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Keeping Makeup Safe On the Road

By Amalah

I sometimes need to travel for work and, like everyone, want to look my best, so I tote around my makeup, but I found I have a traveling with makeup predicament.
I use a loose powder and whenever I put it in my makeup bag which goes in my checked luggage usually, it inevitably gets everywhere (not in the bag so much, but in it’s little tub, usually pouring out of the little holes). I leave the beauty puff in there (even though I use a brush to apply the powder) to minimize the powder getting everywhere, but it always winds up becoming a mess when I twist off the cap of the tub (imagine powder all over the sink counter, my hands, way too much on my brush, etc.). So, what’s the best way to travel with loose powder? I’ve tried putting it in my carry-on bag, so I can keep an eye on it, but it doesn’t seem to matter–the powder always gets everywhere. I just feel like I wind up wasting so much of my precious powder.
Also, at least one eye shadow invariably breaks and crumbles in my traveling creating another unpleasant mess. Any suggestions for curbing that or I am just a cheapo with not-so-good eye shadow?
Many thanks,
an editor trying to look her best

I figured this question would be quite apropos right now as many of you are packing up for the Blogher conference (those of you who are not like me, who wait until the day before to haul out the suitcase and then get distracted by something shiny and end up at your destination with 14 seasonally inappropriate shirts and no pants), even though I am super sad to report that I’m not going. After waiting and waiting for somebody, anybody to send me a bucket of money, it’s clear that we just can’t afford it right now. (You ingrates! I WANT MAH BUCKET.) So y’all have fun, be nice to each other and then drop me a line if you’re ever in DC and we’ll open champagne bottles with swords in my backyard or something.
coty.jpgDoes the inside little top to your powder open up, by any chance? Like, can you pull that part with the holes out? I can with mine, so I usually yank it out before traveling, pack it and then pop it back in when I get to my destination. This solves the dilemma of trying to apply a usable amount of powder when there’s a freaking mountain of the stuff spilling out all over.
If the top doesn’t separate from the package, you could try putting a layer of tape (I’m thinking packing tape might work) over the holes to keep spillage to a minimum. Or cut a circle of cardboard out and put that in, along with the puff or some wadded-up tissue to keep it in place.
As for shadows and other things that break, I will say that (in my experience, anyway), the cheaper the makeup, the more likely it is to crumble. I’m thinking of Maybelline and Ulta-brand shadows in particular — I’ve had those suckers break on me after setting them down on the counter a little too roughly. It’s probably as much the fault of flimsy plastic packaging as it is the product. Then again, I recently discovered that one of my NARS shadows had crumbled, even though that’s definitely not an inexpensive compact by any means, and the packaging seems pretty indestructible. It was several years old though. So…uh. I don’t know!
(I’ve dropped my uber-pricey Hourglass Shade shadow twice in the past month — once on tile and once on hardwood, and both times I was sure it was toast. Nope. Totally fine. Not even a cracked mirror. I think I might start throwing it against the wall for fun.)
(I got that shadow for free, by the way, in the interest of full disclosure and also to clarify that I’m not skipping Blogher because I spent all our money of makeup.)
(I spent it on shoes! Duh.)
The trick to getting your makeup there and back again safely is 1) padding, and 2) immovability. Which I am surprised to learn from my spellchecker is actually a word. Wrap stuff in tissues before putting it in your cosmetics bag and pack it tight. Or put things in plastic baggies and shove them inside your socks, then shove your socks into your shoes. Your bag is going to get tossed up, down, all around, but if you can ensure that the inside contents are packed tight enough that nothing will shift around, your makeup should be okay. (Of course, if your bag gets selected for a random extra security check where it gets opened, rifled through and repacked, all bets are off.)

Published July 16, 2007. Last updated July 16, 2007.
About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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