Style & Beauty

How to Travel Light

Now that we can travel again, it’s time for a refresher on how to make room for all your beauty necessities

By Mariève Inoue

An expertly packed suitcase depends on two key elements: choosing your clothing, accessories, and cosmetics according to your destination, and making sure that everything is as versatile as possible and actually suited to your needs. The goal is for your luggage to be light while nevertheless containing everything you need.
When it comes to skincare, makeup, and hair products, you should opt for multi-use formulas and products that are practical for travel. In anticipation of adventures ahead, we asked three beauty experts for some tips that will no doubt come in handy when you’re packing for your next adventure.


David Vincent, a makeup artist at Watier, shares his suggestions for keeping your makeup bag compact.

– Look for multi-functional products. “Everything you choose to put in your bag should have more than one function or the potential to be used in more than one situation,” he says. This goes for your makeup as well as your clothing and shoes.

– Keep your wardrobe in mind. “Your makeup and beauty products should support the outfits you’ve packed,” Vincent says. Context is also important: “If you’re going on a cruise and you know there will be dressier occasions, pack your makeup accordingly.”

– Take the essentials. Make sure you have everything you need to do your everyday makeup, from your complexion to your eyes and lips, Vincent advises. While it can be tempting to pack a bunch of products you rarely use, or several options for each type, remember that you don’t “become a completely different person while travelling,” he adds. You can have fun switching up your look (you’re on vacation, after all), but you’re likely to reach for the same products you use at home.

Everyone’s must-haves are different, but here are some of Vincent’s:

• bronzing powder: this can double as blush;
• mascara: make it a waterproof formula if you plan on swimming;
• tinted lip balm: use it to keep your lips hydrated and add colour to your cheeks;
• a mini eyeshadow palette: you’ll have different colour options; some palettes even include a decent-sized mirror and a built-in brush or applicator;
• a face palette: this should include a bronzing powder, blush, and highlighter.

Choose practical textures and packaging. Some products travel better than others, such as makeup that comes in cream or stick form. Also, consider packaging and the different types of closing mechanisms: tubes, lockable pump dispensers, and plastic bottles (as opposed to glass, which is heavier and more likely to break) can make a huge difference when it comes to ensuring that your luggage stays mess-free.

Skin care

If you’re not sure what to take along to care for your face and body, Karine Joncas, who created her own skin-care brand, has some ideas.

– Pack travel sizes. Several products are sold in smaller sizes, allowing you to enjoy your favourites while keeping your cosmetics bag light. You can also opt for reusable small bottles and jars.

– Minimize your routine. Bring only the basics: a cleanser, serum, and moisturizer. Multi-use products, such as a moisturizer that can be used in the morning and at night on your face as well as around the eye area, are excellent allies. “It’s not the end of the world if you pare down your routine temporarily,” Joncas says. For example, if you usually layer multiple serums under your moisturizer, you can get away with just one while you’re away.

– Bring tried-and-true favourites. “Experimenting with new products while travelling isn’t ideal,” Joncas says. Nobody wants to end up far from home with a product that has a texture, scent, or effect that doesn’t meet their expectations.

– Adapt your skin care to your destination. “If you’re heading somewhere sunny, your skin is likely to lose its hydration more easily,” Joncas warns. She suggests taking along products that boost hydration. For a ski vacation, look for textures and ingredients that are suited to the cold.

– Avoid liquid formulas. “If you have to choose between a micellar water and a makeup-removing gel or milk, always go for the least fluid texture,” Joncas says, as gels and creams are less likely to spill in your suitcase. Solid, waterless products are another interesting option.

– Don’t skimp on sunscreen. Rather than packing a moisturizer with a built-in SPF, pack a separate sunscreen product that can be used on both your face and body and has a sun protection factor of at least 30. Even if you’re not vacationing by the beach, you’re likely to spend more time outdoors than you would at home.


Cindy Duplantis, brand ambassador for Chatters and a celebrity stylist, reveals her secrets for keeping your hair flawless on your next trip.

– Prioritize products with multiple benefits. “Look for a spray that amplifies, texturizes, and refreshes hair or a hairspray that lets you customize the level of control,” Duplantis says. You can also get mists that add shine while providing heat protection and styling creams that can be applied to wet or dry hair to help hold your style while reducing frizz.

– Plan how you’ll do your hair. To avoid packing unnecessary products, “plan your hairstyles in advance, which will help you figure out exactly which products you’ll require.”

– Check the local forecast (including the humidity level). For example, if you’re heading to a tropical destination, “you may want to tie your hair back rather than use hot tools.”

– Travel with favourite formulas. While hotels often provide shampoo and conditioner, Duplantis suggests taking a travel version of your preferred products with you. Add a leave-in treatment to your kit for hydration emergencies.

– Find a versatile hot tool. If you can’t leave home without your curling iron or hair straightener, invest in a tool that acts as both. Don’t forget to check whether it’s compatible with local electrical outlets and their voltage before you go.

Essentials for Your Carry-On

Here’s what our experts recommend having on hand to make your trip more comfortable and to help you freshen up before you land:

• a beauty mist for a boost of hydration;
• eye patches to soothe and energize your eye contour;
• hand cream or a universal moisturizer to keep dry skin at bay;
• concealer to help camouflage signs of fatigue;
• a moisturizing lipstick or tinted lip balm to brighten up your complexion;
• a mini bottle of dry shampoo to refresh your mane.

Don’t forget to put any liquids, aerosols, or gels—which must all be 100 millilitres or less in size—in a single transparent bag that contains a maximum total of one litre to ensure you breeze through security. Bon voyage!