6 Cosmetic Products I Keep In My Hand Luggage

I really enjoy watching people on longer-distance flights. Some get on looking like they’re about to walk into a board meeting/fashion show and other legitimately get on in their pajamas.

I’m all for comfort myself, so it’s one of the few occasions where I have no issues wearing leggings as pants, paired with flops and a loose top. I then swop the flops for a pair of socks as soon as I settle into my seat and start wishing the time away. I don’t bother with makeup as it’s bound to look crap by the time you land anyway, but I do like having a little bag of tricks in my hand luggage to make myself look and feel better when I set foot on the ground again.

hand luggage cosmetic bag

The first thing that goes into my little cosmetic bag is lip balm. I apply it every 2 or 3 hours to maintain comfort, and of course you don’t need a Chanel lip balm but this is my all time favourite and it’s oh so indulgent.

Next I like having a travel size dry shampoo because my hair gets limp and oily really quickly. I tend to just bunch it into a top knot though, and sometimes they allow the aerosol cans on board, other times not.

I apply some makeup an hour or two before landing. I take a light, not-too-matte foundation which I’ll just apply with my fingertips over a sample-sized moisturiser sachet. Nothing too heavy, but my skin is often a little red on and after flights so I just even it out. Next I go at it with some under eye concealer because, you know, dark circles aren’t hot.

I love a couple of swipes of mascara at this stage, as I very likely have puffy eyes and mascara makes them look wide open (or slightly wider and more open, at least). To finish off I give my cheeks a good sweep of shimmery pink blush, which does a great job at making me look more alive.

Products I chose for this trip:

  • Philip Kingsley One More Day Dry Shampoo
  • Chanel Hydra Beauté Lip Balm (review & details here)
  • Esteé Lauder Double Wear Light Foundation (I wrote a novel about it here)
  • Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer (not available in SA)
  • Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara
  • Soap & Glory Love at First Blush (not available in SA)

Remember to chuck things like dry shampoo and foundation (and any other liquids) into a little ziploc bag so you don’t risk losing them. Other non-beauty items I find very handy on long flights are a neck pillow (game changer), eye mask, ipad, a couple of pre-downloaded podcasts and something to read. As soon as I have a phone/tablet with bigger storage my own music will definitely be on that list too.

What am I missing to make my flights easier? Do share your wisdom if you have tricks up your sleeve.

C x




  1. Feb 25, 2016 / 10:31 AM

    Popping on a sleep mask also works wonders, as it stops my skin from getting irritated and red from dehydration – I’ve used TBS Vitamin E Sink in Moisture Mask or the Freeman’s Honeydew Sleep Mask – I just take one of those little travel pots and squeeze some into there, just enough for one use.

    I’ve taken baby powder before to fix up my hair but I really don’t like it. I actually got a sample pot of the Lush Vanilla powder when I placed an online order, and it works just as good as baby powder, and smells far nicer. It’s even in a little travel sized pot!

    -Siobhan – Sugar and Spice blog

    • Chantelle Bester
      Mar 15, 2016 / 2:46 PM

      I bought the Origins Drink-Up Intensive Overnight Mask while I was there and slapped it on after takeoff and OMG what a game changer!

  2. Feb 25, 2016 / 10:57 AM

    I like using an overnight mask while I am on a long flight, else a sheet mask. And hand cream and lip balm is a must for me. I like to carry a cream or liquid product that can work to add some colour to lips and cheeks. I like MAC casual lip and cheek colour.

    • Chantelle Bester
      Mar 15, 2016 / 2:46 PM

      An overnight mask makes SUCH a difference!

  3. Bianca
    Feb 25, 2016 / 3:15 PM

    Love a facial mist that hydrates and smells lovely – Caudalie is a favourite. A non beauty favourite but something that was a game changer for me is Dettol Wipes or any antibacterial wipes. I literally go to town with this, wiping down every surface you would touch. Tray table, arm rests, TV screen, remote control etc. I get some weird looks from other passengers but since I’ve been doing that I’ve never been sick on any trip, so whatevs to the weird looks!

    • Chantelle Bester
      Feb 26, 2016 / 7:59 AM

      I always have a waterless hand cleanser but wipes sound much better to wipe down surfaces!

  4. Leigh
    Mar 15, 2016 / 2:17 PM

    I find it so frustrating that South African beauty bloggers post about products that we cannot get in SA! What is the point?

    • Chantelle Bester
      Mar 15, 2016 / 2:43 PM

      The point is that we sometimes just write about products we really love, and sometimes those products are things we’ve bought while travelling/things we’ve begged friends to bring us when we travel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *