Some people say it’s not the destination that matter, it’s the journey. But what happens if you, like me, find it hard to get a restful slumber on long-haul flights? Does the journey still matter? Even when it’s filled with incessant tossing and turning, movie marathons, way too many orders of snacks, only to arrive with bloodshot eyes? Personally, I’ve long accepted the fact that I just cannot seem to snooze for more than an hour, regardless of what class of travel I’m on. That said, I simply refuse to look like I’ve been sleep deprived. In addition, I avoid wearing makeup on flights (I will address my reasons for this at some point in the near future), so I take packing for my carry-on bag very seriously.

The main thing I have to consider is portability. Sure, it’d be great to carry all 27 steps of my skincare and makeup routine to look absolutely fly (pun very much intended), but then there’s the rule about fluids, amongst other things. So here’s my edit of travel essentials to pack in my bag for a solid, yet sensible in-flight makeup routine to put my best face forward when I land:


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1. Cushion Foundation
I always pack a cushion foundation when I travel because it’s super convenient and I don’t have to use my fingers to apply. Diorskin Forever Perfect Cushion is one of my current favourites because it provides medium coverage, has UV protection (SPF 35/PA+++), gives a luminous matte finish and feels very lightweight my skin. It also has an auto-adapt technology to keep shine-prone areas velvety smooth while delivering moisture to skin, and lasts all day regardless of the climate.

Diorskin Forever Perfect Cushion, $78, Dior

2. Concealer
Whether you prefer concealers in cream, sticks or liquid form, they are an absolute must-have in every woman’s stash because they are nifty and can be used to hide any imperfections, from dark eye circles, blemishes, dark spots, scars and discolouration. I like the new Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer, which delivers full coverage while promising an ultra-smooth application and lightweight wear. The new formula also contains Green Tea Extract (a powerful antioxidant) and comes with SPF 25 PA+++ UV protection to shield the skin from environmental hazards. Best part? It has a super blendable texture so I can apply it easily with my fingertips.

Concealer, $105 each, Clé de Peau Beauté

3. Powder
To set my makeup, I sweep on a light layer of Albion’s Elegance La Poudre. One of Albion’s best-selling products, I’ve actually only discovered this a few months ago and have been hooked on it since. Not only does it go on invisibly, it also helps repel water so makeup stays put through the day. The multi-coloured pigments also help correct skin tone for a glowy finish.

Elegance La Poudre, Albion

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4. Blusher
The best way to make your skin look fresh and glowy? A dab of blusher on the cheeks. And when you’re 30,000 feet in the air, take the fuss-free option and sweep on NARS’ Orgasm. This peachy hue contains tiny golden pigments so it instantly warms sallow complexion while flattering virtually all skin tones.

Blush in Orgasm, NARS

5. Eyebrow Pencil 
I also love carrying Shu Uemura Hard Formula around in my pouch at all times because it is literally an eyebrow pencil and a brush in one. Thanks to its unique sword-like shape, I can use the sharp tip when I require absolute precision to fill in sparse spots on my brows. At the same time, all I have to do to blend out the individual strokes is to use the broad edge. Its formula also withstands heat and humidity so my arches stay put all day long.

Hard Formula, $33, Shu Uemura
Hard Formula, $33, Shu Uemura

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6. Lipstick
And finally, I never skip lipstick because it’s the easiest way to light up your face instantly and draw attention to your lips. I like Lancôme’s L’Absolu Rouge in 132 Caprice because it is a chilli red that helps brighten my complexion. Moreever, it has a creamy texture and contains skincare ingredients that help plump lips.

L'Absolu Rouge in 132 Caprice, $48, Lancôme
L’Absolu Rouge in 132 Caprice, $48, Lancôme

7. Perfume
As a finishing touch, I always carry one (or two fragrance vial) with me. Currently on heavy rotation is Chanel’s Gabrielle EDP, which is a lavish bouquet of jasmine, ylang ylang and tuberose. It is also now available in a travel-friendly 35ml size so I just pop it into my travel bag.

Gabrielle EDP, Chanel
Gabrielle EDP, Chanel

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