​​I'm a Beauty Writer Learning to Pack Light — Here Are the 6 Products I'm Bringing on My Next Trip

I narrowed down my 17-step routine into these essentials.

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I’m a Beauty Writer Learning to Pack Light — Here Are the 4 Products I’m Bringing on My Next Vacation
Photo: Courtesy/InStyle

Mostly due to COVID19, I have very rarely left New York City during the last two years. There were a few trips to Connecticut and a weekend in D.C., but nothing that felt substantial or noteworthy. But now, I finally have an international vacation on the books; I am shortly heading to Italy for almost two weeks.

This is truly the most excited I've been in a while — I love spending time in the Sicilian sun, but I am also famously bad at packing. I always overpack; I am that person at the check-in counter with their suitcase open figuring out how to offset their overweight luggage. And the few times I've tried to pack lightly, I've forgotten various things like shirts (I mean like I didn't pack a single shirt), a sunscreen that won't cause me to break out, a lip salve, etc.

So, I have taken a proactive approach to packing my beauty products because I already know that is going to give me grief. My standard makeup routine includes 10 products and my skincare routine on average involves seven — but I just cannot justify packing 17 products, if not more.

After arduous contemplation and a couple of test runs, I have whittled down the entirety of my 17-product routine into six streamlined products: a toner, spot treatment, multitasking vitamin C serum, glow serum drops, SPF, and a multiuse pigment. Read more about the routine below.

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Exfoliating Pads With AHA

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Shop now: $18; amazon.com

I can go without face wash, but I would rather sit on a hot plate than be without First Aid Beauty's toner pads. It decongests my pores, prevents breakouts, keeps my oily complexion in check, and has chemical exfoliant properties that manage my ever present hyperpigmentation.

Tula Go Away Acne Spot Treatment

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Shop now: $20; tula.com

I am a 27-year-old woman who constantly has breakouts. I thought the pimples would be gone at this point in my life but they are always here, so my waking nightmare is to be without some sort of treatment. Tula's spot treatment makes bad hormonal welts less inflamed and painful, while shrinking them in size. The formula also includes niacinamide and azelaic acid, so I also apply this to dark spots from past blemishes to accelerate the healing process.

InnBeauty Project Green Machine Vitamin C + Green Superfoods Oil Jelly Serum

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Shop now: $32; innbeautyproject.com

As previously mentioned, I have oily skin, so when the weather is warm, I can really do without a moisturizer, given the right serum (and InnBeauty's Green Machine is that serum).

Aloe provides ample hydration, vitamin C works on my eternally present hyperpigmentation, and the concoction of plant stem cells boosts my glow and keeps my complexion even. It really does the job of both a serum and moisturizer when it needs to.

Versed Mood Lighting Luminizing Glow Drops

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Shop now: $18; versedskin.com

I live for highlighters, dewy skin, and a glow that looks like it's coming from the inside, out. Even in a pared down routine, I have to have something that will make me glisten. The Glow Drops do that, but also truly so much else, it probably is the hardest-working item in this list.

First there is the cosmetic aspect;I've used this as a primer under my foundation, spread across my face for a "no-makeup" glow, on the high points of my face as a highlighter, and even on my eyelids for a wash of shimmer.

And because the developers at Versed are probably magicians, it is secondly a serum thanks to collagen-boosting and -hydrating peptides and vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant and source of moisture.

Solara Suncare Vacation Glow Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

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Shop now: $33; target.com

The worst thing I could do during this trip would be to not wear sunscreen. The second worst thing would be to forget to pack a mineral face sunscreen I know will not break me out, which is why Solara Vacation Glow will be joining me on this journey. It can be reapplied until the sun literally sets, and it never feels greasy or clogs my pores. It also makes the travel kit cut because it has a pearly pink finish that gives my complexion a little zhuzh, too.

Ilia Color Haze Multiuse Pigment

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Shop now: $32; iliabeauty.com

Distilling my eyeshadows, blushes, lip liners, lipsticks, etc., etc., etc., was the most difficult part of this adventure, but after trying so many multi-use products and pigments, I have three words for you: Ilia Color Haze.

This is a universal pigment; I have created some incredible looks using a single shade on my eyes, lips, and cheeks. The formula is light but can be endlessly layered, so the shades really go from barely-there to intense and vibrant.

If you, like me, are learning to pack light, shop my favorite beauty multitaskers before your next big vacation.

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