Inflight and travel beauty essentials Brisbane Airport Mecca Maxima

What inflight and travel beauty essentials do you need for your next trip

Nikki ParkinsonBeauty, Travel 10 Comments

Sponsored by Brisbane Airport 

I’ve never claimed to be a minimalist when it comes to my inflight and travel beauty essentials. Far from it.

I love my beauty products and the idea of leaving some part of my routine at home while I’m travelling just isn’t a possibility. BUT. There’s always a but, isn’t there?

The but is there are restrictions and luggage limits and simply packing up everything you use at home into your suitcase or carry on just won’t work if you’re flying.

So, what I’ve got very good at is finding shortcuts around what I take on board and what I pack, so that I have all my “needs” on hand but don’t need to purchase excess baggage (or have items confiscated!).

The challenge Brisbane Airport set me recently was to put together my inflight and travel essentials kits, based on finds discovered at Brisbane Airport’s Domestic Terminal by shopping at Airport Pharmacy (located near Gate 24, Qantas Terminal) and Mecca Maxima (located near gate 38, Virgin Terminal).

Challenge accepted!

Inflight and travel beauty essentials Brisbane Airport Mecca Maxima

I’ve shared my finds below, broken down into categories for inflight on domestic and international flights, as well as what to pack in your checked in bag/s. Before I reveal my not-so-minimalist-travel-beauty ways, these are my top tips for putting together your travel beauty kit.

Tips for creating an inflight and travel beauty essentials kit

1. You can cut down on what you need to pack if you do a full beauty prep before you fly: hair colour freshen up and blow dry, mani, pedi, spray tan; lashes. For short domestic trips this means I don’t need to pack as much as I would, ie I won’t need to wash my hair so won’t need shampoo and conditioner; for longer haul trips, it means I at least arrive giving the illusion of feeling fresh. HAH.

2. When planning what your travel beauty essentials look like, break your list down into these categories: in-flight; skincare; hair care; makeup. This will simplify the process when it comes to creating your kit.

3. Source travel or sample sizes of your favourite products or buy clear travel bottles and decant your full-sized products into them. This prep work will really pay off when it comes to packing your suitcase.

4. Makeup palettes can be gold in cutting down your makeup kit. Look for palettes that are compact but include eye, lip, cheek and highlighters.

5. If you’re a regular traveller, it will help if you always have your toiletries kit packed and ready to go. This also saves time coming home (one less thing to unpack!).

My inflight beauty essentials – domestic/short haul

Inflight beauty essentials - short haul | Inflight and travel beauty essentials Brisbane Airport

Bare Minerals lip gloss; Hourglass powder; Lanolips lip balm: Mecca Maxima, Brisbane Airport

Kleenex tissues; Dettol anti-bacterial wipes; Mitchum deodorant; Sukin hydrating toner; Lady Jayne hair brush: Airport Pharmacy, Brisbane Airport

I do a bit of domestic travel for work that usually sees me arriving at my destination and heading straight to a meeting. Even a short flight to Sydney can leave my skin feeling like it needs a pick-me-up. That’s where a face spritz comes in handy. While on the flight, I’ll use a lip balm but, on arrival, I’ll pop on some colour. I’ll already have makeup on, so it’s just a matter of dusting over a bit of face powder to freshen up what I’ve already applied. Run the brush through my hair and I’m good to go. The wipes, tissues and deodorant are on hand if required. 

My inflight beauty essentials – international/long haul

Inflight beauty - long haul | Inflight and travel beauty essentials Brisbane Airport

Bare Minerals lip gloss; Lanolips lip balm; Hourglass tinted moisturiser; Mecca Max face cleansing wipes; Patchology mask kit: Mecca Maxima, Brisbane Airport

Kleenex tissues; Dettol anti-bacterial wipes; Mitchum deodorant; Sukin hydrating toner; Lady Jayne hair brush; Batiste dry shampoo; Colgate toothbrush and toothpaste kit: Airport Pharmacy, Brisbane Airport

I look at a long-haul flight as an opportunity to treat my skin like we’re hanging out at a day spa (while still meeting the carry-on liquids regulations). Sure, this might cause much eye-rolling from my family but I get the last laugh when I arrive at our destination looking vaguely fresh. As soon as I’m on board, I’ll use the face wipes to take off any makeup I might have on. If the flight attendants also supply a warm towel, this is an added bonus in the cleansing department. I’ll pop moisturiser on at this point – and keep topping this up with more as well as a hydrating toner. My lips will never be without lip balm either. Towards the end of the flight, I’ll bring out the masks – eye and face. Before arriving, I’ll brush my teeth and employ the “fake it until I make it” method of disguising a lack of sleep by applying an illuminating tinted moisturiser, lip gloss and dry shampoo.

My suitcase travel beauty essentials 

Travel beauty what to pack Inflight and travel beauty essentials Brisbane Airport

MAC primer; Smashbox lipstick; Too Faced mascara; Bare Minerals lip gloss; Mecca Max palette; Mecca Max hair ties; Floral Street fragrance; Mecca Cosmetica sunscreen; Stila foundation/concealer: Mecca Maxima, Brisbane Airport

MooGoo cleanser and moisturiser; Argan Oil of Morocco shampoo and conditioner; Mitchum deodorant; Thursday Plantation Aloe Vera Gel; Colgate toothbrush and toothpaste kit: Airport Pharmacy, Brisbane Airport

I know, I know. Many will look at what I pack for a holiday and shake their heads at my vain ways. I cannot change who I am and I make no apologies for that. I’m not necessarily going to wear a full face of makeup every day while on holidays but I do like to have products on hand when dressing up for dinners out. I don’t travel without my regular foundation because it’s something I know won’t let me down but I do switch up other products, for example, opting for a palette instead of separate eye and cheek colours to save space. I’ll mostly wear a nude lip gloss but always pack a bright lipstick for evenings out – it works like an accessory to lift an outfit. A travel-sized fragrance is a great idea but so is buying a new fragrance duty free (something that’s become a tradition for me – I talked about it in this post). I always pack sunscreen and all-purpose gel/balm or cream that can help with minor grazes, irritation and sunburn.

Why shop at Brisbane Airport?

With all the items I’ve featured, I found the prices to be the same as shopping away from the airport. Winning. But the big win, for me, was in the variety of product available to buy in travel sizes. I know it makes perfect sense for an airport retailer to have a greater concentration of travel-sized beauty products but I was blown away by the depth of what was on offer.

Do yourself a favour, next time you’re travelling through Brisbane Airport’s Domestic Terminal, check out both beauty retailers and stock up for that trip or your next trip away.

So, please tell me I’m not alone with my travel beauty maximalist ways? If you’re a pro at this, please share your tips for clever travel beauty packing in the comments below.

Inflight and travel beauty essentials Brisbane Airport Airport Pharmacy


Photography: Kate Luke | Hair and makeup: Dale Dorning via Arc Creative

Comments 10

  1. great post. I keep my beauty essentials to the bare minimum …when traveling. I take on the plane ..toothbrush and toothpaste, moisturizer – face and body all in one, lip balm, wipes, tissues and a lipstick, hair brush and tie. I always pack undies and a t/shirt…you never know when you might need it. We did back in 2016…huge delay of 6 hours sitting on the tarmac in Paris…missed all connecting flights…taken to a hotel in Singapore….for 3 hours – shower and a change. That was lovely! In my bag, lipstick, mineral powder, lip pencil, eyeliner, perfume. I get my hair done either on the day if I can or the day before, so at least I look good when starting out.

  2. On long haul flights:
    I need to feel comfortable on the plane. And I also pack my hand luggage in case my suitcase gets lost or delayed. So I pack in my hand luggage snacks, gum, mints, hair elastics, pair of flipflops, socks and a huge scarf to use as a blanket, moisturiser, lip balm, disposable face wipes, mascara, lipstick and stick concealer. Also sachets or small bottle of sunscreen and insect repellent, extra sanitary liners and deodorant.

    I also put in a change of undies and something I can wear as pj’s.. like legging and a singlet (or thermal long underwear if I’m going the snow). And small change in the local currency.

    Then to freshen up once I arrive..
    My best travel trick is shampoo and conditioner sachets. I can usually order them from the pharmacy (Steiner is the brand they have here). No airport security issues with those. When I get to my destination I buy my conditioner and shampoo. Thus avoiding the extra travel weigh and spillage problems.
    I also pack L’Oreal Magic Retouch spray on wash out hair colour.. just in case I need a touch up.
    Small perfume, I usually buy at duty free as a little treat.

  3. Great tips Nikki. I’m off to the US at Christmas with the family and the face masks on our 15 hour flight will be the best!

  4. For long haul I try to find products that are in solid or stick form – highlighter, blush, bronzer and foundation. This way they don’t need to be included in the 20cm x 20cm gels/liquid bag, I can take less brushes because clean hands + solid/stick make up = job done and I get to arrive looking fresh! RMS, Chanel and Hourglass are my go-to favourites for these products.

  5. I always take all my toiletries in my hand luggage so purchased a clear plastic wash bag so that security can see everything without having to rifle through it. I also have this ready to go at all times, so I don’t have to worry I’ve forgotten to pack something as I travel a lot. The thing I never fly without is hair spray, which is very necessary as I get super static and normally look like I might take flight myself by the time I land

  6. Thanks Nikki- my husband does a lot of traveling and I am always on the look out for smaller colognes that he likes to take- easier for carry-on. I do some traveling- always take the smaller moisturizer that you get in gift packs with purchase- mascara etc and of course a Jo Malone perfume does wonder for a pick me up and works a treat for a spray in a motel room to make it smell like home

  7. You are not alone, I take my make up as well. I found last time I went, blusher in stick form is great. You don’t have the risk of it breaking, and it’s one less brush to stuff into my make up bag. Also takes up less room.

  8. Love this post, and I love packing. I have a basket tucked away, I keep small sizes of my usual products in it, plus any samples I receive which I know I will use on holidays. Makes it so easy to throw them into a bag. I know a lot of people just buy toiletries when they arrive but I don’t want to waste my first day doing that! Always take heaps of sunscreen. I like the ‘beauty to go’ section at Mecca for travel sizes. I really like that Mecca Max palette x

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