Before I was a beauty editor who had access to hundreds of products, I practically lived in the shimmering aisles of famous retailers like Sephora, Ulta, and Nordstrom. Or wait, perhaps I should amend that. Before I was a beauty editor who had access to hundreds of products, I practically lived in the shimmering checkout aisles of famous retailers like Sephora, Ulta, and Nordstrom. I have always been obsessed with beauty products (growing up I would catalog countless lists of things I wanted to try), but I definitely wasn’t in the financial position to buy any and every single thing that piqued my interest. I notoriously hate making returns, so the adorable minis and travel-size options that glinted invitingly as I waited allowed me to test-drive sought-after beauty items before sacrificing the brunt of my paycheck.
That was more than five years ago, and now,
the selection of travel-size beauty products has increased dramatically. In fact, I recently searched every single item I’m currently obsessed with and found a smaller, travel-friendly size alternative for every single one. Whether your wanderlust is finally returning to normal or whether you simply want to sample a product before investing in a regular size, minis are an exceptional way to curate an ultra-luxurious beauty routine at a fraction of the price. As proof, I’m sharing 20 of my absolute favorites (which have stellar reputations and plenty of other diehard fans aside from just me) below. Keep scrolling!
Anyone who hasn’t tried IGK’s range of shampoos and conditioners is seriously missing out. This duo is rich and moisturizing enough to soften my dry, bleached strands without weighing down my fine texture. That said, the coupling’s strategic ingredients are potent enough to penetrate thick, curly, or coarse hair, too.
If you’re someone who’s prone to frizz or if you just so happen to be traveling through an ultra-humid climate, this hairstylist-approved spray will help keep strands calm, shiny, and super smooth.
Living Proof’s OG dry shampoo is legendary, but I have a sneaking suspicion this brand new formula will surpass its predecessor. It doesn’t leave behind any residue and will trick others (and maybe even yourself!) into thinking you actually did a full shampoo and condition.
As someone who owns about four bottles of Olaplex for fear of running out, it’s not all that surprising I’d prescribe you with this ultra-handy two-pack.
Props to Sephora for carrying one of its all-time best-selling cleansers in a mini size. (Every application is like swigging a green juice for your complexion.)
This serum from celebrity facialist Shani Darden is maybe the most sought-after retinol of all time. If you want to dip your toe in before splurging for the full-size, this adorable mini couldn’t be more serendipitous.
This is another example of a super-expensive, super-famous skincare product you might want to test before going for the total plunge (which will set you back nearly $300!). My advice? Try out this travel-size option for size first!
People freak out for anything and everything Supergoop, so it only feels fair that the brand would make this fan-favorite formula (which also works as a primer under makeup!) in palm-size. We’d put one in every bag.
Am I the only one who has gone on vacation only to notice stubble, peach fuzz, or some errant hairs exactly where I don’t want to? Anyone? This brilliant new launch is a miniature version of the original Dermaflash tool and is officially my saving grace for 24/7 smooth skin.
This is one of the super-hyped makeup products on the market that is fully deserving of all of its praise. Use it as a highlighter, primer, foundation—the list goes on and on. A little goes a long way, which makes this mini bottle all the more appealing.
Everyone has heard editors, celebs, and makeup artists wax poetic about Armani’s famed foundation. But if you want one that’s bite-size for your carry-on, or if you simply want to give it a test drive for a few weeks before buying a full bottle in all of its super-spendy glory, reach for this mini instead.
Technically, this blush from Merit is full-size, but since it fits in the palm of our hand, can be used a million different ways, and will never leak or spill in our bag, we’re deeming it unofficially officially travel-size.
Have you ever seen anything cuter or more brilliant? I’m obsessed with the versatility of this dual-ended liner in its full size, so you can imagine my excitement when I spotted this fun-size iteration.
Locating clean mascaras that work just as well as their non-clean counterparts is like finding a needle in a haystack. Ilia’s original wand is one of the few that checks all of our boxes, and dare we say the brand’s brand new volumizing formula is even better?
This is my favorite perfume of all time. It just is! And it’s become the favorite perfume of every single person I’ve ever recommended it to. Try this travel-size spray, so you can discover what all of the fuss is about.
If you’re currently settling for a basic body wash that’s fine, but if you’re looking to elevate your shower experience anytime, anywhere, it’s high time you get a luxurious whiff of this next-level formula from Oribe. Warning: You’ll never want to leave the bathroom.
Everyone from editors to Kim Kardashian fawn over this delicious body scrub from C & The Moon. (It smells like something that quite literally transcends planet earth.) If you want to bask in luxury and enjoy the smoothest of baby-smooth skin, you need this in your next packing lineup.
I don’t get excited about too many body oils, but this one from Mutha is truly mind-blowing. I swear one application keeps my skin supple and radiant with hydration for a full week (despite workouts and showers) sans reapplication. Therefore, investing in this smaller version will let you experience the magic for a surprisingly long time since you’ll really be able to stretch your uses.
Am I the only one who always forgets their razor on the trips that are most important for, well, not forgetting their razor? This little set from Flamingo covers every single shaving base and is perfect for traveling. I recommend snapping up a few and just storing them indefinitely with your luggage. Next: We’ve Been Obsessed With Summer-Centric Beauty Products—Here Are Our July Faves