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Trying to pack your makeup for a trip but can’t decide what to leave behind? Don’t worry, we’ve got some great tips on choosing the essentials for a capsule makeup collection!


Capsule Makeup Collection


It happens to the best of us. If you’re a makeup hoarder, chances are that your collection is bursting with foundations and blushes that you might not reach for often. Stripping down your collection to the key items you always count on can make more space and keep the clutter away.

In this post, we’ve listed a few high-quality essentials to keep in your capsule makeup collection. These absolute must-haves will make your routine simpler and keep your travel kit easier to manage.

From face products to luxurious lipsticks, no more digging through your makeup bag to find your favorite lipstick, we’ve got you covered!



List Your Favorites



Maybelline Mascara | Mac Powder Blush


The first critical step in figuring out your collection essentials is to make a list of every single product you absolutely can’t live without. The products on your list must include key components to your everyday makeup routine.

This is a very personal step, since some might love to wear a different lipstick every day or choose to skip out on wearing foundation on a daily basis. This step is up to you to determine! Being critical in this stage will help define your end goal.

Ask yourself how you want your makeup collection to look at the end of the purge. Are these products some that you can toss, or keep until you’ve used them up? Are you going for an easy everyday makeup routine or do you love to play with different colors and finishes?

Another great way to purge is to get rid of old and possibly expired makeup.


Follow these tips to protect your favorite products and learn how to pack makeup for travel!


Essentials for a Full Face





Depending on your skin type and what works for you, the top products you need in your arsenal for your base are: primer, foundation, concealer, and powder. If your skin is dry, skip out on powder and stick with a hydrating primer.

Anyone with large pores can’t leave out a smoothing primer to fill in pores around your nose and cheeks. This step will help keep your makeup on for hours, especially on long travel or work days.


Read these tips on the best passport photo makeup!



Concealer I Pressed Powder


Depending on your coverage needs, your foundation could double as concealer. But if you have dark under eyes, go for a correcting concealer to help cancel out discoloration. A foundation that can be sheered out with your moisturizer can double as a BB cream to use during the day.

On the other hand, if you prefer to stay minimal with your base, skip your foundation and just go for concealer dabbed around problematic areas.


Looking to try earth-friendly makeup? Here are our favorite natural beauty products.


It’s All About Eyes



L.A Girl Eyeshadow I Lorac Pro Eyeshadow


Let’s admit that we don’t need to own 10+ eyeshadow palettes and crazy-colored eyeliners. Most eyeshadows in brighter colors you can toss away. Go for quality, not quantity, when it comes to eyeshadow. Less is definitely more.

All you need is a single, all matte palette with neutral shades and another palette with pops of shimmer. With so many options in your stash, you’ll be able to get away with keeping only a select few to use on a daily basis.



Eyeshadow I Palette


Once you figure out your absolute go-to shades, try to narrow down your options to just two-four colors for your travels. Choose a compact palette in neutral colors like the Bare Minerals shown above. Alternatively, build your own eyeshadow palette using DIY tutorials like this one.

Personally, I like using MAC makeup and they have various sized empty eyeshadow palettes where you can mix and match your favorite shades. I currently travel with a set of four but ideally I’d love to narrow this down to only two.




Mascara I Eye Liner


For mascara and eyeliner, this should be easy: go for what never lets you down, rain or shine. Any mascara that lifts and adds volume without using false eyelashes will be a fail-proof additional to even the most minimalist capsule makeup collection. (Tip: our readers swear by this waterproof mascara!)

Your eyeliner should be either a pencil or a gel liner to help achieve your perfect line each time, whether you love a natural tight line effect or a cat eye. Lastly, if your eyebrows are troublesome, stick with a brow pencil to use every day.


Keep your eyebrows looking sharp with tips on the best eyebrow makeup!


Find Your Best Cheeks



Powder I Stick


If you love to contour like an Instagram model, you can get away with sneaking in a versatile contour kit for special occasions. However, a natural rose blush and highlight is all you need for glowing cheeks. If you prefer to add some color to your skin, add in your favorite bronzer with a matte finish that will last all day.

Your blush should be a toned-down hue–think a muted rose shade that can work for both day and evening makeup looks. One matte blush is all you need for the perfect flushed cheek. The above combo is one that we can’t live without including our fave Nars the Multiple plus Mac’s skin-tone friendly Harmony blush!

Add a highlighter on top like this incredible one from Benefit and you’re set to conquer your day! You can also get away with using a shimmer champagne eyeshadow as a highlighter. Use it on your cheekbones and down the bridge of your nose for an ethereal glow.


Hunting for great products? Here are 10 travel beauty products every jetsetter should own!


Add Some Lip



Lipstick I Lip Cream


Last but certainly not least, we have our lip picks to finalize our capsule makeup collection. Lip products are very personal; some ladies love a bold lip every day while others can get away with using a tinted lip balm. The important question is: what do you love using on an everyday basis?

Your lipsticks should have a cream or semi-matte formula for an opaque and comfortable look. Go for shades that naturally flatter your skin tone, whether it’s a rich berry or a neutral pinky-nude.

A lip liner is optional if you want to keep your lip color lasting a bit longer. We recommend this one by Urban Decay which claims to last 24/7. So far we love it!

Skip out on a gloss if you’ve picked out a cream finish lipstick, the glossy effect lasts for just a few hours that you can easily live without.


Check out these 7 clever travel makeup hacks!


There you have it! The products you constantly use, repurchase, and can’t live without will help you put together your perfect capsule makeup kit.

What are your tips for creating a capsule makeup collection? Comment below!


For more travel makeup suggestions, please read:






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