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Minimal travel makeup items are the best creations ever. Personally, I’m a sucker for beauty products and even when I travel, I like to look extra pretty for the cameras. Yes, I fully embrace the fact that I’m vain. But only minimal makeup? Really? Why not go “all out” like a movie star?
Don’t get me wrong. I love cosmetics. However, I never quite reached a high enough skill level to pull off a successful “glam look.” I’ve gotten great at using liquid black eyeliner, crafting a perfect cat eye on my upper lids, and while these styles makes me look good, it’s not something I bother with on a daily basis. Too much work at six in the morning when I need to save America’s youth by teaching them five paragraph essays.
Besides sometimes I think too much makeup ages me, which… just no. I’m determined to look youthful even in my seventies. So instead I prefer to wear a tiny bit of tinted moisturizer and black mascara to accent my (already gorgeous) natural features rather than hide them.
So, if you’re a solo female traveler who enjoys the same look, then this post is written to help you. I’ve used all of these products and can vouch for their high quality. I also tried to includes items in different price points.
Enjoy, beauty queens! These travel makeup kit essentials will make your trip a gooooorgeous one, haha.
Why Wear Minimal Travel Makeup?
Well. Why not?
Now don’t get me wrong. I completely understand the urge to look glamorous especially in a cosmopolitan city like Paris, Rome, or New York.
And, sure, there’s nothing wrong with packing a little shimmery eyeshadow or bright lipstick if you know you’re gonna experience the nightlife.
But at the end of the day, minimal and nature makeup is easier to handle whether you’re on a weekend trip or backpacking for an extended period of time.
For example, foundation. Do you really want to walk around Croatia in the summer heat with heavy coverage foundation sticking to your skin? Ew, no.
As a disclosure, not only have I used all these makeup products, but I also paid full price for them. Nothing is sponsored. The links are affiliate-based, meaning I’ll earn a commission at not additional cost to you if you make a purchase, but I can vouch for each and every item on this list.
Happy browsing, gorgeous!
Rachel’s Minimal Travel Makeup Suggestions
Let’s say you wanna go super basic and not even use a tinted moisturizer or bb cream. Awesome! More power to you!
However, it’s always important to keep your skin moisturized, especially in dry conditions such as planes or an air conditioned hostel.
My favorite moisturizer is Clinique’s Super Defense Daily product. Is it on the pricier side? Yes, but it’s worth it. This all day product doesn’t take a break from hydrating your skin. Additionally, this moisturizer has antioxidants and UVA/UVB protection to slow the aging progress. Worth it!
Purchase Clinique Super Defense Daily Moisturizer for your next trip.
My absolute favorite bb cream product on the market!
Why? You guessed it! Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm boosts SPF 45, which is perfect if you’re like me and have super fair (re: easily burnt) skin.
Dr. Jart’s beauty balm provides heavier coverage than the tinted moisturizers. However the weight still feels comfortable on your skin. This one step balm is especially good for people who are a bit, uh, lazy when to comes to cosmetics and skin care.
The only drawback is Dr. Jart’s beauty balm is only available in two shades: light-medium and medium-dark. Therefore skin tone options are a little limited.
Purchase Dr Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm for your next trip.
Another wonderful tinted moisturizer option if you want to splurge. You’re guaranteed a high quality product if you invested in Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer. Like Dr. Jart, this tinted moisturizer replaces heavy foundation and gives your skin a healthy natural glow. Laura Mercier’s product has a crazy ten shades to choose from.
Purchase Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer for your next trip.
Ahhh, a wonderful budget option for facial coverage! This bb cream is very light, containing zero heavy oil products, so it feels great on your skin at a good price. Furthermore Maybelline Makeup Dream Fresh BB Cream is suitable for all skin types and comes in five shades, so you can find the perfect match for you!
Over all, this is a very solid product that I actually took on my second trip to Scotland. I looked beautiful and my skin was protected from the sun (yes, the sun even shines in Scotland).
Purchase Maybelline Makeup Dream Fresh BB Cream for your next trip.
Smashbox makes some wonderful bronzing products. If you’re the type of person who likes to have a bit of a suntan without harming your skin, then Smashbox Bronze Lights is perfect for your needs. This product seeps nicely into your skin, providing you with a glorious sun kissed appearance for up to eight hours. Long lasting makeup is essential when you’re walking for hours and hours through a new city.
Purchase Smashbox Bronze Lights for your next trip.
Who doesn’t like having their eyebrows perfectly shaped? My favorite eyebrow pencil is Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear product. It’s wonderful for traveling! I love the arched shape of the pencil itself, making the product easy to apply to your brows. I also like the brush at the end of the pencil. Talk about convenient. Like everything else in this post, Bobbi Brown’s brow pencil is very long lasting even in hot weather.
Purchase Bobbi Brown Defined Long-Wear Brow Pencil for your next trip.
BOBBI BROWN is my favorite beauty line especially for makeup. In particular, I cannot live without my BOBBI BROWN highlighting powder and use it almost every single day.
I love the trio set due to the options it provides in a nice compact case, which is perfect for traveling. My personal favorite color is Pink Glow, but the Nectar Glow and Bronze Glow may suit your skin and style better.
Purchase BOBBI BROWN Highlighting Powder Trio for your next trip.
Better than Sex is my favorite mascara. All jokes about the name aside, it’s a high quality product that lasts all day. This mascara duo by Too Faced will meet all of your travel needs. For instance, each mascara is only 0.17 ounces a piece, meeting TSA guidelines and making the liquid safe enough to pack in your carry on bag. In addition, one of the mascaras is 100% waterproof, which is perfect for summer travel and beach destinations. Your gorgeous long lashes are safe!
Purchase Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara Duo for your next trip.
These travel sized moisturizing lipsticks are perfect for your minimal and natural makeup look! In particular, I like the honeycomb lipstick, but Bite Beauty has many colors you can choose from.
Purchase The Perfect Bite Lipstick for your next trip.
One of the more affordable products in this post include Burt’s Bees natural tinted lip balms. What I love about Burt Bee’s products is that they use 100% natural ingredients. These balms last all day long making them one of my favorite backpacking beauty essentials. Expect your lips to feel colorful and soft for roughly eight hours.
Purchase Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Tinted Lip Balm for your next trip.
My absolute favorite lip balm on earth has got to be Dior’s Addict Glow Lip Balm with SPF 10. This balm has a colored tint. Yet, at the same time, this lip balm isn’t overpowering and still appears 100% natural, while simultaneously providing a lovely glow that shows in pictures.
Purchase Dior Addict Lip Glow Color Awakening Lip Balm for your next trip.
Finally, even though our makeup is natural and glowing, we don’t want to sleep in it. As you know, I love Burt’s Bees natural products, and their facial cleansing towelettes feel undeniably great on your skin after a long day exploring the world.
Purchase Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes for your next trip.
How Should I Pack My Minimal Travel Makeup?
Make your life a million times easier by packing your minimal travel makeup into a TSA Approved Clear Travel Toiletry Bag. Simply place all your makeup, especially your liquid items, into this bag. You already know everything meets TSA requirements so you can breathe nice and easy.
Personally, I would just keep your beauty products in your clear bag for the entire duration of the trip. This way you won’t end up like me and scrabbling searching for my lipstick, which somehow made it to the very bottom of my backpack, haha.
Check out my tips for solo female travel in Europe for more advice on traveling alone
I hope these travel beauty tips will help you on your next vacation! What are some of your favorite cosmetics? What piece of makeup do you always bring on your travels? Share in the comments.