You might have gotten your clothing packing skills down to a science, but if you’re anything like us, it’s the beauty products that really weigh down your suitcase. In an attempt to streamline our travel makeup bags, we’ve chosen the absolute essentials for four popular summer vacation destinations. Whether you’re going on a European city break or roughing it at the campground, we’ve got you covered. Just don’t forget your toothbrush!
To blend in with the ultra-chic Western Europeans, you have to master their subtle, yet polished, makeup look. Start off with a light-coverage base, like Bobbi Brown’s BB Cream SPF 35 ($44) to perfect you complexion, without looking like you’ve tried too hard.
L’Oreal Paris’ Colour Riche Le Balm ($8) in Nourishing Nude offers a hint of color while keeping your lips moisturized for up to eight hours. It’s the perfect your-lips-but-better shade.
If you ask us, Chanel is even more French than the Eiffel Tower. What better way to pay tribute to the classic design house than by wearing its renowned fragrance, Chanel No. 5 ($200), while making your way through the city?
Simple winged liner is all the flourish your eyes will need. Try Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eye Pen ($9), instead of a gel formula, so that you don’t need to bring a brush. The fine tip of the pen will get as close to your lashes as possible, and the formula will stay put from crepes to digestifs.
Long days of adventure call for a simple cream shadow that lasts. Just swipe on Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Cream ($23) in 15 Taupe with your finger, blend, and you’ll be set for even the muggiest of climates. Plus, it doubles as a highlighter!
Aesop’s Resurrection Rinse-Free Hand Wash ($10) is perfect for when you find yourself in a less-than-ideal bathroom situation. It kills bacteria, plus the mandarin orange and lavender oils keep your hands from drying out.
Work with the imperfect hair that usually comes from unfamiliar (or worse: nonexistent!) showers. Bumble and bumble’s The Surf Set ($28) contains travel-sized versions of their Surf Foam Wash Shampoo, Crème Rinse Conditioner, and cult-favorite Surf Spray, to turn your locks from unkempt to perfectly undone.
We’re not going to pretend that you’re going to be wearing a full face of makeup while you’re roughing it, but you should never forget lip balm! And while you’re at it, Neutrogena’s Revitalizing Lip Balm SPF 20 ($9) comes in a subtle tint and has SPF!
Chances are you’re not going to want to spend much time in the facilities at your campground. Pack Simple Facial Wipes ($6) and you can cut down on your sink reliance.
Bug sprays have come a long way from the noxious fumes you remember from summer camp. The natural formula of Malin + Goetz’s Bug Spray ($20) is free of DEET, the common ingredient in most bug sprays whose safety has recently come into question, and doesn’t smell nasty—hooray!
To be honest, dry shampoo is a staple for us no matter where we are. However, it’s especially critical if you’re not planning on washing your hair for a few days, unless you find a nice waterfall. Try Drybar’s Detox Dry Shampoo ($20).
Don’t even attempt to manipulate post-ocean hair—just go with the beachy texture! Use a headband like Ban.do’s Twist Scarf ($20) to clear the hair off your face, or wrap your locks into a low, messy bun with the brand’s Girl Bands ($10) for dinner.
After a day in the sun, your skin is definitely going to need some TLC. Hawaiian Tropic’s Silk Hydration After Sun Lotion ($9) combines the classic sun soother aloe vera with mango and shea butters to moisturize.
Your sun-kissed skin is going to be all the makeup that you need. But if you want to kick things up a notch, pack a bright orange lip color like Nars’ Satin Lip Pencil ($25) in High Seize. A neon lip color looks even better when paired with a tan.
Come on, you don’t think we were going to let you head to the beach without a good SPF? A spray formula, like Sun Bum’s SPF 50 Sunscreen Spray ($16) takes only a few minutes to apply and is easy to touch up while you’re laying out.