for oil-prone skin types.
This mini palette sure does pack a big punch. The travel-size compact includes both contouring and highlighting shades so that you can create versatile looks, all while using just one palette (read: no need to pack extra products!). Both powder formulas also feature color-rich pigments that are rolled in elastomer pearls to smooth and buff the skin upon application. They're even buildable so you can create as subtle or dramatic of a look as you'd like.
Looking for a makeup essential that you can use on both your cheeks and lips? Try this cult classic from BENEFIT COSMETICS. We love this one when traveling because of its light, water-like texture, and the fact that it’s totally smudge-proof once it dries down, so you can expect the pigment to last all day. It especially comes in handy when you’re on the go and don’t have time to bust out a makeup brush.
Remember, you’re traveling—so less is more! You may have to part with your favorite eyeshadow palette of all time but this one from LAWLESS will do just the trick. Featuring eight mini shades, it’s the perfect thing to bring along on your travels without compromising on options. It has rosy-hued browns, neutral shimmers, and plum colors that go well with any skin tone.
Didn’t have time to laminate your brows before you hit the road? Don’t worry, because this wax will help shape your brows to perfection. Dip the spoolie end into the wax, wipe off the excess product, then brush the spoolie through your brows to create your desired shape. Thanks to the formula’s long-lasting hold, you can focus on enjoying your well-deserved time-off, rather than wondering if your brows are sliding off your face.
You know by now that we love multitasking formulas when traveling, and this product is a powerhouse in that department. It’s a medium-coverage concealer, eye cream, and spot treatment in one that visibly brightens and helps reveal better skin over time.
At home and on vacation, dry shampoo is definitely an essential. This mini version of OUAI's iconic formula uses volcanic minerals and rice starch to soak up oil and create both cleaner hair and sky-high volume. It's the perfect pick-me-up for your hair before that 8 p.m. dinner reservation.
This mini haircare set has all your bases covered. The vitamin-packed and ultra hydrating shampoo and conditioner gently cleanses and hydrates any hair type. For those days when you need even more moisture, reach for the mini All in One Leave-in Conditioner for 72-hour softness. Finally, boost daily shine with the Moroccanoil Treatment. Don't be surprised if your glorious, shiny hair becomes the highlight of your vacation pics.
If you have color-treated hair, this moisturizing leave-in from FOXYBAE is exactly what your locks will be looking for on vacation. It helps visibly repair damage to hair while making your strands stronger with each use. Your hair will be full of body and shine after one use!
Curly girls, this leave-in defining creme is for you. It’s infused with rice amino acids, avocado oil, quinoa extract, and tomato fruit ferment extract to increase moisture and hair definition for soft and bouncy curls. It will be the TLC your hair needs after fun in the water and sun.
If you're heading somewhere warm, bring along this fresh, flirty scent. It opens with an invigorating blend of sweet, fruity and floral notes like tangerine, apple, and bergamot. A few hours later, more floral middle notes will make themselves known while a woodsy, musky base note adds depth without too much warmth. It's perfect for sunny summer days or anytime you need a boost of energy.
If your destination is woodsy or wintery, try bringing along this rich, smoky AESOP scent. Reminiscent of the Japanese Hinoki forest, this fragrance features elegant earthy notes like cypress, frankincense, and vetiver.
Rollerball perfumes are so easy to travel with! If your vacation is taking you somewhere fresh and tropical, consider this blend of citrus and floral notes. It truly does spark happiness and core memories.
Take a trip to the Italian island of Capri with this refreshing, rich, and uplifting scent. This signature aroma transports you to spring on the Italian coast with notes of citrus accord, a sheer floral bouquet, and coconut wrapped with Tuscan fig and agave. Spritz it while on vacay and well beyond to relive all the memories from your time away.
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