Traveling light with a well packed bag can make a good trip better. What you bring and what you leave behind depends on your personal tastes. Nothing is more personal than women’s travel toiletries. It’s a tricky topic, and I am not speaking for every woman, but I’ll give you my spin.
Every woman has her own beauty routine, depending on age, style and upbringing. I don’t actually remember my mom ever training me on how to use cosmetics, so I don’t use many and don’t think much about it. Other people devote a large space in their brains to it. I know that it is virtually impossible to make a list of women’s travel toiletries for every single woman, but perhaps my minimalism is a way to start.
Let’s review the basics. Keep in mind that no matter what your beauty routine, I suggest keeping it all in a TSA approved 3-1-1 container, which amounts to a quart sized ziplock bag. I know this sounds insane or impossible, but I promise you that I actually do it this way. Toiletries can weigh a ton, and minimizing here can save weight. I am on the road far longer than most people and I still keep it to that small size. You can too.
Shampoo- I prefer something that smells nice, preferably like a Hawaiian beach. Concentrate your favorite yourself by leaving it in a dish on a counter.
Conditioner- I’ll pay more for a good conditioner, because higher end ones can be used sparingly and last longer. They also make my hair softer!
Toothbrush– Manual, electric or battery operated, it’s up to you.
Toothpaste– Baking soda toothpaste is good for better breath, but even better, it can be used for bug bites and acne as well.
Moisturizer– I stay away from Retinol formulas since I’m often in the sun. I always pick a light moisturizer with at least 30 SPF. An inexpensive one can double as sunblock at the beach.
Deodorant– Paste deodorants are more compact and last longer. I choose a natural formula for better health, and it is shockingly effective even for stinky people. If you choose to try this, use it for a week or two before departure to get used to it.
No two women will ever agree on what makeup is essential. I have skin with blemishes, so I need some sort of base. Other than that, I keep it simple with mascara and lipstick. I have so little time in the mornings when I travel and little time to check my makeup later in the day. For this reason, I suggest long-lasting products.
Face powder– BareMinerals is all I will use. I don’t like the look or feel of base makeup, I think it makes me look older than necessary. This is a light, mineral based powder that you brush on. It looks natural and feels like nothing. Great for concealing bad skin. It has sunscreen properties too.
Lipstick– Revlon Colorstay is the only way to go. Accept no substitutes, they just don’t work as well. This stuff will last a full 24 hours or swigging beer and munching pasta and pizza. I prefer the natural colors this line offers. If you’re flashy, it may not be your thing. The lip gloss on the end of it is nice to use on chapped lips.
Mascara– I have yet to find a particular mascara that I just love. Manufacturers seem to be inconsistent on this. It must be waterproof and go on without clumps. My current pick has served me well this season.
Eyeshadow- This is not a necessary item, but sometimes it’s nice to have a little flash when I need to be girlie or fancy. You know what i’m saying. A few lines offer small eyeshadow pods with a single color, I’ll take something that is cheap and I can toss if I need to.
I have long, straight hair. You may not. The hair products you choose depend on your style. This is where a lot of women will waste weight and space, so try and simplify your hair style if you can. Nobody cares what your hair looks like, other than you. It’s ok to leave behind the gel and styling irons. Really. And if you’re still not convinced, ask your hair stylist to give you an easier style before leaving.
Hair elastics- Even if you have short hair, these can come in handy to hold things together, like cords.
Hair clips– Small grip clips are good for all lengths of hair on days you just can’t even. Great on hikes to keep hair out of your face. Perfect for long hair styles. I’ll use these to hold cords together or to clips things together in my bag. Multipurpose.
Hairspray- This isn’t really a necessity in my view, but I’m a minimalist. Try to live without it, you can always buy it at your destination.
Comb or brush– I prefer a comb, and I tend to splash out a little here. Cheap combs can tangle or get caught in my hair, so I’ve bought a couple of nicer, handmade ones. Even my super sensitive kiddos will let me comb their hair with them!
Razor- I found this nifty razor that comes with its own little case. Goodbye to broken razor handles and slashed fingertips!
Makeup Remover– I don’t actually bring anything here, I just use soap and water. My readers, however, have strongly suggested makeup removing wipes. And when I say strongly, I mean really insistent. I can see the value, the wipes can be used for other kinds of clean up in a pinch.
Floss- Rolls or picks? Both types of floss have their uses. A roll of floss can double as string or twine to tie things together. It’s great for cutting soft cheese. I prefer the picks as they are easier to use. Gross but helpful tip, wash the picks and reuse them.
Tweezers– I cannot live without my tweezers. Not just for grooming, although that is important, especially in Italy. I also find them useful for first aid, as an impromptu screwdriver, and as a grabber if I drop something down a drain. Millions of uses.
Sunblock- Solid sunblock is the way to go. The liquid stuff always ends up all over everything, but maybe that is because I’m a little messy. I’ve tried a few solid sticks, and I still prefer the Neutrogena stick. It’s meant for kids, but I refuse to grow up, so I think I can still use it.
Eyeliner– Very subjective item. I don’t typically use it unless I’m trying to impress someone, occasionally to impress myself when I’m feeling shabby. I do love that Colorstay line, it really lasts.
Pills and Medications- I keep my pills in a tiny Altoids tin within my toiletries kit, and then have the overflow in a pouch in my bag.
Contact Lenses- Liquids weight a lot, so I have switched to daily contacts. No solution needed and no case. No worries about cleaning well.
That’s about all I would use in a women’s travel toiletries kit. I’ll bet you have some favorites and hacks that I haven’t thought of, so share them here or on my Facebook page. Get out there and travel, beautiful, you look FAHH-bulous!