In the already-exhausting process of preparing for the workday (see that routine here), I find few things more frustrating than playing Tetris with my must-bring-along beauty products to get them to fit in my bag. Well, one thing is more frustrating: realizing halfway through the day that I’m in dire need of a product I left at home because it was too heavy or inconvenient to carry. If, like me, you are a person who is pretty constantly on the go — from class to the gym, or a long train commute to the office — figuring out which products to pack in your bag in the morning can be challenging. Which leads me to my point: Make your life easier and buy yourself some miniature, transportable versions of all your favorite products. As someone who has gone (way) down the buying-in-miniature road, I’m here to help.
Nothing is more travel-friendly than avoiding liquids altogether. These cleanser and toner sticks are fairly adorable and perfect to throw in your gym bag to use post-workout. The matcha ingredients assist in purifying and clarifying the skin.
Using these exfoliating pads — which can be purchased in packages of five or thirty — after the Milk products listed above is a great way to create a quick, minimal-yet-effective skin-care routine when you don’t have access to your full regimen. They use glycolic, salicylic, and lactic acids, all of which help with both breakouts and aging.
When I was in Japan I noticed everyone on the bullet train wearing these eye masks, so I decided to pick them up at a drugstore and give them a try. They’re scented, heated, and use aromatherapy which sends you (me) right to sleep. They’re especially amazing if you have a long train commute or have to travel for work and aren’t great at sleeping in public.
If, like me, you can’t go a day without your hair greasing up so bad you look like Kurt Cobain, this product is essential for throughout-the-day touch-ups. Most dry shampoos can be a drag to distribute evenly and blend in (Batiste, another fan favorite, doesn’t seem to work very well on my hair, for example), so I was smitten when I finally found this one.
This is, amazingly, both a touch-up brush and a sunscreen. It has a powder base and cap stick which means it won’t spill all over your purse and ruin your day.
While this isn’t necessarily small enough to throw in your day bag, it is a lifesaver for weekend trips.
This concealer comes in a variety of shades and does its job exceptionally well – especially if you make the unfortunate discovery that you have a new pimple after you’ve already left the house. I love that the pot is round — it makes getting a quick dab super easy.
These Korean checkout-counter goods are pretty, yes, but they are also extremely effective and convenient to have in your bag if your hands start to feel a little scaly during the day. (Ed. note: they also make good pill holders.)
I gasped when I first saw this product because of how cute and petite it is. But in terms of its use: Touching up your blush is often the most effective way of bringing your makeup back to life at the end of a long day.
These are some of the best anti-frizz and detangling hairbrushes around, so having the compact version on your person is a blessing.
You should always have a hand sanitizer with you, especially if you live in New York. But if you, like me, find the generic scent of most hand sanitizers to be kind of clinical and gross, this semi-pricey Aesop version is worth the investment.
I always keep one of these misters in my purse in case my makeup is slipping and sliding and needs a little bit of resetting, or even if I’m just looking to liven up my skin after a long day.
I tend to rub my eyes a lot when I’m sitting at a desk, so usually I skip mascara and eyeliner in the morning and give my lashes a curl on the way out the door instead. This teeny-tiny curler allows for quick bathroom touch-ups and eyelash revamps.
That said, I keep this miniature Too Faced mascara in my bag in case I’m forced to transition my look from day to night. This mascara gives easy, dramatic lashes that can single-handedly carry your makeup from exhausted to ready-to-meet-your-friends.
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