From concealer to health powders, here's what keeps us grounded when we're mile high
In an ideal world, our hand luggage would be streamlined, organised and perfectly tailored to our high altitude needs. In reality we're probably doing a Boots and WHSmith dash at the airport, but if you ever wondered what a load of beauty editors' dream carry-on baggage haul looked like, it goes a little something like this...
Anna Hunter, Senior Features Writer
“I’m that person that ditches jumpers for ‘just one more jar’ of beauty juice, so making the airline weight limit comes close to a boxer trying to make his/her target in a category: featherweight I am not, and a lot of effort goes into getting as much beauty loot in as possible without forking out for surcharges. Where on-board beauty is concerned, potent minis allow me to be the Houdini of hand luggage. Elemis’ travel shop is a key calling point, and while I was lucky enough to get my hands on the limited edition Misha Nonoo designed Luxury Travel Set , £62, picking up a rejuvenating toner or makeup melting cleansing oil here and there allows for a quick on-board and on-hols cleansing routine. Sure, you’ll need to nip to the bathroom to splash off your cleanser, but it beats the rough, not-quite clean feels of face wipes.”
“Speaking of rough, flying tends to turn my psoriasis prone limbs flaky within a matter of hours, so the new Ameliorate 3 Steps to Smooth Skin Set , £19.50, fills me with silky-skinned anticipation, plus it’ll clear your canvas for streak-free self-tan application. Whatever you do, don’t forget to apply SPF post-use, as the exfoliating AHAs within the formula makes skin more prone to burning. Also part of my maintenance essentials are Regenerate travel sized toothpastes , £2.50 for 14ml. I’ve been using this enamel-hardening toothpaste for a good few years now and the effects on my pegs have been pretty astounding- they’re shinier, healthier are as white as is naturally possible given the gallons of tea I get through.”
“Onto the less clinical plane essentials, makeup-wise Bareminerals Complexion Rescue Gel Cream , £28, is a godsend for skin that’s in for an air-con blasting and possibly won’t be getting a good skincare session until well past the landing point. Creamy, with decent pigmentation for coverage and a lovely dose of antioxidants, moisture-binding molecules and SPF so that you’re set when you reach presumably sunny climes, if you’re going to wear foundation in-flight, make it something along these lines. For life-giving colour, Trish McEvoy’s new Beauty Booster® Lip and Cheek Colors , £24, are easily blendable and perk up skin and mouth beautifully with any faff- Rose works well on my pale skin. The finish is semi-matte rather than particularly balmy, but it doesn’t flake off and colour stays true for hours. Finishing touches are scent: one to clear my airways (a little vial of Aromatherapy Associates Support Breathe Essence , £19), and one innovative, non-spill fragrance “brush” ( Byredo Kabuki Perfume in Blanche , £42).”
Sarah McGinnis, Art Editor
“Time to get real- I pretty much pack the whole Votary range- why wouldn't you when everything works on your skin?! If i can’t fit it all in, I will always make sure my little bottle of Jasmine and Calendula Facial Oil, £65, is on hand. A superlight blend of natural oils including rosehip and calendula, it's perfect for stressed out skin and will calm, restore and soothe the skin mid-flight. The best things really do come in little packages (this one’s 30ml).”
“Onto another savior of an oil, de Mamiel Altitude Oil , £28, is only 10ml, but it’s a potent inhalation essence to rid you of any in-flight stuffiness or lingering plane meal food smells. Lavender, eucalyptus peppermint and lemon myrtle helps you to keep both a clear head and nose while on the go”
“A moisture-packed hydrating face mist, such as Emma Hardie Plump and Glow Hydrating Face Mist , £36, is also a great reviver for skin and senses. This one helps to protect the skin from drying effects of harsh air-conditioned environments, with a dose hyaluronic acid to plump the skin so it doesn't look so drained. Containing aloe vera, velvet flower and water mint, it works to tone, soften and moisturise the skin while balancing redness and reducing shine. It’s only just within the 100ml limit, but it's the only face mist bottle I've found so far that doesn't leak when you're high up in the air.”
“My lips are also continuously dry and on a long haul flight they can become chapped and quite sore. I never fly without my Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant Stick SPF 15 , £20. It’s essentially the renowned Eight Hour Cream in a super-protective portable stick form. Another classic for me is Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair , £53. Packed with antioxidants and hydrators, this cult serum from helps the minimise the damage from environmental aggressors - perfect for both flight and holiday. I tend to smother my face in it before an in-flight movie. I follow up with Aurelia Revitalise and Brighten Rollerball Eye Dew , £90 for a roller and eye cream, pre-landing to refresh and de-puff tired eyes. Dior Show Mascara, £25.50, brings eyes to life even more and ensures that I don’t get off the plane looking like a 12 year old boy. The intense black shade makes my fine blonde lashes look like they exist, and quite frankly it's the best mascara I've ever owned. It’s probably the one product I'd happily repurchase no matter the cost.”
Victoria Woodhall, Editor
"My first pick isn’t terribly glamorous, but in-flight bloating is a well-known phenomenon as the change in pressure causes stomach gases to expand. Taking this organic prebiotic debloat powder such as The Nue Co Debloat Food + Prebiotic , £55 for 100g, as you fly is nice for you – and if you suffer from gas, your fellow passengers. You can drink it as a shot by adding a teaspoon to a bit of water - which is about all they give in those tiny drinks trolley cups. Or, when you land you can add to smoothies. The ginger and cinnamon feel gloriously warming and relax a taxed airborne stomach. The blend contains no sweeteners and tastes pleasantly spicy. It contains inulin, a prebiotic soluble fibre which aids in digestion, stabilises blood sugar levels and feeds the friendly bacteria in your gut. It’s also rich in anti-inflammatory turmeric. A good all round supplement to have with you to help stave off holiday tummy troubles."
"As for outward comfort, Madeleine Thompson ’s rainbow-striped cashmere sweaters for AW17 are already all over Instagram, draped over the likes of Poppy Delevingne. These super-deluxe leather-soled slippers in the same fabric are pricey - but half the price of one of the jumpers - and a definite indulgence for a flight and beyond (no one needs cashmere slippers, it’s true). But if you suffer from swollen feet in the air and like to kick your shoes off from sit-down to touch down as I do, these slippers, with their drawstring fit, will warm your toes for the long haul. For a less expensive (but a little more sober) alternative try these from Charlotte and Co, £69."
"You can never have too much hand-sanitiser en voyage, and if you are going to spritz one as regularly as I do it has got to smell nice. Neal's Yard Remedies Hand Defence Spray , £6.50 for 50ml, is made of essential oils and witch hazel and smells divinely of lavender and citrus. It claims to kill 99.9 per cent of bacteria. I also use it on my children’s hands and on the inflight tray tables and handsets – I’m damned if I’m going to start my trip with someone else’s virus! It stays in my handbag all holiday."
"Moving onto something more glamorous, like an Anya Hindmarch bag, my metallic leather and clear plastic inflight cosmetics case by Anya Hindmarch , £195 (!), is something that I would never splash out on for myself but was made up to receive as a gift. I have used it many, many times since. It does away with the need for those little plastic bags as you go through security which I always over fill. The contents end up scattered round my bag as I hurriedly whip them off the conveyor belt and when I’m on the plane I can never find what I need. This case is roomy enough to contain a hand-luggage’s worth of toiletries and makes a great club-together gift for a globetrotting friend."
"The dry air in a plane calls for a multitasking hydrating balm. I use MOA The Green Balm , £12.50, as a lip balm, eye cream, makeup remover if my mascara has migrated, hand cream and general salve for any bumps, bites, eczema patches and chafing I or my children might encounter as we travel. It’s USP is the quintessentially English herb yarrow, renowned for its healing properties as well as antiseptic tea tree (although it doesn’t smell strongly and is very gentle) It contains only a few ingredients coconut oil, sweet almond Oil, soybean oil, beeswax, yarrow, water, tea tree leaf oil. You can even use it as a hair oil. Finally for additional pampering, Somerville do some of the best value pretty cashmere scarves around and there’s nothing nicer for temperature control inflight than a blanket that doesn’t slip off your shoulders – and that serves you well all holiday on cool evenings."
Judy Johnson, Digital Editor
"When it comes to beauty, I thought I was pretty low maintenance with my in-flight essentials - I’m not one of those people who would apply a mask or lots of creams in public, but what I won’t go without is a little makeup stash which is essentially my ‘hide how tired I am’ kit. I’d probably be wearing these already, depending what time the flight is, as it’s the minimum amount of makeup I’d wear outside of the house; but I’d pop them in my hand luggage so that I could top them up if needed before landing. My ultimate wake-me-up makeup? Some much-needed cover-up and evening-out of the skin tone, courtesy of Clarins Instant Concealer , £22, my favourite concealer of all time and one that applies well even if skin is a little dehydrated (plus it’s a miracle for under-eye circles). Next would be Max Factor Colour Corrector Stick in Peach , £8.99, which I dab on my brow bone and on any darker areas that need brightening up - the formula is so soft and creamy, not chalky like so many others, and lasts well. Then it’s all about the eyes - a swipe of Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Golden Pink , £23, or LOC One & Done Shadow Stick in Heavy Petal , £8 (a great budget dupe) followed by lashings of Benefit Rollerlash Mascara , £20.50. All that takes under five minutes and is guaranteed to make me look and feel slightly more alive no matter how bumpy the ride.
"For me though, the absolute must-haves for a flight are to keep anxiety levels down. I’m not an especially nervous flyer, but if I’m flying alone or if there’s any turbulence I can become a little panicked. My de-stress kit will always include my iPod Nano for distracting, calming music; plenty of Bach Rescue Liquid Melts , £8.49, which I’ve sworn by for years for a quick fix when feeling overwhelmed; and Scentered Sleep Well Therapy Balm, £14.50, to dab on pulse points for a wonderfully reassuring scent that soothes me back to my happy place.
"That said, I’m not a complete flying beauty failure in terms of skincare; if I’m on a longer flight or it’s hot weather I’ll take Avene Thermal Spring Water 50ml , £3, which I can spritz under or over makeup for a hit of refreshing skin hydration (and it’s great for my sensitive skin), plus I’m never without my Malin + Goetz Lip Moisturizer , £10, to keep lips soft. Lastly, I’ll have an Invisibobble Hair Band , £4.95, in every bag or purse to tie my hair back without leaving a huge kink because I’ll want it different ways on the plane depending on whether I’m awake or sleeping. These favourites are all packed up for every holiday in my Emma Lomax Airplane Wash Bag Pink , £18, a handy travel bag I got last year which fits the airline sizing rules perfectly and allows me to plan ahead for those dreaded security queues. Whether it’s health or beauty products that I’m travelling with, I like to be prepared!"
Ayesha Muttucumaru, Senior Features Writer
“I get quite excited by the prospect of getting on a plane. It signals the start of a holiday for me and so I usually treat it as such, a space to catch up on magazines, a few movies and some shut eye too. Nicknamed ‘dormouse’ from an early age, I’m well known for my ability to sleep in any situation. However, the cabin’s stark lighting can often threaten to damage my reputation. To therefore keep my sleep cred in check, my hand luggage is never seen without my trusty eye mask from Holistic Silk , £52. Soft against my eyes with a handy black backing that helps block out all distractions, its tie fastening doesn’t catch on my hair unlike velcro clasped ones. Plus, it’s rather nice to look at too to help curb the embarrassment of fellow flyers subjected to the heavily blanketed snoozing zombie they’ve had the misfortune of being seated next to. I’m not a chatter. If however, sleep still manages to elude me, I’ve always got my Bobbi Brown Instant Cover Concealer , £23, ( read our review here ) to hand, certain to help disguise dark circles when I reach my end destination."
“Skincare-wise, my hands and lips are usually my main areas of concern. On land, dryness is their default setting, so when they reach altitude, more intensive steps are required. Clarins and Kiehl’s are my brands of choice respectively for this and their two latest launches have proven particularly useful this summer. Clarins’ limited edition Hand & Nail Treatment Cream Trio , £25, rescues my digits from their depths of dehydration and with mandarin leaf, grapefruit leaf and lime leaf (my personal favourite) to choose from, they generously refresh as well as moisturise. Plus, the three-pack ensures that there’s one for all the family - myself, my sister and my mum too. Lips-wise, Kiehl’s new Butterstick SPF25 in Touch of Berry , £19.50, is the perfect pint-sized hero for my parched lips. Containing coconut oil and lemon butter plus UVA and UVB protection, it has its place both on and off the runway."
“Lastly, my ultimate quick-fixers - the products I reach for just before I land. Highlighter and liquid eyeliner are my desert island makeup picks and Tom Ford, Topshop and Kat von D are the brands that I always bank on in this regard. The beautiful gilded luminosity of Tom Ford Cream Cheek Colour in Pieno Sole , £52, and Topshop Glow Highlighter in Gleam , £10, give the high points of my face the most welcome golden healthy glow while the colour payoff of Kat von D’s Tattoo Liner in Trooper , £16, adds satisfyingly rich definition to my weary peepers. The ultimate team for making me look instantly wide awake. To finish, a subtle spritz of scent helps me mentally switch from plane to beach mode and Frederic Malle’s red Travel Spray Case , £30, with my favourite refill inside ensures I have just the right amount to take on board and beyond too.”
Need to take 2kg off your luggage? Here’s some skincare multitaskers to help you out with that...