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Embarking on a marathon-worthy plane ride doesn’t mean you have to feel worse for wear when you arrive at your destination. Here are a few simple airplane beauty tips and carry-on suggestions which will have you feeling fresh and ready to start your adventure as soon as you touch down. Learn how to look good after a long haul flight!
Look Good After a Long Flight with These Airplane Beauty Tips
Table Of Contents
Long flights are not only cramped and exhausting but sometimes you feel gross and don’t even want to look in the mirror. Luckily, you don’t need a full face of makeup to look good after a long flight.
Here, we’re sharing our essential airplane beauty tips:
- Go minimal with makeup
- Wear warm and comfy clothing
- Use easy eye makeup
- Brighten up with a highlighting concealer
- Prevent dry, cracked lips
- Drink lots of water
- Soothe tired eyes
- Pack a hydrating facial spray
- Keep your breath minty fresh
- Choose your onboard meals carefully
Now, let’s dive into each of these airplane beauty tips in more detail!
Tinted Lip Balm | Original Mascara
Go Minimal with Makeup
Set the tone for your airplane beauty routine with this first step and airplane beauty tip: prior to leaving for the airport, use a hydrating and nourishing cleanser and moisturizer, and then limit your makeup to concealer, tinted lip balm and a swipe of mascara.
Minimal makeup means you still look polished but your skin will feel fresher for longer onboard.
Try the best sweat proof makeup to stay fresh-looking!
On the Fly Pant | Linen Blend Cardigan
Wear Warm and Comfortable Clothing
It may not sound like an airplane beauty tip, but wearing restrictive clothing will affect your circulation and make for a rather uncomfortable journey. Part of how to look good after a long haul flight is to feel comfortable during the journey.
Keeps things loose but stylish by opting for cotton pants (even better with a waistband that is elasticated at the back), a soft cotton top and a warm cardigan. Wear clothing which you can easily mix and match with the rest of your travel capsule wardrobe.
Don’t forget a pair of socks to keep your feet warm and an eye mask to help you get some all-important rest!
Jane Iredale | Volumizing Mascara
Easy Eye Makeup
If you have to hit the ground running when you arrive, packing a compact eye makeup kit that you can apply while you are still airborne will come in very handy.
The Jane Iredale kit has all you need to brighten and define your eyes, including a lip and cheek stain. It also has nourishing antioxidants for your skin so you disembark looking refreshed!
Here’s the best non smudge eyeliner that you can try!
Concealer Brush | Eye Concealer and Highlighter
Brighten Up Using a Highlighting Concealer
Congratulations! You’ve made it through the bulk of your flight and you will be arriving at your destination shortly. The final part of airplane beauty and planning how to look good after a long haul flight is to replicate your original minimalist makeup look.
At this stage of the flight, I like to use a gentle facial wipe and light moisturiser to cleanse and freshen up my skin, and then apply a highlighting concealer such as By Terry’s Touche Veloutee under my eyes and anywhere on my face that’s showing redness or uneven skin tone.
You’ll be disembarking your flight with a fresh, well-rested looking complexion.
Take a look at these best long-lasting concealers!
Prevent Dry, Cracked Lips
My lips are always one of the first places to show signs of dehydration when I’m traveling long haul. Packing a nourishing lip treatment in your carry-on will save you the pain of chapped, cracked lips when you arrive at your destination.
Trust me, you’ll appreciate this airplane beauty tip when you get off a plane after 12+ hours in the air!
Paw Paw ointment or the Korres Lip Butters are some of our favorite options.
S’Well Vacuum Insulated Bottle | YETI Rambler
Drink Lots of Water
Not only does a regular intake of water keeps your skin hydrated, your system flushed and even help with the effects of jet lag, but it also gives you an opportunity to stretch your legs during bathroom breaks. This might just be the number one airplane beauty tip.
Just make sure you pick a seat on the aisle!
Keep hydrated and choose from the best water bottles for travel!
Lubricant Eye Drops | Dry Eye Therapy
Soothe Tired Eyes
Lack of sleep combined with watching in-flight entertainment or reading a book in a temperature-controlled cabin will often create red, dry and irritated eyes—a common airplane beauty issue.
If your eyes feel dry, itchy, red, or irritated, eye drops will be a lifesaver. I avoid wearing contact lenses while flying long distances and regularly use moisturizing drops to keep dryness at bay.
Hydration Spray | Travel Size Facial Spray
Pack a Hydrating Facial Spray
One of the most commonly recommended airplane beauty tips, regularly spritzing your face with an anti-oxidant rich facial spray on hand during the hours leading up to your arrival is a great way to revive tired and sallow skin, and replace nutrients lost during travel.
Keep all your belongings organized and close to hand by using a packing cube in your personal item, that way you have access to what you need right away!
Dr. Fresh Travel Kit Crest | Dental Travel Kit
Keep That Fresh, Minty Breath
Last but not least for our airplane beauty tips, one of the smallest but most valuable items I can bring with me on a 14-hour flight is a travel-size toothbrush and toothpaste kit. Your mouth will thank you after those snacks and in-flight meals.
Fresh, minty breath does wonders for making you feel a little bit more human as you step off your flight.
Not sure what to pack? Let the ultimate guide to travel toiletries help you!
Kay’s Naturals Protein Grab n’ Go Mini Meals
Choose Your Onboard Meals Carefully
When I’m mid-way through a long haul flight and feeling tired, I’m more likely to opt for the richer or heavier meal on offer, which inevitably makes me feel sluggish and bloated.
Instead, opt for healthier items that aren’t overly greasy or salty. Your skin will thank you.
A number of readers rave about Kay’s Grab n’ Go meals. These small, individual-sized snack boxes are delicious, nutritionally balanced, all-natural ready-to-eat meals that are super convenient. No refrigeration, preparation, or heating required! If you’re looking for healthy snacks for long flights, these fit the bill.
Check out this post for more airplane food ideas!
What are your best airplane beauty tips for how to look good after a long haul flight? Share and comment below!
For more travel beauty tips, please read:
- 9 Sephora Must Haves
- How to Style Curly Hair when Traveling
- What’s in my Travel Makeup Bag
- 35 Travel Bloggers Reveal Their Top Beauty Tips and Tricks
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The thing that changed my life regarding airplane meals was to select (when available) – the low sodium option! It’s usually much leaner (like grilled chicken and broccoli) and doesn’t leave me feeling gross and dehydrated like the other overly salty meals. Made me feel sooooo much better on the inside!
Thank you for sharing your experiences with airplane food with us. It definitely can be very salty!
For revitalizing my skin I swear by my cellulose-mask with lots of aloe. Looks a but weird but is absolutely THE game changer.
Hi Luna, thank you or sharing your recommendation for looking fresh after a flight, sounds lovely and relaxing too!!! ?
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I love this website and it has given me so many useful tips so i thought i would pass on a couple of my own.
Firstly I was lucky enough to find a mini NARS Multiple in South Beach on Ebay and its not let me down yet – so quick and easy to apply and with tinted eyelashes and a swipe of lipgloss, I was ready to go to dinner/drinks in the blink of an eye.
On my next Ebay browsing I found a mini Clinique Superbalm Moisturising lipgloss in Apricot and once again its worked its magic – gloss and colour in 1 product.
I was browsing the shelves of my local independent pharmacy and happened upon Papaya MultiPurpose Balm by PurpleTree for the bargain price of 99p! It works as lip balm/gloss, lash and brow product and treats dry patches/rough skin as well as soothing cuticles. I have since purchased the Shea Butter Balm from the same brand as well.
I swear by clear mascara when I am on holiday as it doesnt smudge or irritate my eyes (NB. i get my lashes tinted before i go away) – Natural Collection by Boots or Collection 2000 (now known as Collection) are the best ones I have tried but if you are feeling rich No7 Lash & Brow Tamer is also brilliant.
Simple Age Resist Wipes are the best wipes ever!
Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser and toner spritzer (in mini size) are my skincare go-tos.
Hi Carrie, thank you for your comment, I am so glad that you love the website! Thank you for taking the time to share your travel tips! 🙂
I now travel carry on only in my bid to save money on holidays . While I always swipe the free toiletries in hotels i also have a few basics I never leave home without:
Liz Earle hot cloth cleanser plus muslin – acts as cleanser and exfoliates too (30ml tube is enough for a week)
Simple age resist wipes – morning cleanser plus removes makeup (non liquid too!)
Avon youth max serum – stock piled this in mini format
Clear mascara – any cheap one as I tint my eyelashes
NARS the multiple – say no more
Clinique superbalm lip gloss – works as lip balm and gloss in 1 tube
These are my absolute non negotiable essentials
Colgate Wisps are another thing I’ve used many times on long haul flights. They’re mini disposable toothbrushes (not very environmentally friendly, but also don’t require water) and they’re super compact. I also use Cera-Ve night-time moisturizer daily and especially on flights. It’s not expensive and its made to moisturize continually through the night without feeling too heavy.
Love them! That’s a great tip 🙂
I travel with travel size Evian water spritz or Josie Marian Nirvana spritz. Great for hydrating face and hair.
I always waive off the meal service, no matter how long the flight. I bring my own healthy snacks and drink lots of water. I love having the freedom to get up and stretch while everyone else is stuck in their seat with their trays. Once when I politely declined a meal from the flight attendant, he very quickly replied “oh, I see you’ve flown with us before.” 😉
It’s not helping you look good, but it helps you feel good… I always put stop at the Duty-Free store and find some fancy pants perfume to cure me of airplane stank.
Travelling from Australia to Europe, it’s usually a 24+ hours trip. I take a change of clothes. Brushing my teeth (multiple times) and changing my clothes at the stopover point after a wash-up or shower always makes me feel a bit better.
When I book long flights online, I always request the vegetarian or vegan meal. Not only do I get my meal before everyone else, but the food is much better. I’ve had fresh vegetable casserole or stir-fry. No mystery meat for me!
My favorite tip? I have lots of hair but it’s very fine. I’ve cured the flat hair syndrome by gathering my hair in two equal parts on top of my head, twisting the two sections around each other, twist the final length into a bun and securing the bun with magic grip hairpins from Sally’s Beauty supply.
Before landing I take the bun down and shake out fresh curls.
Wow, that’s a great strategy! I’ll give it a try 🙂
Sounds good – all my overseas flights tend to 24 hour days, so I need this advice. I tend to clean my face as soon as I get on board and moisturise everything in sight (several times). I was waiting for the toothbrush to be mentioned, because that’s an essential – at least twice during the flight. Lots of water, and a good hair brush and I’m ready for some fresh makeup at the other end. Oh, and I wash and deoderise in the toilet before I land. Clothing should be crushproof too as well as comfortable and get rid of the shoes (hopefully they’ll still fit at the other end).
The best way to make sure everything fits at the end is to pack all your clothing and shoes even what you plan to wear on the plane. That way it’s not left up to chance and you always have enough room 🙂
The shoes, I meant …
Oh I know the feeling of shoes that don’t fit! Thankfully I’ve learned the lesson of comfortable plane travelling footwear, not fashionista! Thank you for amazing tips.