How to Look Like You’ve Slept on a Long-Haul Flight

Recently I’ve learned that I can, in fact, sleep on planes. My entire travel life has been spent eagerly loading up on books, magazines, anything, anything to keep me occupied for a few hours. Imagine how startled I was on hour twelve of a long haul from Melbourne to Doha when I woke up. What sort of wizardry actually allowed me to sleep for a few hours?! While I’m grateful for any sleep, those three hours left with me twenty-three to sit and contemplate how tired I must look. Luckily, I’ve learned how to pack the ultimate carry on.

airplane makeup bag contents

The main goal is hydration.

Plane air is notorious for being disgusting. There’s something about the thought of recirculated air… I mean, it’s enough to make you grossed out about your own habits, let alone everyone else’s. While it seems feral, I’m constantly assured by my plethora of plane-people friends that it’s run through a hospital grade filter. Really, the biggest problem is that it’s so dry.

So, what should I pack?

I’ve gotten everything here through security multiple times. A lot of this stuff was bought in drugstores, airports… Impulse buy type things. I’m not super loyal to anything, though all this stuff worked well.

sheet mask, makeup wipes, antibacterial wipes

Makeup-Removing Wipes

Chances are you don’t want makeup sitting on your skin for the length of a flight, so I take off all my old makeup as soon as we hit cruising altitude.

A Sheet Mask

Nothing pumps your skin into gear like a good sheet mask. Yes, some people might look at you funny, but you know what really looks bad? Gross skin after hours in the air. All up, the person who teased me the most was my husband. The main thing you’ll get is other women who give you a look of admiration and jealousy as they start to feel their skin drying out. While I have a stash of sheet masks, I had to go buy this one because, and this is key so pay attention, on a plane you must pack a neutral scent. As much as I love the scent of lilies and calendula most people like you a thousand times better if you stick to aloe, green tea, or lemon. Remember you’re sharing the recirculated air-space with others.

Anti-Bacterial Wipes

This has nothing to do with looking like you’ve slept and everything to do with the horror stories my flight attendant friend has told me about tray tables.

A Mirror

I don’t really go anywhere without a mirror. How else can you admire how amazing your skin looks all flight?

Oil Blotters

It’ weird to think about oil blotters in a place where you’re trying to prevent dryness. However, if you have any proneness to oil at all, well, you know what I’m about to say. Your skin has this oil-making safeguard it can (and will) put in place to hydrate itself. Extra oil can sadly cause extra acne- and it’s totally the oil… definitely not the travel diet of booze, bread, and cheese. Yeah.

hair tie and bobby pins

Hair Ties

I straighten my hair before a flight because I find it just makes it lay smoother and prevents tangles. I love the telephone-cord type hair ties because I find they leave less creasing. They’re also fun to play with.

Bobby Pins

For all those stray pieces that just won’t get themselves into your hair tie.

Why pack makeup?

I like to reapply makeup when I land. The extra five minutes means the customs line has had a minute and that I have a lower chance of sitting next to an empty baggage carousel. Also, I find it nice to start in a new place looking refreshed and feeling like I’m ready to take on anything.

retractable kabuki and little brush

Makeup Brushes

I love a retractable kabuki, and a good fluffy travel brush will get you enough for a quick look.



Obviously what you pack depends heavily on personal preference. I go for a pretty powder-based but super light look. Powders also tend to be easier with security liquid guidelines.

The most important thing isn’t something you pack.

If there’s only one thing you get out of this, here it is:

Drink a tonne of water.

I usually buy two bottles at the gate and every single time I get offered water I take it. People (myself included) are constantly running around buying “holy grail” beauty products. The biggest holy grail? Water. Dehydration isn’t cute.

How do you pack for a flight? Have you ever seen someone with a sheet mask in flight? Let me know in the comments!

Love travel? Check out my travel blog Sandy Abroad for more!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s