How to Pack Makeup for Travel

12:14 AM

Dear World,
Hi, I'm Jen and I'm a last-minute packer.

Every trip, I will always cut into my "early sleep to prepare for travel" time, freaking out that I'm forgetting something while throwing things into my suitcase like the world is about to end. You would think that after all these flights over the last 2 years I would have packing down pat, and you would be partially right. Suitcase? Miiiight be a little smushed with too many shoes. Makeup though? That's a whole other story. I GOTCHA COVERED!

If you need a little help packing your cosmetics and TSA-approved 1 Quart clear bag, here is what I brought for a weekend trip with carry-on only luggage.


In my Too Faced Cosmetics Bag:
Bow-Shaped Hair Fringe Holder
Sigmax F80 Flat Top Kabuki
Sigma Angled Contour Blush Brush
Sigmax P82 Precision Round Brush
Sigma E55 Eye Shading Brush
Sigma E45 Small Tapered Blending Brush
Sigma E30 Pencil Brush
Eyeko Skinny Eyeliner
Urban Decay 24/7 Pencil in Demolition
Urban Decay Cannonball Mascara
Lioele Artist Auto Eyebrow Pencil in Gray Black
Shiseido Eyelash Curler
Koji Dolly Wink False Eyelash Case
Youngblood Mineral Foundation
Urban Decay Naked Palette
Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette
Too Faced La Crème Lipstick (Spice Spice Baby and Stiletto Red)
Scunci No Metal Hairties
Mini Claw Clip

In my Travelon TSA Quart Bag & Bottles
Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet+ in 40
Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer in 7
Benefit Porefessional
Too Faced Shadow Insurance
Revlon Lash Adhesive
IPKN Lipgloss
Philosophy Purity Made Simple Travel Size
L'Occitane Hand Cream
Shampoo & Conditioner (from a hotel)
Caress Evenly Gorgeous Bodywash
MAC Fix+ Mini
Diorsnow UV Shield
Clinique Moisture Surge Intense
Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream
Bobby Brown Eye Makeup Remover
D&G 3 L'Imperatrice Perfume

I forgot to mention that I also packed my Aquafresh mini toothpaste in my liquids bag. I've gotten other brands of mini toothpastes but it's always a bit comforting to use the exact toothpaste while traveling that I use at home since we sacrifice so many other familiar things. Is it just me? Let me know in the comments. :)

Here's the down-low on what you can pack with your carry-on luggage. This image is from the TSA website.

The rule is 3-1-1:
- 3.4 oz or smaller containers
- 1 quart-sized clear plastic bag holding 3.4 oz or smaller containers
- 1 bag per traveler which goes inside the security bin

The 3.4 oz rule is actually a recent change from when it used to be 3 oz, which is what I stated in my video. Hooray for the extra .4 oz! Trouble is, everything still has to fit inside that dinky 1 quart container which means my clear bag will likely still look the same.

I hope that was helpful for any of you who are going on a short trip soon!

Readers, lets spread the helpful love. Let me know in the comments what your travel essentials are!

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  1. Hi Jen, I watched your video as always with much interest. However, I still don't know what to do for my first trip by plane, just because I'm moving from Europe to Canada and I want to take my entire makeup and perfume collection with me. Therefore I cannot take samples with me, neither for makeup nor for perfume. :( I'm so sad, what should I do?

    1. Two things:

      1) If you're moving permanently, I assume you'll be flying with luggage and not just carry-on. The rules that the TSA put in place about liquids doesn't apply to luggage.

      2) The TSA is an American organization. As long as you're not stopping in the United States, Canada won't be subject to the same rules anyway.

      You shouldn't have a problem bringing it all, unless your concern is just about excess baggage.

      (I live in Canada and I fly a lot) :)

    2. The same applies for Europe as well on carry-on. Each container can't be larger than 100ml, in a 1l clear bag (so probably the same as TSA's rules)

      But as Sarah said, don't worry, just pack the collections on your checked bags, it won't be a problem!

    3. Both Sarah and Reila are correct. TSA's rules are just for carry-on luggage and may be subject to the US's own rules. You should be able to either ship your stuff to your new location separately or take it with you in your checked luggage. :)

  2. Hi Jen! I hope you had a wonderful time in SF! That's where I live. I never knew about those TSA approved travel bags, been wasting so many ziplock bags! I love your top by they, where did you get it?

    1. Hi Yen! I had an amazing time in SF and I can't wait to go back! My top is from Ann Taylor Factory. I'm a sucker for colored blouses if you can't tell. ;)

    2. I like ziplock bags! I double ziplock. I put my makeup and skincare in a ziplock bag and then I put it in another one, upside down. That way, if anything breaks or spills, it doesn't make a mess in the luggage. And they are good for putting dirty laundry in to separate from your clean clothes when you travel. I also saw Jen's older video where she mentions using a contact lens case to put in lotion or sunscreen. Loved that tip!

  3. Hi Jen--I adore your videos, and this in particular is so helpful, because omg does flying stress me out and my TSA bag is a mini-nightmare to pack. I was wondering tho, I always put my mascara in the clear bag, but I noticed you had yours in your MU bag? Isn't mascara a liquid? And in your experience, what do you do with creams/gels (lipsticks, cream foundations, gel liner)?

    1. Generally, creams may also need to go into the liquids bag but I haven't had trouble with my mascara or lipstick not being in there. Maybe it's obvious what those products are for the x-ray guys working for TSA.

  4. Thank you all so much! I feel much better now. I'll place my girlie collection in my luggage as securely as I can so that the palettes won't crack and hopefully the perfume bottles and lipsticks won't brake. Or maybe I'll have my liquids in my luggage and my colored makeup in my carry-on bag. It's the first time I'll travel by plane, maybe that's why I'm so worried. But I'm sure everything will turn out ok. Thanks again!

  5. hi jen, i have really bad oily/dry skin. i was wondering if your elishacoy bb cleanser is still working out for your problems with acne?

    1. I actually gave it to my mom along with some bb creams to try! It does work well though and I like it a lot. :) Usually, cleansers aren't an acne irritant for me as much as products that stay on my skin after cleansing like serums or moisturizers.

  6. Hi Jen, thank you for the tips of the 3-1-1 rule! I had no idea; if I had gone travelling, I probably would have totally missed it! -.-
    Thank you!

  7. I fly a lot and have recently broken the TSA rules... I just toss my 4-5 oz. face lotion and toothpaste in a single makeup/cosmetics bag with hard stuff. The TSA official never actually opened it to check, but if they had, I wouldn't be devastated to lose anything. I don't think they would actually make me throw it out, anyway. Obviously I wouldn't bring full-size shampoo with me, but I think the rules have become much less rigid than a few years ago.

    1. I believe I may have broken a rule. I brought a bottle of ice cubes, and eventually it became water. I wouldn't have tried it, but waiting at the gate is very tedious and water bottles usually cost $4 and up.
      I also bought a set of nail polishes once and threw it into my carry-on and wrapped it in a lot of clothes o keep them from breaking. But nail polishes are usually only .5 oz. each? so I don't know if that counts

  8. To tag on to the making perfume travel-friendly topic, Travalo and Sephora sell cute atomizers which you can fill with whatever perfume you like, straight from the bottle. I keep one in my purse anyway but it is super handy for trips.

    1. I actually have one but it's not the same brand as Travolo. It looks and works exactly the same though! I take it for week-long trips since it carries more perfume. :)

  9. Hi Jen, I love love love your blog. Can you do a brush kit comparison- specifically Sedona Lace v. Signma? I would like to invest to a quality brush set and would love to hear your review of the two. Thanks!

    1. I gave my Sedona Lace set to family members before I moved so I unfortunately can't do a comparison, but I will say it was basically the same as Sigma's old full set before Sigma created their own dedicated and designed brushes with their manufacturer. I love my Sigma brushes! :)

  10. Hi Jen, I have a question about Naked Flushed. I once saw your 2011 June favorite and really really liked Josie Maran bronzer in Beach 1 you mentioned. I tried to find it but I could not find it anywhere. Is bronzer from Naked Flushed similar to that of Josie Maran and should I buy Naked Flushed or should I just try to find orange blush?

    1. Haa-Young Cho, the Josie Maran Beach No. 1 Bronzer has been discontinued. I finished mine so unfortunately I can't do a comparison for you. I hope Jen can help!

    2. As BooBooNinja said, the Josie Maran was discontinued but Naked Flushed does have a wonderful bronzer that works with my skintone well. I'll try to do a full blog review on it soon. :)

  11. Hi Jen! Just wanted to say your videos are great, so informative and fun. I also love 3 l'imperatrice and was curious what other perfumes are your favorite?? Finding a new perfume can be overwhelming, any particular brands or notes your drawn to? Thanks!

    1. I just found a new favorite! It's Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom & Honey and it is TO DIE FOR!

  12. Hi Jen,

    Where did you get your Too Faces cosmetics bag from? I checked their website, but they no longer carry it. :T

  13. Hi Jen!
    Your video is awesome! I just had a long trip back from Thailand and Korea. Your video provides great tips for my next trip to Hawaii during spring break. Surprisingly, I never know that we can take so many little bottles with the carry on. I thought the total liquid limit was 3 oz...poor me...Thanks for letting me know that I was wrong.
    I really love the color on your nail in the video. Where did you get that?

  14. its always so hard to pack for travels!! having to pack it all in one tiny bag..i'll try keep to the rule haha.
    btw i love your videos :)

    from new zealand!

  15. It was very helpful .:) Thank you. :)

  16. Hello Jen, thank you so much for this video! I live in Canada and am about to visit korea in a few days- I was wondering where did you find your 1 quart clear bag? Thank you :)

  17. Hi Jen,
    Thanks for your blog, It can be confusing for carry on items and you cleared it up! I usually check stuff if I am going for a week or so, which is a no-brainer. As I am unable to do this on my next quick weekend trip, I am so glad to find your video. I am heading to Ulta and Target now for the small sizes.

  18. Hi Jen! I wanted to know if lipbalm like Baby Lips and the e.l.f All Over Color Stick would have to go in the clear quart bag. Here is the e.l.f product if you don't know what it is:
    Thank you in advance!

  19. Love this post along with the video! <3 I realize this post is well over a year old, but this information is still helpful :) I'm flying this Friday for a 1 week vacation to the beach and haven't flown in 3 years. Not sure if anything has changed much since then. Nonetheless, great post! I will definitely be using that TravelOn bag for my liquids/gel items under 3.4 oz.

  20. hi! I'm moving from the US to Australia in 9 days.. I am curious I have two ..shoe box sized things of makeup i want to move with me.. do you know if this is okay to go in one of my luggage bags (not for carry on of course) ... ? plus the pencil sharpeners .. any help would be so thankfully helpful !!!!! :)

  21. When I moved from UK to NZ, I in a panic state throw all my precious, multi tasking herbal cosmetics just before the luggage search part. Then guess, they have not even paid small attention to my luggage contents, perhaps they were after strange bugs drugs and plants rather than cosmetics stuff. I wanted to run back and retrieve my goodies from the loo but I couldnt. Luckily I sent all my precious chanels and cliniques via freight.
    I heard Australia is more strict, thats what they said for NZ as well which was not the case. We went in very easy like15 mins.

  22. I've travelled a LOT for both my work as a makeup artist and for holiday. Security in the UK, US and Australia are super structs - this is what I learnt -

  23. Hi! How do you pack makeup when yo need to put it on your check-in luggage? I know this is not ideal, but just in case. Because I don't want to buy another palette just for travels because I don't travel that much anyway. So I would like to bring my regular makeup. Thanks!