4 Clever Ways to Maximize Your Travel Bag

Our community of Birchbloggers is a vibrant bunch of beauty-loving ladies from all corners of the blogosphere. Starting in January 2014, we’ll be featuring one Birchblogger each month on the Birchbox Magazine. This month, we have Allison Wheeler, the color-obsessed Texan behind Wanderlings, who shares her pack-smart strategy below.

Packing your bags is never an easy feat—especially when makeup and skincare are involved. For a potentially stressful trip (visiting a significant other's parents or an out-of-town job interview, for example), being caught off-guard without your go-to products can be a nightmare. Here's how to lighten your load and still remain prepared for anything.

1. Think Outside the Box

Repurpose contact lens cases to transport very small amounts of skincare products and makeup—think loose powders, foundations, and tinted moisturizers. The smaller the amount of product in your bag, the smaller the chance that something will spill out everywhere!
Packing List: Squeeze a small amount of Jouer’s Tinted Moisturizer into the “left eye” and Benefit’s Hello Flawless Foundation into the “right.”

2. Repeat After Me: Only the Essentials

It’s easy to go overboard, but you should only bring the essentials. Before I'm going on a trip, I'll leave my products out so I can monitor what I actually use. And remember that there are often basic things like soap when you reach your destination. There’s no need to pack your entire medicine cabinet!
Packing List: Save space with travel-sized treats like Marvis Toothpaste and products that pull double duty like Sienna Naturals’ Baobab Oil Moisturizing Hair & Body Shampoo.

3. Test Out Your Samples

If you're a Birchbox subscriber, you've probably been hoarding a few samples that you haven’t tried yet. (I know that I am!) This could be the perfect time to try a couple of new samples instead of packing full-size products that take up a lot of space.
Packing List: Make your list from this month’s samples. Want more info? Check out this slideshow.

4. Know Your Climate

If you're traveling to a different climate, you'll need to tweak your makeup bag. Check the weather and plan accordingly—you don't want to get stuck in desert air without a creamy moisturizer, or break out in a steamy clime because you didn't pack lightweight products.
Packing List: Cold, dry temps call for major moisturizer, so make sure to pack a travel-sized dollop of Camille Beckman’s Body Butter; for warm, humid climates, beat shininess with Jouer’s Matte Moisture Tint (and click here to read more warm-weather beauty tips).

—Allison Wheeler

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