+ Makeup

Beauty Essentials for Summer Travel

When I travel for vacation in the summer, I like to travel light.  Unlike some bloggers who think that false eyelashes, travel-size Jo Malone candles and six pairs of heels are necessities, I bring a few cotton dresses, a pair of sandals and as little jewelry as possible.  And since I’m living under the tyranny of the TSA’s 3 ounce rule for liquids and gels, packing fewer beauty products is also a necessity.  Here are a few of the beauty products that you’ll find in my carry-on bag.

1. Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray ($15) // 2. Supergoop Sunscreen Serum ($20) // 3. Ouidad Climate Control Gel ($22 for kit) // 4. Say Yes to Blueberries Wipes ($8) // 5. Fresh Hesperides Perfume ($19) // 6. Josie Maran Argan Oil ($14) // 7. Smith’s Minted Rose Balm (tin $8, tube $6)

One. My hair has exactly zero natural wave, but Surf Spray allows me to put a bit of “casual” texture in my hair.  I spritz it in after it’s curled to give it that not-so-perfect wavy look that is perfect for vacation.  And now that it comes in a travel size, I don’t have to buy a bottle upon arrival at my destination.

Two. When I’m going to be in the sun, I might let my arms and legs absorb a few UV rays in the name of Vitamin D, but if you think I’m allowing on sun ray to touch my face, you are wrong.  Supergoop serum provides a base layer upon which moisturizer with sunscreen, primer with sunscreen, tinted moisturizer with sunscreen and face powder with sunscreen can be layered.  And in addition to broad spectrum UV protection, this product also provides healing and wrinkle reduction benefits making it a makeup bag multi-tasker.

Three.  I rarely recommend a product I haven’t tried (it’s on order), but my friend Amy has been campaigning in Florida all summer and swears by Ouidad Climate Control Gel.  She says there is nothing like it for protecting your hairstyle from and hot and humid weather and the dreaded flat frizz.  I cannot wait for it to arrive just in time for the party conventions down south.

Four. Makeup removing wipes are a vacation lifesaver because they don’t count toward your liquids and gels maximum.  My favorite brand is still Say Yes to Blueberries because they provide a brightening, rejuvenating experience.  Plus, they’re gentle on my sensitive skin, which is important when I head off the the higher, drier elevations and my epidermis shrivels up like a raisin.

Five. If you like to wear perfume, a small roll-on container of your favorite fragrance is a must have.  I carry one on trips, but I also keep one in my desk at work for freshening up before happy hour.  This scent by Fresh is a perfect summer citrus with notes of grapefruit, bergamot and jasmine.

Six. As I mentioned above, my skin dries out something fierce when I go home to Montana.  But no matter where your headed, environmental changes, salt water, sun exposure, etc. can have a profound effect on your skin.  Argan Oil helps me ride out my skin’s adjustment phase, and keeps the delicate skin around my eyes, nose and mouth from becoming too dry.  

Seven. Obviously, since I barely wear lipstick, I’m not bringing one on vacation.  Instead, I pack a tube or a tin of Rosebud Salve to keep my lips soft and lightly tinted. 

Any under-3 oz. wonders that you like to pack in your suitcase?

Leave a Reply to Cat · cancel comment


  1. Erin M. says:

    Absolutely adore my mini bottle of Evian Minneral Water Spray – great way to refresh your face a few thousand feet up when your skin starts feeling a bit dried out. Yes I know it's just water, and yes I know it's just water, but I like it and I like the way the mist comes out (once tried to replicate with a drugstore spray bottle and some filtered water and that just wasn't the same)

    July 25, 2012/Reply
  2. Jenn says:

    I've been using the Yes to Blueberries wipes when I ride my bike to work and I have to say, I hate the smell. My face smells like a blueberry muffin. But the whole wipe thing is ingenious — I also keep a pack at my boyfriend's place so I can take off my makeup before bed when I sleep over.

    July 25, 2012/Reply
  3. L says:

    Sheesh- I don't know how you guys afford those Yes to Blueberries wipes! Kidding, but I do find the price ridiculous when the generic brand ones are just as good for half the price. I use the ones from Target every night before washing my face.

    My tip is to use contacts cases filled with single-use amounts of products.They're SO much easier to empty and clean than usual travel bottles. Though they take up more space per ounce, I find that they take up less space overall since I usually don't need a full 3 ounces of shampoo.

    @Erin M- Sorry to be a negative Nancy, but I feel compelled to share that spritzing your face with water will actually make your skin even drier. Don't believe me? The drying effects of water are often mentioned in doctors' and scientists' discussions of eczema. Check it out online.

    July 25, 2012/Reply
  4. Boardroom Belles says:

    I prep a small tin of First Aid Beauty's Face Cream to moisturize on long plane rides. I adore Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray. On regular days, I use it as a volumizer on my damp roots and then blowdry – no volumizing spray has ever done the same for me. On beach days I spray it on my damp roots, then apply a dollop of Tre Semme Curl Gel to the rest of my hair. And voila, girl who never even needed a straightening iron suddenly finds herself with beachy waves.

    July 25, 2012/Reply
  5. B says:

    where do you find the yes to blueberries wipes?? i scoured the BB&B in chinatown and couldn't find them!

    July 25, 2012/Reply
  6. Cat says:

    Belle, is cupcakes&cashmere (honeymoon beauty post from April) the hypothetical blogger of whom you speak? It's nice to see a “traveling light” version.

    My summer travel must is the travel size “sheer blonde” hairspray — my hair dries in an unattractive clump without some blowdrying, but on vacation I can only ever tolerate getting to 75% dry and then styling a pretty pony. That one is lightweight and nice smelling, and it doesn't darken my highlights.

    July 25, 2012/Reply
  7. Belle says:

    B: I buy them online.

    July 25, 2012/Reply
  8. S says:

    Last summer I picked up a pack of Shady Day SPF 30 sunscreen wipes at Ulta on a whim and they were fabulous. I have had a hard time finding them in stock anywhere this summer. They took this fair skinned girl through Europe and California without sunburn or skin reactions (though I used them primarily for my body, not my face).

    July 25, 2012/Reply
  9. m says:

    THANK YOU, Belle! Glad to have a practical guide. Cat — I can think of a lot of other bloggers who need to pack up multiple Chanel bags and pairs of Louboutins for vacation (though no blog I read regularly, to be sure).

    A must in my travel bag is Clinique clarifying lotion and a few cotton pads to take off the grime that builds up on my skin after a red-eye.

    July 25, 2012/Reply
  10. JulieY says:

    I enjoy reading the tips. I recently started using a CVS alternative to GoToob travel containers and was happy to see no leaking, and easy filling/squeezing for use.

    July 25, 2012/Reply
  11. AR says:

    B – you can find the yes to blueberries wipes at Target. I've seen them there before. I think I saw them at BB&B once in the travel stuff section. I agree with the other commenter though, I find the cost a bit ridiculous and have gotten the Target brand ones (cucumber one for sensitive skin) and really liked it.

    I actually think Nivea makes the best makeup remover wipes (they don't irritate my skin) but don't think they are sold in the States.

    July 25, 2012/Reply
  12. MC says:

    I absolutely love Ouidad products. My hair wouldn't survive the summer without the heat and humidity gel and the volumizing hair mousse is great in the fall/ winter, when humidity levels are a little less drastic.

    July 25, 2012/Reply
  13. KO says:

    Fresh's Soy Face Cream is my favorite. It works wonders on my skin.

    July 26, 2012/Reply
  14. Caroline says:

    Aren't Ouidad products designed for curly hair? Not that you couldn't use them, of course, but the effects of hair products vary so much from person to person and I would never assume something that works for someone else will work for me. I have curly hair but find the Ouidad products too drying.

    July 26, 2012/Reply
  15. Kat says:

    I picked up the Yes to Blueberries wipes last night at Target in Columbia Heights. I'm not enamored with the smell. I use the makeup removal wipes before bed and while I think they're great generally, some brands are definitely different/better than others. The CVS ones actually worked fine for me but I thought the Wegmans ones were too abrasive. I recently picked up a pack of Duane Reade wipes in NY and they've been fine.

    July 27, 2012/Reply