When preparing for any trip, it's always important to ensure you pack all the items you might need. A cosmetics bag filled with toiletries and makeup products is an absolute must. This guide will cover all the essentials for your cosmetics travel bag, along with a few top tips to help your journey flow smoothly!


If you're traveling by plane, you need to pack your cosmetics with care in order to breeze through the security checkpoints without any issues. Remember to pack your dry products in one bag and your liquids – like creams and lotions – in a separate bag.

  • Make the most of mini travel-sized bottles for your toiletries. They help you save on space and help your bags stay below airline weight limits too.
  • It's worth buying a proper travel bag designed with makeup and cosmetics in mind, complete with little pouches and pockets that provide easy access to all your essentials.
  • If you're worried about anything being rejected by TSA at the airport, take a closer look at the labels of your travel toiletries. Some of them actually have "TSA Approved" logos or stamps, so you won't need to worry about a thing.


  • Lip balm or lip oil– With all that circulated air flowing around the airplane, it's common for lips to get dry and crackly.
  • Mascara – Mascara works wonders on tired eyes, helping you look your best and feel fabulous after a long flight.
  • Eye cream – Long flights can be pretty tiring, so give your eyes a rejuvenating treat with some eye cream.
  • Highlighter – A little highlighter can be perfect for brightening up your cheeks or eyelids after a long, exhausting flight.


  • Make sure you put all of your liquids, including any creams, gels, or other fluids, into a gallon-sized, resealable bag, just in case any of them burst or break in transit.
  • Open up your new products before the trip and use or remove a small amount of the fluids inside. Full, unopened bottles have the best chance of bursting!


  • All liquids of any kind must be in 100 ml/3.4 oz containers, max.
  • All of your bottles and containers should fit into a quart-sized, transparent bag.
  • Some cosmetics, like lip balm, don't need to be placed in the bag, so if you don't have too much space, keep lip balms in your purse and use your carry-on for things like lotions and shampoos instead.
  • Remember to check the TSA and airline guidelines online before your flight to know exactly what you can and can't take

The following checklist should cover all the essential bases for your cosmetics travel bag. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to cosmetics, so you might not necessarily need every single item, but this list will help you pack your bag without leaving anything behind:


    1. Concealer – Traveling is exciting, but it can be stressful and tiring too. If you've got long flights in the dead of night and early wake-up times, it's only natural that your skin might start to suffer and look a little worn out. A little concealer can prove to be super useful in these situations, helping to hide those bags beneath your eyes or cover up any imperfections that appear around the face. Remember to mix in some concealer with your eye cream or facial lotion to help it look much more natural and blend in with your skin tone, and consider applying with a small makeup sponge for best effects!
    2. CC Cream – An essential item in countless makeup kits worldwide, CC cream is a veritable miracle solution for dealing with tired skin, and it can be so effective for travelers! It's especially useful if you're heading somewhere far away, with a totally different climate to what you're used to, like the chilly wilds of Alaska or the sun-scorched deserts of Africa. In these kinds of locations, your skin might struggle to adapt, but a little CC cream now and then will help provide the moisture and minerals your skin cells need to stay soft, supple, and youthful. Many CC creams come with sunscreen built-in too, offering a 2-in-1 functionality.
    3. Moisturizers – Going on a trip lets you take a break from many things, like your working life and day-to-day responsibilities, but it shouldn't be an excuse to abandon your skincare routine. Forgetting to moisturize, even for just a week or two, can have drastic effects on your skin, so it's worth packing a moisturizing cream or two in your kit as well. Facial moisturizers are always useful but don't forget some body cream as well to use after your showers or in the evenings before bed.
    4. Lip Balm or Oil – Lips can quickly dry out while you're traveling, especially if you're sitting on a plane for long stretches of time or heading off somewhere dry or frosty. If you like to use a lot of lipstick too, it's also quite common for your lips to dry out as a result. Always carry a stick or two of lip balm or lip oil in your purse or travel bag. It's even possible to find tinted balms that give your lips a lovely glow, as well as sunscreen-infused balms that can protect your lips from the sun's harmful rays. Consider applying some lip liner, then balm or oil, and then a lighter shade of lipstick to finish off for amazing results. The balm, stick, and liner will help your lips look full and beautiful.
    5. Mascara – Mascara is an absolute must in any makeup kit, whether you're traveling or not, and it's always essential for vacations and trips. It can help to freshen up tired eyes if you've had a long flight, as well as helping you look your best for selfies and photos with the family. Consider opting for a waterproof mascara if you're going somewhere wet or humid, or if you plan on doing any water sports along the way.
    6. Eyeliner – Another essential element of eye makeup, eyeliner pencils can totally transform your look! With the right application, eyeliner can give your eyes new shape and style, even making them look bigger and brighter, too, as well as drawing attention away from any under-eye bags or blotchiness. Apply darker liner on the top lid to put the focus on your eyes, rather than the skin below them, and consider applying a little eyeliner around the outside corners and then blending it in as you move towards the nose to give your eyes a wider look. Another top tip is to use your eyeliner pencil on other parts of your face! You can use it instead of a brow pencil to thicken your eyebrows, for instance, or you can apply it around your lips like a lip liner for definition and emphasis.
  • Eyeshadow – Finish off the eye-related elements of your travel makeup kit with some eyeshadow. A simple palette with a few different colors gives you options without taking up too much space or weighing you down in any way. Many of these palettes offer light shades, medium shades, and a darker shade, allowing you to experiment with different styles. Unless you have a preference for bright colors or quirky selections, standard, neutral colors are usually the best choice. You can blend them together to create new, unique shades, applying darker colors in the corners and lighter colors elsewhere. Use thicker and heavier strokes around the edges to give yourself almond-shaped eyes, or fill in the corners for a rounder look.
  • Eyeshadow
    1. Blush – Blush is another essential element in so many makeup kits across the globe, and it can be a perfect item for your travel bag too. If you typically use a powder, it might compact during the flight, but there's no need to worry! Place a cotton ball inside the pot, between the powder and the lid, to prevent this from happening. Otherwise, you might consider switching to a cream blush or liquid tint instead while traveling. If you opt for blush, you might be able to find a color that works well as an eyeshadow, too. You can also use bronzers and blushes for contouring, applying them carefully around the cheeks, along the jaw, and across the forehead to bring dimension and definition to your facial features.
    2. Applicators – Of course, there's no use packing so many powders, lotions, and potions if you don't actually have anything with which to apply them! So don't forget to pack your usual makeup tools, like sponges and brushes. Be careful when it comes to packing them, though. Cramming brushes into tiny spaces can break the bristles, and sponges can get covered in dust and dirt quite easily. Try only to pack a few essentials and consider keeping them in their own separate, small bag within your larger travel bag. You'll probably need a contour brush, an eyeshadow brush, an eyeliner brush, and one or two sponges. Bring a bag of Q-tips along or buy some at your destination to help with some of your makeup application.
    3. Make-up Remover – Along with applicators to apply your makeup, you'll also need remover to get rid of it at the end of the day! Simply washing your face with soap can be risky, doing more harm than good to your skin and also making the whole process quite difficult. So it's generally best to bring a specialized remover or cleansing face wash. You might like to pack some makeup wipes too to save space and simplify the task.
    4. Blow Out Spray or Cream – A blow out spray or cream serves as the ultimate hair-styling product to help you get the look you want without taking up tons of space in your travel bags! You can find creams and sprays that work on wet or dry hair, helping you stay stylish in any situation, and some of these creams even work to condition your hair throughout the day, preventing tangles and knots from building up too.
    5. Nail Care – Don't forget about your nails while you're on vacation too! It's easy for nails to break when you're busy doing so many different activities, but having a nail file and emery board in your bag will help you stay safe. You might like to get a gel manicure before you go or bring along a nail polish or two for special occasions.
    6. Tweezers – Tweezers are one of those essential tools that can easily be overlooked but are so often needed! For plucking unwanted hairs to dealing with troublesome splinters in your fingers, they have so many uses.
    7. Mini Mirror – When you're traveling, you can't always count on being able to find a mirror nearby. Instead of peering into windows to try and see your reflection or using your phone's selfie camera, pack a mini makeup mirror to help you apply makeup without any worries.