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


Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.

Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.

Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking! – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

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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