Sunday, May 24, 2015

Travel Packing

      Two of my favorite passions are organization and travel. Put those together and you'll find me spending hours scouring the web for DIY travel notebooks and planners, packing list inspiration and the smallest toiletry containers I can find. I love figuring out exactly what products work best, how much I need for different trips and the best ways to organize it all.

     There are a few key places to start when looking for packing inspiration. Pinterest is an obvious choice, but some of my favorite tips have come from travel and packing blogs. When I was getting ready to go to England in 2013 I knew we would go by train to spend three days in Paris and I would only be taking one carry-on bag. and were by far the most helpful for me in deciding what and how I needed to pack. Below I will share my favorite beauty related posts and products, but be sure to check out their other posts as well.

Favorite posts:

From Her Packing List - the "30 Days to Packing a Better Bag" series-

Day 16 "How to Pack Liquid Toiletries" My favorite tip here was thinking about how small of a container I could get away with. I actually measured out how many pumps of a product I would need for a certain amount of days and used eye drop bottles instead of your usual travel size bottle. They are MUCH smaller and more convenient to pack. You need to make sure you are only using liquids in those as creams and thicker products are harder to get out. A daily conditioner is about as thick as you can go. If it moves when you tip the bottle you should be all set. Also, solid shampoo, like the LUSH Godiva bar I reviewed here, are awesome because they don't count against your liquids in your 3-1-1 bag!

Day 18 "The Essential Travel Beauty Kit" Favorite tip? Minimize, minimize minimize.  And always put a cotton ball between your powders and the lid so they don't break.

From Travel Fashion Girl-

"Learn my Hacking secrets to to Zero (or Almost Zero) Liquid Travel"- Here was my first introduction to DIY palettes. While I didn't need (or want) to go as small as she does, the information is still very useful and it challenges our perception of how much we really need.

"How to Make a Travel Size Makeup Palette" This article shows you exactly how she made her palettes. I especially love the way she used the Maybelline Fit Me Blush compact to make a palette she could use on her whole face.

     Now, my favorite travel beauty products are ones I have tested and used while traveling so I know why I love them. Different things work for different people, but here are some of the things that worked for me. I often will use sample sizes of beauty products that are too expensive for daily use on a trip. At home I often use multiple lower end products to achieve the same look as one higher end product because I have the time and space for it, (and I'm a little cheap!.) When I travel I don't want to be bothered by multiple products. Using a sample size for trips is cheaper, takes up less space and I feel pampered on my trip.

     If I can't get a sample size of a certain product, I will use one of the DIY tricks above or a sample size container. Nordstrom has great 5ml jars in bins at the makeup counter and I have never had any trouble obtaining one if I needed it for a trip. Plus the associates are usually willing to give you a tester to try if they have it. They also have great mini mister bottles they use for perfume samples that you can use for setting spray or your own perfume. If you would rather purchase your own containers, as I often do, eBay is an excellent resource. Simply search the size and type of container you want and it is helpful to use the word "sample" in your search.  I often look for "5ml beauty sample jar" or "5ml beauty sample pump bottle."

Below are some of the items I currently use:

     "Mini Portable Airless Bottle Cosmetic Treatment Pump Cover Travel Skincare Empty" -This is one of my favorite travel containers because it is small, refillable and airless so I have a far lower risk of contamination. I like to tape the actual product label of my favorite products to the container 1) so I know what it is and 2) because it looks so much better. I also use these for moisturizer and face wash because I need such a small amount for most trips. The container I purchased is listed as 5ml but I found it will hold quite a bit, even 10-15ml by my rough estimate.

     e.l.f. Essential Custom Compact with Mirror (online only)- This is an essential item for me because you can fill it with anything you want, here I've used 12 shades from the LORAC Pro Palette. I've talked about it before and still recommend it for anyone who wants an inexpensive option for a small DIY palette. At the time of this post they are on sale for only $0.49!! 

     NYX Go-To Palette (online and in select Ulta stores) - This is a fun palette because you have your face and eyes in one handy compact! It holds 6 eye shadows, an illuminator, a blush and a bronzer. The color I chose is called "Wanderust" but there is another color with bolder colors called "Bon Voyage." $16.99 is a little steep in my opinion, but it's a very pigmented palette and I really like the colors. Go light on the illuminator though because it is easy to pick up too much on your brush. 

     Wet'nWild Blush and Glow Trio (in store, RiteAid or Fred Meyer)- A great and affordable face option that has great pigmentation, very wearable colors and you won't cry if you lose it because it's only $3.99. There are three variations of this palette. Pictured above is Sunset Junction, the lightest of the three. I really love the colors of this palette and while a bit large in comparison to the other items, it makes up for it in convenience and peace of mind. Unfortunately, it is Limited Edition so if you do lose it, you may not be able to find another. 

     DiorShow Mascara and Benefit They're Real Mascara - These are two of my favorite mascaras but they are fairly spendy to purchase the full size version. I use other mascaras daily and these I reserve for special occasions or trips. These are the two best all-in one mascaras that I've ever tried. They volumize without clumping and most importantly, do not smudge under my eyes. They're Real is about $10 for the travel size at Ulta and Sephora. The DiorShow Mascara is not available for purchase as a sample size. However, eBay is your friend here too. The sample size is often included as a bonus or point perk with a qualifying purchase so there are many brand new unopened samples for between $5-10 and I have never had a problem with sample sizes I purchased from eBay. If you are really looking to just pack all-in-one items that work great, it's a worthwhile investment. 

I hope you found this helpful and if you have any favorite tips or products I'd love to hear about them!!!

***Disclaimer: All items mentioned in this or future posts have been purchased by me, at my own expense unless otherwise noted. I am not affiliated with or sponsored by any company or brand so you can be assured my opinions are mine alone. My opinions are based on my own experience and independent research. 


  1. This came at the perfect timing! I'm taking a trip soon and some of these tips are awesome. Unfortunately I won't have time to order the airless containers (i'd never even heard of them!)but I will definitely get a few for the future. I don't know how you get your labels on and on the new bottles so smoothly. It looks great! Thank you for sharing :)

    1. My secret to awesome labels? At least ones where the ink doesn't rub....Packing tape!!! I've been know to wrap tape over pens, lip balm, anything with ink that I don't want to rub off.