7 Tips & Tricks To Keep Your Makeup Bag Light On The Go

When it comes to makeup at home, you may feel like you’ve got things pretty much under control: the perfect items, the organized Caboodle box, the accompanying 10-step skin care products, etc. But carrying makeup on the go is an entirely different story. Stuffing your makeup bag for daily use in the car or for the more labor-intensive plane trips can be severely frustrating (Are you overfilling? Under-filling? Foregoing the makeup kit completely?) but it can also be fun. Here are some tried-and-true tips and products to ensure you never find yourself unprepared again, no matter the road trip.

1. First off: Start small by going with your most needed items

First, build up the contents of your makeup bag in order of need. Identify your biggest problem: does your foundation fade during the middle of the day, or do you rub your eyeliner off? Are vibrant lips most important when maintaining your look? Start with the makeup you couldn’t be without, and move on from there.


2. Go fun-size!

Go travel size! It may seem obvious, but shrinking the size of your makeup can go a long way in helping you fit more. You have a few options: you can order some samples of your favorite makeup while shopping, buy some travel-sized containers and fill them yourself, or opt for a different brand completely (whether for affordability or because that brand is smaller).

K-beauty mists might seem a little excessive, but they are great for spritzing up any look and making you look fresh, so this is a powerful product to keep with you. Try using a travel-friendly container of Missha’s Time Revolution First Treatment Mist:

Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence Mist

3. Makeup duos

One solution to avoid stuffing your makeup bag (and not being able to close the zipper) is to use items that have dual purposes. Some makeup companies will offer makeup tubes with different combo items, such as eyeliner on one end and mascara on the other. They can be slightly hard to find, but they are worth the hassle, so with a little bit of internet surfing and shop browsing, you can find a brand that speaks to you.

For example, here’s VT Cosmetics’ eyeliner and mascara duo:

VT Cosmetics: Eyeliner & Mascara Combo

And a well-rated ELF mascara & eyebrow gel combo:

ELF Eyebrow & Mascara Duo

4. Makeup sticks = your friend

Makeup “sticks” are definitely your friend in this scenario: they are compact, not messy, and easy to apply. Look for foundation sticks with a built-in sponge or brush.

Check out the Pony Effect Foundation Stick, created by makeup artist celebrity Pony in Korea, which checks all the above:

Or go with a NARS foundation stick:

NARS Foundation Stick With Sponge

Little tip: Avoid powders that could break and destroy both itself and your beauty bag. Makeup pencils, when smudged, can work just as well as eyeshadow palettes, and a cream foundation can easily step in the place of a less controllable powder foundation.

Now, for airplane mode!

5. Go for the sheet masks

When you find yourself in a makeup-stressing situation without your arsenal of products, go for the sheet masks. They’re a tried-and-true travel item, and many of our fave models and celebs maintain their good looks by using a sheet mask on the plane and then refreshing at the end of the flight with travel-convenient makeup items like the ones mentioned above. My favorites are the sheet masks from the Tony Moly “I’m Real” line; if you’re unsure what type of sheet mask to choose, go for a hydrogel mask to moisturize your skin — travel tends to dry you out.

Tony Moly Lavender Mask Sheet

6. Use skincare products that have multiple uses

Keep up your K-beauty skin care routine even while traveling by using products that cover multiple uses, such as the recommended May Coop Raw Sauce. (It’s a toner, emulsion, and essence. Bam.)

May Coop Raw Sauce

7. Don’t forget makeup removers

Makeup mistakes are infinitely more dangerous if you’re on the go and have no way of fixing them, which is why a makeup remover that corrects mistakes and/or removes your makeup during travel is the necessary way to go. K-beauty brand TPSY offers a makeup eraser in the form of a convenient-to-hold pencil shape, which allows you precision when it comes to fixing things like winged eyeliner. Skinfood’s Eggplant Eye Makeup Remover is a huge past favorite, but it may have been discontinued since then, so keep an eye out for any lucky in-stock items.

TPSY Makeup Eraser

With these tips, your makeup bag is likely to be as epic as your makeup at home. Rock your fave choices in a cute beauty bag (preferably sparkly) and enjoy your newfound freedom with makeup on-the-go!


Soompiers, how do you travel with your makeup? Tell us in the comments below!

Ariana K. Welsh is a college student who spends most of her time obsessing over K-dramas with her sister, dancing to loud music, and writing into the wee hours of the night. Her current fave things in life are: snow, Waldeinsamkeit by R.W. Emerson, and Butterbeer. Follow her on Instagram for all these things and more!

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