8 Ways To Streamline Your Travel Makeup Bag

For a beauty enthusiast, "packing light" might sound like a near-impossible task. Sure, that may seem a little dramatic (okay, very dramatic), but how can we be expected to edit down our eyeshadow arsenal to a single shade? Or reduce the (copious) number of lipsticks we carry on our person at all times?

But in an effort to seriously streamline our makeup bags for travel (and save our backs the pain of lugging around pounds of product), we decided to figure out exactly which products will actually help lighten our load without limiting our options. Check them out in the following slides.

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When you're on-the-go, packing a slew of different moisturizers and serums adds serious weight to your carry-on. That's why we opt for multitasking oils, like this one from Juara. It effectively moisturizes the skin, thanks to a mixture of hydrating oils. We like to rub four or five drops onto our skin in lieu of a night cream, and two to three drops in the morning before applying our makeup.

Juara Radiance Vitality Oil, $65, available at Birchbox.
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We don't know about you, but schlepping around a makeup bag full of complexion-perfecting products is not our idea of packing light. This pen from Lorac is unique because it folds a natural-looking foundation and concealer into one. Swipe the product straight from the pen to even out your complexion, then add a second layer anywhere you need a little extra coverage (hello, dark circles and zits!). Plus, since it's so easy to blend, you can do all the work with your hands, which eliminates the need to pack a heavy roll of foundation and concealer brushes.

Lorac Touch-Up To Go Concealer/Foundation Pen, $28, available at Ulta.
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Instead of trying to stuff your brow arsenal (pencils and pomades and gels, oh, my!) into your makeup bag, look for an all-in-one palette that does it all, like this one from Maybelline. The itty-bitty compact stocks everything you need for power brows — wax, powder, highlighter, and two mini-brushes — without taking up important real estate. Now you can achieve your everyday look even if you’re living out of a suitcase.
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Lips & Cheeks
You know how some lip and cheek stains don't have enough color payoff to actually show up on the lips? Well, not this one. Swipe it straight onto your lips from the bullet for a bright, berry hue, and lightly tap it onto your cheeks to create a beautiful flush.

Flower Beauty Kiss Me Twice Lip and Cheek Chubby, $9.98, available at Walmart.
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Powder With SPF
It's no substitute for an actual sunscreen, but this mineral powder with SPF 30 provides decent coverage, especially when layered on top of our touch-up pen, and it obliterates the midday greasies.

Colorscience Sunforgettable Mineral Sunscreen Brush SPF 30, $57, available at Colorscience.
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Eye products tend to take up the most room in our makeup bags — we always end up throwing a palette, multiple liners, and even a few eyeshadow pots into the mix. This season, we'll be skipping all of that in favor of one palette that can do it all. We love this one from Too Faced because of its selection of neutral shades, great pigment, and buttery textures. We even use the darkest shade, "Sexpresso," as a liner with an angled brush. (Pro tip: For more intensity, wet your brush before dipping into the pigment to create a near-liquid liner look.)

Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette, $36, available at Too Faced.
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Toting around a mini-bottle of nail polish remover is a recipe for disaster (who wants all their clothes to smell like acetone?). So we always stuff a few polish-remover pads in our carry-ons. These are TSA-approved and are soaked in remover, meaning one pad can take off all 10 fingers and 10 toes in no time at all.

Cutex Advanced Revival Nail Polish Remover Pads, $3.99, available at Drugstore.com.
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Dry shampoo is a necessity not only to extend the days between washes, but also to zhuzh up our style, even on clean hair. A few sprays in our roots instantly volumizes and erases oily deposits. To avoid any problems with airport security, reach for non-aerosol versions like this one.

Aveda Shampure Dry Shampoo, $30, available at Aveda.
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