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Summer Make-up Tips and Kits for the Travel Belle

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Summer make-up tips and kits for travel: perfect for pool, beach, and beyond your next vacation


Stretched as far as possible over the sink of your hotel bathroom as you apply mascara, are you wondering to yourself, What’s the point? I’m on vacation! You’re not alone. Concerning the application of make-up while traveling, there are two divergent, equally valid schools of thought…between which I vacillate regularly:

Stila’s elegant hues are just right for a city break

School one: You want every waking moment to be spent enjoying the sights, and make-up is just an impediment – a morning time-absorber. Besides, you’re on vacation and you’ll do what you bloody-well want to.

School two: You want to look sexy and glamorous at every destination, even in the jungle, because that’s how you imagined it when you booked the trip. Your friends are taking loads of photos that you know will eventually end up on Facebook. And furthermore, you may unexpectedly bump into someone truly appealing. (I first met my boyfriend upon returning to my hotel after a jungle hike—and yes, I was wearing make-up!)

I completely understand both schools, and accordingly, I want the best of both worlds. I want a beautiful, portable, and easy-to-apply summer makeup kit. So in order to help all of us belles with this make-up conundrum, I’ve put together a product roundup of five travel-friendly palettes and categorized them according to the kind of trip.

Stila's Safari Kit
Jungle love love love! For earthy glamour in the great outdoors try Cargo’s Safari kit.


Before applying make-up, make sure your skin is moist.  Stay as hydrated as possible by drinking loads of water.  If your skin becomes dry while traveling, use moisturizers and body oils from the neck down, and try a hydrating spray for your face.  If your skin appears dull, try a mask to bring back that glowing complexion.

Smashbox Luminous Summer Kit
Why I like it: The eye-beam double ended brightener, applied to the inner eye, the brow rim, and along the inner rim of the lower lash line gives you brighter, wider eyes after a late night on the dance floor. And the bronze eyeliner is waterproof.

Sephora Beauty in a Box Summer Goddess Palette
Why I like it: Simple yet colorful, everything comes in one very small box including mascara.  It’s fantastic for days spent near water since the vibrant blue will mirror the color of the ocean or swimming pool.

Cargo Cosmetics: The Safari Kit
Why I like it: Though it doesn’t come with foundation or concealer, this kit does have makeup in gold, khaki, and coral tones and a super-cute postcard pouch. Just right for your next outdoor adventure.

Best Summer Make up Kits

Clockwise from top left: Smashbox, Sephora, Lauren Hutton, Stila, Cargo

Lauren Hutton’s Passport to Brazil
Why I like it: Headed out on an eco-adventure? This palette has everything!  The make-up in this kit is infused with natural Brazilian ingredients like Acai, Guava, and Brazil Nut Oil.  Plus, the powders are separated from the creams; a great solution to the powdered lip-gloss problem I had with my Dior kit!
Stila’s Stunning Starlet Palette
Why I like it: This palette is versatile.  With hues of espresso, violet, pewter, and a few dusky neutrals, you can create the kind of romantic look fit for an evening out in your favorite metropolis.  Just remember to bring your own brushes!

Other items for your travel make-up bag:

  • lighted travel mirror
  • make-up removing cloths
  • tweezers
  • a four-sided manicure block along with polish and gloss for touch-ups

Check any updates to carry-on restrictions if you plan to pack your make-up bag in your hand luggage.  Since not every airport distributes zip lock bags for free, I’ve rolled and stuffed several into a side pocket of my rolling carry-on.

The lovely thing about these kits is, of course, how easy it is to just keep using them once you get home.  You may get hooked on a certain lavender eye shadow and keep using that color because it reminds you of the trip.

It’s a wonderful way to make memories last, to bring the “you” of the beach, the jungle, or the metropolis back to your everyday life. Although, I might suggest giving up the swimming-pool-blue eyeliner once you’re back at the office.   Hmmm.


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2 thoughts on “Summer Make-up Tips and Kits for the Travel Belle”

  1. Love it! I always bring makeup when I’m traveling – even to the beach or other non-metropolitan destinations. Even if I just apply a dusting of powder, I feel better & more “dressed” for whatever adventures I might find…

  2. Me too. I feel as if I’m bald w/o at least mascara and these are such fun suggestions. Thanks, Karen!

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