A Beauty Director's Go To Products For Traveling & While On The Go
As a beauty director who also covers travel, I've become obsessed with asking people what they pack in their carry-ons or bags when they're out and about. It's part of our As of Late questionnaire, and our Well Traveled guides almost always showcase a beauty product or two.
I've become quite proud of my own edited-down, purse-friendly routine. And I'm here to share with you the staples I cannot leave the house without. This is perfect for proper travel (you know, the kind that involves trains or planes), but it's also just a great set for when you need to look pulled together in a pinch.
A beauty director's go-to products for when she's on the go
The key to crafting a condensed routine is to pick products that take up minimal space but have huge aesthetic impact. For me, that's a concealer, brow gel, multiuse pigment, and a lip balm. If I can touch up my complexion, shape the brows, add a touch of color, and soften the lips with moisture, I'm instantly more confident in how I look. It's quick, tool-free, and helps you look refreshed instantly:
Dense, pigmented concealer
Find yourself a potted concealer with a generous color payoff. The point here is that a little should go a long way. Even if you're not someone who otherwise uses full-coverage complexion products, opt for something rich with color.
Potted cream concealers are easy to blend with just your fingers, as well as being customizable to your coverage needs. Apply thin, small layers to create more coverage, or sheer it out over a larger surface area for softer coverage (and more akin to a foundation).
I target just under my eyes, which can help brighten the entire face and help you look more rested. I also add a sheer coat of coverage around my nose and the apples of my cheek, which tend to get red (I have rosacea and am often struggling with flare-ups that cause my face to flush).
I love Rituel de Fille The Ethereal Veil because it has the most natural finish I've ever seen, but there are other great options including RMS Beauty UnCover Up Concealer. For those who'd rather opt for a stick (another travel-friendly shape), Merit's The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Foundation and Concealer Stick is spectacular.
When I interview makeup artists, I often ask about what small steps have big impacts. Essentially: What gets a high ROI. Time and time again, it all comes back to the brows. The brows help shape the face, and defining them is one of the quickest ways to look more polished. As someone with thin and light brow hairs, I completely agree: I need a touch of pigment on my brows to look put together.
If I have more time (and my full makeup bag), I like to use both a pencil and brow gel. But when I'm out and about, I'll stick to just the tinted gel. Then I just add a quick coat while brushing up and over.
One of the best options on the market is Thrive Causemetics Instant Brow Fix Semi-Permanent Eyebrow Gel, which actually darkens your brow hairs over time. But for folks who don't want a lingering tint, Kosas Air Brow has a mouse-like texture and several shades to pick from (including clear!)
Oh, and once your brows are brushed up, grab that pot of concealer again. "Once eyebrows are going upward, you can add a light dotting of concealer in the arch of your brow to make the brow appear lifted," celebrity makeup artist Rebecca Restrepo says about the quick brow-lifting hack. "Blend it lightly with your fingers."
Hydrate lips & add color
It's always good practice to have a lip balm handy. The skin on the lips is delicate and chaps easily, according to derms. "The mucosal part of your lip is thinner compared to the rest of your skin, as it is made up of fewer layers and also contains many capillaries or tiny blood vessels," board-certified dermatologist Marisa Garshick, M.D., FAAD, tells mbg about aging lips.
Adding a comforting layer of hydration will not only protect the skin but will help the skin appear more supple, soft, and plump. Just be sure to opt for formulas that include a blend of humectants, emollients, and occlusives. mindbodygreen's lip balm, for example, features shea butter to soften the surface, hyaluronic acid to draw in hydration, antioxidant-rich oils (like moringa and sunflower seed) to protect the delicate skin, and vitamin E and vegan waxes to lock in moisture.
Looking good doesn't have to be complicated. Once you edit down your routine to a few mainstay products, you'll be amazed at how effortlessly you can look pulled together. Yes, even when traveling or on the go.
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.