Air travel is so unforgiving – it’s impossible to avoid feeling puffy, tired, dirty, red-eyed, sweaty and frustrated. But, just because you feel like this, doesn’t necessarily mean you have to look like it and just because airline regulations require gel and liquid containers be no more than 100ml, shouldn’t prevent you from bringing your beauty essentials on-board. Luckily it’s easy enough to find travel-sized products or to buy containers to decant your favourites into. Or, ask for samples at your local beauty store the next time you make a purchase. Before your next big flight, use this checklist to ensure you travel well and step off that plane feeling fresh, energized and ready to savour the fruits of your labour.
It's best not to board that airplane wearing makeup and if you must, remove it right after take off with a gentle cleansing cloth. Your skin needs a break from makeup, especially up in the sky where cabin air is dry and dehydrating. Cleansing cloths are brilliant and remove makeup, dirt and oils gently and without water. Going makeup-free will let your skin breathe and soak up the goodness of a hydrating moisturizer while you try to sleep away the hours.
Hydrating spritz toner
Air travel not only transports you across the planet but it inflicts the most drastic temperature and humidity changes on your skin. One minute you’re hot, the next you’re chilled to the bone, all while losing moisture from the dry cabin atmosphere. A hydrating spritzer is a life-saver on long-haul flights--an anytime instant refresher. Infuse moisture back into the skin before you sleep, when you wake and before exiting the aircraft.
Moisturizer with hyaluronic acid
Considering how dry the air is up there, bringing a moisturizer on board is non-negotiable. Hyaluronic acid holds 1000 times its weight in water, making it a miracle ingredient to store under the seat in front of you. Once you remove your makeup and spritz with hydrating toner, apply a generous amount of moisturizer to your face and neck, rubbing any excess into your hands. Reapply as necessary throughout the flight and definitely before landing. (You can also use this as emergency hand cream when necessary.)
Derma E Hydrating Day Crème, US $30.
Not only are dry, red eyes incredibly uncomfortable, they are a telltale sign of travel-induced exhaustion. Have natural tears handy during your flight for anytime relief of that chargrilled-eyeball sensation.
Lip treatment or balm
Lips suffer immensely in-flight. Protect your pout with a vitamin E-enriched lip balm for instant relief. It’s one thing you’ll need to reapply more often than you think!
Hair cream or leave-in conditioner
On-board static is distracting and uncomfortable...and almost always guaranteed! After take off, hydrate your locks with a dollop of moisturising hair cream and throw it into a high bun or low pony for easy to manage in-flight hair.
Spritz deodorant with essential oils
Nothing will make you feel lousier than transiting through airports and sitting for hours on end without a deodorant spray. A spritz is more hygienic than a stick or roll-on that picks up perspiration from your armpits. Choose something lightly scented, so as not to be that person giving others a headache with their overpowering fragrance. Look for something with essential oils like lavender, for both freshening up those pits and getting your zen on.
Sleeping on a plane is one of those elusive things that some achieve and many yearn for. Getting some Zs will help with cell turnover and boost energy. A sleep mask blocks out your neighbour's reading lamp and the light from open window shades, and earplugs tune out crying babies, conversation and a snoring partner.
You may see this as unnecessary at first, but have you ever chipped a nail on a 12-hour flight only to have it snag on everything from your blanket to your pants to your face? (Ow.) Needless to say, having a cushioned file on hand can really save the day.
Tweezerman Filemate, $6.
Two-in-one lip and cheek colour
You'll definitely be needing a colour pick-me-up before you land, but don’t need to carry a bunch of brushes in your hand luggage to achieve it. A two-in-one cream cheek and lip colour can be applied with your fingers and doesn’t take up much room. Oh, and the cream formula will give your skin a much-needed glow.
Concealer with cooling tip applicator
A depuffing and soothing concealer with a cooling slanted metal tip applicator will cover dark circles and help massage away the under-eye congestion that causes shadows. Gently squeeze the tube and, using the cooling metal tip, massage a small amount of concealer under eyes and on any other areas of the face that need a little brightening.
Travel eyelash curler
Traditional eyelash curlers are awkwardly shaped for a travel bag. Luckily beauty mavens have solved this conundrum and created sleek curlers that fit into the palm of your hand, or hide nicely down the side of your toiletries bag. On-the-go curlers are perfect for flights and act as easy no-makeup makeup, anytime you need a refresher especially if you aren’t used to going without mascara.