Forgetting essential beauty products at home while you’re traveling can be frustrating, but so can overpacking. By packing more than the necessary, you may end up inconveniencing yourself by needing to check your bag once you get to the airport. The best way to prevent overpacking is to plan ahead, bring only the essentials, and pack them efficiently, like a minimalist.

1. Make a List

This very important step will prevent you from forgetting your essentials. Whether it’s a skincare product prescribed by your dermatologist, a specific lipstick that you plan to wear for a special event, or a hairstyling tool that you can’t do your hair without, make sure to add it to your list. Include every single product you consider an essential and use most of the time. You will trim the list in the next step.

2. Use Multitasking Products

Some beauty products can perform a couple of different functions. You may want to consider these options, in order to slim down your list of essentials:

Lipsticks can double as cream blushes
Face bronzers and highlighters can double as eyeshadows
Powder foundations can double as setting powders
Brown eyeshadows can double as brow fillers (as long as the color suits your brows)
A dark brown eye pencil may double as a brow filler (as long as it suits your brows)
A tinted lip balm works as a moisturizing lip treatment as well as a lip color
Eyeshadows can also be used to line the eyes in place of eye pencils
A beauty oil like jojoba can be used for moisturizing the skin and for removing makeup
After considering which of your products can be used in multiple ways, eliminate the products you no longer need to pack. You can also lighten your makeup bag by packing makeup brushes that can be used in multiple ways, and don’t forget that fingers can apply most makeup products easily and with good results.

3. Make Your Own Travel Size Products

Buying your favorite products in travel size containers is very convenient, but it’s likely that you won’t find all your favorite products in travel size options. Even if you do, you may end up spending more money, as travel size products are usually less cost-effective (spoiler alert: you pay more for the convenience). Transferring your favorite products into travel-friendly containers takes little time and saves you both money and space. Not to mention, you can re-use the containers multiple times.

Liquid products (skincare products, shampoo, liquid foundation, etc.) can be transferred into travel-friendly bottles (such as the TSA-approved bottles that you can find in most pharmacies). A contact lenses case makes the perfect space-saving container for your liquid foundation, concealer, or even a chunk of your lipstick.

Loose powders, such as setting powders, eyeshadows, bronzers, blushes, etc. can be packed into small cosmetic jars. You can either use empty jars of products you have used up, or new cosmetic jars, like these that you can find on Amazon.

4. Opt for Free Samples

You can head to your local department store makeup counter and pick up samples of your favorite products for free. Yes, you read that correctly: For free.

If you need a little extra help deciding which beauty products you should pack, consider this beauty essentials sample list.

Skincare:

Cleanser
Toner
Moisturizer
Face sunscreen
Makeup remover/makeup wipes
Makeup wipes are not the best option when it comes to makeup removal, as they don’t provide a deep cleanse. However, they are very useful and practical while traveling, and are worth keeping in your travel beauty bag.

Makeup:

Foundation/concealer
Setting powder
Brow product
Lip/cheek product
Eyelash curler
Mascara
Tinted lip balm
Eyeliner (optional)

Hair products:

Shampoo
Conditioner
Comb/brush
Dry shampoo (optional)

Other body/personal care items:

Razor
Moisturizer
Deodorant
Body sunscreen (only if needed)
Toothpaste
Toothbrush
5. Pack Efficiently

One last step is to pack your products efficiently. A beauty bag with pockets is ideal, but if you don’t have one, you could use a couple of Ziploc bags. Avoid packing all the products in one bag because in case of an accident, such as a powder compact breaking or a lipstick cap coming loose, you will limit the damage to the other items. Ziploc bags are a great option, as they won’t allow any leaking, if properly sealed.