What’s in my travel makeup bag? The 2016 Summer Holiday Edition

It’s currently the middle of winter here in Australia, and a warm and sunny holiday is just what the doctor ordered.   I am lucky enough to be heading off to the UK and Croatia very soon, and so I thought I’d share what I pack in my makeup bag for a vacay in the sunshine.

First of all, I just want to put it out there that holidays are the perfect time to go makeup free. Just some sunscreen and you’re more than ready to get your vacay on. But if you still want to add a little makeup routine into the mix keep reading.

Traveling in warm weather means vastly different products are needed than any trips taken in colder areas. It means adding sun care, products to combat the humidity, makeup that can still look half decent (and panda-eye-less) after a dip in the ocean/pool, take up as little room as possible, and achieve all of this whilst feeling light and looking natural.



First of all, sun care is essential to your summer holiday makeup routine. Not only is sun damage not good in general, but nothing is going to cover up a bad sunburn and we all want to look fabulous in our holiday snaps. I use the La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF50+ but the Mecca Cosmetica brand also has some really great SPF options.

La Roche Posay

What kind of base makeup you choose is going to vary greatly depending on your skin type. I have combination skin (mostly dry with an occasionally dry t-zone) and I love a dewy look in warmer weather. To achieve this I use a mattifying or lengthening primer, a dewy foundation and lightly powder my t-zone.

To prime I use a recently discovered fave, the Rimmel London Stay Matte primer. Not only does it visibly help reduce shine but it also helps to increase wear time. What more could you want in a primer? It is also SPF free so you can wear it in the evenings and not worry about flashback.

IMG_0005_2For Foundation I am taking an old fave, MAC’s Face and Body. This is a great water-based foundation that is super natural at one layer but also buildable for greater coverage when I need it. It also works really well with sunscreen mixed it. If you have oily skin you will definitely need to set this with powder.

IMG_0048To conceal under my eyes I am using another favourite, Benefit’s Fake Up. This is super moisturising and covers dark circles whilst not creasing and remaining natural. I honestly can’t understand why this isn’t raved about more! I love it! I’ll also take BareMinerals’ Bare Skin serum concealer for nights out/ to cover any blemishes that pop up.


To set my foundation and concealer I use the Rimmel London Clear Complexion clarifying powder. It keeps me shine free whilst not looking cakey or too matte; like I said summer holidays call for dat glow!



They key to keeping you makeup bag from taking up your entire suitcase is to invest in one or two all-in-one palettes. This was a little costly at first, but it has been such a lifesaver when I travel, and a time saver too! No more picking and choosing between your favourite blushes/bronzers/contours/eyeshadows you just throw in your palettes and you’re set to go.

For my face I use my NARS x Steven Klein One Shocking Moment Cheek Studio Palette. Even aside from the fact that it is a convenient grouping of a bronzer, contour, matte highlight and four blushes in one spot, this palette is the bomb. The bronzer is the infamous Laguna, the contour isn’t too warm whilst not making me look ashy and the blushes…oh the blushes…they might be my favourite thing about it. Such an incredible range.


Whilst the Steven Klein collaboration palette is no longer available, the NARSissist Cheek Studio Palette is and it is essentially the same thing with slightly different blushes. It’s a little exxy, but it’s worth it.

The one thing the palette doesn’t have is a luminous highlight. For that I use my Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Beige. Every man and their dog has this highlight, and for good reason. It can achieve a subtle glow or all out unicorn-worthy glow.



It took me a really long time to figure out what I wanted to take for my brows. I am getting a brow tint before I leave so that helped make the decision easier and keep it down to one product…okay two.

I decided on my go-to NYX Auto eyebrow pencil in dark brown. It’s easy to use, can be both natural or more defined and I love the colour. To set I’ll be taking my Maybelline Brow Drama brow mascara in medium brown.



Same deal for the eyes and the face/cheeks. An all-in-one palette will save you time and effort. You can get palettes that have both cheeks and eyes in one (e.g. the Stila Perfect Me Perfect Hue Eye and Cheek Palette) which saves you even more time. However, I like to have a few options so two palettes gives me that whilst still saving on space.

I use the Bobbi Brown Deluxe Cheek & Eye Palette. It has a little sneaky second layer with two gorgeous blushes (so if you didn’t want to contour you could just pack this with a bronzer!) as well as 8 eyeshadows. There is a great range of 5 matte and 3 shimmer/sparkle shadows, all in the neutral-cool colour range. I’ve not really used Bobbi Brown eyeshadows before, so I was a bit nervous that I may have wasted my money but wow! They’re amazing. I really truly love this palette.


For mascara it’s obviously important that it’s waterproof. I’ve gone with the Covergirl Full Lash Bloom in very black. I honestly think Covergirl make some of the best mascaras on the market. Their spoolys are second to none and they’re so affordable!



This is where I really struggle to control myself, I have a deep love of lipstick. I have managed to cut it down to three. Which was quite the task, let me tell you. I decided to take one nude, one pink and one classic red.

For the nude I chose an old and recently rediscovered love, the Nars Velvet Matte lip pencil in Dolce Vita. For the pink I chose another Nars lippy, the Nars Audacious lipstick in Natalie. Finally, for the red, I chose the Shanghai Suzy Miss Victorine Classic Red.


And that’s it! That is my travel makeup bag. You can cut this down much further if you prefer less makeup, or amp it up if this isn’t enough, but I think this is a nice middle ground; you can keep it light and natural or get your glam on. Just add your favourite makeup brushes and you’re ready to go!


What is the makeup product that you can’t travel without? Let us know in the comments below.


Stay beautiful – Nx