It's gonna get sappy up in here.
The thing about travel beauty products is that people don't realize they're a rip-off.
Wait, that wasn't the best way to start this.
What I mean is, travel-sized versions of your favorite face washes, primers, lipsticks, all that. If you're paying for them instead of getting them free with purchase, you're getting gouged, big time. The markup is astronomical for the amount of product you're getting.
Plus, if you take a good look a lot of your products, most of them are already under TSA's 3.4-oz rule; you just don't realize it. I sure didn't, until I started checking. Not everything I own is under, but way more than I realized.
Even if everything you use is under the TSA guidelines, you may not want to take all of those full-size bottles with you. That's when you recycle old bottles and jars. I never throw away an eye cream jar for this reason.
I'm traveling a lot this summer, have I mentioned that? Yes, I have, because I've told you what you should bring on your vacation, and what I'll be bringing with me on mine. That's why Wander Beauty, a luxury, travel-inspired beauty line, piqued my interest.
Truth be told, most of my beauty routine is already travel-ready. I prefer liquid, cream, and stick products to powders, and a good portion of the makeup I own is not housed in glass, so there are no pans of powder or fragile bottles to break.
This brings me to the question: Why not just create a line of quality products that happen to be travel-ready, but aren't tied to that niche end of the beauty industry? If it's a good product, people are going to take it with them without you having to point out that it's an option, make sense? Let's explore together.
Here I am, moisturized and primed.
First up, the Wander Flash Focus Hydrating Foundation Stick
I've been wearing stick foundation religiously for about six months now, which you already know since I won't shut up about it. I was excited to try a new one!
The foundation stick is very creamy and, when you apply it directly to your face but before you blend it out, it leaves a dense trail of product.
I'm used to lightly using a full-coverage stick and sheering it out. I'd say that this one is light to medium coverage. It covers nicely while still letting your natural coloring and flush show through. That's a hard balance to strike, but this one does it beautifully.
It's very buildable without caking or creasing. I know that people only talk about creasing in reference to concealers, but some of the most luxe foundations I own crease up on me, badly, which is not the look. This one behaves without any lines or valleys on your forehead or under your eyes.
The finish is very dewy — dewier than I'd usually go for, but I like my bases on the more matte end of the spectrum. I don't think it's too dewy; it won't look, um, greasy. I set it with powder and liked how it looked.
It's very hydrating, feels great on, and wore well for eight hours.
Oh also, I'm trying to do a roundup of stick foundations, but the thing that's making it difficult is that a lot of brands aren't making their foundation sticks in shades for people of color. Not by a long shot. I do my absolute best not to cover a product unless everyone can use it. Wander's foundation stick is available in six shades, the deepest being darker than many brands go. They could definitely go darker.
Okay, now this is a travel product. A double-ended, retractable stick with a cream blush on one end and a highlight on the other.
The blush is a coral-rose-salmon, which I promise is more flattering than I just made it sound. It's gorgeous as a blush and would also make a great lip color.
The highlighter is a really nice, subtle shade that seems to me like it's a mix of pearl, bronze, and rose gold — not as icy as I like them, but not too warm that I wouldn't wear it, since I hate gold or bronze tones on my face. It would be flattering on all skin tones.
Wait, I really like this shade.
They went on nicely when I applied directly to the face and when I rubbed my fingers onto the stick and then tapped it on the appropriate areas. They're cooperative, letting you build up or sheer them down as much as you want.
The only thing that made me nervous, and this was the case throughout, is that the sticks were a little more malleable than I'd like them to be, softer than any stick foundation, blush, or highlighter than I've used (and I've used a ton). This wouldn't deter me from buying these products, necessarily, but I do find it odd that these are the softest sticks I've used and also some of the only ones deemed specifically for travel.
On the other hand, all of the caps fastened to the tubes very securely, so I'd think it almost impossible for them to get knocked off during travel.
Same applicator as above, but with a bronzer and highlight duo. The cream bronzer in Malibu, the lighter of the two bronzer shades, was cool-toned and subtle, but buildable, so you don't have dark polka dots all over your skin that you're frantically trying to blend in.
The Candle Glow highlighter is warmer, more of a mix of pearl and peach, and somehow I still like it, even with the warm tones.
This might be all in my head, but I do find the Candle Glow highlighter to be a little more reflective than Nude Glow. I say that because the highlight pops more to the naked eye, and because my camera was having a hell of a time picking up Nude Glow, but it got Candle Glow on the first try.
The bronzer is also available in a darker shade, Capri, for deeper skin tones.
As a highlight junkie, I'm hard to impress. I like my highlights high beam and borderline offensive. But, there's something to be said about a surefire subtle highlight. Just because a highlighter isn't blinding doesn't mean it's bad.
I keep going back and forth with this product. I love that it's available in three shades, of which they sent me the sparking rosé (thank god) and I love that there are no flecks of glitter in it. It's a soft, fluid sheen that's blendable, subtle, and very pretty.
I do think, though, that pairing a very dewy foundation with a very soft highlight may end up canceling each other out and defeat the purpose. I think this highlighter would be beautiful on bare skin or a matte foundation, but on top of the foundation stick, it almost gets lost. On top of that, most — almost all — highlighters are travel-friendly. As a stand-alone highlighter in this travel line, it doesn't exactly blow me away.
This selection is another standout in the line.
It's a barrel with a mini breakaway lipstick on each end, which is such a smart product for a travel collection.
The lipsticks are creamy and packed with pigment, so application is easy, and you get a lot of product from just a swipe or two. Vacay is a rosy pink, and Jet Set is a bright fuchsia. Both are beautiful and comfortable to wear for hours.
The line also includes liquid eyeshadows, gel liners, and brow products, but the products (and shades) I was sent were perfect for how I do my mug. I'm in love with the double-ended products and lipsticks, and I think the stick foundation is beautiful option for anyone looking for a sheer to medium stick.
What are your go-to travel products? Tell me in the comments!
Tynan is traveling on Twitter and Instagram @TynanBuck.