Sure, you need shampoo, makeup, hair gel and other beauty items, but smaller versions of your favorites are necessary to keep excess baggage at a minimum. Still, that doesn't mean you have to swap looking fab for practical options. Choose products that do double duty (i.e., great for travel and keep you looking like a stunner), like Oscar Blandi Pronto Invisible Volumizing Dry Shampoo (Sephora, $5 and up). Spritz it on to keep oily hair at bay and perk up limp locks. Other great options include multiuse beauty products, like NARS' "The Multiple" sticks (Nars Cosmetics, $39) — twist-and-apply color for cheeks, eyes and lips.
If you've ever opened your suitcase to find your sunscreen made friends with your shoes, blouse and belt, then you know that not only are these SPF bottles often bulky, they can be messy. Choose body wipes that contain sunblock, like Tocca SPF 30+ sunscreen towelettes (Birch Box, $24). With the blood-orange-scented wipes, all you have to do is wipe and go.
Compact beauty items, like facial blotting papers or your tried-and-true mascara, can always easily find a home in your travel bags. We also love to score samples of our favorite beauty items at department stores or beauty meccas, like Sephora, and stash them away until it comes time to travel. Mini perfumes, lipsticks and hair products take up minimal room in a suitcase.
Put outfits together ahead of time to minimize excess clothing making its way into your suitcase. Depending on the reason for travel, a good rule of thumb is to pack:
Choose one evening bag that goes with all outfits, and carry on your everyday handbag. If you are wearing a jacket, then consider wearing it on the plane and removing it if necessary. You'll save suitcase room, and half the time planes are so darn chilly anyway!
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