It’s Murphy’s Law. Just when you want to look your holiday best -- when you’re traveling to visit relatives, old friends and maybe even future in-laws -- is when your beauty routine is most out of sorts. Not to worry: With some planning, you can still look fabulous on the fly. Here are tips to try when you and your beauty routine forge out into the wild blue yonder, leaving your bathroom mirror behind.
Know the rules, be prepared: For the complete list of TSA travel do’s and don’ts go to the Transportation Security Administration website for a list of prohibited items. If you want to get your beauty loot on the flight, note the TSA 3-1-1 policy, specifically for liquid carry-ons. Under this policy, liquids must be packed in bottles that hold 3.4 ounces or less; the bottles should be placed in a 1-quart clear plastic zip-top bag; and each passenger should have only one of said bags.
Pack extra zip-top plastic bags: Just in case something spills or the interior of your bag gets gunky. Sure, plastic bags aren’t the most glamorous, but practicality has its charms.
Fill and refill: Don’t want to pack your bulky full-size skin products? Buy mini jars and bottles to transfer product and downsize, making travel easier. Nordstrom’s 7-Piece Travel Refill Kit for travel bag or carry-on contains a 1.5-ounce jar, three 2-ounce flip-cap bottles, a 2-ounce spray bottle, a 0.5-ounce fragrance atomizer, a funnel and a spatula in a clear zip-lock pouch. It’s $8 at shop.nordstrom.com.
Fly naked: With a naked face, that is. If you want to impress as soon as you meet your loved ones at baggage claim, either put on your makeup at the end of the flight (make sure you pack a compact mirror in your purse) or better yet, head into the bathroom right after you land.
Stay hydrated on the plane: Make sure to drink lots of water during the flight. Avoid caffeine and sugar, mist your skin and apply moisturizer, soften and sanitize hands, and generously apply lip balm before and during the flight. Products that can help: Jurlique’s Maintain Balance Introductory Set with Rosewater Balancing Mist, $52 at jurlique.com; L’Occitane Lavender Clean Hand Gel from the Provence to Go Collection, $5, or Smith’s Rosebud Salve, $6, both at www.sephora.com.
Get your beauty sleep: We’ve all heard the nightmare of the germs lurking on airplane pillows and blankets. Sidestep the ick factor and bring personal cozy comforts. The less stressed you are upon arrival, the better you’ll look and feel. Nap Travel Flight Kit, $30; Nap Travel Blanket, $35; Nap Travel Slippers, $10, all available at www.brookstone.com.
Hygiene matters: Take the hotel toiletries you don’t use and save them for travel: Soap, shower gel, toothbrush and toothpaste, comb and brush, shampoo and conditioner (tip: you can use hair conditioner as shaving lotion for your legs), shaving cream, shower cap, cotton swabs, cotton balls, sewing kit and emery boards can come in handy. If you haven’t saved a stash of these amenities, go to Target, RiteAid or your local pharmacy for travel hygiene minis, including pocket Kleenex to pack in your purse. Carry the toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash and floss in your 3-1-1 plastic bag, and keep mints in your purse so you can freshen up after the airplane meal or when you land. Violight travel toothbrush sanitizer and toothbrush, $29.99, at violight.com.
Look for skin minis: But don’t get fooled into buying travel sizes so small that they barely last through a day and a night. Also, make sure that the packaging is sturdy so there aren’t accidents or spillage en route. Clarisonic Mia Travel Brush, $149, at clarisonic.com; REN Mini Body Set $25 at www.barneys.com; and A Stocking Full of Kate! The Discovery Kate Somerville Travel Kit, $90, Bliss Sinkside Travel Six-Pack, $25, and the Lancôme Beauty Travel Size Must-Haves $32, all at sephora.com.
Think head to toe: A week is just long enough to need a manicure touch-up. Do you really want to interrupt the festivities for a full-out mani-pedi? Either take off your polish before your trip or pack these minis: Essie Nail Polish Winter Mini 4 Pack, $17, at shop.nordstrom.com; Sephora Brand Mini Nail Polish Remover, $4, and Tweezerman Petite Manicure Set, $20, both at sephora.com.
Create home away from home: Jennifer Lopez and other celebs bring their own candles to hotel rooms for that cozy home-away-from-home touch. Try Tocca’s Travel Candles, $16 each, or Tocca Candele Da Viaggio travel set, $42, at tocca.com or www.barneys.com.
Great hair on the road: Mini hair brushes and mini curling irons do next to nothing, so carry a full-size brush and pack your curling iron or straightener. But you can save space by purchasing a mini-blow dryer or calling ahead to see if your hotel offers a complimentary blow dryer in your room. Other helpers: dry shampoo, pony tail holder and headband to tie back your hair when you wash your face. Brookstone’s Ionic Dual-Voltage Travel Hair Dryer, $40, at brookstone.com; Frederic Fekkai Travel Faves Salon Technician Color Care, $43, at sephora.com.
Have good scents: Don’t forget your wardrobe -- your fragrance wardrobe, that is. Try collecting your favorite department store perfume samples and save for travel, or purchase a perfume “mini.” These cute fragrances-to-go are my new beauty crush: Stella 1-ounce Eau de Parfum Purse Spray, $48; Juicy Couture Refillable Purse Spray Set, $50; and Ralph Lauren Romance to Go, 1-ounce spray, $39.50, all at sephora.com.
Pretty organized: Buy a pretty (and utilitarian) cosmetic travel bag. This means one that organizes all of your brushes, has lots of zippered pockets and a hook that will let it hang off the door or in the closet. Remember: If you plan to carry it aboard, anything that’s liquid has to go in your 3-1-1 bag. Bare Escentuals Expandable Travel Makeup Bag, $22, at bareescentuals.com.
Men need care too: Jack Black on the Road Travel Pack, $58, at sephora.com.
A grown-up luggage tag: Because losing your luggage and all of your beauty gear isn’t cute. Lugtagz designer and custom luggage tags, $9 per tag, three minimum, at lugtagz.com.