It’s 2018—you are on the go, girlfriend! We hope you have the most fabulous trip planned, or maybe you're just hoping to make the most of your that work trip to Kansas City, but first, you’re going to need some pretty epic packing tips and tricks to fit all of your beauty goods into your Raden carry-on (seriously, it's the best, trust me). This is where we come in: We found the most epic travel beauty hacks you could ever need. Things are about to get tidy in your carry-on.
1. Ditch the dozens of miniature bottles.
Leave it to the brilliant esthetician Renee Rouleau to blow our minds with her favorite travel hack. Here's how you can bring your toner, eye makeup remover, or any other liquids with you, without taking up any space, like, at all: Saturate cotton pads generously with your favorite beauty liquids for however many days you’ll need them. Put each category of soaked pads into their own plastic baggie bag (i.e. all toner pads go into one bag, all makeup remover pads into one bag, etc.), and—bam!—you made your own face wipes.
2. Give contact cases a new use.
Contact cases aren’t just for holding your contacts—they also are the perfect size for storing small amounts of face wash, masks, and lotions. Each side can store a week-plus of most daily products, and usually a couple of masks in each half. Use a permanent marker to label the bottoms so you know what’s inside.
3. Ban leaks, once and for all.
The key to making sure your products don't leak? Letting the air out. Extra air trapped in bottles from products that have been opened previously can cause plastic containers to leak when air pressure changes due to elevation. Here's what you should do to any products you’ve got in your carry-on: open the cap, release all the excess air, and quickly place the cap back on.
For extra insurance, cover bottle openings with plastic wrap, then screw the cap back on. This will give you an extra layer of protection in the event a cap comes loose during travel.
4. Stock up on plastic baggies.
Yes, your collection of toiletry bags is dying to be used, but zip-lock plastic bags are actually really great for travel. If you need just another layer of liquid protection, you can put each product in its own bag, that way if it does leak, at least you can be sure it won’t get all over your belongings. Or, take it a step further if you love organization while traveling. Use heavy duty freezer bags, label each bag as either "AM," "PM," or "shower." Quality is key when it comes to plastic bags, so opt for brand names like Ziploc or Hefty.
5. Use the hotel's toiletries for the containers.
Yeah, hotel toiletries are cool and free and all, but you’ve worked hard to curate the products that really work for you. But darnit, you can’t deny their tiny size containers are oh so convenient. Take those toiletries home (don’t go crazy though), and swap out their contents for yours for your next trip. Never throw away any cute little mini empty bottles, you’ll always have a need to fill them up come travel time.
6. There's a mini for everything.
Sephora has basically made a business out of just selling tiny versions of popular products at the checkout line, and while they may not be the most cost-efficient, they are certainly travel-efficient. And you can find a miniature swap for just about every product.
Lipstick? They’ve got a mini for that. Stowaway is super awesome and makes tiny-sized, super incredible makeup for this exact reason.
Deodorant? Don’t even think about that full size, they’ve got tons of minis waiting for you, even our favorite deodorant, Schmidt’s Naturals.
Don’t you dare bring along that giant toothpaste, but if you're in a rush and can’t find the mini of your favorite toothpaste, here's a hack: If you’ve got an empty eye drop container lying around, make sure it’s clean and dried, and then fill it up with your toothpaste. I’ll be weird, but darnit, it’ll be super great, too.
7. Keep your hair pins in place.
Need your bobby pins? Store them in a Tic Tac container so they don’t all get lost at the bottom of your bag. Maybe the orange Tic Tac scent will still be lingering for a fresh bonus. Just kidding, but, like, not really.
8. Opt for multi-tasking products.
Here’s a multi-tasking product you don’t even have to pack: hair conditioner. It’s a genius swap for shaving cream, and it will already be in your hotel shower. The same moisturizing ingredients that hydrate the hair on your head can also soften the hair on your body to help prep your skin for nick-free shaving.
9. Leave bulky eyeshadow palettes at home.
Don’t waste any precious makeup bag space on eyeshadows again. Coat cotton swabs in your favorite shadows, wrap each color individually in plastic wrap, and then stash them in plastic baggies. You’d be seriously surprised at how much eyeshadow a few cotton swabs will hold.
Good Karma tip: If you pick up those free shampoos, shower gels, lotions, etc. they offer complimentary in your hotel room, and find you won’t actually be using them, please donate them to your local shelter. They are always in need of toiletries!
Read more travel beauty hacks:
Every Beauty Product That Helped Me Survive 80+ Hours of Travel
11 Ways to Consolidate Your Toiletries Bag for Travel
All the Beauty Products To Use On Your Next Getaway
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