Packing a Makeup Bag
Credit: Time Inc Digital Studio

There’s nothing worse than unpacking your makeup bag after a long flight only to find your Laguna bronzer totally shattered. So, for the sake of your stash (and sanity!), we’ve assembled top dos and don’ts for packing a travel-proof cosmetics kit.

Don’t Leave Your Compacts Vulnerable

You know those seemingly unnecessary sponges that come with your powders that sometimes end up in the trash? Trust us—you should save those. Popping one inside your compact creates a makeshift shock absorber that prevents powder from cracking and breaking when you’re on the go. For even more protection, pack your powder products inside soft items like socks.

Do Decant Your Liquids

Instead of carting your go-to shampoo, moisturizer or foundation in its original packaging, try decanting liquid products into leak-proof bottles like those from The Container Store (; $1 each). Not only do such bottles prevent spills, but you’ll gain a little wiggle room on the suitcase scale.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Minis

Instead of tossing the sample sizes you’ve accumulated from stores like Sephora, save ‘em for travel. The smaller the packages, the better: If you finish the sample while you’re away, you’ll buy yourself some suitcase space for your return trip.

Do Pick a Practical Makeup Bag

A makeup bag with various dividers—like Sephora’s The Weekender ($38;—will allow you to keep your arsenal organized by category. Pro tip: Choose one with transparent compartments so your stash is in full view.