Travel Size Beauty Products. Useful or Not?

It is a long time that I have been reconsidering this issue — are the beauty travel sizes really useful?

Everything started with a consideration of my lifestyle for at least the last four years. I spent many days travelling the world and, of course, my suitcase was the “holder” of my life.

Space in it was limited and so I had to find a trade-off between my favorite boots, my jacket and of course my beauty case, without giving up to all my beauty products. So travel size beauty products were the solution.

What are travel size beauty products and how big is this market?

A travel size beauty product is exactly the same product available in full size but in a smaller packaging, therefore carrying a reduced quantity of product.

According to NPD Group:

In 2019, the travel size market totaled $1.3 billion in sales in the U.S. which was up 5% from the year before.


Why Travel size beauty products are gaining so much interest among different generations? Two main reasons:

  • PRICE: A travel size is attractive in terms of price. Is it in terms of price/quantity?
  • SPACE: It contains the right quantity of product for a few days travel and leaves space in the beauty case for all the other products needed.

Why beauty mini sizes are so widespreaed?

It is well known that airlines do not allow passengers to carry liquid containers with a capacity of more than 100 ml in the hand-luggage, so this rule boosted the travel size phenomenon.

Today, the travel size market has registered considerable growth prompting many companies to invest on it. Different brands, ranging from the exclusive to the mass markets, started to produce travel size versions of products already available in full size.

Travel size beauty products
Travel size beauty products

Does a travel size for makeup make any sense?

Many makeup products such as foundation, mascara, concealers, lipsticks etc… are already a perfect fit for travel in their full size, unlike skincare and shower gel products.

Usually, full size makeup doesn’t contain more than 100 ml.; for example a mascara contains from 6 to 13 ml., a foundation 30 ml. and their packaging is already pocket size.

If we add that what often happens is that the retail price is not resized to quantity of the product contained in a travel size packaging, it is easy to understand that it could also be an uneconomic option.

Why buy it?

I know perfectly that a beauty addict can’t give up Red Passion lipstick but, it would be interesting to make a fair consideration about how many and which makeup products we really finish.

I personally think that most of the time, except for the professional makeup artists, we always use the same two/three colours or the usual products.

Last consideration. Is beauty travel size packaging recyclable?

Usually makeup primary packaging is assembled with different materials that cannot be seraparated.

Where do you throw away an eyeshadow pallet? Would you be able to separate it? What about a nail polish?

I’m thinking about eyeshadows, which are pressed in metal pods fixed in a plastic or cardboard packaging, or lipsticks where the product is posted in a multi material pack and, to make it worse, indivisible.

Many types of beauty packaging rarely can be separated and it becomes difficult to separate and recycle properly, i.e. plastic from metal etc.

Everything is trashed in the unsorted waste. If you multiply how many beauty mini size products you have in your beauty case by the billions of us in the world, you arrive easily to astounding volumes.

Regarding this point, it is interesting to see how, the beauty production will be implemented according to the latest Italian legislative decree n. 116/2020 from 26/9/2020, which states:

”All packaging must have a packaging label…to make the recycling easier, reuse and recovery of packaging, and also to give customers precise information about the final destination of these packs”.

So in the future we will find recycling instructions on our favorite beauty products but, coming back to my first question, do we really need travel size beauty products?

No Comments

    Leave a Reply