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Behold, the ultimate beauty packing list

Julie Sprankles is a freelance writer living in the storied city of Charleston, SC. When she isn't slinging sass for SheKnows, she enjoys watching campy SyFy creature features (Pirahnaconda, anyone?), trolling the internet for dance work...

Taking a trip? Don't forget the essentials. Check out the ultimate beauty packing list

If you're gearing up for your next big trip — and you're anything like me — you've probably put roughly the same amount of time into packing that you'll spend on your actual getaway. Yet somehow, you inexplicably still manage to forget that one beauty item you can't live without. 

Sometimes you're lucky and it's an item readily available at a local convenience store (hello, cheapo eyelash curler!), but other times, it's something you simply have to learn to live without for the duration of your travels.

And that's no fun, right? So before you haul your luggage out the door, feast your eyes on this ultimate beauty packing list.

More: 9 beauty products that will make you Instagram-ready

First and foremost, though, you'll need to check current travel regulations regarding liquid items if you're flying — no one likes being told they have to chuck a brand-new beauty product because the bottle is too big. Even if you're just taking a road trip, it's wise to consider transferring products to smaller size containers for maximum portability and to minimize product loss should you lose your luggage or suffer a spill.

Skin care

Once you've got your travel containers squared away, you'll want to make sure you bring the essentials needed to keep your skin healthy and dewy during your travels. Make sure to include any of these items you use on a regular basis:

  • Face wash
  • Face scrub
  • Toner
  • Anti-aging serum
  • Morning moisturizer
  • Makeup remover
  • Sunscreen
  • Cotton pads
  • Eye cream
  • Night cream


I'm a bit of a minimalist when it comes to makeup while I travel, largely because I somehow always manage to make a huge mess of the makeup I bring — which is precisely why I recommend packing makeup in smaller bags (Ziploc snack bags work wonders). That way, everything you own doesn't end up in shimmer when your eye shadow compact apparently explodes in your bag.

More: My husband hates my makeup choices and I don't care

I also recommend packing your makeup kit as you're applying it. This way, you won't mentally skip a step and leave behind the primer that makes your pores miraculously small. Of course, everyone's makeup bag will look a little bit different, but grab any of these products that you use even a little bit regularly:

  • Primer
  • Foundation or tinted sunscreen
  • Concealer
  • Powder
  • Bronzer
  • Blush
  • Lipstick
  • Lip balm
  • Eyeliner
  • Eye shadow
  • Mascara
  • Highlighter and/or a contouring kit
  • Brow pencil
  • Brow powder
  • Brow gel
  • Tweezers (if allowed)
  • Spoolie

More: The ultimate pack hack to get a week's worth of outfits into one carry-on


Especially if you are traveling by plane, you'll need to pack a beauty bag to help combat the dryness of stale cabin air. And, in general, everyone wants to glow on vacation, right? Include these items to make sure it happens:

  • Daily moisturizer
  • Body wash
  • Body scrub
  • Shaving gel or cream
  • Razor
  • Perfume


Are the odds good that if you forget to bring your hair products, the hotel you're visiting will have some handy? Sure, but there's no accounting for quality — those tiny bottles of off-brand shampoo and conditioner can turn the tamest hair into an unmanageable mess. Bring your own trusted brands of in-shower products, along with anything you use to style your hair after the shower. Consider these items:

  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Hair oil
  • Holding product like mousse or spray
  • Dry shampoo
  • Texturizing pomade
  • Bobby pins
  • Elastic bands

More: How shampoo can damage your hair and how to prevent it

Tools and accessories

Every woman knows that the right tools can make or break a beauty routine. Make sure you have these somewhere in your bag:

  • Eyelash curler
  • Hairbrush
  • Makeup brushes
  • Heated hair styling tools such as a dryer and flat iron


While there are several other helpful beauty items you could pack, there is at least one absolute that doesn't necessarily fit into the above categories: your toothbrush. Outside of that last essential, though, the rest of your ultimate beauty packing list is largely determined by personal preference. If your travels include logging lots of air time, toss in a rejuvenating serum or rosewater spritz so your skin doesn't look quite so parched upon arrival. For de-puffing eyes — and drinking, if you so desire — include a couple of chamomile tea bags. And it never hurts to have a fabulous bag so your beauty goods can travel in as much style as you do.

This post was sponsored by Vera Bradley.

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