Vacation Beauty Essentials

I travel all the time. Sometimes its for makeup work, (most recently 4 days in Belize), sometimes it’s for play, and two months of the year it’s with my Glam Italia tours.

I have a very simple rhythm when it comes to travel beauty. Focus on your skin, keep makeup super simple, keep hair drama to a minimum.

If you are traveling internationally you also need to factor in weight, so you want to take fewer products and take advantage of either travel sizes or decanting your existing products into travel sized containers. ( I buy mine at The Container Store)

Here are what I count as Vacation Beauty Essentials:

Skin Care


Think about the climate you are traveling to, and the humidity you may or may not be in. Often you will need to change up your cleanser to work with the new climate. At home in Phoenix where it is beyond dry, I always use an oil cleanser. But when I travel to somewhere humid, like Belize, I need something less juicy, so I use a foaming wash instead. This year I have been traveling with Verso Foaming Cleanser. 


The moisturizer equation can be complicated when you are on vacation. Skin desperately needs moisture and hydration, but when you are in humidity that can overwhelm your already slimy feeling skin. (can you tell I don’t like humidity??) If you are traveling to somewhere drier than home then your skin will feel parched and will lose it’s glow.

I like to have a booster that I can use under my moisturizer when my skin feels dry, or just use alone and maybe skip moisturizing when humidity has me feeling gooey.

Facial SPF

You absolutely need a free standing, broad spectrum, facial SPF. That means not the facial sun screen that is in your moisturizer or foundation, but a separate, just for the face sunscreen. Get the highest SPF you can find. I use Neutrogena Dry Touch with Helioplex SPF 85 or 100


Glam Italia Tour in Avola, Sicily. Less is more.

Less is more when you are on vacation. Nothing is more beautiful than glowing skin, so you want to create the illusion of glowing skin. Leave heavy foundations at home and opt for a BB Cream or light water weight foundation instead. I travel with BB Cream or with Makeup Forever Water Blend Face and Body Foundation

Glam Italia Tour, Siena

Glam Italia Tour in Siena, Italy

If you focus on glowing skin, then you can simplify the rest of your look. Make sure your brows are groomed and filled in, keep eye shadow simple, use lots of mascara, and give yourself a fresh pop of color on your lips.


Hair can go crazy when you change climates. Pack something to help your hair shine and to control frizz. Don’t buy a different shampoo and conditioner than you normally use because you’ve found travel sizes in a different brand – I decant mine into travel sized bottles, or buy my brand in travel size.

Morning in Paris, thrilled to be looking out over the rooftops of the Marais

You can extend your blow out and keep your hair looking fabulous for longer by packing a 100% Silk Pillowcase for Hair – I absolutely swear by them! I order mine on . I have them at home and I keep one in my travel bag so that I am never traveling without one.

Over-sized Sunglasses.

Il San Pietro di Positano

The Mediterranean terrace at the Hotel Il San Pietro di Positano

I swear by big sunglasses. They help protect the skin around your eyes, they are such a statement by themselves, and quite frankly, no end of crimes can be hidden behind over-sized glasses.

Glam Italia Tour Montalcino

On the Glam Italia Tour we found a field of sunflowers in Tuscany. We jumped out of the car and took about 100 photos

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