My Favorite Beauty Travel Essentials for a Tropical Vacation

Happy end of June! This month’s beauty obsessions post is inspired by my recent trip last week to Trinidad and Tobago. Today I’m talking all things mini that I took with me to the Caribbean. These are my favorite beauty travel essentials for a tropical vacation.

With tons of humidity and long days at the beach, I didn’t bring a ton of makeup and so a lot of the products you’ll see in this post are for hair. My hair can get very dry and brittle after being in the ocean multiple days in a row, so I kept it looking fresh with a few key obsessions.

Read on to see my beauty obsessions, tropical vacation edition.

Travel Essentials | Charmed by Camille

Travel Essentials | Charmed by Camille

If you come to my house you’ll see an exorbitant amount of travel-sized items in my bathroom drawers. I’m always buying or collecting mini items from Sephora VIB or other free gifts because they always come in handy when I travel. I travel a lot, but one thing I absolutely hate is taking up a lot of space with beauty products. For one, this means I definitely can’t carry on for a short trip. But also this means less space for shoes and clothes.

When it comes to traveling I’d rather be over packed on clothing and footwear and have options then pack huge bottles of stuff when I only use a spray here or there. I can’t always find my favorites on sale in individual travel sizes so I mix and match from limited-edition gift sets throughout the year. (Pro tip: Nordstrom and other specialty stores will also often times give you small samples – I always head in there before a trip.)

Like I mentioned above, the majority of the things I packed in my cosmetic bag was hair stuff, but I still want to run you through my other top beauty travel essentials. Let’s take a quick moment to talk about skin and makeup first. My skin does really well in humidity and salt water, so I always take the time to be makeup free on beach vacations to let my skin breathe. However, it’ still really important to exfoliate and cleanse your skin at night, especially because of all the salt and sunscreen that accumulates during the day.

I know I’ve talked about this product a billion times on Instagram but I love The Polish by Lancer. This travel size comes in a gift set, so if you really wanted to you could use all 4 products that come in it while traveling. This helps get off all of that grime I mentioned to prep skin for cleansing. The Kate Somerville Exfolikate Cleanser is a must have for me while traveling. Since it contains glycolic and acids, it’s a multitasking cleanser that cleans my skin while also protecting against any breakouts that may pop up while traveling due to altitude, climate, weather, etc.

The last step in my minimal skin care routine is to always moisturize. I’m not as brand loyal to moisturizers while on vacation since these are the most common samples I receive after perfume, so I brought along this little baby La Mer moisturizer. A little goes a long way, especially combined with humidity, so this pot lasted all week and there’s still probably another few days’ use left in it. I’m holding it in this photo for sizing reference so you can see how small the packaging is, but loved that this was all I needed for 7 days of hydration. I actually really liked this so once I run out of my current moisturizer I may splurge on this one.

Skin Care Travel Essentials | Charmed by Camille

Travel Essentials | Charmed by Camille

Don’t forget sunscreen! While I loving getting a tan, I have become religious about wearing sunscreen on my face. I love this SPF 50 sunscreen by COOLA because it has a scent too it that actually doesn’t smell like traditional sunscreen. It’s really lightweight and didn’t clog my pores. I also brought along this lip balm from them. It’s slightly tinted, so you can have a no-makeup makeup look, but it also has SPF to protect your lips. They make a variety of colors; this one is a brownish tone called Bonfire.

Okay, now let’s chat makeup. There are two really important things to me when it comes to makeup and humid, tropical locations. The first is texture and weight of my foundation/makeup. I’ve talked about this Armani Beauty Maestro fusion makeup before, but this is perfect in hot temps because it’s buildable and its texture is more like a tinted moisturizer than actual foundation. I typically wear shade 5.25, but I get really tan really quickly, so the makeup I bring is always too light for my skin by the end of the trip.

Enter this liquid bronzer by NARS. A half a pump (maybe even less) of this mixed in with my Maestro makeup darkens the shade to match my bronzed skin. I like to start with just a little and mix it on the back of my hand until I get the shade that matches. I don’t have this or the Maestro in a travel size, so had to bring the regular sized guys.

Hair Care Travel Essentials | Charmed by Camille

Hair Care Travel Essentials | Charmed by Camille

Now here’s where I bring a lot of stuff: hair. I’m normally not too picky with hotel hair amenities but in the summer when my hair gets dry, I bring my own stuff. Living Proof has a ton of travel kits for a variety of hair types, which I love. (They’re also great if you’re new to the brand because you can try a handful of products in one kit, but I digress.) I use the Restore line because the conditioner is LIFE CHANGING for my hair. We are talking instantly softer after one use. So, I like to bring along the matching shampoo for the works after a day at the beach. My bottles are different from the set I’m linking here because I bought mine a while ago, but it’s the same stuff.

To help combat dry, salty ends, I brought along this Gold Lust Hair Oil by Oribe. Oribe products are always so luxurious that I honestly always try to find an excuse to use their items. This was the first time using this particular oil and I loved it. You can put it on dry or wet hair, which is really nice when you’re on a trip where you’re in the water and/or showering often and don’t always have time to dry your hair. My hair felt hydrated at the ends, much shinier, and the oil was extremely lightweight.

When it comes to styling my hair during a tropical vacation, less is more for me. I have a bit of a natural wave, so I like to enhance it with Oribe’s Apres Beach Wave Spray. You spray it in and can either diffuse it or let it air dry for perfect, not crunchy beach waves. This is a really easy way to style hair right before dinner. Since I have thick hair, added humidity in the air means that it takes me forever to dry it. This spray allowed me to dry my hair about 70% of the way and then not worry about it while it dried on the way to dinner.

On the days that I didn’t wash my hair, I revitalized it with Drybar’s Detox Dry Shampoo. This is my number one dry shampoo and I have yet to find a multitasking dry shampoo that I love more than this one. Plus it smells amazing. Both this dry shampoo and the wave spray are also my favorite everyday items for styling my long bob.

My skin is hydrated, I have a post-vacation glow, and my hair is still shiny thanks to all of my beauty travel essentials I brought along with me. Everything you see in this post with the exception of three items (COOLA Sunscreen, Armani Beauty Maestro, and NARS Liquid Bronzer) are all mini and travel-sized so you can worry less about space for your hair and makeup items and more about how many swimsuits you can fit into your suitcase. Safe summer travels!


Travel Essentials | Charmed by Camille



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Hi, I'm Camille! I'm a bi-coastal blogger splitting my time between LA and NYC and sharing elevated, yet relatable ideas so that you can achieve your most stylish life.

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