Even though it’s that that time of year where our travel schedules are amped way up, our beauty routines do not have to suffer — and you don’t have to be an expert to pull it off! It breaks down like this: 1. Be mindful of how winter weather affects your skin in all situations (for air travel, that means you’ll endure extra dry air during your flight) and 2. Downsize your carry-on beauty stash (aka leave the statement makeup in your checked bag). See? The key to nailing here-to-there beauty + skincare is pretty freaking simple: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate + channel your best #wokeuplikethis self.

Here’s what that means for me: I have been doing the same pre- and in-flight beauty routine for years to protect the integrity of my skin but still feel glowing, fresh and gorgeous. I rely on 13 products that easily fit in a makeup bag that can be tucked under or in the mesh basket on the seat in front of you on the plane, all of which I’m sharing with you here, plus when + how to apply each of them for takeoff. This is the travel beauty routine I swear by.


What Makeup to Wear Before Your Flight

Fig + Yarrow Travel Size Face Serum ($74 for Facial Care Kit): I start my in-flight beauty routine by applying a hydrating face serum to my skin before my moisturizer so that it can absorb deep into the layers of my skin. The essential oils in this serum are highly restorative and blend to create a soothing scent.

Vichy IDÉALIA Skin Sleep Night Recovery Gel-Balm ($35): Next, I apply this restorative night cream to my face prior to leaving for the airport. The trick here is that you are giving your skin a deep advanced night treatment that will absorb wonderfully while you are in the dry cabin air.

Japonesque Color Radiance Primer ($32): I skip my foundation application because I always find that it ends up wearing off mid-flight anyway, and adding over the night recovery gel makes my skin feel too heavy. This is my hack to feeling like my skin looks more vibrant and awake. Apply this illuminating primer to your cheekbones, to the bridge of your nose, above your cupid’s bow, to your brow bones and to the inside corners of your eyes.


In-Flight Beauty Routine

Travel Toothbrush ($4): Right before I start to apply my makeup, I take a bottle of water and do a quick tooth brushing session to make get myself feel fresh and ready to go. Trust me, this is clutch.

Fig + Yarrow Travel Size Complexion Water Mist ($74 for Facial Care Kit): Once I get back to my seat, I bust out my water complexion spray and lightly mist my face down to refresh and awaken my skin. I almost always end up sharing this step with my seat neighbor because they are immediately intrigued by the scent and want in on this action!

Kari Gran Lip Whip-Peppermint ($15): If you are anything like me, flying takes an absolute toll on my lips — they almost immediately chap, feel sore and are not pretty to look at at all! That said, this is probably one of my most favorite lip conditioning treatments ever. The peppermint whip tastes amazing and is all natural, so it actually acts as a treatment rather than a coating that can make your lips even more chapped.

Rohto Cooling Eye Drops ($9):Probably one of the most intense eye drops you will use EVER! These babies are so strong, and my goodness do they work. Add a few drops to your eyes and sit back for a few moments with your eyes closed to let them absorb and relax. These eye drops have the same effect as drinking a cup of joe — you have to try them!

Supergoop Daily Correct CC Cream SPF 35+ ($32): Now that you essentially gave your skin, mouth and eyes a very needed reset, it is time to glam up! Apply your foundation or tinted moisturizer with a brush, making downward strokes and blending into your skin by tapping your fingers gently on your face. I like to use this CC cream that is lightweight and hydrating.

Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette ($32): Next, you want to bronze, highlight and give a little pop of color to your face. I am obsessed with this Naked palette because it is my one-stop shop for all of these things. Here is a more extensive tutorial on how you can do this quickly.

Smashbox Double Exposure Mini Palette ($24): Now that my face is alive and looking flawless, it’s time to doll up my eyes. This palette is awesome for holiday travel because it has all the hues you want for this time of year. Apply the lightest color to your brow bones, inside corners of your eyes and on your eyelids to highlight and brighten. Apply a medium shade to the creases of your eyes, and you can even go further and deepen the look by adding a darker color to the outside creases and along the lower lash line.

Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Mascara ($9): MY. FAVORITE. MASCARA. EVER comes in a mini travel size! Pro tip: Using a full tube of mascara on a flight is a waste because the altitude totally dries it up. Plus, this mini version is totally cute!


All these little gems will stow perfectly in your carry-on makeup bag. Make sure to bring a hand-held mirror and your makeup brushes in flight as well, unless you prefer to save space — you can always do this same routine using your fingers. You will never leave an airplane feeling dingy and lifeless again!

Shout out to the Carry On Cocktail Kit- Moscow Mule ($24): everything you need to turn one travel size vodka they serve on the plane into a luxury cocktail you can enjoy while beautifying!! Just be sure to drink water as well so you don’t dehydrate your skin too much. Also, if you love this Gold Dots Zipper Pouch ($13) to use for your makeup bag, you can buy it in our shop!

What are your favorite travel-size makeup items? Share in the comments below!

Creative Direction/Hair + Makeup/ Styling: Misty Spinney

Photography: Kurt Andre