Scaling down from our MUJI packed stashes to a portable edit of makeup essentials for travelling is a process that us beauty junkies always tend to struggle with. Am I right? There is something about a parred back lineup of options that could easily fit in one acrylic drawer that I find very appealing. Streamlined, no dithering allowed and a picture that’s just asking to be Instagrammed. But in reality I end up halfway around the world with an eyeliner sans pencil sharpener, a powder without a brush and one foundation that’s way too light for me. In recent years though I’ve become a little better – bringing a pencil sharpener and brushes galore along – so today, from a little desk in the corner of my very Faulty Towers-esque hotel room in Milan (we’ll save those stories for another day), I thought I’d share some pointers I’ve picked up along the way…

AVOID GLASS. If you can. It’s heavy, breakable and makes things bulky. Decanting is the secret to streamlining; a hefty skincare routine can be slimmed down into a week’s worth of cleansing, moisturising and the rest by the aid of a few miniature plastic bottles. There are exceptions to this rule though, where decanting isn’t available (see last point).

THE PALETTE PIMP. Remember all those palettes you buy, then hoard and gather dust? Yeah those. Now is your time to crack them out. Eyeshadows palettes that house everything from nudes to taupes, blacks to browns and everything in between, blusher-packed pans and those do-it-all kits that cover lips, cheeks and eyes – they can form the main section of your makeup in one slim compact. Easy.

FOUNDATION STACKIN’. At the last minute I decided to solely bring along NARS Sheer Glow Foundation along with me on this trip and while it’s a fab base, my skin has been calling out for CHANEL Vitalumiere Aqua on its dry days and Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk on its ruddy, ‘will not behave’ days. Lesson learnt that I should have stuck with my original plan. But instead of lugging around three bottles of the stuff, invest in a stacking tower (as pictured) which can be picked up in Boots etc. A great solution for bringing around a shedload of products in the space that would normally fit one.

THE ESSENTIALS. Here’s a list of common beauty objects that I always forget so you don’t have to: eyeshadow primer, the correct brushes for each packed product, tweezers, nail scissors, cotton buds, razor, toothpaste, dry shampoo. If there are items that you can’t pack until the morning of your trip – make a list and tick them off as you throw them in last minute.

PACK LIKE A PRO. I’ve learnt this one the hard way, as there’s nothing quite like finding out that a nail polish has decided to make its explosive exit from its bottle in your suitcase. Now they find their home in my socks. Pop unavoidable glass packaging into your underwear and liquids into plastic bags. Always, always pack toiletries in a waterproof pouch – shower gels just love to escape – and tape down any lids with cello tape (throw a small roll in your suitcase to do the same on the return journey). Beauty packing, sorted.

  • Anna Blush

    Great tips Anna! I actually love packing for a trip, my inner organisation freak really comes out. Hope you’re enjoying Milan! x

    http://anna-blush.blogspot.com

  • Ella

    I love packing for some reason, but I hate over-packing so I usually bring a very limited selection of bits because I know I won’t be bothered on holiday!

    ellaboobeauty.blogspot.co.uk

  • http://blushingbiddies.com/ Puri

    Good tips! I never would of thought about the stacking mini containers, genius!

    blushingbiddies.com

  • http://whatjessdoesnext.blogspot.com.au Jess Seymour

    Packing some tape with me is a must – especially after a blush popped open and shattered through my toiletries. Great tips here!

    http://whatjessdoesnext.blogspot.com.au

  • http://jasmincharlotte.com JasminCharlotte

    I really like that stacking tower. Totally agree on always forgetting the razor – and is so frustrating to have left behind!

    http://www.jasmincharlotte.com

  • A Subtle Difference

    I’m always forgetting my razor! Great idea to use and take some cellotape away with you. Hope you’re having a great time in Milan! x
    http://asubtledifference.blogspot.co.uk/

  • http://sophiesmakeupblog.blogspot.co.uk/ Sophie

    Great tips, will be storing my nail varnish in my socks from now on when travelling! x

    SophiesMakeupBlog

  • Isamour

    I really need that kind of article when I’m gonna travel because I’m the type of girl who brings 4 suitcases…

    My fashion blog: http://www.isamour.com

  • Lauren S

    great tips – i’d never think to put my nail varnish in my socks but i do try to surround it. I always overpack make-up and need to remember what i don’t need !

    Lauren x

    Britton Loves | Fashion Lifestyle + Photography – http://www.brittonloves.blogspot.co.uk

    NOMINATE ME FOR BEST PERSONAL STYLE BLOG NEWCOMER HERE !

  • Isabelle McWilliam

    Love that foundation stack!

    http://www.notanotherbeautyblog.co.uk

  • Parisian To Be

    I really must find some beauty towers; they would be so hand for travelling. I’m such a near freak, packing is one of my favorite things to do. Have a great time in Milan!

    xo Lillian from Parisian To Be

  • AnouschB

    Thanks for the great tips! If you have time you HAVE to visit my favorite Italian restaurant in the whole world: Bagutta! If only for a brief look at their fabulous painted walls…. It’s bang right in the ‘triangolo d’oro’ between Via Sant’Andrea and the Corso Venezia.

    Via Bagutta, 14, 20121 Milano, Italy
    +39 02 7600 2767

  • Louise

    Love it! Very helpful as I am going on holidays soon! :) http://lcsbeauty.blogspot.ie/

  • ElisabethRilatt

    Great post Anna, I shall be using this advice when I next go away! :)

    http://www.elisabethrilatt.com

  • Song

    Great post I’m traveling overseas in about a week!

    Song | songsberry.blogspot.com

  • sofika
  • Michelle Glassow Schroll

    I hope I can be as good at packing when I’m leaving for Rome in two weeks ;)

    http://glassow.com

  • Charlotte

    Fab tips. Stellotaping lids is a good one x

    http://www.blondecnvas.blogspot.co.uk

  • http://www.jadeddaily.co.uk jadeddaily

    I’m a bit of an OCD when it comes to packing, especially my beauty bits. Just wish I had somewhere to go now to actually pack for! Hope you had a wonderful time in Milan.
    http://www.jadeddaily.co.uk

  • http://www.nadianawal.com Nadia

    Like always, great tips.

    http://www.nadianawal.com

  • Rachel

    Stacking towers are seriously going to be a lifesaver for my next trip! Thanks!

    http://rachellovesbeauty.wordpress.com

  • Millie Robinson

    Need to get the Muji stacking towers, they look perfect for travelling :) x

    http://abeautyromancee.blogspot.co.uk
    http://abeautyromancee.blogspot.co.uk

  • lisa robb
  • Elena

    Hi Anna! What skincare did you put in the Muji pots? Thank you for the tips!

  • Everydaymelissa

    as always…informative.. this is just getting me ready for my cruise! http://www.libertasetgloriam.com

  • Kylie Ladd

    this is a great list :) thecaliforeigner.blogspot.com

  • Talisa Lauren Tossell
  • Alewtina Sew
  • http://kizzyhearts.blogspot.co.uk Kirsty

    Great post, I’ll be favouriting this for when I pack for my holiday xx

    kizzyhearts.blogspot.co.uk

  • http://sheseekvictoria.wordpress.com/ Victoria Caulfield

    I love the video! The little things for foundation and cremes are amazing, I hope I can find some!

  • Andrea

    Great tips! I love the stacking tower, I never knew about it’s existence till I saw it on your blog hopefully I can find it in local stores. The stacking tower will help me with my struggles when I have to decide what products to bring when I travel.

    http://www.wondersofandrea.blogspot.ca

  • LMISMINSKY

    I love those stacking pots, but I’ve found that the boots ones never last more than one trip. They crack and leak…perhaps I should only take them in my hand luggage?

  • Jo Fisher

    Love this – so helpful! I seem to be travelling every weekend at the moment and if that keeps up I’ll have to steal some of these tips. Adore the stacking tower idea – would never have thought of that!

    Jo xx

    She Wears Burgundy

  • mikaylaa.s

    Love organisation posts! This one is so great, the tower stacking is great, the taping down lids one I never would have thought of that!

    northernjoli.blogspot.com

  • http://www.sophs-choices.blogspot.co.uk/ SophsChoices

    I love the idea of using those stackable MUJI pots for travelling. Just the right amount of product for a week.

    Check out my ‘Free Things For Clearer Skin’ post for exactly that… tips for everyone to achieve clear, glowing skin.

    http://www.sophschoices.co.uk

    Sophie

    x

  • Jodie

    A good tip I’ve heard to stop pressed powder products from smashing is to get some of those padded envelopes with the bubble wrap inside. You can pick them up from the post office or you can just horde all the ones that come with your online purchases.

  • http://ohnothingventured.com Élle

    Really helpful! The stackable towers is such a great idea!

    Élle | OH NOTHING VENTURED

  • Sybil Mae

    I love my Narsissist eyeshadow palette, the colours in it are so pretty :)

    http://www.youtube.com/user/porridgenpickles89