A holiday somewhere far away sounds like a dream come true, until it comes time to open those suitcases and pack all the ‘essentials’. And with airline restrictions taking your beauty stash down to size, it’s no wonder prepping for travel can turn a dream vacation into a complete nightmare. Avoid the panic by prepping early, pack smartly using our expert travel tips and stock up on the right buys to make your beauty on the go a breeze.
‘Skin can get very dehydrated when flying,’ says Rebecca Restrepo, Elizabeth Arden Global Makeup Artist. She loves Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum (R645). ‘I apply mine mid-flight for extra hydration and also use as a make-up primer when travelling.’
To counteract the dehydrating effects of air travel, spritz your face and neck with a refreshing facial mist every hour or so. Facial mists are great to use to revive tired, travel-weary skin, hydrate dry skin in winter and to both set and refresh your make-up.
Must-haves When flying, pack one pump bottle 100ml or under such as Sensai Cellular Performance Hydrachange Mist (R995). It’s the ideal pick for plane travel because it comes in a spritzer bottle, which means no power-tripping security personnel can claim it could just spontaneously combust mid-flight. I once lost my favourite facial mist this way when it was confiscated on a flight to Canada. I spent ten very long hours with parched, sore skin and looked a right sight when I finally arrived.
If you’re not too concerned about hydration while in the air (even though you should be), carry an aerosol facial mist such as Avène Thermal Spring Water (R149,95) or Vichy Thermal Spa Water (R169) in your checked luggage for bursts of freshness on the go.
Tip If you wear contact lenses, take them out before flying and treat eyes to a soothing, cool compress to relieve puffiness.
Try Eye Slices (R200) which are re-usable eye gels that help to soothe, cool and depuff tired eyes in five minutes.
Apply them in the air and arrive at your destination bright-eyed and ready to go.
Where possible, choose make-up in solid, rather than liquid form. This minimises the risk of spills and products ruining other items in your luggage. Pack cream-to-powder foundations, cream blushes, eyeshadow pens and lip balm sticks, and look for clever compact kits instead of lots of little items.
Must-haves Smashbox L.A Lights Blendable Lip & Cheek Color in Silver Lake Sunset (R320), The Body Shop Honey Bronze Highlighting Dome in 01 Golden (R150), and Essence How to Make Brows Wow Make-up Box (R115,50), which has everything you’ll ever need to tame and style brows in one compact, budget-friendly kit.
Tip Squeeze excess air out of tubes before flying to counteract the effects of cabin pressure. Shake the contents down to the bottom, open the cap and gently squeeze out the air before sealing the lid.
There’s nothing better than having perfectly manicured nails while on holiday, and one of the best ways to achieve top tips during travel is to have a gel manicure or pedicure done before you leave. Applied correctly, these should last around two weeks and prevent chips and nicks from ruining your polish.
If you prefer to go the DIY route or perhaps like to change your polish often to suit your mood, invest in long-wearing or at home gel polishes. These have more staying power than regular polish but can be removed just as easily.
It’s also a good idea to keep a manicure kit with you such to avoid needing a trip to an overseas salon, and remember to choose colours that wear well to minimise noticeable imperfections. ‘Chips are less likely to be detected when you’re wearing a pretty nude hue,’ says Cindy Nell-Roberts, who knows all about looking good on the go. She recommends Essence I Love Trends The Nudes Nail Polish in Pure Soul (R34,95) to keep nails looking pretty.
Keeping your locks looking lustrous while travelling is no easy feat, but you can make things simpler for yourself by planning ahead. Save precious space in your luggage by buying a shampoo and conditioner at your destination, or decant your favourites into smaller travel-friendly bottles.
Tip Did you know that your hair iron can double as an actual iron too? Use it on a medium setting to remove creases from shirts and pants after unpacking.
If you’re nervous about taking a big bottle of your most loved fragrance with you, see if it comes in smaller sizes such as 10ml or 25ml. Look out for special offers and GWPs (Gifts With Purchase) in store, which give you smaller travel-sizes and purse-friendly vials. You can also ask for samples of your favourite scents and pack several of these in your suitcase. It’s actually a great opportunity to test different fragrances and find the one you love before making a larger purchase.
Tip One of the most important things you can buy is a portable luggage scale.
It makes it so much easier to figure out how heavy your suitcase is in a foreign place or to weigh individual items before heading to the airport.
We love QVS Portable Luggage Scale (R275) which determines weight up to 40kgs.