My Travel Beauty Must-Haves

Nov 14, 2018

A few weeks ago, I posted briefly about what beauty products I carry when I travel.  Staring down the barrel of a 10-day trip, I thought it might be a good time to talk about them in depth.

First, let’s start with the bags.  These Dagne Dover Hunter bags are the best.  I love them.  They’re easily the best makeup bag I’ve ever owned.

These makeup bags come in three sizes — small, large, x-large.  I own the large (9×5″) and x-large (11×5.5″).   They’re big enough to hold everything you will ever need to take on a trip.  Each bag also contain matching mesh pouches to hold little trinkets (bobby pins, Q-tips, etc.).

The reason I love these bags so hard is the fabric.  On my first trip with them, I spilled foundation all over the large one.  A little soap, a little scrub in the sink, and a couple hours later the bag was clean and dry.  The material is also incredibly durable.

And did I mention the 12 great colors they come in?  The color above is Dune, and it’s like a desert-mauve.

Now, that we’ve talked about bags, let’s talk about beauty products.

When I travel, even though I always check a bag (I know, I’m the last one), I must have travel size products.  Here are the ones I can’t live without.

Kopari Coconut Melt. The mini-size of this makeup removing wonder is now a must-pack for me.  Nothing removes all of my makeup so well and with so little irritation.  Just remember to wipe it off instead of rinsing, or else it can clog your pipes.  (And it’s solid, so it doesn’t count toward your 3oz rule if you’re carrying on.)

It! Cosmetics Cleanser. After 35, my skin became very sensitive to the harsh face washes of my misspent youth. It! Confidence in a Cleanser is like a break for your face.  It’s sulfate, paraben, and soap free.  It cleans wonderfully, but also gently.  Your skin will thank you.

Drybar Hot Toddy.  My ends get fried from all the heat I put on my hair.  I use Drybar’s Hot Toddy Mist (just switched from the cream, because the mist is lighter) to protect my hair from my hot rollers.  It’s also a great substitute for dry conditioner on second day hair.

Drybar Detox. Dry shampoo is a travel necessity because you never know when you’ll need to get ready in a hurry.  Detox is my favorite.  It doesn’t give me scalp itch, blends well, and the scent doesn’t make me gag (but I would prefer no scent at all).  For tips on making your dry shampoo work better, see last week’s post.

Davines Hair Masks. I can use whatever garbage shampoo the hotel provides as long as I have good conditioner.  Davines Renaissance is my favorite.  It comes in a sealed pouch, so I use it when I’m there and re-cap it when I leave.

Patchology Eye Gels. Between planes, climate changes, and lack of sleep, the skin around my eyes gets so dry when I travel.  These soothing, anti-aging eye gels refresh and moisturize to make me look less like Lurch from the Addams’ Family.

Atelier Cologne Perfume. I am addicted to this Pomelo Paradis perfume.  It smells like a tangy grove of ripe citrus fruit.  It’s not heavy or overpowering, just fresh and vibrant.  I don’t often find perfumes that don’t give me a headache, but I’ve never had a problem with this one.

Glossier Stretch Concealer. On the days when I don’t want to wear makeup, I apply Glossier’s concealer under my eyes and over my acne.  Swipe on some of their Wowder powder, and a hint of blush and call it a day.

Simple Modern Water Bottle. Travel is so dehydrating.  If I don’t pack a water bottle, I never get enough water.  This insulated one is my favorite.  It keeps hot drinks hot, and cold ones icy for several hours.  Never go thirsty again.

What are your travel must-haves?  And if you could only share one tip for travel beauty, what would it be?

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Beauty, Tips and Tricks

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  1. Sara says:

    For international travel, I always hit up the duty-free zone in the airport to ~slather~ my face with the most moisturizing face mask free samples I can find. Sure, I look oily on the plane – but after 8+ hours on a flight, you’ll be looking like the best one!

    Also, I never go on an airplane without a big scarf to use as a blanket just in case. You just never know what the temperature on the flights will be like.

    Finally, as a contacts-wearer, I usually forego contacts completely on a plane and wear my glasses, but if it’s for a shorter flight, I always make sure to bring eyedrops because airplanes will completely dry out your eyes.

  2. MOnica T says:

    I find my skin absolutely FREAKS out if I change my routine when I travel. I’m already eating strange things and sleeping on strange sheets, one product swap can be the straw that breaks the camels back! So I invested in a train case from Sephora with a cute pattern to fit all my products, and luckily PTR makes a lot of travel size products and I refill anything I can from my main supply without having to buy a lot of new stuff every time.

  3. Sarah says:

    I’m sorry, I just have to save your readers from spending $18 on what is basically a jar of coconut oil with a fancy label! I’ve been using regular coconut oil from Costco for years and it works wonders! And it’s much cheaper. And you don’t have to look the fool when people point out that you overspent on a jar of pretty coconut oil. 🙂

    • Belle says:

      I use Kopari because regular coconut oil makes me breakout, and for some reason, this doesn’t. I’ve tried several store brands — organic, finely milled, etc.– they all give me acne, but not this one. If people can get buy with the Trader Joe’s stuff, I’m jealous.

  4. Sarah says:

    Oh! And i’ve found it to be much more cost-effective to just buy those empty travel size sets and fill them with my products. For coconut oil, I like Radha Beauty fractionated coconut oil, which doesn’t get solid and is still way cheaper than Kopari.

  5. S says:

    Love the idea of conditioner in a pouch! Can you give us a peek into your makeup bag?

  6. Michaela says:

    Genuinely curious — why check a bag but not take full size? My work timelines typically prohibit checking a bag but I find it so luxurious whne I can and get my full size sprays.

    My travel hacks: switching to a CeraVe face wash bar so it counts as a solid, using contact cases for serums,dry shampoo always and using Vaseline to take off eye makeup and as a lip balm.

    • Belle says:

      Three reasons: 1) weight. The suitcase gets pretty heavy in the winter with all the boots. 2) spillage. I’ve lost too many full-size bottles of things to suitcase issues. 3) bathroom counter space in small hotels.

  7. Nellie says:

    It’s not strictly a beauty product, but some kind of dental product. Random layovers can be a good time to catch up on flossing, gum can help if your ears pop, toothpaste to keep your teeth clean if you’re consuming multiple meals in a 5+ hour travel period. Plus it all has the benefit of keeping your breath fresh if you are being greeted by someone special!

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