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Feature photo by stevendepolo. Photo above by wili_hybrid

There are two, shall we say, ‘secrets’ to packing a successful, compact toiletry/beauty case for traveling. The first is obvious: pack travel sized products.

The second little secret is to pack products which serve more than one purpose. Use an oil that is suited to your face, hands and hair, or pack a cosmetic that can put a rose in both your cheeks and lips. The more purposes an item serves, the more it earns a position in the cutthroat world of toiletry cases.

Beyond your basic toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and deodorant, here are ten of my personal favorite products; several are multipurpose, and they all come in handy travel sizes.

Now you have more room for that duty free perfume you’ve got your eye on.

Multipurpose Oil –Trilogy Rosehip Oil

This is a brilliant moisturizer that suits all skin types, and can be used on the body, face, and for dry hair. Great to use after time spent in the sun and for cracked cuticles as well. Natural, nourishing and multipurpose.

Dry Shampoo/Hair Powder – Principessa Hair Powder

If you can’t get hold of shampoo for a few days, are in seemingly endless transit, or don’t have time to wash your hair, this is your best friend.

It soaks up oil, extends your blow-dry and gives limp travel hair an instant boost.

Lip Balm – Yes to Carrots C Me Smile Lip Butter

Lip gloss doesn’t moisturize so make sure you pack a balm. This small compact balm is full of natural goodness for lips that have borne the brunt of in-flight air conditioning.

Cheek/Lip Stain – Benefit Benetint

Stains are long lasting and can be used on both lips and cheeks. Instead of packing a blush compact and a lipstick (too fiddly for traveling), go for a tint.

One handy little bottle means rosy cheeks and lip color and more room in your toiletry case.


Sunscreen is an absolute no-brainer and finding a travel sized product is easy, so no excuses. Go with a minimum of 30+, particularly when traveling in the Southern Hemisphere (we lost our ozone layer).

For light face coverage, try a tinted moisturizer with SPF.


Buy an atomizer, available at chemists and most perfume specialty stores, and fill it with your favorite perfume. Not only does it save lugging the full sized bottle around (and the risk of breaking it) but they’re small enough to take in carry-on luggage, so you’ll always have a spritz of your signature scent on hand.

Face Wipes – Garnier Fresh Complete Cleansing Wipes

Cloth wipes don’t break or leak, are easy to transport and a great pick me up after a long day of sightseeing. You can also take them on a plane for that much needed in-flight freshening up.

Hand cream – Nivea SOS Intensive Balm

If you’re flying a lot, or in a dry climate, then your paws will get dry and itchy and when your cuticles split, it’s painful. This perfectly sized handcream provides quick absorption and is uber-hydrating.

Manicure Kit – Dumpling Dynasty Beauty Kit

Manicure kits, like sewing kits are things you think you can do without but when you lose a button, a key or a splinter, these little things come in mighty handy.

Mineral Powder – Inika Mineral Powder Foundation

No one wants to be bothered with a full face of make up when traveling. This light, completely natural mineral powder acts as a concealer and foundation.

It’s the definition of no fuss.

Home + Garden


About The Author

Olivia Hambrett

Olivia is a Sydney-based writer and editor who spends most of her time plotting new trips, getting excited over airfare sales, and drinking from a seemingly bottomless cup of tea. She is the Co-Editor of Australian web-mag, Trespass and as a freelance writer, has contributed to numerous online and print publications. Right now, she is quietly plotting a return to the Greek Islands.

  • Lydia

    Nail brush!

  • Abbie

    The face cleansing wipes are key for me! I love the idea of items that are useful for more than one thing – thanks for the tips!

  • Alouise

    i always take tea tree oil with me,it’s great for breakouts and is also good to treat mild cuts and scrapes.

    Love the idea of the multipurpose lip/cheek stain too.

  • Liv

    Face wipes and dry shampoo – hear that! Nice compilation.

  • Liv H

    Yes, the dry shampoo is a complete lifesaver when you’re on the go. Ditto the lip/cheek stain. I try and travel with as few cosmetics as possible, but you never know when you’ll need to scrub up for an unplanned event, so it’s good to have something on hand.

  • Pele

    Cetaphil (I’m unsure if it’s available anywhere outside the US) is my thing. You don’t need water to wash your face with this product. Simply rub, and wipe off excess moisture. It’s really good for sensitive skin. Can also be used on the body for a wash when there’s no water available. :)

  • Kate

    Yup, I always have Principessa Hair Powder with me wherever i go. It’s very convenient and the scent is just amazing! Great perk-me-up for my hair after work!

  • Adrienne

    Talc powder, or baby powder, is a must for anyone who does not enjoy the atypical greasy traveler hair.

  • jm


  • Sara

    Great tips, thank you – especially like the atomiser idea.

    Lipstick – works as blusher too and better than powder for hot climes.
    Vaseline (small tin) – cuticle cream, moisturiser for dry skin, hair serum, lip balm…
    Dental floss – handy washing line.
    Old tooth brush – nail brush

  • Rebekka

    PLEASE don’t bring your perfume on the airplane – it invariably gives me, and a lot of people like me, an asthma attack when you use it in a confined space.

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