Beauty School: The Only Travel Tips You’ll Ever Need

I’m going away for Memorial Day (yay long weekend!). I’m flying and bringing a small carry-on bag, and I’m not sure what products to bring. What are your travel essentials?

Whenever you’re traveling, the makeup that you wear and take with you will depend on where you’re going and for how long, as well as the duration of the flight and what you’ll be doing when you land.

Long flights are incredibly dehydrating, with the inactivity slowing down circulation and the dry atmosphere leaving skin feeling tight and uncomfortable. You may want to sleep, so keep makeup to a minimum, apply moisturizer and lip balm, and drink plenty of water. Even short flights take their toll on the skin, while early starts and hanging around airports can leave you looking as tired as you feel. That said, there are a few simple tips I can share:

  • Put your skincare products and sunscreens into travel sized containers.
  • Instead of taking a separate moisturizer and foundation, try a tinted moisturizer containing SPF with a concealer to cover any imperfections.
  • Take blotting tissues instead of powder to remove excess oil from your face.
  • If you use natural color on the eyes, use the powders from your brow kit or vice versa, rather than taking two compacts.
  • Instead of a separate lipstick and blush, opt for a combined lip and cheek tint.
  • Choose hydrating makeup to help prevent the skin from drying out — light liquid or cream formulas are more moisturizing than powders.
  • Keep makeup minimal, and focus on products that will brighten the skin and counter signs of flight fatigue.

And here’s my step-by-step flight survival…

Pre-flight Preparation: Use a deep-cleanser to make sure skin is really clean. Exfoliate well to remove dead skin cells. Moisturize as usual. Apply a tinted moisturizer base for the airport and a coat of mascara. Opt for cream makeup formulas as they will be quicker to remove on the plane and won’t dehydrate your skin. Use a stain or cream blush.

Mid-flight Survival Tips: Keep skin hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Wipe away ALL makeup. Apply a hydrating eye gel. You can also apply a clear face mask for extra hydration if you have the time. Use a wax-based lip balm to seal in moisturizer. Use a hydrating facial spray or a moisturizer with soothing ingredients, such as aloe and calendula. Avoid dehydrating salty foods, fizzy drinks, and alcohol. Use eye drops to stop eyes from drying out.

Make-Up for Landing: Moisturize the skin. Apply a little tinted moisturizer to even out the skin tone. Use a lengthening mascara. Add a touch of cream blush for a fresh-faced look. When you arrive at your destination, have a warm bath with Epsom salts — this will ease stress and flush out toxins.

Jemma Kidd is a world-renowned makeup artist who has painted the faces of Naomi Campbell and Jerry Hall, and now she’s here to solve all of your beauty dilemmas. Not only does she have two makeup lines of her own — Jemma Kidd Make Up School and JK Jemma Kidd — she’s also worked with Max Factor, Rimmel, and Stila. Yes, she’s a total beauty guru. Have a question for Jemma? Email it to!

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