What Makeup to Pack in Your Carry-on Bag

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I hope you have been following along with me on my “How to Pack” travel series. Last time, I shared with all of you how and what liquids I pack in my “liquids bag”. And today I thought I would share with ya’ll my must have makeup products that I pack with me on whatever trip I go on. This products not only travel with me but also stay with me in a small makeup bag that I keep in my purse for those spur of the moment touch-ups when I’m out and about throughout the day.

What Makeup to Pack in a Carry-on Bag

The first essential for traveling is a cute makeup bag. I found this sparkly number at a discount store many, many, many years ago. It has held up well despite constant use. The look, print, and sparkles just make me happy and that is definitely something that you want when looking for a travel makeup bag.


  • Headache medicine: I don’t know if it is the flying, change in climate, or lack of caffeine but I always have a headache when I travel. After suffering through a few headache plagued trips, I learned to always pack some “headache be gone” in my makeup bag.
  • ELF Sheer Mineral Booster: I love this sheer mineral veil as it keeps shine at bay and with it’s super fine texture it gives my skin an airbrushed look.
  • Baby Lips Dr. Rescue: I constantly have dry lips, so I’m always applying some sort of lip balm. I love the Dr. Rescue because it helps my lips feel smooth and soft. It’s great worn alone, or under a lipcolor.
  • Rimmel London Eyebrow Pencil in Hazel: now, one would think that I use this for my eyebrows but I don’t. I use this as my lip liner. It’s a nice neutral, nude color that will go with any lip color, gloss, or balm that I might use.
  • Wet N Wild Fergie V.I.Pink lipcolor: I just discovered this lipcolor and I’m absolutely in love with it. I apply it over top of my Dr. Rescue lip balm, and it’s just that perfect shade of light pink.
  • Eyelash curler: curling your eyelashes makes your eyes look much wider and fully awake. I always curl my lashes before applying any makeup to my eye area.
  • Black Eyeliner: again this is such a staple in any makeup collection. Black eyeliner is just classic. It can be dramatic or it can be smudged out and subtle.
  • Travel Size Deodorant: you just never know when you will need a little freshening up or maybe you were in a hurry and ran out the door and forgot to apply some deodorant (with my “mom brain” it happens more often than you think).
  • Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder: this powder provides additional coverage where I need it yet doesn’t look cakey as it contains less talc.
  • NYC Color Wheel: I can’t go anywhere without a little bronzer to contour my cheekbones. This bronzer is a great drugstore pick as it doesn’t contain any shimmer in it, it is completely matte.
  • Eyebrow Powder: inside of the NYC Color Wheel you will see that I’ve stashed away my eyebrow powder, this is just to give some color and life to my eyebrows its like an eyeshadow but a little waxy to cling to my eyebrows and stay put all day.
  • Powder Foundation: when traveling, I try and leave my liquid foundations at home. With so little room in a liquid carry on bag, I just can’t give up all that space for a few pumps of my beloved liquid foundation. So I’ve found that away from home an old classic, powder foundation, does great at covering flaws and is amazing at hiding blemishes or dark circles.
  • Blush: to add a pop of color to the cheeks, of course I need a blush with me. I like this mosaic blush by Physicians Formula because of it’s compact size it’s easy to carry in my travel makeup bag.
  • Eyeshadow Palette: instead of lugging around several single eyeshadows with me, I like to pick one neutral eyeshadow palette that I can create several different looks from. Because of this slim design, it easily fits inside my makeup bag yet I’m able to create many different looks using the different eyeshadow shades this palette has so I’m not rocking the same look every single day.
The Domestic Diva
The Domestic Diva

Heather is a homeschooling mom of two boys currently living in central Georgia. She has been sharing her domestic story online as a lifestyle blogger for 15 years. Through her blog and social media platforms, Heather provides a glimpse into domestic life as she shares with other stay-at-home moms how she tackles modern homemaking and the challenges of raising a family.

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  1. Ann Bacciaglia
    August 9, 2014 / 10:19 pm

    I love to carry baby powder, toothbrush and toothpaste. The rest is my make up and skin care,

  2. August 10, 2014 / 10:34 am

    I always have my headache medicine. I get headaches all the time. I usually just have my mascara, an eyeshadow and maybe a lip gloss.

  3. August 13, 2014 / 7:20 pm

    I always pack: mascara, blush, eyebrow pencil, chapstick, concealer. Good list! I like your site!

  4. Teri
    May 14, 2016 / 12:41 am

    Babypowder, wetwipes travel size, lip balm, and hand lotion and hand sanitizer

    • May 17, 2016 / 11:42 am

      That’s a great list of must-haves, Teri. Thanks for sharing :)

  5. ANNA
    February 7, 2018 / 12:05 am

    You are so right,my last trip had headache and had to pay 3 bucks for a tablet…so expensive.Need to make a list from now on .
    I love to carry makeup wipes though .

    • February 7, 2018 / 7:53 am

      Headaches are the absolute worst, they can quickly ruin a trip. I definitely agree, making a list before you pack is such a sanity saver. It also cuts down on forgetting to pack something. I like that idea of carrying makeup wipes.

  6. Janie
    April 19, 2019 / 12:30 am

    What is the link & name of the neutral eyeshadow palette shown?! I love it!

    • April 19, 2019 / 6:29 am

      This is a cheap palette that I found at Walgreens several years ago. I am not sure they still make them. I wrote about these palettes on this post: Budget-Friendly Beauty Find: $1 Profusion De Beaute Eyeshadow Palettes. If these palettes or anything similar is not available at Walgreens any longer, I would also recommend anything from coastalscents.com (I’m a big fan of their “Revealed” line of palettes). No matter the eyeshadow, always apply an eyeshadow primer first, this will ensure the best color payoff and it helps your eyeshadow look flawless all day (my favorite is L’oreal De-Crease).