How to Organize your In-Flight Beauty Essentials?


Every year, My husband and I kick off the holiday season by booking our annual winter trip. While busy looking for good deals on hotels and flights, I always begin to prepare the travel essentials I am about to pack in my carry-on a month before the actual trip.

Today I wanted to share the checklist of my in-flight beauty essentials in my TSA approved cosmetic bag (click In-FlightEssentials to get the PRINTABLE pdf document!). And in my next blog posts, I will introduce other items you may need in your carry-on bag.

The Bag

To Start, you’ll need a cosmetic/toiletry bag that meets the TSA regulations. I recommend a clear, zippered, plastic/vinyl 1-quart sized bag like this one I found on Amazon for all of your beauty/makeup items instead of having two or three pouches for liquid, non-liquid, and toiletries separately. It will become your one-stop beauty place on the airplane which is more convenient and trouble-free.

In-Flight Beauty Items

You may already read a lot about the beauty essentials needed while taking flights or have your own favorite ones. Here I will only quickly go through my favorites without going into too much detail and briefly explain why I like to have them in my carry-on.

  1. Cleansing water. I like to use a non-residue, non-sticky cleansing water to clean my face after on-boarding. Even you don’t wear makeup I still recommend you clean your face to get it prepared for the long trip. My favorite product is Bioderma Crealine H2O. Actually you can use any brand you like as long as it doesn’t break you out or dry out your skin. I used to use face wipes but still needed to wash my face so I switched to the water based product.
  2. Hair Conditioner. To protect your hair from getting dry or damaged, a good hair conditioning spray or hydrating cream is a must-have. I usually go to a drugstore and grab the smallest sized one. All affordable and worked well!
  3. Hand Cream. My go-to hand cream is the L’Occitane shea butter. I know there are lots of good hand creams out there, pick up your favorite in the travel size ^_^
  4. Cuticle Cream. Skip this one if you don’t normally use one or your hand cream is moisturizing enough to be used on cuticles. My fav is  Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream which is also many people’s favorite.
  5. Face Cream with SPF. After cleaning your face or the mask you put on during your flight, you’ll definitely need a good moisturizer. No matter in the air or on the ground, a sun block is always good for your skin. I am using Murad Essential-C Day Moisture, which gives very good moisturizing result and enough sun protection.
  6. Face Moisturizing Spray. Use it when you feel a bit dry on your skin. Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir is a very good one.
  7. Face Gel Mask. When on a super long flight (> 5 hours), better to apply a thick layer of clear gel face mask after cleaning your face and neck. I’ve tried different moisturizers, the result of them cannot compare to that of the gel mask/sleeping mask. Only the mask gave me a strong shield protecting my skin from constantly loosing water in the extreme dry environment. Laneige’s sleep mask is the stellar product. Nügg Hydrating Face Mask is a more affordable and one-time use option.
  8. Eye Cream/Serum. Get your fav one with you and apply it along with the face mask.
  9. Lip Balm with SPF. Nivea Shea Butter & Aloe moisturizes your lips and gives good sun protection at the same time.
  10. Tinted Lip Balm. I use it before landing to make sure I look ok after getting off the plane. Clinique Chubby Stick Baby Tint Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Poppin’ Poppy and Dior Addict Lip Glow in Coral are my favorites. Both are super hydrating and leave beautiful natural tint on lips.
  11. Liquid Concealer. Dot a bit on the hyperpigmentations and spots and blend in before getting off.
  12. Cushion BB Cream. If you prefer to have an all face coverage, the concealer would be optional and a cushion becomes a good alternative. It only takes 20 seconds to cover your entire face and offers hydration, good coverage, sun protection and long lasting effect. Laneige is my ultimate favorite BB Cushion.
  13. Q-tips. Optional when you don’t wear makeup.
  14. Cotton Pads. Use them to clean your face with cleansing water.
  15. Deodorant Towelettes. To prevent you from smelling bad after hours of being seated and sleeping in a small and close environment.
  16. Tissues.
  17. Wipes/Sanitizers. Sanitize your hands whenever you need to touch your face.
  18. Blotting Paper. If you have combination to oily skin like I do, blotting paper is a must-have.
  19. Hair Ties.
  20. Travel Hair Comb. When you hairs are dry and fuzzy, put on some hair cream and comb through. The compact and portable one from Sephora is really convenient and easy to travel with.

In-Flight Skincare Routine

Lisa Eldridge had filmed a video on how she did her skincare on the airplane which is easy to follow and super effective.

To summarize her routine:

  1. Apply hair hydrating cream/hair conditioning spray and tie hair back
  2. Use cleansing water and cotton pads to remove makeup (I wouldn’t skip this step even I don’t wear makeup)
  3. Use elixir spray and pat in
  4. Apply face mask and massage in
  5. Apply eye cream and repeat it every a few hours
  6. Use lip balm on lips
  7. Cream on cuticles and hands
  8. Use blemish spot treatment if any
  9. Rinse face and repeat the above during long flight
  10. 45 minutes before landing, use cleansing water and cotton pads to remove the gel mask, apply moisturizer, spot conceal, and use the tinted balm on lips and cheeks (or cream blush).

Then, you will look fabulous even after long flights and enjoy your trip from the very beginning (=^_^=) Happy holiday!

2 comments on “How to Organize your In-Flight Beauty Essentials?”

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