If you're planning on going traveling, it can be tough to decide how much makeup to take with you. Apply too much in humid conditions and you'll find yourself sweaty and with a streaky face; pack too little for a trip to fashionable Milan and you'll feel out of place among the beautiful locals.
Deciding how much makeup to take on your trip, but fortunately, it's one of those items where it doesn't matter all that much if you overpack: a lipstick you take with you but never use isn't going to push you over your weight limit for flights or make your backpack much heavier.
Where Will You be Going?
The most important factor in how much makeup to pack is which country you'll be visiting, your style of travel, and how long your travels are for.
Which Country? -- The general rule is the hotter the country, the less makeup you'll want to wear. You might think you'll wear makeup every day, even if it's hot (I did), but when you get there, it's likely you'll find yourself uncomfortable when wearing a full face.
Constantly sweating will cause your make up to run, and wearing primer, foundation, concealer, and more, all on top of sunscreen, will make you sweaty and uncomfortable.
If you'll be traveling through colder countries, you'll be able to wear much more makeup without running the risk of discomfort or smudging.
Travel style -- In general, if you'll be traveling as a backpacker, you'll probably be wearing less makeup. There are, of course, exceptions (me) but traveling on a budget will usually mean that you won't be carrying much and won't want to fill up valuable backpack space with makeup.
Not many backpackers wear make up when they travel -- usually just eyeliner, mascara, some lip gloss -- so you may soon find yourself not bothering to, either.
If you're a luxury traveler, you'll likely be traveling with a larger suitcase where you can fit a few more items.
Length of your trip -- If you'll be traveling for a week, you can pick up a couple of travel sized makeup items that will last for the length of your trip. If you'll be traveling for a year, you might want to carry enough makeup to last you for that time. Remember, though, that you should be able to find your favorite make up brands in most countries around the world, and Sephoras are in most major cities.
Sunscreen is Essential
The one essential item for your travel makeup kit is sunscreen. Sunscreen helps you to avoid sunburn, prevent skin cancer and stop premature ageing of your face and body. Travel around the world for a year and don't wear sunscreen and you'll regret it when you're older. Try to find some sunscreen that is quite light and not oily to keep you cool in hot countries. Prioritize applying it to your face and neck, which ages the most under UV rays.
Because I travel full-time, I opt to carry one of pretty much everything with me, because I'm often traveling in hot and cold climates, and sometimes like to put in an effort with my appearance. Here is my current travel beauty packing list:
- Too Faced’s Hangover Face Primer and Shadow Insurance Eye Primer
- Too Faced's Born This Way foundation
- Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Concealer in light neutral
- Becca’s Luminous Blush in Snapdragon
- Mac’s Mineralize Skinfinish in Give Me Sun
- Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop
- Tarte’s Lights Camera Lashes for mascara
- Tarte’s Tartelette in Bloom eyeshadow palette
- Smashbox’s Always Sharp Waterproof Eye Liner in black
- Kylie Cosmetics Lip Kit in Candy K
- Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipsticks in sake and sour cherry
It sounds like a lot, but in reality, many of these are very small and lightweight items and I can pack them into a small toiletries bag without much trouble.
What to Leave Behind
Try to leave behind the things that aren't entirely necessary to your make up routine -- foundation will be uncomfortable in humid environments if that's where you'll be exclusively traveling, bronzer is often unnecessary when you'll be getting a rich tan. Lipstick is also quite uncomfortable in hot temperatures, so I often opt for lip balm with SPF instead.
Travels Makes You Low Maintenance
You might not think it'll happen to you, but travel does make you far lower maintenance, especially in terms of makeup. I think that almost every female traveler I've run into has told me that just a week into their trip they found themselves wearing less make up and rocking the natural look.
The reasons for this? Laziness, hot temperatures, hanging out with people you probably won't see again, and meeting other girls who don't wear much makeup.
At the end of the day, take what you feel comfortable with, don't worry about bringing too much, as it's all mostly lightweight, and most of all, focus on enjoying your experiences more than what you look like.