How to Pack a Lighter Carry-On: What’s in my Liquid Bag?

Taking a trip sounds like a really great idea until you have to start thinking about packing. Packing is the part of travel that I absolutely loathe. It isn’t any fun and the size restrictions on liquids can really put a damper on a diva’s beauty loving spirit. So how do you do it? How do you pack a lighter carry-on bag and still have everything that you need?

What Liquids to Pack in Your Carry-on Bag

When it comes to travel I want to keep it simple at all times, the less fuss the better. I have my fair share of beauty products and truth be told I want to lug them with me wherever I go but when traveling I just can’t. When it comes to packing a lighter carry-on bag, I have to remember to keep it simple. You have to swap out products that you would normally use for travel friendly versions or just eliminate them all together. I recently had to pack for a trip myself, so I thought I would give you a glimpse into the things that I brought and why I packed them the way that I did.

How to Pack Liquids for Your Carry-on Bag

Liquid Carry-Ons

Having to limit my liquids to 3 oz. containers in one quart size bag can really put a damper on your travel plans. One doesn’t even realize how much liquid product they use in a typical day until you try to fit them into one of those small bags. As a beauty junkie here are the products that I pack in my liquid carry-on bag that will still have me looking and feeling fabulous on my trip:

  • Shampoo & Conditioner: I’m not a fan of hotel shampoo and conditioner because it usually doesn’t work well with my hair. I’ve found a shampoo and conditioner that my hair absolutely loves and works well at keeping frizz at bay so I like to keep that with me when I travel. I received those two travel sized bottles as samples and just refill them from the bigger bottles in my shower whenever it’s time to take a trip.
  • Hand Lotion: flying and washing your hands constantly can really dry out my hands so I like to have some sort of hand lotion with me that both smells good and does a good job of moisturizing. If I need to I can also apply it to other areas of my body like knees, elbows, or feet to keep the dryness away.
  • Mouthwash: you don’t want to show up to a meeting with funky breath, so I pack mouthwash with me for when I brush my teeth just to freshen up things a bit.
  • Mini Perfume: I typically wear perfume and on vacation this is no different. I like to pack in my liquid bag either a mini sample size perfume or a roller ball of my favorite scent.
  • Mascara: one wouldn’t think that mascara would be considered a liquid but I think it is as it isn’t necessarily solid.
  • Small Lotion: typically after I wash my face I like to apply a moisturizer before I apply my makeup. I wanted to bring with my favorite gel moisturizer but I didn’t have enough product left to pack into a smaller container so I opted to just pick up a small lotion from the drugstore instead. Again like the hand lotion, this lotion can also be used in other places so it is multipurpose.
  • Concealer: not enough sleep combined with all day travels and time zone switches, dark under eye circles are bound to happen. To hide them as much as possible I always carry my favorite concealer with me.
  • Eyeshadow Primer: those that know me well or if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know that I prefer to play up my eyes, to keep my eyeshadow put during travel I rely heavily on my favorite eyeshadow primer. I can’t go anywhere with out it.
  • Facial Scrub: my favorite way to clean my face is with a facial scrub. I love the exfoliation process and how my skin feels renewed afterwards. I’ve been using this particular facial scrub for years and am happy that a travel size can be found at most drugstores.
  • Lipgloss: I’m a lipgloss girl so I have to pack my lipgloss in my liquids bag when traveling however lipsticks since they are not liquid do not have to be packed this way. Maybe I should switch just for traveling?
  • Toothpaste: a mini toothbrush is a must to keep those teeth fresh and pearly white.
  • Moisturizing Facial Mask: after traveling all day, it feels so good to crash in your hotel room and apply a moisturizing facial mask to rejuvenate your skin. It is something I look forward to the most on the first day of travel. These mask are individually packaged tissue mask that are easy to fold up and slip into your liquid bag.
  • Hair Product: whether it is hairspray, mousse, or another styling product don’t forget to pack a hair care product to keep those locks looking gorgeous.

Tips for Packing Liquids in Your Carry-on Bag

Some of the liquid products that I use on a daily basis don’t come in a trial or travel size container so I have to figure out a way to carry them in my liquid bag. For example, I love to smooth Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Moroccan Sleek Oil Treatment through my tresses before and after I style my hair. But the container that it comes in is more than 3 oz. plus it would take up a lot of room in my required quart size liquid bag. So what do I do? The empty travel size containers would work but honestly they are just too big. I only need a few drops each time I apply this moroccan argan oil to my hair so I didn’t want to carry a huge container with me traveling. So I took a small container that used to hold hand sanitizer, emptied and rinsed it out thoroughly before I refilled it with the moroccan argan oil. Now I have a much smaller container to carry one of my beloved hair products in so I won’t be without on my trip.

To keep up to date with all of the travel tips that I find don’t forget to follow my Travel Makeup board on Pinterest. And stay tuned this week as I have some more travel makeup tips to share with you all.


  1. Lisa B.
    February 26, 2017 / 11:37 am

    I use/pack almost all of the same brand products that you do. I also throw in a small travel size pack of sanitizing wet wipes. Airplanes are filthy these days. Wipe down every surface including tray table, seat belt buckle, light and air-conditioning controls, and the handle of the window shade (need I even mention the surfaces in the lavatory?). I never use the seat back pocket (I’ve seen people stuff dirty diapers in there…ick) but if you do use it, wipe it down too!

    • February 28, 2017 / 12:30 pm

      I didn’t even think of that, Lisa. You are soooo very right. Definitely adding sanitizing wet wipes to my travel gear. Thanks for the tip!

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