Traveling in the new normal means wearing masks for prolonged hours. I recently took my first international trip after more than a year, as I visited India to meet my family. I had completely forgotten about what it felt like to be on a nine-hour-long flight and how hard long flights can be on the skin. Furthermore, wearing a mask for several hours is the perfect condition for maskne (mask-induced acne).

That’s why an in-flight skincare routine is more important than ever.

And if you’re someone like me who wishes to stay chic while traveling light, it could be a major challenge to manage to look and feel good on and off the plane. So, I have come up with a FAB routine for whenever I am traveling — whether it’s for a day out in the city or a longer vacation.

Fashion and Beauty on the Flight

The basic rule of in-flight skincare is to keep hydrated by chugging gallons of water. Once onboard, I also keep my in-flight beauty kit handy. It contains all the essentials like cleansing wipes, lip balm, hand cream and face serum. When on a long-distance flight, I also prefer using a sheet mask for 10-15 minutes, followed by a hydrating moisturizer, an eye gel (I use Forest Essentials) and Laneige lip mask.

I always carry a silk scrunchie to tie my hair in a ponytail or a bun to avoid breakouts.
If I have to show up at an event or meeting straight after the flight, I tie my hair in a braid during the flight so that I can get instant, natural waves once I unbraid it.

When it comes to my in-flight outfit, I prefer a relaxed, comfy look. It usually includes a pair of joggers or stretchy pants, a linen t-shirt, slip-on shoes and compression socks (that help reduce swelling). In my carry-on, I always include a roomy jacket or hoodie that I can put on if it gets too cool inside the cabin and a smart shirt I can change into if I am heading straight to work.

Fashionista Packing Tips

Let’s be real, packing light while managing to store all the things you need for your trip needs a great amount of planning. As a rule, I travel with only one carry-on if it’s a weekend trip and an additional check-in suitcase if it’s a week-long trip.

To prevent me from overpacking, I start with a checklist dividing my luggage into categories: clothes, toiletries and accessories, keeping in mind the weather of the destination. I plan and visualize the number of looks and pack versatile pieces. Instead of heavy fabrics, I choose light ones like leggings instead of heavy jeans. If I’m visiting a cold place, I prefer to keep an overcoat in my carry-on and pack items like pullovers or turtlenecks that are good for layering. For shoes and accessories, I go minimal. I only pack a few that can go with every outfit.

My travel skincare essentials usually include sunscreen, cleanser, makeup removing wipes, moisturizer, lip balm, serum, under-eye cream and a face mask. To save space, I carry my skincare in sample sizes that I usually receive with my various beauty orders. It also helps to pack multi-functional products like a tinted lip balm or a blush that also works as an eye shadow. When it comes to my haircare, I just carry a travel-size hair serum to keep the frizz at bay. Everything else you can buy at your destination.

Finally, I store all the toiletries and beauty products in a leak-proof, transparent bag as they’re easy to store that way and keep the rest of the luggage safe in case of a leak or breakage.

Fashion and Beauty Daily On-the-Go

While it’s fairly easy to pack your bag when you’re just going from home to the office, prepping up for an eventful day out when you have to juggle several things can be tricky.

My simple mantra is to prep for everything. A few things that I never leave my home without (apart from my house keys, wallet, and mobile) are sunscreen spray, wet wipes, blotting sheets, travel-size perfume, hair ties, safety pins, lip balm, face powder and hand cream. I also like to carry an eyelash curler and two lipsticks: a red and a nude one that I might need to quickly glam up or down based on where I am heading next.

Of course, in the new normal, I always have sanitizer and a few extra face masks.

I often had to attend fashion events after work or during work breaks, so I add in my bag an extra shirt or blouse that can easily transform my look from day to night.

I know all these things sound like a lot. But you can always buy a handbag organizer to store all your essentials for easy access in a roomy tote bag or backpack.

One thing that I have learned during all my years of traveling for work or leisure is that it’s always better to be extra prepared while packing your bags than to be caught in an awkward situation.

Read the other articles in the FAB series:

TW FAB Diaries: Tips and Tricks for Online Shopping in Japan

TW FAB Diaries: Tokyo Spring Fashion and Beauty