10 Best Travel Makeup for your Next Vacation

This stay at home situation has me so stir crazy that I’m already planning our next family vacation to Palau, the Pacific island nation we call home. And when I say planning I mean ALL the details of our fishing and camping trips, scuba diving, dining, happy hours, all of it.

But before we even get to Palau, we’ll have to endure 23 hours of flight time and 4 airport layovers. That means making sure our carry on baggage is stuffed with everything we’ll need for the grueling journey. For my 5 year old, that means lots of snacks and all the entertainment she needs to keep her from wanting to go strolling up and down the airplane aisles. For my husband it’s his laptop for movies and internet. And for me, it’s all about my carry-on makeup bag.

While I usually check in the bulk of my makeup and care products, I also prepare a carry on makeup bag with everything I need for a natural and fresh makeup look on the go. Of course, it needs to be TSA compliant so when packing it I keep in mind the 3-1-1 liquids rule for carry on baggage.

TSA 3-1-1 Carry On Liquids Rule

  • All liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes need to be 3.4 ounces or smaller.
  • All items should be packed in a 1 Quart sized clear plastic bag.
  • Limited to 1 bag per traveler.

If you’ve got an upcoming trip and need help putting together a carry-on makeup bag, here’s what I pack in mine to ensure I don’t step off the plane in paradise looking like The Walking Dead.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If purchase a product through our links, we make a small commission at no additional cost to you.

1. Olanmark TSA Approved Quart Size Clear Cosmetic Bag

Travel makeup bag carry on

First order of business, the bag. Lots of bags claim to be quart sized and TSA compliant but are actually slightly larger. And the last thing I need is to have to get rid of some of my makeup because a TSA agent notices my bag is too large. This is one of the few bags I’ve found on Amazon that’s exactly 1 Quart based on its length, width and height specs. | Buy on Amazon |

2. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Towelettes (Travel Size)

These are my go to face cleansing wipes when I need to remove makeup, oil and dirt on the go. The travel pack has 7 wipes in it and fits perfectly in my quart size makeup bag. | Buy on Amazon |

3. Bareminerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream

This tinted moisturizer is one of my holy grail makeup products because it provides natural looking buildable coverage in a hydrating lightweight formula. Its size and packaging make it perfect for travel and because it can be applied with fingers, I don’t need to worry about packing a foundation brush/sponge. | Buy on Amazon |

4. Clinique Chubby In The Nude Foundation Stick

carry on makeup bag concealer

Guys, I know this is a foundation stick but it also makes an amazing under eye concealer if you get it in a shade slightly lighter than your skin tone. The no mess stick formula makes it very travel friendly and easily blended with fingertips. It’s a must in my carry on makeup bag for covering up and brightening those dark under eye circles that tend to form on long flights. | Buy on amazon |

5. Maybelline Fit Me Pressed Powder

When I travel my face gets very dehydrated and thus produces excess oils. I use this pressed powder to dab away oiliness and give my makeup that fresh matte finish. It comes with a built-in mirror and a flat blending sponge so you don’t need to worry about packing one separately. | Buy on Amazon |

6. NARS Blush/Bronzer Duo

There’s nothing better than a dual purpose makeup product with a built-in mirror when you’re strapped for space. I carry on this handy blush and bronzer duo in the shades Orgasm & Laguna for that beautiful bronzed glow and flush of color that my face sorely needs on long trips. | Buy at amazon |

7. L.A. Girl Shady Slim Brow Pencil

Brows are a super important part of my makeup routine so packing my go-to brow pencil in my carry on is a no brainer. I use the shade Espresso to get naturally defined full looking eyebrows. | Buy on Amazon |

8. Honest Beauty Extreme Length Mascara + Lash Primer

I just tried this mascara for the first time about two weeks ago and I’ve already decided it’s going in my carry on makeup bag. The primer hydrates and preps my lashes and the mascara seriously doesn’t budge. I’ll definitely need that kind of staying power on those long flights. | Buy on Amazon |

9. Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb

When I’m traveling, I don’t like to fuss with lipstick. I really just need a good lip gloss and I’m all set. That’s why I usually bring along my Fenty Gloss Bomb in the shade FU$$Y. The hydrating formula is great for dry chapped lips and the shimmery pink shade instantly brings my entire face to life at the end of a long flight. | Buy on Amazon |

10. Revlon Photoready Prep Set Refresh Mist

Drugstore Setting Spray

I always pack this spray in my carry on to set my makeup and keep my skin hydrated. A few spritzes of the cucumber scented mist and I’m instantly rejuvenated on long flights. | Buy on Amazon |


In a way, planning out all the details of our trip has helped me cope with being cooped up in the house for what feels like an eternity now. It just gets me so excited and hopeful. If you’re already planning a vacation for when the world is back to normal and need some makeup packing tips, I hope you find this post helpful. Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts. Until next time!

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