Finding the right skin-care and makeup routine can take months, if not years, to perfect. And when we've finally nailed it, paring it all down to fit in a travel case (and within TSA guidelines) is even more difficult than calculating how many pairs of shoes to pack for a week in Italy.
That's why we look to the pros for help. After years of flying between NYC, LA, and Paris to glam up A-listers, most makeup artists basically live out of suitcases as is. Ahead, we asked three celeb-favorite MUAs how they ace their beauty routines when they're on the go and up in the air.
The Pro: Leslie Munsell Her Clients: Mariah Carey, Brooklyn Decker, Miranda Kerr, Shakira, and Gabrielle Union
"One of the most important things to do — which is something we all know, but often ignore when in festive traveling mode, is to drink lots and lots of water," Munsell says. "It will keep your skin looking hydrated and clear with the added bonus of keeping bloating in check."
Want to go the extra mile? Freshen up before, during, and after your flight with a thermal spray. We love these TSA-approved Evian minis. Evian Mineral Water Spray Duo To Go, $15, available at Sephora.
If you take your face-spritzing game a little more seriously, this best-selling toning mist — in a convenient travel-ready size — is the Holy Grail for dull, thirsty skin, whenever and wherever you need it.
Caudalie Beauty Elixir, $18, available at Sephora.
When traveling, Munsell keeps her makeup as simple as possible by investing in two-in-one products. "This blush and highlighter can be used on naked skin for a quick pick-me-up or with foundation/powder for a more finished look," she says.
Beauty For Real Blush + Go, $24, available at Beauty For Real.
Into makeup multiples? This crayon works just as well on the cheeks as it does on the lips. In seconds, you'll have a healthy flush that looks like you
didn't just step off an 8-hour flight. Wander Beauty Carryon Lip and Cheek Gel, $22, available at Sephora.
"The shiny, bright pink gloss that looks great on the beach in Miami in February isn't the burgundy you want in New York on a business trip. The easiest solution may be a great nude that looks good anytime, anywhere," Munsell says.
Beauty For Real Lip Cream + Color in Barely There, $18, available at Beauty For Real.
Munsell recommends using formulas that are both waterproof and long-wearing any time you travel, so there’s no risk of raccoon eyes when you land. We’re crazy about these multitasking eyeshadow sticks, which are beyond easy to use, come in a variety of flattering matte and shimmery shades, and do not budge. Ever.
Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour, $29, available at Sephora.
"A big downer when traveling is when my perfectly polished nails chip. Try Vinyl Lux Weekly Polish and Topcoat. It's chip-proof and dries really quickly," says Munsell.
CND Vinyl Lux Weekly Topcoat, $10.50, available at Ulta Beauty.
For eyes that look awake and hydrated after a 14-hour flight, Munsell
says she uses the luxe sheer eye cream from Natura Bisse. Slather this under your eyes before you land and trick everyone into thinking you didn't have two (or four) glasses of wine on-board. Natura Bisse Cure Sheer Eye, $125, available at Bloomingdales.
The Pro: Nick Barose His Clients: Lupita Nyong'o, Zoë Kravitz, Tessa Thompson
To prepare skin for hours in plane air, focus on the eyes. "This eye serum with metal bead applicator helps de-puff eyes — it's perfect for staying fresh after long flight," Barose says.
Lancôme Advanced Génifique Yeux Light-Pearl™ Eye Illuminator Youth Activating Concentrate, $69, available at Sephora.
"This quick complexion fix is perfect to travel with," he says. At just 1.35 fl. oz, it's safe to toss in your carry-on and apply quickly with clean fingers.
Kiehl's BB Cream with SPF 50 PA+++, $37, available at Kiehl's.
"This lip balm keeps lips hydrated, while a hint of color make you look alive and fresh," says Barose.
Glossier Blam Dotcom in Cherry, $12, available at Glossier.
To remove makeup after a long day of travel, Barose suggests a good cleansing water, like this one from Koh Gen Do.
Koh Gen Do Travel Cleansing Spa Water, $13, available at Sephora.
Or get yourself a travel-sized bottle of this
beauty editor-favorite micellar water — it’s gentle on all skin types and removes makeup as well as a heavy-duty cleanser. (You know, the kind that actually requires running water.) Simple Cleansing Micellar Water, $1.99, available at Target.
The Pro: Sir John His Clients: Karlie Kloss, Liya Kebede, Chrissy Teigen, and Joan Smalls
“Whenever you’re on an airplane, you either get super dehydrated skin or you get super oily (I fall into the oily category). Because of this, I am a huge proponent of traveling with good skin care in your carryon," Sir John says. "The hyaluronic acid [in this] helps improve your skin’s fullness and is a great makeup prep, as well. Plus, the aloe water is super hydrating."
L'Oréal Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care Normal/Oily Skin, $17.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
"Rosewater offers a ton of hydration and is also a little pick-me-up post-flight. I even love spraying this on before I do makeup," he says. According to Sir John, you can DIY your own with rose oil and water, but this one from Herbivore Botanicals is a cult favorite.
Herbivore Botanicals Travel Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist, $16, available at Nordstrom.
Or try out this
beauty editor favorite. The plastic bottle is travel-friendly and smells more like a fresh garden than a skin-care product. Lush Eau Roma Water, $10.95, available at Lush.
"Bring makeup wipes with you. It helps to reset the complexion so you can apply a quick makeup look on the plane or in the airport bathroom," he says.
L'Oréal Revitalift Radiant Smoothing Wet Cleansing Towelettes, $5.99, available at Target.
Another face-wipe favorite, these gentle cloths are perfect for sensitive skin, and they take off every last bit of makeup — yes, even the waterproof variety — while leaving skin hydrated and soothed. The secret is in the micellar technology, which skips soap-based cleansers to maintain the natural moisture balance.
Simple Micellar Make-Up Remover Wipes, $5.99, available at Target.
For makeup, Sir John swears by multitasking products. "One of my favorite things is using the Infallible Pro-Matte Gloss as a blush," he says. "After you apply the matte gloss on your lips, you can just tap onto your cheeks, just as you would a cream blush."
L'Oréal Infallible Pro-Matte Gloss in Forbidden Kiss, $7.99, available at Target.
"Palettes are also great for traveling, too – things like Concealer/Contour Palettes or Blush Palettes that can be used as an eyeshadow too. Experiment with your makeup textures!" says Sir John. This one from Make Up For Ever comes in a variety of shades for all skin tones. Make Up For Ever 5 Camouflage Cream Palette Color Correct & Concealer, $40, available at Sephora.
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