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Makeup to Put in Your Backpack

This article has been a long time in the making as I have edited and whittled down all my makeup leaving only the most essential products. Everything on this list has earned its place and the final edit won’t take up much space at all!


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Makeup bag

Choose a small one to prevent shoving too much slap in there! Also select a plastic or wipe-down style rather than fabric as it’ll be much easier to clean. Mine is the size of a pencil case for reference.

ASOS have a great range>>>

Convertible Colour

This is a product that can be used on lips or cheeks and as its a cream, it’ll work well in hot climates. Mine is a natural pink shade from Lipstick Queen which gives my cheeks a healthy glow, but I also like Stila’s colours. 


Not a thick flaky one, but just something you can use to cover any blemishes. I like Illamasqua Skin Base because it’s quite light. I have it a couple of shades darker than my skin (SB 13) as I know I’ll tan. I might decant this into a small pot.

Eyelash Curlers

Essential! Curling your lashes instantly makes you look more awake. Mine are by Shu Uemura.


Again another vital tool; use for shaping your brows and any stay hairs.

Tweezerman tweezers are great>>>

Brow Pencil

You might have perfect brows, in which case, good for you and I hate you a little bit. For those of us not blessed a pencil will help you look way more groomed and fame your face. I swear by Rimmel Brow Pencil in Black/Brown.

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Brow Gel

One of my favourite products, the best for shaping brows and I use it for taming my baby hairs too. I love Mac Clear Brow Gel but I’m trying an Urban Decay one as their press team sent me it.

Eyeliner & Brush

A slick of black eyeliner is the quickest way to add some impact to your look. I’ve used many over the years but the best of the best is Bobbi Brown Gel Liner. It glides on and stays on. You need a brush to apply it but it’s really easy to use.


Every girl knows fluttering eyelashes are her number one tool for flirting. A good mascara can make your eyes look a million times bigger especially if you have fair eyebrows. I like Illamasqua and Lancome Hypnose.


A small pot of eyeshadow won’t take up much space and while it’s not a total essential, if you’re going to party (Full Moon Thailand baby) it can help to define your eyes. I chose a bronze to make my brown eyes pop, and try a metallic shade as you can apply it with your fingers. Mac do the best eyeshadows without fail.

Lipstick & Lipliner

Everyone has their signature lippie that makes them feel *pow* when they put it on. For me it’s Mac Ruby Woo – the shade always illicits compliments and is a lovely bright tomato red.  A bold lipstick and some big sunglasses and even the most haggard of faces is transformed. I take a matching lipliner too as I’m a perfectionist and it helps the lippie last longer.


Ruby Woo lipstick is my instant pick-me-up.


A teeny tester will do, you don’t want to lug big expensive bottles around, but a beautiful scent will help you feel more human. I also packed testers in my hand luggage too. I went to Diptyque who are very generous with their freebies.

Powder Brush

Why have I got this? I don’t have any powder. Well, brushes are super expensive so in case I relent and buy a face powder or bronzer I don’t want to have to shell out for a brush.

Balm Dotcom

BUY. THIS. RIGHT. NOW. The best lip balm and you can use it on cuticles, hair, burns or dry skin. It’s really longlasting and has a matte finish too.

Buy Balm Dotcom by Glossier (UK)

Buy Balm Dotcom by Glossier (USA)

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So in total I have 15 products, 4 of those are tools. You could take away the lip liner and brow pencil/gel and maybe the eyeshadow so realistically you could shave the number of products down to 10. I really tried my best to make this kit minimal but at the end of the day as long as it all fits in a small bag then a few extra products won’t make a difference.

Just note that these are MY essentials, and while a lot of them I think should be on everyone’s list, you should tailor it to your preferences. Like if you never wear bright lipstick, you’re not going to while you’re backpacking. Or if you have pale skin, take a bronzer. Just think smart and take products that you have tried and tested so you feel as beautiful as possible while on your travels.


*NB. There are affiliate links in this article, this means I earn a small commission if you purchase something after clicking a link. This is at no extra cost to you and will not affect your shopping experience. This feature is in no way sponsored or affiliated with any brand. 100% honest always. X



  1. tdenkler0002 says

    Oh my goodess. I read your list and I am dreading having to choose between all my makeup goodies to take with me on the trip. We shall see when the time comes but hopefully I can whittle it down to a select few like you! Thanks for sharing!


  2. Pingback: Backpacker Beauty: The Ultimate Edit | The Fashionable Backpacker

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