5-Minute Eyeshadow Looks Perfect for Traveling

by Natasha Burton

When you're traveling, you still want to look and feel your best, but you likely won’t want to spend a ton of time in front of the hotel bathroom mirror perfecting your makeup look. (And you don’t want to drag all of your makeup supplies with you either!) So when you’re going on vacation, you want to pack an edited version of your makeup kit with a few key essentials that will allow you to achieve multiple looks you can easily put on, depending on the time of day and what you’re doing. The most important item? An eye-shadow palette that contains a dark shadow (brown or black, preferably), a lighter glimmer shadow, a pop of color and some rich neutrals, as well as a blush. With this key tool in your travel arsenal, you’ll look amazing all trip long — and be on your way to sight seeing or restaurant hopping in 5 minutes flat.

Fresh Daytime Look

Keep things simple during the day, especially if you’re traveling in a place that’s hot. (There’s nothing like makeup running down your face to make you feel self-conscious — no one needs that on vacay.) A clean swipe of a light-colored, shimmer shadow will make you look super gorgeous without having to be all done up. Add a little tinted moisturizer (don’t forget one with SPF!) and a pinky-nude lip gloss and you are good to go.

Bold Liner Look

When you’re wanting a little more for your travel makeup look, maybe for a night out on the town or a swanky theater show, add some liner to your look. A classic cat eye using black or brown shadow and a liner brush will keep everything looking soft while still upping the drama factor. If you want that classic liquid liner look without packing another product, simply wet a bit of the shadow before applying with an angled brush, which will result in a more intense line. Blend some blush into your lip gloss to create an on-the-go lip color and you’ll feel ready for the night ahead.

Flirty Glam Look

Take things up a notch if you’re traveling with your main squeeze and going out to a romantic dinner — or if you’re single and looking to mingle with the locals. Using your palette, you can easily identify the shadows you need to create an allover eye look: Swipe the neutral shimmer from your daytime look all over your lids. Then use a darker brown or gold in your eyelid crease and the corners of your eyes along your lash line to make your eyes pop (Whiskers or Bengal from Shared Planet’s Tiger palette would do the trick nicely here). Finally, use your lightest shade just under your brows as highlighter.

Pop-of-Color Look

If you're traveling to a particularly glamorous or artsy place and want to create a fun, hip look on the go, use your blush as eye shadow to make your eyes really stand out. Pinks and corals can draw attention to your eyes and complement your eye color, too. Mix some blush with your shimmer and swipe it just on your lower lid or along your lash line instead of liner. The result will be a quick, eye-catching look. If pink isn’t your thing, you can also pick the boldest shade included in your palette (Glacier from the Polar Bear palette would be stunning) and simply swipe a wash of it all over the lid during the day. Come nighttime, you can amp it up by layering in a darker color or two to add some smokiness

Easy on the Eyes

Wherever you go, your edited makeup routine can travel with you, giving you endless options for quick and easy looks for every vacation situation. Keeping things easy with a palette will make you feel totally equipped on your trip and allow you to create a number of makeup looks — without weighing down your suitcase. You may even want to bring these ideas back home with you and try them the next time you’re in a time crunch. 

Natasha Burton has written about beauty, lifestyle and relationships for “Women’s Health,” Livestrong, Stylecaster.com, MSN.com and Cosmopolitan.com, among other print and online publications. She’s also the author of five books, including “101 Quizzes for Couples” and “The Little Black Book of Big Red Flags.”