*Breaks into a cold sweat*

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Woman with suitcase - Lead 2016
Credit: Getty

I struggle the most when it comes to packing for longer trips. It's not so much with clothing, although I wouldn't say that I'm the Mari Kondo of packing by any stretch of the imagination. But with beauty? Good grief. I'm so certain many a TSA agent has thought that I was permanently moving my makeup collection with me for my vacation, when it was really just the surface of my hoard skimmed. What can I say? I live and breathe beauty, and as a result, I have a lot of products that I love and regularly use. That makes choices really hard.

However, prior to my recent trip, I decided I was going to try my best to be reasonable. The operative word here is try, as I doubt someone who isn't into beauty would use that term to describe my selections. Four days in, I can tell you absolutely that I had the right idea, and here's a breakdown on my personal packing rules.

Rule #1

I was only going to bring one complexion product and one concealer, as that can take up a ton of room. I brought the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer because it's light, yet still has amazing coverage. I also packed the new Lancôme Teint Idôle Ultra Longwear Cushion Foundation SPF 50 ($47; sephora.com) because it is super portable, has a lovely demi-matte finish, and coverage you can sheer out.

Rule #2

I wanted to keep my powder products as streamlined as possible, so I grabbed my new Hourglass Surreal Light Palette ($80; hourglasscosmetics.com). Not only does it have a warm and cool blush option, it has a highlight, bronzer, and all over face powder. And just in case I wanted a little bit of a brighter flush, I also brought my much loved Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic in Love Glow ($40; net-a-porter.com) for a pink blush of lust. I allowed myself one palette of eyeshadow for a ton of versatility—My Victoria Beckham for Estee Lauder Eye Palette, and then supplemented with my Burberry Shimmer Dusts ($25; burberry.com).

Rule #3

One mascara. ONE. My selection was the new Smith & Cult Lash Dance ($28; bergdorfgoodman.com) because it is grippy, gives good thick lash, and it doesn't flake.

Rule #4

As for eyeliner and brows, I grabbed Urban Decay Razorsharp Water-Resistant Liquid Eye Liner because it has never failed me ($22; sephora.com ), and then Kevyn Aucoin Liner Primatif ($26; nordstrom.com). I also took along Laura Mercier Brow Dimension ($24; lauramercier.com) because it's an ace gel that has fibers in it to fill in gaps in my eyebrows.

Rule #5

By far the easiest and least complicated way to make a beauty look fun and different every day, I allowed myself a number of finishes and definitely more than one lipstick per day. For red, I chose Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in No-Tell Motel ($17; urbandecay.com) because it's a comfy, classic red. For a deep/dark selection, I brought Tom Ford Black Orchid ($60; tomford.com). Being as I am in London, it was only fitting that I brought along my Charlotte Tilbury lipstick in The Queen ($32; charlottetilbury.com), an amazing cerise/cherry red to pay homage to the longest reigning monarch in the UK. Of course, I needed a nude, so I grabbed for my Rimmel London Rock n Roll Lipstick ($8; feelunique.com) and my much loved Bare Minerals Gen Nude Matte Liquid Lip Color in Friendship ($18; sephora.com).

For a dash of whimsy, I popped a By Terry Rouge Expert Click Stick in 24 Orchid Alert ($32; saksfifthavenue.com) in my bag, perfect for a day when I was feeling spicy and needed a bold purple lip to match.

So basically, my new method for packing is keep everything else minimal and then bring tons of lipstick.

Life would have been so much easier if I had figured this out sooner, my goodness.