Personally, the process of traveling stresses me out. Sure, I'm happy as a clam once I've arrived at my final destination A) in one piece, B) with the precise number of bags I started with, and C) hopefully with a slight buzz (if I'm traveling for pleasure and not work, of course). However, one thing that always helps me feel and look calm, cool, and collected post-flight is my ride-or-die collection of beauty staples. I've spent years honing my small hoard, and now I keep a certain number of TSA-approved products on my person at all times when traveling—regardless of where I'm going or how long I'm air-bound. So I thought I'd divulge. After all, now that the holiday season has come and gone, many of us have our eyes set on a springtime getaway. (We'll just never lose that spring-break fever.)
Since many of my fellow fashion and beauty editors are also always on the go, I thought I'd ask to take a peek inside their travel-ready stash of beauty products as well. Ahead, 18 of the best beauty products for travel that have our beauty- and fashion-minded stamp of approval. We promise: Your frazzled, post-flight self will thank us later!
Michelle Scanga, Managing Editor
"I look like a zombie without mascara and swear by Nars's latest Climax formula. It's clump-free, and in two to three swipes, my lashes are in full force."
"I always, always travel with my Milk highlighting stick. The highlighter adds just the right amount of glow to my face, which is especially appreciated when traveling."
Kristen Nichols, Editor
"I don't travel anywhere without Bioderma Créaline micellar water. It's the ultimate water-free makeup remover that I first discovered at a French pharmacy."
Amanda Montell, Beauty and Features Editor
"Nucifera's luxurious combination of plant-based butters and oils has a permanent home in my carry-on. When I'm in-flight and my hands or lips or arms or hair feels so dry I think I might turn into a puff of dust and disappear forever, I warm some of this up in my hands and apply to wherever ails me. It's coconut oil–based, so I avoid using it on my face, but it's my go-to savior for everywhere else."
"Kopari's coconut lip balm is my fave because not only is it so hydrating that no amount of recycled air could undo it, but it also looks so pretty on the lips and could pass for a plumping, non-sticky gloss. Pro tip: If I'm too lazy to reach for my Nucifera, I'll also use this as a hand and cuticle cream."
Erin Fitzpatrick, Senior News Editor
"I use Caudalie’s Vinoperfect Radiance Serum every day, so of course I have to travel with it as well. I think it helps me look awake and refreshed after a long flight."
Nicole Akhtarzad Eshaghpour, Market Editor
"I already use this almost every day, but especially so when I travel to somewhere tropical. It's so light and smells so good, you'd never know it had even a trace of SPF and keeps my skin feeling so moisturized."
Allyson Payer, Editor
"Dry hands are my biggest struggle when traveling, so I slather on this non-greasy balm as often as possible."
"This is my go-to face wash, and I was so happy when they made a mini version."
"This lightweight foundation does an excellent job of making me look like I got a lot more sleep than I actually did when traveling."
Erin Jahns, Associate Beauty Editor
I've been obsessed with this organic, raspberry-hued lip treatment for years and compulsively keep it on hard regardless of whether I'm headed to the gym or airport. It imparts the perfect punch of color for that just-bitten vibe and keeps my lips moisturized, soft, and plump. Plus, I use it as an easy, breezy blush in a pinch.
Fun fact: I'm actually roommates with my fellow beauty editor Amanda Montell, so not surprisingly, beauty banter and product swaps accelerate to 100 mph within our household. Even though Amanda has loved this cult-fave highlighter from Glossier forever, she only just recently turned me onto it. There's no mess, and it gives you the fresh, dewy, lit-from-within look you desperately want while deplaning.
I'm what you would call a little bit of an addict when it comes to both eye cream and concealer. I blame it on my perpetually vampirey under-eyes. This PYT from Clé de Peau Beauté is the best of both worlds—a skincare-meets-makeup magical wonder of a pen that I sweep and pat anywhere I need a hint of coverage while traveling. It's the perfect antidote if don't want to feel fully made up and is a godsend spot treatment for impromptu blemishes.
I've tried a lot of lash curlers in my life, and this is the only one that has lasted over a year. It still delivers the same degree of sky-scraping (and long-lasting) curl as the day I first opened it. Plus, curled lashes are my secret weapon for looking wide-awake and bright-eyed regardless of jet lag.
I'm one of those people who's constantly putting my hair up. Even though I usually have every single kind of hair tie on my wrist or in my bag at all times, nothing can compare to the supreme hold of the Invisibobble. Plus, I appreciate that they don't leave a dent, so if I want to take my hair down post-flight, I'm not left with a major rehab project. The newer Slim iteration is especially perfect for my fine texture.
Anna LaPlaca, Assistant Editor
"I pop a couple of these in my toiletry bag whenever I travel. My skin tends to freak out the moment I step off a plane, but just one of these magical peel pads tames any of the impending doom headed for my pores."
"Thanks to this magical and lovely smelling Wave Spray, I can style second- and third-day hair without traveling with all my other haircare tools and products since it enhances my natural waves."
Judith Jones, Market Editor
"I am obsessed with having clean skin before I sleep on a plane, so makeup wipes are an absolute must to keep me fresh. These Koh Gen Do ones are my favorite. They're super gentle and remove even waterproof makeup."