It does not matter how much you try to look fabulous before you board a plane – by the time you land, you will look rough. The dry air blasting in your face, strangers and their germs, and sleeping in uncomfortable positions all combine to make you look and feel pretty gross by the time you are stepping off to greet loved ones or embark on a new adventure. So to help us all out, I’ve created an list of things to take with you (all carry on friendly!) to freshen up in an airport bathroom before you have to face the world.
- Wipes. Both body wipes and face wipes will help you clean yourself and feel refreshed. I generally prefer a regular facial cleanser, but wipes are perfect for travelling since they are easy to use and you can throw them anywhere. Since these aren’t a staple in my routine, I just picked up some inexpensive ones from Boots.
- A face mask. After I wipe my face clean, it’s nice to give it a little love and put some nutrients back into it. I’d recommend a mask that doesn’t need washed off, just for the sake of convenience. Also, make sure you are choosing the right mask for your skin type – energising is definitely what I need after a long flight, but I know a lot of people will probably need a mask more along the moisturising lines.
- Heavy moisturiser (in a sample pot). Coming back to that drying airplane air, it’s important to really hydrate your skin afterwards to help it look smooth and not flaky. I normally pack my full moisturiser in my checked baggage, but I like to keep a small amount with me for when I land. You can pick up a sample pot for free from pretty much any beauty store.
- BB or CC cream. I have made the mistake of going for full foundation after landing, and I have ended up a patchy mess. A BB or CC cream – or even just a lighter-weight foundation – will help to add some nourishment back into your skin and make you look really refreshed. I picked up Urban Decay’s Naked Skin One and Done right before I left because I knew I wanted something a little lighter for travel, and I have been pleasantly surprised by it. My skin feels super smooth wearing it.
- Under-eye concealer. Benefit’s Erase Paste is my ride or die here. I’ve been using it for easily five years, and nothing else works nearly as well for brightening up my under-eyes. Use your own favourite, but make sure you are grabbing a product that has some of those peach tones to it to combat dark circles after flying.
- ALL THE BROW PRODUCTS. True story: in middle school, I once tweezed off all my eyebrows until I had about six hairs left on each side. Every day of my life is a struggle between wanting to even out my brows and realising that maybe I’m going too far and over-tweezing them. So long story short, I need brow products. My favourites are Anastasia Beverly Hills dipbrow in taupe and the NYX tinted brow mascara in brunette. I understand that some of you have naturally perfect brows, in which case you can skip this step, but know that I am desperately jealous of your brows.
- Blush. Just a little pop of colour will really help to liven up your face! I like a cream blush after a long flight to help your skin look dewy – I’ve been using Benefit’s Majorette – and also because you can apply it easily with your fingers. I packed a little blush brush, but that’s only because its handle fell off, which makes it an easy size for packing.
- Mascara. Make those eyes look awake, girl! Another true story here: I only purchase travel size mascaras. I find the small wands really help to catch the lashes in the inner corner, and I am able to work through all your lashes better. Right before I left for this trip, I used up both my Too Faced Better than Sex and my Tarte Lights Camera Lashes mascaras in the same week, which was heartbreaking, so I picked up Benefit’s Roller Lash after hearing good reviews. It does a great job with lengthening, but I do tend to prefer a mascara that has a little more volumising action. Go with your heart, and choose the travel mascara that speaks to you.
- Lippie. This is the Buxom Lip Cream in Rose Julep, and it’s minty and tingly, which can feel super refreshing. Generally, you’ll want to stick with more of a gloss or a sheer lipstick to keep a silky application and avoid patchiness with dryer lips.
- Deodorant. I hope that this one is self explanatory.
- Toothpaste and toothbrush. ESPECIALLY if you napped on the plane.
- Hairbrush. I didn’t include this in the photo, mainly because my hairbrush is in super sad shape, but brushing out all the tangles in your hair can feel very emotionally satisfying.
The best part? The whole look only takes about ten minutes (plus however long you leave the mask on). And for me, like three of those minutes are working on my brows. This is a quick easy way to feel and look refreshed with just a few products that you can pack in your carry on, and it will help you feel ready to take on the world when you get off the plane!