10 travel-sized beauty products to upgrade your next trip
Stock your toiletries with these stunning finds.
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One travel-related conundrum we all face? Needing to leave behind our favorite beauty products because they either don't fit in a toiletry bag or they defy TSA sizing limits (no more than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters for liquids, creams, pastes, aerosols, and gels). Though it may not make or break your trip to leave behind your go-to dry shampoo, it's ideal to have all of the products with you that normally help you transition from day to night and back again.
And you can have it all. With these travel-sized picks from brands like M.A.C. Cosmetics, Laura Mercier, and Dove, you can look and feel your best all vacation long.
1. This Glossier skincare travel kit
Snagging a skincare travel kit takes all the guesswork out of packing your toiletries. Glossier's genius Skincare Edit comes in a luggage-friendly recyclable carrying case and contains seven of its bestselling skincare essentials: Milky Jelly Cleanser, Super Bounce (a hydrating serum), Priming Moisturizer Rich, two Balm Dotcoms (a skin salve), Futuredew (an oil-serum hybrid), and a stretchy headband to keep flyaways at bay while you apply your products.
Each product falls well below the TSA-mandated 100-milliliter limit while still being generous in size, according to reviewers. One writes: “I absolutely adore this mini set. It's a great value. Everything is bigger than what I thought it was going to be (especially Futuredew and Super Bounce), and like others have mentioned, they're perfect for traveling or for just trying out new products before committing to buying the full size.”
2. This Urban Decay eyeshadow palette
Let’s face it: You’re unlikely to need every eyeshadow shade of the rainbow if you’re only going out of town for a few days. Leave the iPad-sized palettes at home and bring along this highly rated one from Urban Decay, a pared-down version of the brand's super-popular Naked3 eyeshadow palette.
This mini version includes six shades that are ideal for any occasion, from a matte mauve to a peachy champagne shimmer. The palette has a gradient of rosy tones with a mix of matte and metallic options, depending on the look you’re aiming for. While the brand claims the pigmented color lasts up to 12 hours, reviewers confirm its superior staying power, making the palette a solid choice for long, sweaty days of sight-seeing or nights on the town.
One Ulta reviewer writes: “I love this palette! The shades are easily blended and last all day. I've been wearing these shades for the past few weeks and have determined this is something I'll wear and love for a long time. I would recommend this and would purchase it when this runs out. It traveled well, too, in its compact packaging!"
3. These travel makeup brushes
Makeup brushes take up an obscene amount of space in our toiletries, but there’s a solution for that: these makeup brushes on Amazon with 2,100 reviews. The set includes nine mini synthetic brushes of varying sizes and densities to use for applying foundation, powder, blush, bronzer, highlighter, and eyeshadow.
This kit even comes with a 7.3-by-4.3-inch makeup bag that’s small enough to slip into your purse or carry-on, yet roomy enough to fit all of the brushes plus a few extra essentials, like lipstick or blush.
One Amazon reviewer raves: “The brushes are awesome. They are soft, not stiff. They hold powder well. It was like paying for a cheap set but getting professional quality brushes instead. I even tried pulling [the bristles] out on purpose and they stayed put! Great set for contouring and highlighting. Would/will buy again. Great little traveling bag came with them too!”
4. This Dove dry shampoo
If washing your hair is a time-consuming task, you probably know and sing the praises of dry shampoo. Bringing a canister of one on a trip is especially ideal, as hotel shampoos may not be a great match for your hair anyway. Prolong your next wash with our top dry shampoo pick, the Dove Volume & Fullness Dry Shampoo.
Our tester says it “leaves hair feeling almost suspiciously clean, closer to the freshness of a real shampoo than any other product we tested,” and it won't weigh your hair down. Luckily, Dove makes a 1.15-ounce version that’s optimal for stashing in your carry-on. Just a few spritzes to your roots and a gentle scalp massage extends your next wash by a couple of days. Hey—that’s valuable time you could devote toward exploring a new city.
One Target reviewer agrees with our assessment: "I love this dry shampoo in the travel size. It’s perfect for traveling when you don’t want to wash and restyle your hair every day. The scent is not too overwhelming and I honestly do not travel without this product. It masks the oil at the roots and lasts all day."
5. This M.A.C. Cosmetics 2-in-1 primer and setting spray
This fan-favorite M.A.C. product primes your skin for makeup, sets it for a dewy finish, and provides a boost of hydration when spritzed throughout the day—a must if you’re traveling in hot climates. It contains ingredients like cucumber, chamomile, and green tea, which soothe the skin and give the formula a pleasant herbal smell. (Though it's now available in rose, lavender, and coconut scents that are bound to provide a mid-day pick-me-up.) The TSA-approved, one-ounce bottle locks for travel to avoid spilling in your bag.
“This product is amazing!” writes one Ulta reviewer. “I've never owned anything from Mac and I always hear amazing things about this setting spray so I went ahead and bought it, and let me just say it did not disappoint! My makeup tends to cake up often and get oily but with this on I did not have a single problem. I absolutely love it.”
Get the Mini Prep + Prime Fix+ from M.A.C. Cosmetics for $16
6. This Moroccanoil hair serum
Humid climates and dry airplane environments can do a number on your hair by drying it out and making it prone to breakage. Add moisture back into your strands with this well-known Moroccanoil treatment that comes in a convenient 25-milliliter bottle. The formula claims to smooth frizz, detangle, cut drying time, and protect from the elements with argan and linseed oils. It’s suitable for all hair types, from straight to tightly coiled, and works to prime wet hair for blow-drying or add a boost of shine to dry hair.
One Sephora reviewer gushes: “I can't tell you how many times I've repurchased this. Years on end and I can't find a better oil. I love this size for travel but also have the full size. It's a staple for me. The smell is amazing and lasts in your hair.”
7. These Neutrogena makeup remover wipes
That liter-sized bottle of micellar water isn’t going to cut it on your trip, but luckily, Neutrogena makes an infinitely more convenient solution: the bestselling Neutrogena Facial Cleansing Towelette Singles with more than 23,000 Amazon reviews. Unlike standard facial towelettes that come in a single Kleenex-like box (that need to stay there in order to stay moist with makeup remover), this variety comes with 20 individually wrapped towelettes you can distribute throughout your bags, from your carry-on to your purse. These wipes claim to remove makeup (even waterproof mascara!), oil, and dirt.
According to one pleased reviewer, they’re deceptively large: “These are a great product in general, but brilliant for traveling. They come individually wrapped in about an inch square package and unfold to approximately 10-by-10-inch (or a tad larger). I have sensitive eyes and these do not hurt or irritate whatsoever, plus they don’t leave a greasy film in my eyes at all. A definite A+ for home use as well as for traveling.”
8. This mini nail kit
You don’t have to plan a full DIY mani-pedi on your trip to benefit from this top-rated nail kit. It contains all you need for common beauty emergencies, like tweezers for ingrown hairs and unruly brows, scissors for clothing tags, nail clippers for hangnails, and a glass nail file to even out broken tips. The five stainless steel tools come in a gorgeous rose gold 4.55-by-2.55-inch travel case, too.
In one of 1,200 Amazon reviews, one shopper says she would “1,000% recommend” the kit: “I've bought a few manicure sets in the past and more often than not they wind up feeling and looking quite cheap, but this one is the opposite. I'm extremely happy with the quality and aesthetic appeal of this set. The case is feminine and beautiful, and all of the tools not only look great, but also feel well-made, strong, and they each work perfectly.”
9. This mini Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer with SPF
Whether you’re visiting a hot or cold climate, you’re bound to spend a solid chunk of your trip outdoors. The kindest thing you can do for your skin is protect it with SPF. Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer Natural Skin Perfector provides broad-spectrum SPF 30 and light coverage in 20 shades ranging from "very fair neutral" to "very deep warm." It contains macadamia and kukui seed oils that moisturize the skin and vitamins C and E that protect the skin against the elements. Make sure you apply a thick, even layer to get the SPF benefits or wear this product on top of your favorite sunscreen.
One Sephora reviewer raves: "I have been in search of a great tinted moisturizer with SPF for summertime ... and Laura Mercier delivered! This product has the light coverage that is desirable in a tinted moisturizer, and leaves skin feeling fresh and healthy without being too greasy! I can’t wait to use this all summer long!"
10. This Viktor&Rolf perfume duo
There's no reason to sacrifice perfume on your trip just because your large bottle won't stow away well. You’ll love having this dainty Viktor&Rolf Flowerbomb Travel Duo on hand wherever you go, as it comes with a TSA-approved 6.8-milliliter eau de parfum and a 14.8-milliliter refill complete with a funnel for easy transfer.
The perfume is widely adored for its warm, spicy, and sweet scent with notes of jasmine, freesia, orange blossom, rose, and patchouli. While it doesn’t come with a spray mechanism, reviewers say a single dab on your pulse points will last you well beyond a full day.
One of its 1,200 Sephora reviewers and 66,000 fans writes: “I love this scent and bought this little set to avoid spending a ton in a bottle. This set will last you a long time—almost as much as a full bottle. When you add the two little bottles together, they almost equal the smallest size available for half the price. If you love this perfume and are on a budget, get this!”
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.