4 Packing Tips for Balancing Time and Beauty While Traveling

Hi friends!

I’m sure I’m not alone in my belief that taking time away from work or school to travel and explore elsewhere is so important for recharging our batteries and expanding our minds. As everyone’s gearing up for spring and summer travel, it seems like a great time to discuss beauty on the go.

I consider myself a fairly active traveler – I would prefer to spend a few days in multiple countries and cities, wandering on foot or by bike and seeing as much as possible (with a few rest breaks and beach picnics along the way), rather than spending two weeks in the same place. As a result, I’m often at odds with maintaining my standard (*cough* lengthy) cosmetic routine while trying to pack lightly and being able to see as much as possible.

I feel more confident after my skincare routine is complete and I’ve thrown some makeup on, whether I am home or abroad. The Eiffel Tower doesn’t care if I look cute today or not, but I do and I want nice photos to look back on as I’m held captive behind a desk for the remaining 49 weeks of the year.

The good news is we can have full itineraries and gorg beat faces if we just do some minor time-and-space-saving tweaks!

Important side note: caring about your appearance while traveling doesn’t discount the experience. Whether your travel itinerary includes getting glammed up each day or backpacking in the same outfit for three weeks, the most important consideration is what makes you feel happiest, not what others think is or isn’t appropriate to do while on a trip.

In this post, I share my best tips for crafting a time-saving and travel-friendly beauty routine to ensure you get the most out of your adventures while looking (and feeling) fierce and fabulous.

1. Opt for longer-lasting cosmetics prior to your trip.

By incorporating a longer-lasting or semi-permanent cosmetic option before your travels, you can greatly reduce the time spent getting ready each day.

For eyelashes, consider a lash growth serum, lash tint, lash lift, or even lash extensions to boost your lashes so you can skip mascara. I had lash extensions for my last Europe trip and they made a world of difference – I could skip 90% of my makeup routine because my lashes took the spotlight. I’ve since become allergic to extensions (RIP, lush lash Taylor), so for my next trip abroad, I’m considering a lash lift and tint to help my real lashes look their best with minimal effort.

For brows, you can tint them before your trip (check out my tutorial here) or even consider microblading for a more permanent solution to get a full brow look. Defined brows frame your face and can drastically reduce the other products needed to get you fresh-faced and ready to explore.

2. Grab dual-purpose products.

Space and time is precious when you’re traveling, so each product you bring along needs to pull its weight. Pack a moisturizer that’s suitable for both day and night use, a CC cream to get your SPF and foundation coverage in one step, D-Bronzi serum to bronze your skin while protecting against pollutants (see my full product review here), a hydration spray (like this travel-size one) to set your makeup and give your skin a spritz when it’s feeling tight, and a nourishing oil that you can apply to your face, lips, body, and hair.

3. Get (and keep) a glow.

I feel so much more confident with a tan. I can wear less makeup when I have a bronze glow on my skin and my outfits look better against a warm and healthy-looking complexion. Stop in for a spray tan or DIY it at home with this amazing mousse about a day before your departure. To stay topped up during your trip, pack these nifty tanning drops – the one ounce bottle won’t give you any TSA trouble and you just mix a few drops in with your daily moisturizer and body lotion to keep your tan going strong throughout your trip.

4. Choose one hair tool and don’t forget dry shampoo.

This is the hardest part for me! I always pack a hair dryer, straightener, and curling iron, and I rarely use all three. If you were blessed with hair that can air dry not in the shape of an electrocuted poodle, you can skip the blow dryer and tame flyaways with a curler or straightener as needed, or get super fancy and use your straightener as a curler. If you will be traveling for a while and really need hair styling options, my favorite tip for saving luggage space is to coordinate with your travel companions so each of you brings a different hot tool and you can share.

Dry shampoo is KEY to saving time while traveling (or any time, really). Spritz some in to extend your hair style and minimize the number of times you have to shampoo, condition, and re-style your hair. This travel size Batiste one is my go-to, but I’ve also picked up baby powder at a convenience store in a pinch.


Thank you for reading and I hope you found these tips helpful! I’m curious – do you maintain your beauty routine while traveling, reduce it to save time, or totally do without to just focus on your trip? Let me know in the comments!

xx T

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