Travel – whether you do it because your job needs you to or because you love it, there are always some chores that are a part and parcel of travelling like packing and laundry after you get back. For me, packing is such a huge headache that I am normally packing upto the last minute. However, there are somethings I learnt to do that took the pressure of packing away from me. One of them is to put together a Travel Beauty Kit.
What is a Travel Beauty Kit?
This needs to be a kit that you use exclusively during travel. So you make a kit and it stays put. You do not take products out of this kit for casual or every day use.
What goes into a Travel Beauty Kit?
I think it is best to think separate categories and organise products accordingly.
- Skin Care – your basic skin care products
- Grooming – the tools
- Makeup – a few items that can give you a polished look
- Fragrance – stuff to keep you smelling fresh and good
It must have the products of your every day beauty routine. So add the same products or variations of them. For example, my routine is face wash, occasional toner and moisturiser. I don’t use serums and masks regularly and there is little chance that I’d start them on trip. Remember that we are putting together a basic beauty kit. If I were traveling for a specific occasion like a wedding, I’d add a lot more to it. More about this later!
While adding skin care, it is also a good idea to look at the weather of the places you generally travel to and how your skin behaves in that climate. Now, if you are frequently traveling to cooler and drier areas, you need heavier hydration than a tropical home location. So substitute your every day lotion for a cream or body butter. My suggestions for skin care are
- Cleanser – Your gentle every day cleanser. I love Cetaphil and carry it with me every where.
- Toner – Travel is no time to experiment with skin care so I would recommend a toner your skin is comfortable with. I prefer rose water because it can double up as eye drops too.
- Moisturiser – For the body, I use whatever moisturiser the hotel supplies and so my travel beauty kit only has my face cream. At home, I prefer my DIY skin cream washed ghee. Since I can’t carry that with me, I use cetaphil moisturiser.
- Sunscreen – Need I say anything here? No matter where you are headed, do not skip the sunscreen. My travel beauty kit has a small sized tube of Neutrogena ultra sheer dry touch sun block with SPF 50.
I learnt the hard way to add these in my travel beauty kit. I was on a two week travel and carried neither nail cutter nor tweezers and had to buy them. Now these aren’t big or expensive items but with a packed day long agenda in a country not well known to me, it was a bother making a trip to the department store for these little things. I wasted half of the evening and annoyed the hell out of the colleague I dragged around. Since then, my travel beauty kit always has these tools:
- Nail cutter
- A small pair of scissors
- Extra comb or hair brush
- A few cotton balls
- Ear buds
- Hair ties, hair clips and bobby pins
If you use hair grooming products like serums, hairsprays, gels or texturising sprays on a daily basis, add them to the list.
I found it most difficult to create this section of the travel beauty kit. Being a makeup lover, I just could not get my head around the idea of makeup just for travel. It all changed when I had to pack really light for an International holiday. I carried just three lipsticks, two eye pencils, a powder and a foundation for a week long trip where I’d be photographed every day. I managed just fine on that trip and don’t look like I have the same face on every day. This experience taught me to put aside some makeup for my travel beauty kit.
- Base – The base product can be whatever you use on a daily basis. Liquid foundation, BB cream, powder foundation or even cushion foundation. I prefer a powder foundation that gives coverage and soaks up the oil. My trusted MAC studio fix powder serves me well and is real handy for touch ups during the day. Another great option is a BB cream. I love Lakme CC Cream for the medium coverage and the lasting power. A BB cream gives you the added benefit of SPF. In case you are travelling to a country where the sun is not harsh, you can ditch the sunscreen and rely on the protection offered by the BB cream.
- Eyes – Choosing this would again depend on your everyday eye makeup routine. I am more of a colour liner and kohl girl. So, my beauty travel kit has one brown and one black pencil liner. I have used Catrice pencil liner from one of my beauty subscription boxes and Loreal Magique Kajal ever since I put together my kit. I can use both on my lids as well as lashline creating multiple looks. For the day, I line the upper lid with brown and lower lash line with light handed kohl. For evening, I smudge the black over the lid and smoke it out a bit before adding the brown like an eye shadow. This gives me two very distinct looks that go with all sorts of outfits. Using neutral colours allows me to pair it with any lip or cheek colour. If you prefer eye shadows, I would recommend something neutral, preferably a quad as against a full blown palette. If you can get your hands on Maybelline Chai Latte, l highly recommend it. You can skip the liner and use the darker eye shadow to line the eyes. Last but not the least, add your favourite brow powder or brow pencil.
- Lips – I have two lip balms in my travel beauty kit. One is a plain, uncoloured high hydration balm and other one is tinted. The plain one is generally EoS or Burt’s Bees. Both serve well as my overnight balms as well as hydrating agents underneath matte lipsticks that I am partial to. The coloured lip balms are drugstore options like Nivea Fruity Shine in Pomegranate or Maybelline Baby Lips in Berry Crush. Both of these give a lovely berry coloured tint and lots of gloss to the lips. For lip colour, I keep one neutral and one bright lipstick. My favourites are MAC Mehr and NYX soft matte in San Paulo. I have chosen both from the pink family so I can combine them to get varying degrees of brightness. Also, using a tinted balm gives me the option to change finishes. I can go from Matte to glossy just by topping the lipstick off with the balm. These lipsticks also double up as my blush very often so choosing a pink toned lipstick gives a healthy, rosy flushed look to the cheeks.
- Makeup Remover – This is the most important item in the category! Your cleanser may be awesome but removing makeup fully needs a remover. I prefer wipes as they are handy to travel with. However, they can dry up and are not economical over long durations.
- Brush – I keep an angled kabuki brush in my travel beauty kit. This brush helps me with base application as well as blending blush on the cheeks. Using a kabuki has other advantages too. It is very fluffy and covers the whole face quickly. It’s angled shape allows you to reach into corners as well. Best of all, it has a short handle and can easily fit into a makeup pouch of any size. I use an eco-tools angled kabuki brush. An eye shadow blending brush would also be needed if your preferred eye product is eye shadow.
I don’t use bronzers, blushes and highlighters on a daily basis and so they don’t make it to my basic travel beauty kit. If you can’t live without them, by all means go add them to yours!
For me, this is just two crucial items. A deodorant and a perfume. What else is there, really!
- Deodorant – If you like roll ons, they are the best option to add to a kit like this. However, if like me you prefer spray ons, then I would recommend choosing something that lasts all day and has its own fragrance. I really love the Nike Woman range of Deo’s for this purpose.
- Perfume – The choice of perfume is like your signature. So go for the perfume that makes you happy. I would suggest getting a travel sized bottle that would be most easy to carry. Most stores have samples of their best sellers and these are great for shorter travel durations. If you travel international, check out the duty free for travel sized collections that have several little bottles in them. My lovely friend Suman gifted me one of those on my birthday and I carried it on a trip. I had a different perfume on each day that my astute colleagues noticed!
How to create a travel beauty kit?
The first step Is to get all the products together.
Bonus tip – if you can get your hands on travel sized products or smaller packaging, definitely use that.
Using smaller sized products in your travel beauty kit has two advantages. First is that they save space. This is the obvious advantage. The second advantage is more beneficial but I hadn’t begun thinking about it till I had to throw away an expired tube of cream. Since we are not using these products every day, they might expire. You’d feel a lot less guilty throwing out a smaller sized product than a full sized one.
Once you have all your products at one place, then you need a box or pouch to carry them. I separate out the products according to category and add them in different pouches. I generally reuse airline toiletries pouches from previous travels or my Fab Bag pouches for this purpose. Once you have added the products into the pouches, keep this kit away from your regular stash. Be careful to not tuck away in a far to reach corner. It would seem ideal to store these in your most often used suitcase or bag, but I would not recommend that. Why? Read the tips below to know the reason. I would advise to keep these accessible so you can pick and pack quickly.
- Your travel beauty kit needs a regular audit if you are an infrequent traveler. You need to replace the near expiry products with fresh stock. If you do this, the product ousted from the kit can be consumed in your every day routine and would be saved from wastage. To be able to do this, please keep the kit occasionally visible and not somewhere out of site.
- After every trip, look at the things that need replacing and replace them within two to three days of your arrival. These would be the things you ended up consuming and have very little product left. It is best to do it at this time so that if your next travel is sudden and unexpected, your kit is ready to go.
- You can’t blindly add this kit to every trip and expect it to serve the purpose. I have already talked about how some products would need replacing according to the weather of your destination. The occasion and agenda of your trip matter too. If you are going trekking or camping, you need fewer makeup items and more skin care. For such a trip I would add mosquito and bug repellants to the kit. You would need a lot more makeup if you are headed to a wedding. For a beach holiday, I would add soothing aloe vera gels to my skin care list. Before every trip, just open the kit and check if you need to supplement it.
- Use multipurpose products if possible. I already talked about how a BB cream can be used in place of a sunscreen. I double up my eye pencils as shadow and liner and lipstick as blush. For makeup lovers, an all in one palette is a good option too. If you can find a kit that has base, eyes and lips all in one, you are sorted. I have seen many such palettes but they never match my skin tone. They are aimed at much lighter skin.
Phew. Still reading? My heartfelt thank you for sticking this far. This post was requested by Suman from Soft Skills Studio and I thank her for this idea. If you liked my suggestions, please share it with your friends and family. Remember, sharing is good!
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