If you’re anything like me, your makeup bag is probably the heaviest element of your hand luggage/ cabin baggage/ both of the above. Wardrobe-wise I’m perfectly happy to chuck in a few sundresses and my old faithful of a swimming costume, but in the beauty department I for some reason feel the need to chuck in seven coral lipsticks, an assortment of palettes ‘just in case’ and a clunky liquid foundation that proceeds to leak all over my pants. No more. Skirt round the liquids restrictions while still looking and feeling awesome with the following nine travel makeup ideas. You won’t put your back out in the name of beauty either.
Travel light without spillages, sacrifices or abandoned liquids at departures: here’s the makeup that makes light work of ‘on the go’ beauty, whether you’re hand luggage only or long haul
Great for: Non-comedogenic coverage and concealing.
Oil-free, fragrance-free, long lasting and available in 20 shades, this base ticks cosmetic dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting ’s boxes for blendable, natural-looking coverage that’s well suited to all skin types, particularly the acne prone. It leaves a smooth, matte but not flat finish and comes in handy for spot concealing too- the pigment is strong enough for it to stand up on the camouflage count. Buff into skin with a brush or makeup sponge to even skin out in a flash, and it won’t break, spill or weigh you down in transit.
Benefit Roller Lash Travel Sized Mini, £11
Great for: Lift, curl and definition without the liquid risk.
Onto the second desert island makeup item (mascara, base and blusher would top my list every time), this root elevating mascara has been a huge hit in our office since it launched thanks to its dramatic but not clumpy effect, plus the fact that very little wand wiggling is required to achieve curled, longer looking lashes. It’s not necessarily the one if volume is high on your agenda, but it lifts like almost nothing else I’ve tried and the water-resistant formula stays put in the face of heat and humidity. It’s the only ‘liquid’ in this edit, and it’s worth its spot in that really rather small plastic bag.
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips and Cheeks, £22.50
Great for: multitasking colour that lives up to its promise.
Many multipurpose products, particularly in the context of lip and cheek colour, tend not to quite pull off one of their functions- a texture could work perfectly on cheeks but prove too dry for lips, or be balmy on your mouth but sticky on your face. This cult bestseller pulls off the rare feat of nailing both, with natural looking, slightly sheer colour that melts into both lips and cheeks yet is tacky on neither. A classic choice for a reason, and it takes up next to no space.
A Trinny London Stack, from £55 for a stack of three
Great for: teeny tiny pots of ‘no makeup makeup’
Trinny Woodall’s makeup concept is a smart one: cream-based, easy wearing basics that ‘stack’, so you never have to fish around in your bag for a rogue blusher and all-in-all your beauty kit is light, streamlined and in one place. Payoff wise, everything from cheek colour to lipsticks and bronzer are fairly sheer but look beautiful on skin. The eye shadows in particular might not be up your street if you love deep, intense pigment, but textures are silky and finishes tidemark-free. I particularly rate ‘The Right Light’ highlighter- it’s pearly yet natural-looking and never looks alien-ish.
Zoeva Cocoa Blend Voyager Eye Shadow Palette, £14
Great for: a summer sunset twist in a smokey eye that also works for daytime.
I’m going out on a limb to say that this is one of the best mini eye palettes I’ve found since my six and a bit years of working in beauty for versatile makeup looks, rich pigment and an expert edit of shades that work together or alone, round the clock. You’ve got three mattes, ranging from a light cream to a terracotta toned brown, and three shimmers- a rose gold, a jewel-like raspberry and a glinty bronze. Shadows are velvety and don't crease, while packaging is sleek and light. A mirror and a brush wouldn’t go amiss, but it’s so delicious (and affordable) that I don’t really care.
Bare Minerals BAREPRO Longwear Eyeshadow Stick, £19
Great for: low-key liner and low-effort shadow in one.
I've worn my metallic rose gold shade of this down to the nib, and it’s become a steadfast no brainer in my holiday beauty kit. It’s sheeny, creamy and enhances eyes whether you simply glide it along the lashline or take it over the whole lid - either way it creates the kind of subtle definition that works whatever you’re doing, and takes actual seconds to apply. It also gives a refreshing, cooling sensation when you first swipe it on; ideal for hot summer nights.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Travel Sized Bronzer, £22
Great for: luxe and glowy bronzing on the go.
For 3D bronzing (read: luminous, not muddy), this finely milled, gleamy pressed powder is hard to beat. It brings warmth to skin whatever your base colour, and makes face, collarbones and decolletage look lovely and golden, not fake. As bronzers go, this is champagne, not Tango.
ASOS Crayola Highlighter Crayon, £11
Great for: perking up a tired face.
The ASOS x Crayola makeup collaboration is all kinds of genius, but our digital editor Judy deems this highlighter to be the literal high point of the range. Available in a range of gold flecked shades to suit all skin tones, the chunky ‘crayons’ can be swiped directly onto cheekbones and blended in with fingers, dotted at the inner corners of your eyes and dabbed onto lids to bring the light wherever you need it and do away with dullness (also, jet lag, general sleep deprivation, hangover skin…). Super handy and a nice hit of nostalgia for your makeup bag.
Real Techniques Mini Brushes, £5.99 each
Travel brushes are often assumed to deliver sub par performance on account of them being generally flimsier and smaller, but Real Techniques has turned that one of its head by keeping brush heads the size of your regular models and just shrinking the handle. The result is smooth and even makeup application with lots of control and no cutting corners. The Multitask Brush works brilliantly for powder and bronzer, use the Sculpting Brush to blend in highlighter and the Mini Face Brush makes for seamless foundation application. They come under the banner of ‘budget and brilliant ’, are easy to wash and they won’t shed either.