A Makeup Artist and Skincare Expert Share Their Beauty Travel Tips to Pack Like a Pro

Jet set ready.

By Hannah Zahner
bathroom counter, makeup bag

After a year of cancelled plans and lots of home time, we were finally able to take some trips this summer. I used to have my packing plan down to a science and could pack for a weekend away in a matter of minutes, especially when it came to my beauty products and skincare—I had all my travel sizes and backup products ready to go. With recent travels though, I found myself scrambling trying to remember what essentials I needed to pack and how to maximize space. I found myself on a recent trip with four moisturizers (when one would have done the trick) and random products I never use. That’s when I realized I need some beauty travel tips.

After chatting with Laura Lemon, founder of Lemon Laine—my favorite retail shop for all things natural beauty and wellness—I realized I’m not alone. Apparently a lot of fellow beauty-lovers have had similar challenges. If you can relate and desperately could use a beauty packing refresher, scroll on for Laura’s top beauty travel tips for maximizing space while still making sure you have all your favorite necessities. 

Read on for all of Lemon’s beauty travel tips and products!

ty haney bathroom beauty products skincare

Your Beauty Packing List:

But first, our bare essentials beauty packing list:


  • Face wash
  • Cotton pads and cutips
  • Toner
  • Serum / Moisturizer / Eye cream
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm


  • Shower gel
  • Razor
  • Body lotion
  • Deodorant
  • Perfume
  • Nail clippers
  • Dental floss
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush

Hair care:

  • Shampoo / Conditioner
  • Hairbrush
  • Hairstyling products (think: hair spray, serum, dry shampoo, etc.)
  • Curling iron or straightener if absolutely necessary!
  • Hair bands and bobby pins


  • Makeup tools and brushes
  • Foundation / tinted moisturizer / concealer
  • Blush / bronzer
  • Highlighter (a nice face oil lightly patted on the top of your cheekbones can double as a highlighter too!)
  • Eyeshadow (can double as an eyeliner. Just get your liner brush damp and swirl into the shadow to make the perfect custom liner)
  • Mascara
  • Brow products (gel, pencil, etc.)
  • Lipstick or gloss
bathroom products with skincare-wellness products are editors are loving this month

Beauty Travel Tips and Tricks:

Lean on multi-purpose products.

A no-brainer on saving space, multi-purpose products are more multi than you might think. Speaking from experience, a single jar of Egyptian Magic Balm can save you if you accidentally leave your toiletry bag behind. I’ve used it for a face cleansing balm and as a finishing oil for my hair, and everything in between. Another go-to is makeup that doubles as skincare. Larkly’s Mineral Powder Sunscreen, which contains antioxidants like resveratrol and green tea that help protect your skin along with SPF 30, saves you from having to bring along both another makeup powder and any additional face sun protection. Another great multi-purpose product is a cream blush, which you can use three ways as your lip balm, blush and eyeshadow. A personal favorite is Ilia Multistick in Dreamer.

Make your own minis.

Vacation is not the time to experiment with a whole new skincare routine. Bring along what is already working for you. In particular, be sure to take a travel-size of your current cleanser. Your skin will already feel off because of the new climate and different pH in the tap water so you want to make sure it has something familiar to avoid breakouts or dry skin. I love using portable, silicone travel bottles because they make it so easy to refill again and again.

Take a smell down nostalgia lane.

When packing for a trip to Paris several years ago, I added a mini roller ball of a new fragrance line that I had been wanting to test out for Lemon Laine. It was the best last-minute packaging decision because now every time I smell it, it takes me back to wandering the cozy streets of the Marais with my husband. From now on, I try to pair a new fragrance with any trip, big or small. If you want to save room for souvenirs, look for a body lotion like Le Paradis Tahiti Body Balm or Riddle Milky Spray Body Lotion that can double as your fragrance. You won’t regret the scent memory you’ll have forever.

Don’t forget your sunscreen.

Did you know that airplane travel (especially if you have the window seat!), exposes you to some of the highest UV levels your skin will encounter on a regular basis? Be sure to prep your skin well before take-off, plus keep it handy for the rest of your trip.

Scroll on for the best travel sunscreens:

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40

A beauty award winner thats accrued a cult following, this sunscreen blends gorgeously for even coverage and a dewy finish that leaves your skin looking better than before.

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40

Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation

This clean tinted serum actually doubles as foundation, offering light dewy coverage in a wide range of shades, with no white sunscreen cast.

Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation

Mix up your makeup bag.

It may seem counterintuitive when trying to pack light, but trips are the time to play with fun products and step out of your everyday makeup routine. Channel your inner wanderlust when packing your makeup toiletry bag. Reach for shades of eyeshadows or lipsticks that maybe you don’t use everyday at home. Wearing a fun, new pop of color can immediately put you in vacation mode. Kosas Lipstick in Thrillest is a highly pigmented, perfect shade of orangey red that looks good on anyone. Take it up a notch and add a pop of metallic lavender to your eyes like the Ilia Chromatic Eye Tint in Dim.

Grab a gift set.

A little known beauty industry secret is how much of a bargain those limited edition gift sets truly are. They’re usually a brand’s way of getting you to try out their products—typically paired with a steep discount. Better yet, they’re often more affordable than buying the individual travel-size versions. My favorites? Goop’s GOOPGlow Bestsellers—the travel jar of Microderm Instant Exfoliator helps brighten and smooth skin. Indie Lee’s Discovery Kit includes a mini bottle of CoQ10 Toner—the perfect skin refresher during a long flight.

Fontelina, capri, summer, swimsuit

Avoid jet lag and post flight skin.

It’s easy to feel like your skin isn’t at its best after a day of travel. Early flights, stressful check-in, extra UV exposure through the airplane windows, cabin pressure, dry air and mask wearing can leave your skin feeling less than it’s best. To support your skin, here are a few tips for flighting jet lag and to have your post flight skin looking its best.

  • Go makeup free. With mask wearing and the havoc that the cabin pressure and dry air can wreck on your skin, bare skin is truly the best move to avoid congested skin. If you prefer to have a little something on when you land, pack the essentials in your carry-on, in an easy-to-access spot. Usually a tinted moisturizer, mascara and a touch of bronzer or blush to brighten your complexion do the trick.
  • Avoid alcohol and hydrate instead. Hydration is our skin’s best friend. It’s a good idea to avoid alcohol on board, especially since you know your skin is already going to go through a lot. Instead, be sure that you’re hydrating with water, tea, or something with natural electrolytes like coconut water.
  • Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. While you may opt to keep your skin makeup free for your travels, something you shouldn’t do is skip out on your skincare. Air travel is especially drying to your skin, so be sure your skin is well moisturized. I like to pack face oil, hydrating mist, or face lotion in my carry-on too.
  • Do a mini facial onboard. If your flight is a longer one, bring along your favorite hydrating sheet masks and eye gels. Be brave and pop one of them out, while you try to catch some zzz’s.
  • Give your skin some extra TLC post-flight. Once you get to your destination, give your skin some extra love by doing your full skincare routine. If you’re going out, your skin will be extra prepped and glowy.

Use what you have.

If you have a trip coming up, don’t panic and feel like you need to go out and buy a bunch of products for your travels. Using what you have is key! It’s tempting to grab all the cute minis as you’re walking to checkout at Sephora, but be sure you’re focusing on the products you actually use. Grab some reusable travel bottles that you can use again and again and fill them up with your current skincare products that are too big to pass the TSA test. 

Looking for some solid travel products to add to your beauty arsenal? Here are some of our favorite picks:

OSEA Anti-Aging Starter Set

This set of beautiful mini’s covers most of your skincare needs. Featuring the Ocean Cleansing Milk, Essential Hydrating Oil, Advanced Protection Cream, Vitamin C Probiotic Polish, and Anti-Aging Body Balm these TSA-friendly products have got your covered. All products are formulated with organic ingredients, and free from silicones, phthalates, sulfites, and parabens.

OSEA Anti-Aging Starter Set

Tata’s Daily Essentials Seven-Piece Set

Another one-and-done way to get your travel shopping wrapped. This Tata Harper set features a cleanser, mask, essence, serum, moisturizer, eye cream and retinoic face oil, if you’re the type of person that would describe your skincare routine as anything but minimal.

Tata Harper Daily Essentials Seven-Piece Set

Cosmedix Age-Defying Starter Kit

A favorite of our editors, Cosmedix’s starter sets supply you with all the basics for clean but proven and effective skincare. Choose from starter kits that focus on blemish prone, sensitive, anti aging and more.

Cosmedix Age-Defying Starter Kit

Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Perfect Glow Flawless Foundation

One of my favorite foundations (my top foundation in my professional client kit!), also comes as a mini! This foundation is lightweight enough to not feel too heavy on your skin while still offering buildable coverage and a lightly glowy finish. The mini size is also a great way to get a nice amount of foundation for a decent price!

Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Perfect Glow Flawless Oil-Free Foundation Mini

Milk Makeup Mini Hydro Grip primer

This all around primer is versatile and works for pretty much all skin types. It’s clean formula is great for sensitive skin and the mini size saves valuable space in your makeup bag.

Milk Makeup Mini Hydro Grip primer

RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek Glow Mini Quad

If you’re looking for a product to add to your makeup arsenal that does it all, this is a great one. With four shades of sheer, buildable formula, you can use it for everything from lips, cheeks, and as a highlighter.

RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek Glow Mini Quad

iS CLINICAL The Essentials Experience Kit

iS Clinical’s high powered serums can now easily travel! They’re great if you’re wanting to dip your toes in without fully committing to the price tag, and also tuck nicely into your travel case.

iS CLINICAL The Essentials Experience Kit

Everist Waterless Shampoo and Conditioner Concentrate

This low-waste shampoo and conditioner is surprisingly easy to work through your hair and lathers nicely. After washing, your scalp won’t feel tight or dry and your hair will be smoothed and soft. It’s not just safe ingredients-wise, but that its environmental impact is carefully considered too. Also, the waterless formula makes for an excellent product to travel with!

Everist Waterless Shampoo and Conditioner Concentrate