Trip Prep and Planning

Makeup for Travel

13 Comments 06 November 2012

my makeup and travel case

My make-up and travel case – it could use an overhaul!

There are very few travel gadgets and items that have held up to my 6 years of travel. My yoga pants, jewelry case, and makeup case are what come to mind. Everything else has been replaced at some point. I’ve always had the rule that if my makeup purchases couldn’t fit into my little case, then I didn’t need it – this was my attempt at packing light along with my rule for if I buy any new items, then an old item has to be removed out of my backpack.

However as the years have gone by I’ve become lazier and lazier with makeup. I once used to make myself up to go out every night in NYC, and now I barely put on mascara. This is partially because I’ve fallen out of practice and partially because my makeup needs are different on the road traveling. There are occasions where I need to look nice, but most days are pretty simple – so minimalism is key for me.

The Challenge

When it comes to makeup for travel, how can you be minimal, but also have the ability to be ready for a luxurious evening? AND have it all fit into a little travel makeup case?

The Answer

I called upon the services of Raychel Wade via Cloud 9 Experiences. Raychel is a professional make-up artists and an avid traveler who has spent extensive time on the road so I felt like she could relate to my makeup challenge. She regularly teaches people how to create a look that works for their lifestyle. A one-on-one ‘class’ to walk me through the confusing and numerous choices that could fit in my little makeup case was just what I needed.

We dumped out my case and all of my old makeup was placed on the table for her to review and consider. Raychel quickly opened compacts and started rubbing the powders onto the back of her hand testing the quality of the makeup. Over the years I have been purchasing cheaper and cheaper makeup since it didn’t seem that important to me – yet I was never really sure what to get and was never very satisfied with it. Raychel was quick to say that you didn’t need to buy expensive makeup, you just needed to buy things that were good quality that had staying power. Her back of the hand test was how she determined this.

makeup brushes

You must clean those brushes!

Next she took a look at my brushes I use for blush and eye shadow. As she held them up carefully inspecting them she asked me how often I clean them. I embarrassingly answered – “Never.” She didn’t seem too surprised or horrified – I don’t think I’m the first person she encountered with this answer – but in reality – it was a pretty gross answer. Instead she politely explained that if I had these brushes for 6 years and never cleaned them that they were probably the biggest culprit to being dissatisfied with my makeup quality. A clean brush is key to being able to distribute the makeup and if the brush is dirty/oily, the makeup never stands a chance.

She divided my current makeup into two piles of items that I could continue to use and items that needed to go based on the quality test. It was time to replace the old items and she suggested that I use a brand that I could find all over the world – M.A.C. It was quality makeup which would last me longer and be easy to replace anywhere in the world or at any airport.

left goes, right stays

The items on the left go, and items on the right stay…

Key Things to consider when packing makeup for extended travels:
• Don’t have to spend a lot – but you need to make sure it’s quality. Test is on the back of your hand – does it apply easily and not rub off quickly? Where it around for a while and see how it lasts on your hand!
• Clean your brushes regularly! Simple soap and water will do – you can do this in any hotel or hostel bathroom.
• Don’t need a base makeup – often a little concealer blended in well is enough.
• Don’t need eyeliner pencil – you can use you current eye shadow if applied with an angle brush.
• Get a brand that you can replenish all over the world.

She went on to show me exactly how to apply each piece of makeup and take a look from very light casual (foundation and mascara) – to a nicer look with light shadow and blush – to a going out look of heavier shadow, eyeliner, and lipstick. She coached me carefully showing me how she did it on herself – and then having me apply it myself so that I could understand the different strokes and placement.

applying makeup

Following Raychel’s instructions

In the end – I had this to place in my little makeup bag:
• I eliminated a powder and replaced it with a good quality concealer
• 4 new shadows that could take me from simple to va-va-voom
• New better quality blush
• 2 new brushes which helped me eliminate an eyeliner
I was able to keep:
• My cheap but good quality Maybelline mascara
• One of my brushes – but cleaned it really well!
• My cheap but good quality Cover Girl lipstick and gloss

The experience was a success – it was super to have this refresher lesson after years of travel and my overall lifestyle change from corporate cube dweller to nomadic traveler – my makeup needs had clearly changed! I walked away with better products, colors that were more ideal for me, a way to replenish when I was on the road.
And – the best part – it all fit in my little travel makeup case!

I was gifted this experience gift from Cloud9 Living, who specializes in providing experience gifts all over the United States. They have a variety of adrenaline rushing experiences, group experiences, food experiences, and lifestyle experiences (like the one I chose). In this world where I’m convinced that we all collect too much stuff, I love the idea of giving an experience as a gift – especially for travelers! It takes up no room in your house or in my case – in my backpack. After all – life is about experiences, not things.

Win an ‘Experience’ this holiday season!

This holiday season Cloud 9 Living will hold its first “9 Days of Christmas”contest. Entrants across the country can win a different experience package during each of the nine days leading up to Christmas by simply entering their email address. You can enter and learn more here.

More information:
Cloud9 Living Experience Gifts – www.cloud9living.com
Learn more about Raychel Wade 

makeover - my finished look

My finished look

Your Comments

13 Comments so far

  1. AnitaMac says:

    I am surprised she didn’t mention something with an SPF for the face! I am in the same boat with little to no make up use, but if I do carry something, I try to include something for sun protection.

  2. Carmel says:

    Thanks for posting about this. It seems silly, but I expect at least a couple of nights out when I’m visiting friends and family on our travels. I’d like to be able to clean myself up and look nice, but not add too much weight.

  3. Bess says:

    I’ve seen posts on what clothes to wear traveling, but not on what make-up to bring. Good idea. I really like the way your make-up is in the last picture, pretty but natural.

  4. Kirk Horsted says:

    You think of everything, dear Sherry! But if you’ll excuse me for being sexist, this is one area where we guys truly do have an advantage! ; )

  5. What awesome tips! Even without the travel context, this is good info. But now I must run off to clean my makeup brushes…

  6. I found a good tinted moisturizer is great for travel. I like the Marcelle brand. You look great BTW!

  7. Very interesting! I also try to keep the minimum – a heavy powder that replaces foundation (and perfect for oily touch-ups during the day), a mascara, a light ivory eyeshadow and a brown eyeliner. And that’s it!

  8. alex says:

    Great post! I’m down to 3 items on my travel makeup list: concealer, waterproof mascara, and Nars multiple that acts as blush eye shadow and lipstick :-)

  9. Much easier if you are a man and you don’t need any make up :)


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Sherry traveling the world

I'm Sherry, a corporate cube dweller turned nomadic traveler. I travel to off-the-beaten-path destinations to bring you unique travel experiences and photography. But it's not just about travel, it's also about life experiences of a middle age wanderer.
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Where am I and Where am I going?

NYC -> Colombia

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