How I Pack My Travel Makeup Case

October 24, 2017

I posted some pictures of my travel makeup collection several weeks ago on Instagram Stories, and the positive response was so overwhelming that I figured it called for a dedicated blog post on the topic. Plus, the timing is perfect as another trip is soon approaching for me.

If you are going on a brief getaway, you certainly don’t need to bring this amount of makeup. What I am showing is intended for either longer travels and/or the makeup obsessed (I admit that’s me). I also am going to be applying formal makeup during our trip, so I need to pack a variety of options. Whatever category you fall into, hopefully this helps you stay more organized on the road.

I prefer to pack all of my personal products a few days before a trip begins. I then live off the contents of those bags until leaving to ensure that I didn’t omit anything crucial. As I pack up my makeup case today, I’ll talk through exactly how I do it.

First, the actual case. The one I use is not expensive (like, under $20!), and it is available here on Amazon. It has a handle, and the exterior is very sturdy which I love because I don’t have to worry about anything getting crushed in transit. The interior is padded to protect against breakage, and the fabric is easily wipeable making it a breeze to clean. My favorite part about this case? The adjustable dividers so you can customize the compartments. There is also a zippered slot and several pockets to accommodate makeup brushes. Amazing! What more could a girl ask for?

I am using four of the foam dividers to separate my items, but there are a few additional dividers included with the case as well.


I like to keep my makeup divided into five main groups: powders, cream sticks, pencils/eye products, cheek/eye colors, and tools. I also have my makeup brushes distributed between the four pockets. If you are wondering where my lip colors are, I am perpetually torn between which shades to bring and usually end up throwing a handful into my bag at the very last minute. Therefore, I am not going to include them here.


I always like to have my W3ll People Bio Brightener Invisible Powder on hand to set makeup and keep my oily t-zone in check throughout the day. If I am taking a more extensive trip, I like to pack my Cocokind Facial Powder in ‘light’ in case I need a powder with more coverage. The Han Bronzer in ‘Malibu’ is a great addition to my travel makeup bag as this adds a beautiful but natural sweep of color to the face. In a pinch, it can also double as subtle contouring color.


Cream Sticks

I would be lost without my Au Naturale foundation in ‘Marino.’ I wear this almost every single day, and since its getting low (ish), I already have a backup ready to go (and in the new packaging!). With a few swipes and a little blending action, this evens out my face effortlessly. If you want to hear more, I have an entire post reviewing this foundation here. My other two cream sticks are the W3ll People Bio Brightener and the W3ll People Universalist Colorstick in ‘Nude Flush’ (this color doesn’t exist anymore- they now have Multi-Use Colors Sticks here). I could never be without a good cream blush and highlighter.

Pencils/Eye Products

The amount of products in this category may seem excessive, but I like to be prepared. From left to right: Glossier Boy Brow in ‘brown,’ Lily Lolo Mascara, Jane Iredale Purelash Lash Extender & Conditioner, Root 100% Lash Mascara in ‘black,’ L’Oreal Lineur Intense Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner in ‘black mica,’ (nope its not natural, but it works SO well), Pacifica Eye Pencil in ‘jet’ (black),  Pacifica Magical Multi-Pencil (nude) and Pacifica Eye Pencil in ‘fringe’ (brown).

I usually take just one mascara when traveling, but as I am going to be doing heavier makeup I want a second option. I am also bringing the Jane Iredale Purelash to add length and drama since I’m not planning to use falsies. I love all of my Pacifica pencils, and I like to keep a good liquid eyeliner on hand too. This L’Oreal one is just about as close to foolproof as you can get. Since I only apply a tiny bit to my face at a time, I am okay with the fact that it doesn’t have the cleanest ingredients. And of course Boy Brow is accompanying me to keep the brows in place.


Cheek/Eye Colors

I added my primers to this category since the section in my case accommodates their size. The Erin’s Faces Eye Primer and Erin’s Faces Pore Perfecting Face Primer are relatively new to my collection, but they are already invaluable. The eye primer works remarkably well to keep eyeshadow in place, and the face primer helps avoid those pesky lines on the face where foundation settles. Those are both must-haves for makeup that lasts all day. Also in this section (clockwise, starting with the z-palette) are my Root eyeshadows (shades Bliss, Coco, Rosewood, Stella, Cobblestone, Snow Peach, Dolce, and Duke) and Red Apple Lipstick eyeshadow (shade Oh Schnapp!), Teri Miyahira Clarity Bronzer (which I actually use as a blush), Pacifica Blush in ‘camellia,’ Hynt Beauty Duet Perfecting Concealer in ‘light,’ Mother Bear’s Handmade eyeshadow trio (shades Brick, Marsala, and Cafe Au Lait), and the RMS Magic Luminizer.


The last and quite vital section in the case houses my Suratt Relevée Lash Curler (seriously the BEST eyelash curler), cuticle trimmer, mini scissors for trimming any stray brows, nail clippers, Tweezerman Rose Gold Slant Tweezer (an amazing stocking stuffer from Hubby last Christmas), and a handful of cotton swabs for cleaning up excess eyeshadow or mascara. Tip: if you accidentally smudge mascara onto your eyelid,  let it dry completely then rub with a cotton swab to remove. I forgot to include it in the picture, but I also toss my pencil sharpener in this compartment.



The first pocket is where I keep my smallest brushes. These include eyeshadow, concealer, and brow brushes from the brands Sephora, Real Techniques, Mac, Elf, and Anastasia Beverly Hills.

The second pocket holds my Fitglow Teddy Round Brush.

The third pocket is where is keep face brushes for blush and highlighter from the brands Sephora, Real Techniques, and Up&Up (Target).

The fourth pocket holds additional face brushes for blending and setting from the brand Real Techniques.


In the zippered slot, I store a nail file and the extra section dividers.

When flying, I like to place a cotton round inside pressed compacts to prevent any breakage, and some crumpled tissue paper in the compartments to keep everything in place during the flight.

That’s it! The makeup collection is packed and ready to go. And I didn’t even have to sit on the case to get it closed.

If you have any makeup travel tips, leave them in the comments below!


* Some affiliate links are used in this post.

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  • Reply Paige October 26, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Packing a couple of days ahead of time and then living out of what you packed is GENIUS. You have literally bettered all of my future travel experiences by sharing that tip☺️🙌
    Are you loving the Magic Luminizier??

    • Reply giginaturelle November 8, 2017 at 2:34 pm

      Great! I’m so glad that was helpful to you. Yes, the magic luminizer is so pretty!!

  • Reply Erin's Faces October 30, 2017 at 10:48 am

    So happy our primers get to go on trips with you 🙂 – thanks so much for sharing and LOVE the bag! xo

    • Reply giginaturelle November 8, 2017 at 2:33 pm

      Thank you Erin!! It is a pleasure to have them at my side! 🙂

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