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By Melissa Epifano
Aside from choosing outfits, the most difficult part of packing for any trip is streamlining your beauty bag. While you may want to squeeze in every face oil, bronzer, sunscreen, and lipstick, it’s just not doable when you’re tight on space and working within a 3.4-fluid-ounce rule. Fortunately, your favorite brands know the pain of bringing a whole routine with you, and we beauty fanatics were gifted with the advent of travel-sized beauty products.
But because choice overload is the last thing you want when you’re trimming down a packing list, we’ve carefully curated a selection of the best petite products, from compact brow gels to minuscule bottles of mascara. With these swaps, you’ll free up space and provide yourself with plenty of room for that extra dress you can’t bear to leave behind.
Whether you’re a foundation-all-year-round type of person or swap it out for something a bit lighter like CC cream during warmer months, you’ve got options. You also can’t forget the products that keep everything in place. Items like setting sprays and powders are a must if you’re aiming to keep your complexion looking flawless from brunch to late-night happy hour.
Containing SPF 20, this beloved oil-free tinted moisturizer is TSA-friendly and the perfect happy medium between a shimmery sunscreen and a full-blown foundation. If grease is of concern — especially when it gets hot — look no further.
It’s a fan favorite for a reason. With a spritz of Urban Decay’s setting spray, your makeup isn’t going anywhere — yes, even if you intend on pulling an all-nighter. The tiny, pocket-size version makes it perfect for traveling with you, too.
Some of us refuse to leave our foundation at home, even on the most tropical getaways. If you’re the same, this tiny version of Tarte’s foundation is ideal. It’s transfer-proof, waterproof, and sweatproof, meaning you’ll get the full coverage you adore without feeling cakey or like it’s melting off halfway through your day.
Because your brows are basically responsible for framing your face, you’ll be pleased to know that you won’t have to sacrifice good products during your trip. These pencils, gels, and tints come in the tiniest packages but still pack plenty of definition and drama.
Benefit’s small gel offers a bit of color and staying power. The small brush whisks hairs into place and because it comes in 10 different colors, you won’t have any issue finding a hue that works for you.
Clear formula lovers will appreciate this ultra-tiny gel that makes grooming your brows so easy when you’re trying to keep your routine simple and fresh. This particular version even has hyaluronic acid to protect from dryness.
An itty bitty pencil is perfect for tossing into your makeup bag and takes up virtually no space. With one end being a brush, you’ll have all the tools necessary for a perfect set of brows that look natural and freshly shaped.
These three are the holy trinity responsible for the perfect glow. To help you contour, brighten, or add a bit of faux color to your cheeks, you’ll want to consider the following for your beauty bag — all of which are in mini and travel-friendly versions of course.
Convenience is a top priority when it comes to choosing what gets a spot in your travel makeup bag. One half of UOMA Beauty’s stick is highlighter and the other is contour, so you only have to tote one product that has an immense color payoff, glides on perfectly, and blends like a dream.
More of a powder person? Another perfect duo worth considering is NARS’ Laguna bronzer and Orgasm blush combination. The teeny tiny palette puts together two all-time favorites that you shouldn’t be without while you’re OOO.
It’s tough to decide if you want to go down the orange-tinged blush route or the classic pink. In the case of Benefit’s GALifornia formula, you don’t really have to choose. The shade has a mix of both tones for a flush that’s made for vacation.
Though we love a good liquid highlighter, a powder can oftentimes be easier to carry and doesn’t wipe off as easily as gels. This pretty powder can be dusted onto the spots you’d naturally be hit by the light for an enviable glow.
Coming in three vacation-ready colors, these eyeshadow sticks make application a breeze. Their creamy, shimmery finish catches the light while you’re soaking up the sun or living your best life out on the dance floor and it’s easy to blend a few of them together for a multidimensional look.
If a pool or dip in the ocean is in your future, waterproof mascara is imperative. Your lashes will look flawless even when you emerge from a long swim or a sweaty hike. And this means you don’t have to worry about losing falsies or be extra careful with your extensions.
The Naked Palette (no matter what version you have) will forever be a staple. And while you’re most likely not wanting to take the long rectangular set with you, you can opt for the brand’s travel-ready version instead. It comes with six shades instead of the usual 12, so you can still get a gorgeous smoky eye while jet-setting.
While sunscreen may fall more into the realm of skincare, it’s a must in your everyday routine — but especially on vacation. There are so many formats of sunscreen, many of which make it easy to carry on the plane, train, or car with you. And we just couldn’t not include it.
For the ultimate dewy complexion, you can finish off your skincare routine with a few swipes of this sunscreen stick that leaves you luminous. It’s like a subtle highlighter for those days you’re not feeling like makeup and glides on without looking oily.
Another solid win? This stick of sunscreen doesn’t count towards your plastic baggie full of liquid cosmetics.
A facial mist meets sunscreen in this formula that protects you from the sun and boosts your skin. Thanks to antioxidants from banana, brown algae, and vitamin E, you can stay hydrated and out of harm’s way (aka those not-so-great UV rays and harsh climates).
Your body needs coverage, too, so why not an organic option from COOLA? This spray gives your skin SPF 50 protection and is Hawaii reef-compliant. Anyone with sensitive skin (or sensitivities to scents) will also find this fragrance-free formula to be non-irritating.