You might have come across them on your Internet travels before. Contact lens cases for your foundation, squeezing toothpaste from one tube to another, putting your smaller suitcase into a larger one (or maybe that’s just Mr. Bean). This week, I (the trained professional armed with a pair of safety goggles, some rubber gloves, and the gaze of a disapproving parent) decided to find out which hacks actually work, and which hacks are just a waste of time.

#1 Cushion powder makeup with cotton pads: PASS

Placing a cotton pad in a powder compact really works!
Yep! From the Krazy Coupon Lady

A ride in your luggage is tough on everything within, but especially tough on your powder products, that run the risk of crumbling with every bump. I didn’t think this hack would work but a few cotton pads and a rough tumbling in my suitcase later, I was convinced. My makeup didn’t look any worse for wear. My advice: Stuff tightly, but not too tightly.

#2 Fill straws with skincare products: FAIL

Some sealed straws, a roll of tape, and a Sharpie.
Nope! Taken by Tiara Chiaramonte

Most skincare products come in packages that contain less than 100 mL (the TSA limit) anyways. Filling straws with skincare products is messy and not very environmentally friendly at best, and potentially hazardous to your health, given that you’re melting plastic containing tons of harmful chemicals, at worst. Instead of filling straws with products when you want to downsize, try our next hack!

#3 Use contact lens cases to store liquid makeup: PASS

Contact lens case full of skincare product
Yes yes yes! From the Krazy Coupon Lady

I’ve personally used this hack for many years. They’re great for storing moisturizer, foundation, lip balm, sunscreen, and any other kind of cream product you need to bring with you. In fact, they’re so great that you can even bring your toothpaste with you instead of using the next debunked hack.

#4 Refill travel sized toothpaste tubes: FAIL

Filling a small toothpaste tube with a large toothpaste tube
Nope! Taken by Tiara Chiaramonte

Is there any good way to do this at all? Because all I managed to do was shoot toothpaste all over my bathroom counter. And now I have to apologize to future me, because future me’s in charge of cleaning it up. I give it a solid zero out of zero.

#5 Use an old shower cap to cover the bottoms of your shoes: PASS

Cover the soles of your shoes with a shower cap for packing purposes
This works! Taken by Kathleen Kamphausen

My favourite type of old shower cap? The kind you get free at hotels. It’s a pretty great way not to get dirt all over your personal belongings, and for you couch potatoes out there, it’s very marginally easier than putting your shoes in a plastic bag.

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Comments (4)

  1. Good post. Have a look at my blog Plodderr

  2. These are genius ideas! Always looking for easy things like this! Thanks for the share!!

  3. […] This section usually features tips and hacks meant to make your packing life easier. Do they work? […]

  4. Ha! 🙂 Thanks for doing this reality check!
    I would add zip-lock bags to store pretty much everything: I even got rid of my packing cubes because the zip-locks are more convenient (different sizes, see-through, compress better, shape better to fill holes in my packing) and cheaper.

    Happy continued travels!

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