Like most people (except for my extremely organized mother) I hate packing. Just the thought of deciding which lipstick, eyeshadow or perfume to take or leave behind is enough to give me anxiety. So I usually wait until the very last minute (read: an hour before heading out the door) to tackle. But with spring travel season already here, I can't think of a better reason to break our (err..I mean, my) bad habit and figure out how to pack a makeup bag.
"A little makeup goes a long way, and with the rising cost of baggage fees, I always travel with a carefully edited makeup bag, regardless of what luggage I’m using," says MAC Senior Artist Fatima Thomas. "But this is definitely not the time for your sometime products. To avoid any annoyance, just take a few minutes to make a list days before you actually pack. Edit it down to what your really need, then use it as a guideline."
As a self-professed overpacker, Mally Beauty founder Mally Roncal believes that, while it's better to be safe than sorry, you can bring everything you need with you -- without bringing everything you have. "Think about the things you use everyday, like your mascara, concealer and brow product and then look for items that are multi-taskers. If you have the urge to do a fierce cat-eye, but didn't bring your liquid liner, use a skinny brush dipped into your mascara as a quick substitute."
When it's time to execute her strategy, Thomas explains, "I put shampoo, lotion and body wash in two-ounce travel bottles, and these quantities easily get me through a two-week trip. If you crave lots of color variety, then add more lip and eye pencils to your bag; they're lightweight and easy to carry. I make my own lipstick palette by using an inexpensive shadow palette. I remove the shadows and fill the wells with lip color. It takes a little work to make, but allows me to carry my wardrobe of lip faves in a small compact. Keep your basics, like foundation and skincare, simple and streamlined, though. Plus, I like to keep some space available for the cool purchases I make while traveling."
I'm pretty sure we all have that one relative or friend who chooses Ziploc over a cosmetics case, I was shocked to learn that Roncal also swears by the tiny plastic wares when it comes to organizing her carry-on. She says, "I like to separate my makeup into several Ziploc bags -- one for face, one for eyes, one for lips, one with my brushes and other tools, and one that has all of my everyday essentials -- so I can easily find everything when I'm on the go."
Another one of her stress-free makeup bag packing tips: Keep one at home, fully stocked with all of your makeup, then buy duplicates of all of your must-haves for the other bag, and store that one in your suitcase. "While it may get a little expensive, you'll save yourself piece of mind knowing that you have your essentials when you're on the go," says Roncal.
Just in time for your next trip, we've rounded up seven chic cosmetic cases, plus the products these pros keep in tow, to help lighten the load.