A lazy girl’s in-flight beauty routine

I’ll take a face mask with my peanuts

I fly between my family in California and college in New York about four times each year. Granted, these flights seem negligible when compared to my roommate’s 13 hour journey from Seoul to NYC, but even a five or six hour plane ride can be uncomfortable, and especially irritating to your skin.

I’ve found that maintaining a minimalist beauty routine makes the flight not only more enjoyable, but soothes and shields my sensitive skin from stale, recirculated airplane air. Also, it can help take your mind off the fact that the lady next to you spilled V8 on your white sneakers (true story).



Bath & Body Works mini sanitizers

At this point, you’ve trudged through baggage check, security, and various other areas of the airport that are anything but germ-free. Stashing mini sanitizers in a coat pocket or bag will remind you to clean your hands, and prevent the spread of bacteria to your face.

Remove Makeup


Célavi wipes in Apricot

Pick up a travel-size container of makeup remover wipes, or toss a few into a plastic bag, or just bring along the half empty container that you already have. After takeoff, thoroughly remove all your makeup.

Tip: I also like to braid my hair on long flights to keep it out of my face and avoid it getting tangled or frizzy.



MAC Fix+ spray

Spritz your face with a refreshing mist. Do this frequently throughout the flight if you feel your skin becoming dehydrated, as it provides a quick surge of moisture. There are travel sized mists available from Sephora, but I usually bring along my Mac Fix+ as it fits the TSA liquid requirements of 3.4 oz or less. 

Apply face mask


Assorted samples, Sephora sleeping mask in Rose

The easiest way to retain moisture and create a layer of protection is to apply a face mask. A regular moisturizer won’t provide the necessary hydration to guard against dry airplane air, so opt instead for a sleeping mask, which is not only super hydrating, but also applies clear (so you don’t look crazy) and doesn’t need to be rinsed off.

Tip: go to Sephora and ask for a sample of that (cough) $89 mask you’ve been dying to try; the mini containers hold the perfect amount of product for a one-time, in-flight facial.

Moisturize everything else


Carmex lip balm, Bath and Body Works lotion, petroleum jelly

Carmex is great for lips, but equally as moisturizing and more all-around useful is a mini tub of petroleum jelly, aka Vaseline. Dab this onto dry lips, dry eyelids, stray eyebrow hairs, crusty elbows, anywhere. Vaseline is the best. You could use Vaseline for hands as well, but choose a travel-size hand cream if you prefer something that absorbs more quickly. 

Drink drink drink

Most importantly: drink water throughout the flight to hydrate your skin the best way, from the inside out.

Touch up with minimal makeup


The Face Shop aqua tint, L’oreal powder, MAC concealer

If you want a bit of coverage upon arrival, stick to a simple makeup routine that will liven your complexion without overcrowding your skin.

30 minutes before landing, touch up dark circles and blemishes with a creamy concealer, blot excess sebum with a light powder, and use a liquid tint to add color to your lips and cheeks.

Following this routine, you’ll arrive at your destination with happy skin, refreshed and beautified. Now, find coffee asap and go forth to conquer the world.