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Makeup Containers and Hacks

Insert cotton pad into compact.

Image: Insert cotton pad into compact to keep makeup and/or mirror from breaking.

Every lady traveler has some sort of beauty kit that they bring with them, which could be as simple as tinted moisturizer and lip balm or as complex as a full palette of eyeshadow and foundation. Remember: Lay out whatever you typically put on and take out at least one item before you go.

Makeup Storage Hacks

The last thing you want is for your makeup to spill or break all over your bag. As with other hacks we’ve tried, you can store your makeup in the most unlikely containers. Use the same contacts cases or empty pill containers to store lotions, creams, broken lip balms or eyeshadows.

And if your compact doesn’t come with a powder puff inside, place a cotton ball or square in it to avoid both your makeup and mirror breaking. It also allows you to put it on with the cotton ball. A ball of toilet paper can also do the trick.

blush plus aquaphor

Bringing less liquids

Turn powders into creams with Aquaphor. For example, that container of blush can also be a shade of lipstick if you crush it up and mix it with this high density lotion typically used for tattoo care. This hack can also go both ways, as lipstick can be used as blush if applied correctly. That’s one less item to pack!

>> Read more about the many uses of a brown pencil when you travel.

If you’re already purchasing makeup at your local department store or cosmetics store, ask for sample sizes with your purchase. At the very least, you should be able to get a small container of mascara or a tester of perfume. If you want to avoid liquids altogether, try solid perfumes like those from Aroamas and Lush.

extra uses of baby powder
The extra uses of baby powder.

Unexpected Uses

Baby powder is the be-all, end-all travel product for ladies. Use it as dry shampoo in your greasy post-flight hair, on your face to cover that forehead shine or even on your eyelashes to create that falsies effect without the hassle. Simply put on a first layer of mascara, dust your eyelashes with baby powder on a Q tip and put a second layer of mascara on top.

Speaking of mascara, you can add saline solution to your mascara tube to keep it from getting clumpy. BB Cream, which we’ve talked about using as moisturizer, foundation and sunscreen, can also be dabbed on mosquito bites to keep them from itching.

And have you been carrying around your own flask? Because vodka can be used to shrink pores!

Written by Caroline

Caroline Eubanks is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, but has also called Charleston, South Carolina and Sydney, Australia home. After college graduation and a series of useless part-time jobs, she went to Australia for a working holiday. In that time, she worked as a bartender, bungee jumped, scuba dived, pet kangaroos, held koalas and drank hundreds of cups of tea. You can find Caroline at Caroline in the City.

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Gear We Use

speakeasy hidden pocket travel scarf ad
Speakeasy Hidden Pocket Scarves


Splice Jaisalmer Reversible Tunic
Splice Reversible Jaisalmer Tunic


Eagle Creek Compression Packing Cubes
Eagle Creek Compression Packing Cubes


tom bihn 3d organizer toiletry bag
Tom Bihn 3D Organizer Cube


Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Daypack - Fits in the palm of your hand!
Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Daypack


Turkish Travel Towels


Travel Resources

HPL Learnables

Handbag Packing Masterclass – Learn to pack your lightest bag ever in this revolutionary packing class run by HPL founder, Brooke.

Creative Ways to Minimize Your Toiletry & Beauty Kit – Practical tips alongside DIY recipes designed to help you pack lighter, smaller & with fewer liquids. (Also included as a bonus to Handbag Packing Masterclass.)

Book Your Trip

Viator – Enhance your trip experience by booking from thousands of tours across the globe. – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions


  1. Lacey says

    If you put cheap vodka in a small spray bottle it can also be used as an unscented clothing refresher/wrinkle reliever. Just spray, tug, spray, tug. Focus on stinky areas like the pits of tops to help reduce odors a bit.

  2. MEISSOUN says

    No vodka on the skin please – alcohol is not skincare. That’s why you see so many beauty products saying “alcohol free” as they all should be, really.
    Other than that I have a few extra tips that I wrote down on my blog.

  3. Anonymous says

    I rarely comment but felt the need to share; like another commenter said, please don’t use straight alcohol on your face– you can’t actually “shrink” your pores :/

    Also, be careful when using makeup products like blush on other places, like your mouth or close to your eyes. Some products are not approved for those areas, because of the likeliness of a reaction or the ingredients are not approved for consumption (lipsticks). While you can do whatever you want, please do so with caution 🙂 There are a lot of lovely cream products that work well for both lips and cheeks and are safe!

    Happy Travels.


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