Getting ready for a big trip is all at once exciting and incredibly overwhelming. The biggest hurdle is always figuring out exactly what to pack and what to leave behind — and the trickiest part of that may just be your beauty bag.
Here's what you need to consider: Traveling is especially harsh on your skin (the dry plane cabin air, the lack of sleep, resting your face against that icky plane seat), so you'll need to pack products that calm, hydrate, and protect your skin. However, there's also that TSA limit on how large your liquid containers can be (up to 3.5-ounces, to be exact). Plus, you'll want to bring as few products as possible (since you'll have to schlep them around the airport), so multi-functioning items are your best friends.
Overwhelmed yet? Don't be. We've done the work for you by rounding up the only skincare and makeup items you need to pack in your carry-on. Watch the video above to see how a few of our faves work in action, and shop all our TSA-approved picks below!
Honest Hazel Eye Gels
The dead giveaway that you took a red eye flight? Your literal red, puffy eyes. Banish undereye circles with these fun stick-on gels. You can even apply them when the captain announces the landing and step off the aircraft looking unbelievably refreshed.
Dr. Jart+ Water Replenishment Cotton Sheet Mask
Our favorite mid-flight activity? Face masking! But rather than slathering your face with some slimy goop and having to wait on that unbearable bathroom line to rinse your fingers, we recommend this ultra-hydrating cotton sheet mask, which you wear for the duration of one Friends rerun and then simply toss in the trash.
Josie Maran Bear Naked Wipes Mini
Nothing is worse than waking up from your mid-flight nap and finding out you've got smeared mascara all over your face — and then having to try to rinse off in that tiny bathroom sink. Next time, pop these babies in your bag to easily clean up smudges in the "comfort" of your seat.
Slipsilk™ Pure Silk Sleep Mask
Repeat after us: Do not rely on those free sleep masks the flight attendants pass around. While many fabrics draw moisture from your skin, breathable silk allows your face to stay hydrated. Pull this luxurious mask over your eyes, and you'll at least feel like you're snoozing in first class.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
Dry, cracked hands are never cute — especially when you're planning on holding up your tropical umbrella drink in a bunch of photos for the next few days. This long-wearing cream works wonders on all types of skin, and it's well under the TSA-approved limit.
Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream
Just like your hands, your face needs extra hydration when exposed to the plane cabin's dry air for hours on end. Replenish the moisture with this lightweight cream made with soothing rosewater.
Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream
Speaking of hydrating your skin, that delicate area around your eyes needs extra attention. We swear by this cream packed with moisture-retaining hyaluronic acid.
H2O+ Aquadefense Matcha Essence
When it comes to the ultimate tool for skin protection, this little spray is our secret weapon. Apply a spritz or two as the last step in your skincare routine and the droplets will form a protective barrier over your skin, keeping pollutants and environmental stressors at bay.
Milk Makeup Blur Stick
After you have your skin all refreshed and hydrated, you may want to apply a few quick and easy makeup touches. There's no need to lug your entire makeup bag when traveling. Instead, rely on multi-tasking products such as this colorless matte stick that works like a filter for your face, minimizing pores and lines and smoothing your skin's texture. Apply it directly to your skin — no dirty brushes or hand washing involved.
NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer
There's a reason this award-winning pot of gold has such a strong cult following. The concealer feels super light going on your skin, but gives great coverage and looks just like, well, skin. Our fave (travel friendly) part: It applies perfectly well using just your fingers, so no need to pack any cosmetic brushes.
Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara Mini
This cult-fave mascara (which, NBD, tapped The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Erika Girardi for their commercials) will give your tired eyes that extra pop to at least appear awake.
Stowaway Cosmetics Cheek & Lip Rouge
If you haven't heard of this beauty brand, listen up: Everything they make is miniature-size and travel friendly, because have you ever finished a full-size lipstick in your life? Our current obsession is this sweet little compact with a balm that gives buildable color to your lips and cheeks. Also, it has a mirror, so there's no need to pack another.
Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo Mini
We promise this dry shampoo is worth the splurge. Nothing cheaper works quite as well, and after what could easily be over a day's worth of travel without a shower, you're going to need it.
The Overpacker Cosmetics Case
Every product mentioned here fits perfectly inside this glitzy, glamorous travel cosmetics case (yes, we tried it). Packing has never looked better.
And what's a trip without the perfect luggage? With USB charging ports and a built-in nylon laundry bag for dirty clothes, this carry-on is just as functional as it beautiful.
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