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For many of us, our makeup bag resembles a warzone the minute we start packing for a trip. Powder spills from the many compacts and eye-shadow palettes, bulky mascaras jostling for space, and a million lipsticks in anticipation of your mood going from red to nude in minutes – suffice to say it’s not easy cutting down your makeup bag into a few essentials. It is, however, rather simple to pick the right products: Choose ones that come with ease of application, are multipurpose, hydrating, don’t spill and need just a sleight of hand to make you look great on the go. Here are our favourite TSA-approved, easy-to-use, travel makeup that you can safely fit into your favourite Gucci bag.


Photo: Courtesy Getty Images

M.A.C Prep + Prime Pore Refiner Stick, Rs 2,300

When it comes to prepping and priming, no one does it better than M.A.C; their primers reduce the appearance of pores and give a smooth canvas to build up your foundation. Only this time, it’s a convenient stick that blurs imperfections to reveal even skin. This oil-free formula absorbs the excess sebum and gives a matte finish.

Smashbox Studio Skin Shaping Foundation Stick, Rs 3,000

A foundation and contour in one product equals a light makeup bag. This double-ended stick is easy to apply and comes with a soft contour shade that suits your skin tone. The best part: It’s so smooth it won’t settle into the pores or create fine lines. Plus, it keeps the skin dewy and moisturised.

Benefit Boi-Ing Hydrating Concealer, Rs 2,110

This lightweight, under-eye concealer brightens instantly, stays put all day and doesn’t crease. The concealer stick is also infused with vitamin E and apple seed extract to keep the skin hydrated for up to six hours. The pretty packaging is a bonus.

Nudestix Intense Matte Lip And Cheek Pencil, Rs 2,350

“Nudestix is the go-to product for women who are busy,” says Taylor Frankel, co-founder of this American indie label. And that’s precisely why it is on this list. Its soft, non-drying formula is a matte lipstick, lip liner and cheek blush all rolled into one pencil, which comes in a convenient tin box with a mirror and sharpener. Just so thoughtful and effective for travel. We recommend Purity, Retro and Kiss, which are perfect for Indian skin

Nars Orgasm The Multiple, Rs 3,225 approx

The ever-faithful Nars Orgasm in a stick? It doesn’t get better than that. This multipurpose stick is great for accentuating the eyes, cheeks, lips, and body, and its ultimate creamy formula blends effortlessly. You can use it as a shimmer accent, to contour your face with a light hand or add as highlight. Plus it filled with antioxidants like vitamin E and acai oil. We love Portofino, a neat shimmering coral, the perfect hue to own.

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Sparkle Stick, Rs 2,750

This one solves the eye palette conundrum. Just stick to a star hue, and get yourself a Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Sparkle Stick. This long-lasting, do-it-all eye shadow stays put for around eight hours. You can shade, define, smoke and highlight eyes in one go – all you need to do is to swipe it across the lids and blend with your fingertips. Our favourites are Violet Plum for night and Soft Peach for day.

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight in Hefty Highlight, Rs 2,200

The Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight in Hefty Highlight is pretty much the best thing you can carry around when it comes to a highlighter. It’s a lightweight, luminous cream highlighting stick whose light-reflecting optics can make a tired face light up in minutes. It is also just the right size to throw into your makeup bag.

Dior Addict Lip Glow Color Awakening Lip Balm, Rs 2,500 approx

This is a sheer balm that also doubles up as a lipstick. Light on the lips, it can be used as a base coat, lip balm and top coat on your favourite lipstick. A gloss in its earlier avatar, it now comes in two more finishes – matte and holographic.

Latha Sunadh
Deputy Editor
When she's not trying on a new serum, researching on yet another classic fragrance and sharing lip balms with her 5-year old daughter, Latha Sunadh keeps it reined in with a nice song and a good book. Special skills include obsessing over handmade, home-made and handcrafted luxuries.