BMT: The Makeup Question

**Fluffy post alert!  If you’re a man, navigate away now!  You have been warned!**
I participate in a couple of Facebook groups for BMT shippers, and the makeup question comes up quite a bit.  
What will the MTIs do if I show up with makeup?  Make fun of yourself.  The honest answer, and expect them to make comments about your makeup when you’re going through the shakedown.  Just ignore it and go on about your business.  You will not be allowed to have access to these items until graduation weekend, as they will be locked up in the civilian luggage closet.
photo air force BMT female Makeup

Can women wear makeup at Air Force BMT?  

On a day-to-day basis, no.  Your MTI makes the rules for the wearing of makeup.  My recruiter said that she was able to wear makeup for picture day, which is why she said I was allowed to bring it.  As mentioned in the Beauty post, on the day of graduation our MTI wasn’t pleased with us, as we were fixated on our appearance versus our poor performance on an evaluation.  Most of us chose not to wear makeup that day to demonstrate our commitment to his teachings, but a few did.  You are allowed to wear lip balm on a day-to-day basis, and the mini-mall has brands like Soft Lips available.  We were not allowed to wear makeup on Thursday morning, since we hadn’t graduated yet, but we were allowed to for the duration of the weekend.
photo air force Makeup
What do I do if I didn’t bring makeup with me?  Some of my trainees had their parents/spouses send them their makeup.  Others purchased from the limited selection available at the mini-mall.  The last of the bunch borrowed makeup from other trainees.
What happens at tech school?  At tech school, you’re allowed to wear makeup every day, if you so desire.  I chose not to because we had to fall out for PT at 0350 and had little time to dress for the day after that.  I did have friends who put on makeup every day, sometimes in the bathroom of the schoolhouse after we arrived.  I didn’t want to bother and saved my makeup for evenings out or on the weekend.  Tech school also gives you the opportunity to shop at the main BX, where there’s a bigger selection, or off-base at the mall, drugstore, or specialty store of your choice.
photo air force female Makeup
So…tell me what you brought!  Don’t mind if I do!  I packed my bag knowing that I had to keep it very, very minimal, toned down, and Air Force appropriate.  I also selected items that would give me versatility for tech school and evening outings.  I was at BMT/tech during the hottest, most humid months of the year, so I also considered the “melting factor.”  The photo above includes every item I brought with me, with the exception of one.  None of these links are affiliate links.
  • Ecotools by Alicia Silverstone bag.  This bag is about the size of a pencil case and has slots for brushes on one side and open storage on the other.
  • A 10-day sample of Lancome Teint Miracle.
  • CARGO HD Blush in Pink, which could work for neutral or warm looks.
  • Kevyn Aucoin The Essential Eyeshadow Palette #1, a great palette that is more interesting than your basic brown neutral palette, but offers versatility and options for dress-up/dress-down functionality.
  • the Balm Sexy Mama anti-shine, translucent powder, important for those hot, sweaty Texas days and Mississippi nights!
  • the Balm Bahama Mama bronzer, a shimmer-free bronzer.  the Balm products are great because they’re very slim and don’t take up a lot of space in your makeup bag.
  • A sample-sized bottle of Urban Decay Primer Potion, essential for keeping my eyeshadow in place and vivid for long periods of time.
  • MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, my preferred setting/finishing powder.
  • A sample-sized pot of Laura Mercier Secret Concealer, which has a creamy texture and good coverage for my undereye circles.
  • Smashbox Brow Tech, a product that includes both wax and powder in a small-sized package.
  • A sample of a Smashbox cream highlighter, a product no longer available.  Easy to apply, no brush required.
  • NARS sharpener, which works for regular and large-sized pencils.
  • Maybelline Full ‘N Soft Waterproof Mascara, my staple foundation in a waterproof formula to fight against graduation tears!  I put a new mascara in my bag, so it’d be fresh for the journey.
  • MAC lipstick in Brave New Bronze, a limited edition peachy-pinky-nude shade in a Satin finish.  Satin finishes have no shimmer and are just about matte in appearance, which I knew would be appropriate in uniform.
  • Too Faced Flatbuki brush, which can be used for blush or highlighter, and is flat/compact in size.
  • E.L.F. Essentials Eye Shadow Brush, which you can find at Target for $1.  Fantastic, reliable brush.
  • The duo crease brush and the eyebrow brush from the Paris Present HD Deluxe Eye Duo Set, available at Walmart.  If you’ve never tried these brushes (the HD ones), you need to!  They’re amazing!
  • (Not pictured) Ecotools Retractable Kabuki, suitable for doing powders and bronzers.
Seems like a lot?  I told you I was a makeup fiend.  If nothing else, it’ll give you an idea of what you can bring down with you.  Remember that any liquids have to go in your quart-sized Ziploc bag if you’re flying down.


  • NitaSinsaid

    Thank you. I am leaving for BMT this upcoming Tuesday and I was contemplating on whether to bring makeup or not.

  • Alesa Morenosaid

    Do you suggest to bring a sample size foundation or would it be ok to bring the regular size? Thank you for this post! 🙂

  • Erinsaid

    @Alesa Moreno – I would keep it small for the sake of space. Also, remember that you have to foliow the 3-1-1 rules for TSA when flying down to San Antonio. If your normal foundation is a tube, you should be fine though. I know those little samples last me quite some time, so I just stuck with that.