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Beauty Essentials For A Weekend Getaway

What products to pack for a quick trip


A weekend or two-day trip, whether for business or a family vacation, often means packing light regardless of your transportation. But what to do about your beauty products—especially when they come in cumbersome bottles and tubes? Leslie Willmott, author of Smart Women on the Go, shares her list of travel beauty essentials and ways to find mini versions of your favorite products.

The Basics

Leslie begins with the fundamentals: a travel-sized toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, moisturizer, nail file, shampoo and conditioner. “My essential toiletries can all be found in small sizes in the travel section of drugstore chains,” she says. “I also get dental care products in convenient travel size when I visit my dentist.”

Stock up on Samples

Stylish and smart, Leslie makes it her mission to collect beauty product samples – both her preferred ones and new products to try before going away. Department store promotions are a favorite of hers since they allow her to choose the gift samples she receives with a purchase. “I love to collect cleansers and moisturizers that are packaged in 2-ounce tubes and mascaras in sample 1-ounce tubes.” She cautions, “Test samples before you travel. You don’t want to walk around red-faced or blotchy from a bad skin reaction.”

Prefer a Do-it-Yourself Mini Version of Your Favorite Products?

“If I can’t find my preferred shampoo and conditioner in a small size, I transfer a small amount of each into plastic travel containers with screw tops or repurpose hotel sample containers,” says Leslie. “Don’t fill bottles full if travelling by air,” she warns. “Changes in air pressure can cause contents to expand and leak.” And never store anything in glass or breakable containers.

Pack Makeup Products for the Occasion

  • An eyeliner pencil that twists up and does not require a sharpener is easiest to carry. Choose a waterproof variety if you will be swimming or attending any celebration that may bring you to tears. The same rule applies to mascara.
  • Long wear lipstick is also a favorite. If you fall asleep on an airplane, it’s still on with no messiness!
  • Lip balm is a must for both cold climates and the tropics. A quality one can be used for lips, nail cuticles, and even around nostrils if they become chapped or you catch a cold. Bring a product with sun protection if you’ll be outdoors.
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Adds Leslie, “For a shorter trip, I break up packages of makeup remover towelettes. I place two for each day into a snack-sized self-sealing plastic bag.”

Packing Tips

“If flying, I carry my makeup in a clear plastic bag tucked into my carry-on tote or handbag,” says Leslie. “I pack my other toiletries in freezer-weight, self-sealing or zip-top plastic bags in my luggage. I group items into hair products, face and skin care, makeup. These ‘baggies’ aren’t glamorous but they’re easy to tuck into open spaces in a suitcase.”

What’s the one item you must never forget? A travel mirror, advises Leslie. “In some hotels the light isn’t good enough for applying makeup (or the lighted magnifying mirror doesn't work) so I have to go to a window. Plus, I like to be able to see the back of my hair as I’m drying it.”

What to remember

There is an art to traveling and to looking great while doing so. With a bit of planning, your favorite beauty products will be on hand to make your experience away feel just like being home.

Also, check out what are the beauty essentials for a date here.

Read the latest fashion tips at our blog.

Learn expert beauty tips here at Reward Me.

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