When I'm traveling I have to have beauty products that easily fit in my suitcase without taking up too much space, fit within TSA guidelines and have durable packaging that won't leak or break in my bags — because let's face it, things get jostled around A LOT when you're on the go and finding out something leaked in your luggage all over your clothes is never a fun way to start an adventure. Over the years (and many trips) I've built up an arsenal of travel-friendly products that have been tossed around, dropped on the ground and still manage to stay in perfect condition.
Here are my go-to products that I always rely on to get me through just about any trip no matter my destination:
Cosmetics Bag — I'm not an organized person, never have been, probably never will be — but I do "attempt" to keep things in order when I travel with a cosmetics bag, and I have to say it has been a huge help. The one I bought zips closed and lays flat, making it easy to keep all of my products contained instead of spilling out everywhere, whether they're in my luggage or on the counter. I also like that it hangs, because space can be tight in a hotel! The bag's multiple compartments help me keep similar products in the same area — like hair ties and bobby pins — so I don't have to go on a blind search every time I'm looking for something. Target has some similar options like this one. I also use a tiny bag (right) that zips to throw in my carryon to keep items I might need on the plane organized like ear plugs, Advil and an eye mask. Find out what products I won't travel without, here.
Sigma Brushes — I grew up with terrible skin and it was an awful experience, so now I do everything I can to avoid any sort of breakouts, which includes using brushes to apply my makeup instead of my hands to avoid transferring any extra oil or bacteria to my skin. I use this set of seven Sigma brushes and take them wherever I go. They're high-quality, soft on my face and don't leave little brush hairs everywhere like a lot of lower-end brushes. I'll also use the famous Beauty Blender from time to time to make sure everything is blended perfectly without using my fingers.
IT Cosmetics CC Cream — Finding the right foundation can always be tricky, believe me, I have tried them all — finally settling on IT Cosmetics CC Cream. I love it for so many reasons, but mainly because of the color correcting component and that fact that it has SPF 50. It's hydrating, goes on smoothly, covers most imperfections without being too heavy or cakey, and I don't have to worry about having any dreaded makeup streaks. I also love that it smells like lemons! They've recently added a new formula to the line that has a hydrating serum and illuminating component, which I love. Find it here. It's tube-like packaging is ideal for travel, because it cannot crack or break even if you drop it.
IT Cosmetics CC+ Radiance Ombre Blush — If I'm at the beach I'll usually bypass blush and rock whatever sun I soaked up throughout the day, but when I do need some color I'll brush on some of my Radiance Ombre Blush. It looks great on every skin tone and has a hint of highlighter in it, which keeps me from having to pack my highlighter if I don't have the extra space, but still want a little glow. I'll admit I've dropped the compact quite a few times and luckily it hasn't shattered, not yet anyway (knock on wood).
It Cosmetics Celebration Foundation Illumination Powder — I always keep my IT Cosmetics powder in my carryon for last minute touch-ups, it's lightweight and has never broken or cracked — and you can imagine how much a carryon gets jostled around going through airport security.
Lancome Visionnaire 1 Minute Blur Perfector — This translucent, primer-like product goes on smoothly and provides the perfect palate for my foundation. It also helps my makeup stay on all day and I've definitely put it to the test! It's ideal for hot and humid destinations.
Setting Spray — To make sure everything stays in place throughout the day, I spray on a quick mist of makeup setting spray. Two of my favorites include Mac's 'Prep + Prime' Fix+ Finishing Mist and Urban Decay's All Nighter Setting Spray.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz — While my brows are naturally full they're also a bit patchy in places, so I fill them in each day. Typically I use Anastasia's Brow Duo Powder, which is a set of extremely blendable powders that are smudge-proof. Other times I'll switch the powder duo out for the Brow Wiz — a small retractable pencil that has the brow brush attached, making it very convenient for traveling.
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner — Okay, this sounds a bit scary with the word tattoo in the name, but I promise this is the best eyeliner you can find and it's not scary at all. For years I've had trouble finding an eye liner that stayed on the entire day without smudging or flat out disappearing. Thank goodness I discovered Kat Von D's Tattoo Liner — it's long-lasting, goes on easily and most importantly STAYS. I can sweat, wipe my eyes or even swim and it stays right where I put it. The liner comes in two colors: Trooper Black and Mad Max Brown (right).
L'oreal's Telescopic Carbon Black Mascara — I naturally have long lashes, but it never hurts to add a little extra oomph with a good mascara. On a normal day I use L'oreal's Telescopic Carbon Black Mascara, it lengthens, thickens, separates and doesn't run. Plus, it never clumps — it's truly the holy grail of eye-makeup. If I know I'll be swimming or in the water at all, I'll stick to a waterproof option like L'Oreal's Voluminous Waterproof Mascara, because there's nothing worse than coming out of the water with two massive black eyes — and we've all been there before.
Mac Pro Longwear Paint Pot — I really don't like packing eyeshadow when I'm traveling, because it's one of the easiest products to shatter — instead I opt for Mac's Pro Longwear Paint Pots, which are shadow creams that can't break, plus they go on extremely smooth and lay a nice foundation for eyeliner. Two of my favorite shades are Groundwork and Painterly, they are both very subtle.
No. 7 Protect & Perfect Intense Eye Cream — I have spent hundreds (actually, probably thousands) of dollars trying skincare products from top brands like La Mer, Chanel and Estee Lauder, but Protect & Perfect from No. 7 is the best under eye cream I've ever used. It hydrates, brightens and tightens, working wonders when my under eyes are puffy or dry from traveling.
Smashbox O-Gloss — When I want a little more color on my lips than chapstick provides, I swipe on Smashbox's O-Gloss. The gloss formula is designed to turn the perfect shade of pink for your skin tone, so it looks different on everyone. IT Cosmetics has their own version that I really like as well called Lip Vitality.
EltaMD Sunscreen — As I mentioned in the article Make Traveling Easier With These Products, I swear by Sun Bum sunscreen when I am on the beach, but there are plenty of days where I won't be directly in the sun, but still want coverage. For those days I turn to EltaMD products — they're lightweight, oil free, great for acne-prone skin (like mine) and have lots of different options to choose from. The two EltaMD sunscreens that I continuously use are the SPF 50 EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 and the EltaMD UV Facial Broad-Spectrum SPF 30 Plus that has a slight tint to it, for the days I want a little extra coverage to hide any skin imperfections.
Amika Dry Shampoo — Dry shampoo always comes in handy when I'm on the go and don't have time go through my normal morning routine. Now Amika makes awesome travel sets that are convenient for any trip.
Drybar Hot Toddy — This is the ultimate heat protectant and detangler. It also seals split ends and helps keep my curls or blow out intact throughout the day even when it's hot outside or I've been on a plane for a few hours.
DryBar Money Maker Hairspray — Even if you're not a huge fan of hairspray, DryBar's Money Maker might just change your mind. Its light scent is fantastic and it won't leave your hair feeling crunchy or weighed down.
Ghd Curve Soft Curl Iron — If you haven't tried a Ghd product before — RUN to the store right now and pick one up. After reading countless reviews of how incredible Ghd's Soft Curl Iron was I could not resist buying one any longer. Now that I've had it a little over a year, I won't buy anything else. Not only does the curling iron give me the loose curls I want, but they hold throughout the entire day.
Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Lavender Mint Conditioner — I have yet to find this in a travel size and usually have to put it into a travel spray bottle, but it's completely worth the hassle. After a lot of time in the sun, salt water and chlorinated pools on a trip, my hair can get pretty dry and damaged, but just a few sprays of this leave-in conditioner repairs the damage and leaves my hair silky smooth and shiny. If you have hair that tangles all the time like I do, then you'll really thank me after buying this product — after one use I was able to run a comb straight through my wet hair without all the painful knots I usually have to suffer through. Once a month I use the line's Deep Conditioning Hair Mask , which is extremely hydrating and strengthens hair against split ends.
Find more noteworthy products that I swear by, here.
For more Southern Departure travel tips and tricks, click here.