Sunday, 4 January 2009

Angel Graves Guide to Traveling with Your Kit

Travel can be an amazing perk of the job for a makeup artist although it will probably wrack you with nerves having to part ways with your kit at check in!

Fellow creative Angel Graves has done her fair share of globe trotting so I asked her to write a guest post giving us some of her top tips and advice for traveling with your kit.

Here is what she had to say on the topic....

Anything I can retrieve upon arrival easily is left at home. This includes things like removers, cleaning products, etc.

Anything I must have or can't buy on site goes in a small quart sized Ziploc (freezer type so it's extra sturdy).

I picked up small clear travel sized containers at the dollar store just for this reason, they fit well into these bags and during the right travel alert levels this is the acceptable way to carry the minimal amount of liquids in your carry on as well.

Use clear bags so the items can be seen and removed easily at security. Make sure to label these items if you aren't the OCC type I am as this helps you up front if asked and later when you need to use them.


Anything aerosol is also left if it can be helped. If I must take something aerosol it is in a small travel size or it is stowed in my main bag safely stashed in my clothes and fingers crossed nothing bad has ever come from this.

I stocked up on the gift sizes of my favourite aerosol products (Worked Up & Hold Me Tight to name two) and these also fit the criteria of acceptable sizes if the travel alert day is in your favour. These just travel better for me also and I'm glad of their existence :)


All of the palettes I have are covered inside with Glad Press and Seal wrap, sounds silly but has saved me so many potential disasters you have no idea. This has become one of those little tips I learned from a fellow artist and I feel compelled to pay forward to other artists. It keeps possibly loose products in it's place and will keep any accidentally broken product in line until you can sort it out :)


Anything I absolutely can't do without just in case the luggage is lost is tucked into my rather large carry on bag. These are items I can't replace in short notice if they are lost.

It pains me to have to tuck my shears into my main suitcase when I travel but they pose more problem than traveling with firearms so it's either to lose them at security to an angry TSA agent or cross my fingers that they will arrive safely in my luggage at the end of the day. . . touch wood no mishaps!

So in this list I include, my brushes, essential hot tools, and essential hair tools, anything else I can replace or is already in my carry on.

The Bag

So here's where it gets tricky, I have a few of these.

I have two Heys cases, a TNA bowler type bag, an off brand gym bag. . . It's hard to choose sometimes which one is The One so I repack this at least

If I am taking my laptop, this counts as one carry on so I must pack wisely! Generally speaking the smaller shoulder Heys is not enough room so it's the larger rolling Heys if I'm doing double duty and must take both hair and make up. If it's just hair tho I typically just take the TNA bag and call it a day.

Ground Shipping

I can say this for ground shipping, it will save you the hassle of packing for travel if you have the downtime enough to ship your kit. I can also say this, it will need to be packed as tho it was going to be used as a rugby ball and possibly kicked about. Pack the kit inside and out with cushioning as tho it was heirloom china!

You laugh but I promise you this is no jokes, in the unload process your lighter weight box will be at the possible top of the load and is prone to fall from a significant height. It is also going to go through a possible 4-6 stops in this load and unload process so you really can't be too careful, it is your bread and butter after all!

I have never shipped my kit and likely won't ever either, I'd rather deal with TSA and Customs than to have to worry what UPS or Fed Ex are doing to my kit :(

So I guess in summary,

  • Invest in Glad Press and Seal wrap and Ziploc freezer bags, I can't impress on you enough how much they have saved me :)
  • Invest in a decent carry on sized bag, wheeled if possible to save your back :)
  • Invest in a good shoulder bag, you'll need it for snacks and the iPod/book entertainment (or shield from irritating neighbors) ^^
  • It's always going to change on you at the last minute with alert levels so make sure you can toss any liquid or aerosol items easily into checked baggage if you have to!

And above all CHEERS! to you, you're a 'Have Brushes Will Travel' ARTIST! It's a pain to pack but I promise you at the end of the day, you'll be glad you're there and have made it to this place in your career :)

Travel Safe and Happy ^^


Check out Angels new blog at


  1. WOW Alex! I look like a pro typer AND Dear Abby to traveling artists! Thanks for letting me guest blog & sorting out the ridiculous way that email transferred! I'm working on light hair kit must haves this weekend for my upcoming workshops so I'll be sure to include you in that list of emails but I'm not blogging it just yet ;)
    <3 thanks again ^^

  2. Angel's great, I'm glad you've got her blogging. It makes me want to work abroad now!!