Salt & Wind Travel

How to Pack Makeup For Flight: Six Best Tips (2024)

Here at Salt & Wind Travel, we’re obsessed with all things food and travel, and we want to look great while tasting the world. We’re also expert packers since we’ve got a severe case of wanderlust and little patience for baggage claim. So, for all of our fellow travelers, we’ve put together these six tips for how to pack makeup for flight.

How To Pack Makeup For Flight
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Beauty Tips From A Trusted Beauty Expert

The way we discover new things has changed so much in the last decade thanks to social media. Where we decide to take our next vacation, what restaurants we dine in, and certainly how to pack makeup and what goes into our makeup bag is all now influenced by what we see on social media. But what can you trust? How can you tell the great recommendations from the TikTok trends started by someone without any expertise? I’ve worked in beauty for decades and am an avid traveler so have thoughts when it comes to how to pack makeup for flight.

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Enter my new business 213Deli. I launched 213Deli with two friends and longtime colleagues from the beauty industry. 213Deli is your trusted source of expert advice on what is truly amazing. Which dry shampoos or eye cream should you pack for a trip? Which creams (serums and oils), lip gloss, concealers, or lipstick make the cut for your travel makeup bag? Which mascara won’t smudge on your tropical trip somewhere gorgeous but humid? We’ve got you covered.  

I’ve spent twenty years trying just about every beauty product available on planet earth so you don’t have to, and I always get expert advice from my friends who are celebrity makeup artists, estheticians, and beauty editors, too.  

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Six Tips For How To Pack Makeup For Flight

So how to pack makeup for a flight? You’ll want to follow key TSA rules, pack travel-sized cosmetics and skincare, and choose multi-purpose produces. Let’s dive in!

Tip #1: Obey TSA Rules

There are a few things to keep in mind when packing your makeup bag for air travel. If you’re opting to put most of your makeup in your hand luggage, there are a few specific rules to follow to best get through the airport security checkpoint.

First, mind the transportation security administration (aka TSA) regulations around liquids, gels, and aerosols. Also, heed the 3-1-1 rule which says liquid products are allowed but only in 3.4 ounce containers or smaller and aerosols are not allowed on the plane! You’ll want to put any and all liquid toiletries and products in a quart-sized bag (like a clear resealable plastic bag) and pack any sharp objects in your checked suitcase to avoid issues.

Don’t push it with these rules or you’ll likely need additional screening. Or, worse yet, some disgruntled TSA agent may take away your prized beauty products and you’ll be in bad shape at the airport. If you can’t live without a certain face wash or some skincare products, then buy the travel-size versions of your favorite products to put in your carry-on luggage. Or get smaller containers that you can use to put a bit of your favorite items be the liquid foundation, makeup remover, or body wash.

Also, opt for multi-purpose products as possible to make the most of your toiletries. For convenience, I suggest washing your face with bar soap at the hotel and using great skincare thereafter, but that’s just me.   

Tip #2: Don’t Make A Mess

How to prevent a mess? First things first, avoiding fragile items whenever possible is a good idea. Then try to mitigate for spillage. You can’t always prevent toiletries and cosmetic products from spilling, which is why the best way to carry all liquids (whether in my carry-on bag or checked luggage) is in a makeup bag that can be wiped clean. I use these practical and affordable toiletry bags that are super easy to clean should something spill. Now that we’ve covered the basics, here are my tips for how to pack makeup for a flight and my top eight go-to products that should be in your travel makeup bag! 

Tip #3: Hydrate With A Serum

Your skin loses a lot of moisture in the air, so it’s hydration should be your focus when you’re considering how to pack makeup for flight. Board the flight makeup-free with a solid base of ultra-hydrating skincare. There are a variety of different options but I swear by the bioeffect egf serum. This Iceland-based biotech brand uses a botanically derived form of Epidermal Growth Factor from barley that can be used as a gentle, retinol alternative. The serum adds moisture with hydration-powerhouse hyaluronic acid and should be a staple in your skincare routine even when you’re not 30,000 feet up. 

Epidermal growth factor is a signaling protein that targets cell turnover and increases the presence of structural proteins in the skin like collagen and elastin. Supporting these components of the skin — which naturally begin to decline starting at age 25 — means helping to buffer your complexion from the typical signs of aging like wrinkles, crepiness, and sagging. Also, it supports the integrity of the skin barrier, a protective layer of the skin that keeps moisture in and irritants, aggressors, and pathogens out.

EGF has been cited as a gentle-yet-effective active ingredient for treating anti-aging skin quality concerns, as well as treating skin tone, texture, healing, and scarring. But what stands out about it is how EGF treats the skin without the photosensitivity, irritation, redness, flaking, or damage to the outermost layer of the skin — all of which are associated with retinol.

This means that it can be used as a retinol-alternative for those that cannot tolerate the active ingredient. Great news for retinol lovers, though, it will boost the efficacy of your vitamin A if you want to keep that in your routine! The full size bottle is 0.5 fl ounces (so, TSA friendly) and will last you 3 to 6 months depending on how much you use.  You only need 2 to 4 drops to cover your whole face and neck, so this little bottle will go the distance.  

Close-up of a young pretty woman applying face cream to cheekbones, apply cream in circular movements, skin care, natural cosmetics, face care cream.

TIP #4: Hydrate Some More!

Follow your serum with a super hydrating moisturizer like the OSEA Atmosphere Protection Cream, made with undaria seaweed to replenish and rebuild the skin’s moisture barrier. It’s packed with a seaweed marine blend of brown and green seaweed extracts, seawater, and marine exopolysaccharides that work synergistically to balance the skin’s microbiome.

Use this day and night (and in between, if needed). The full sized bottle is 2 fluid ounces (so, TSA friendly) and unlikely to leak so great for your carry-on bags! Team Salt & Wind Travel swears by this product as we’ve used it in a variety of climates from humid beach days in Italy to uber-dry nights in the California desert

Tip #5: Always Pack a Face Oil

Lastly, lock it all in by pressing the Retrouve Balancing Face Oil into your skin. This luxury oil is easily absorbable, with significant benefits (antioxidant-rich and full of fatty acids), but without the heavy feel of most oils. It features Mokaté Oil from the drought-resistant Kalahari melon, which is adapted to survive arid desert environments by locking in every drop of moisture.

This is an expensive investment piece of skincare and worth every penny!  Retrouve uses a proprietary manufacturing process that keeps all ingredients protected from light and therefore degradation. Then airtight packaging is used to further protect the product and maintain ingredient integrity.   

Apply as often as you like throughout the flight (definitely at least once if you’re flying 6 hours or more). Note, oils absorb best on wet skin, so spritz a facial spray or splash a little water on your face before applying.  The full size bottle is 0.5 fl oz (TSA friendly) and will last 3-6 months depending on how much you use.     

Tip #6: Primp Before You Land

Just before you reach your final destination, you’ll want to pull out that makeup bag and touch yourself up a little. I suggest a few great makeup products like a tinted moisturizer, a little blush, and some lip oil.  I love the about-face cheek freak blush balm in champagne room because it goes on super sheer, but you can build it if you want more color. Add the Saint Jane Luxury Lip Oil in alchemy for some shine.  Both of these will serve you well throughout your trip and are TSA friendly!  

If you need a touch of dry shampoo, we suggest the NatureLab Tokyo Perfect Clean Dry Shampoo because it’s powder and comes in a tiny pump, 100% TSA friendly, which is tough to find for dry shampoo as most are aerosols.  

Keep it simple.  Of course, you’ll add just a couple of additional items to your travel makeup bag to get you through your entire trip like the Kjaer Weiss Im Possible Mascara and the rms Beauty ReDimension Hydra Dew Luminizer (which is a highlighter and eyeshadow in one). Everything is TSA-friendly and can be put in a ziploc bag and carried onto the plane, so you’ll be hydrated and glowing throughout your trip.  

View of tropical landscape with steep mountains, white sand and clear blue water in Waimanalo Beach, Hawaii on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.

Sign Up For 213Deli and get a $25 Credit to Shop!

If you love all things beauty as much as you love an incredible wine pairing with your meal while traveling, then check out 213Deli. With our weekly drops, you’ll discover new products and be prepped for your your next trip. As the founder, I’m biased, but I really think it’s the best place to discover beauty.  We drop the best-of-the-best once weekly via text message, and all you have to do to buy is reply.  Go to and use invite code SALTANDWIND for a $25 credit to shop!

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Photo Credit:Female preparing travel cosmetic bag on the bed By ByLorena; Photo by pmv chamara on UnsplashBeauty portrait A young woman takes care of her facial skin By Artem Podrez; View from Makapuʻu Lookout in Oahu Hawaii By Olivia Inman

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1 thought on “How to Pack Makeup For Flight: Six Best Tips (2024)”

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