Hitting the road for the holidays? Though the season can be the most exciting time of the year, it does come with a few minor inconveniences. Airports tend to be jam-packed around Thanksgiving and the holiday season. Factor in the unpredictable winter weather, and more often than not, we're looking at a few flight delays, and a cancellation in the worst case scenario. That usually means you get separated from the beauty essentials you put in your checked luggage, and although the TSA is starting to ease up on the restrictions on liquids, gels, and aerosols, we'd never forgive ourselves if the TSA happened to confiscate your massive jar of La Mer. (What? That stuff is expensive!)
As seasoned travelers who often pack more beauty essentials than we need, we broke down exactly what to pack in your checked bag, and what to stash in your carry-on tote just in case you're stuck at the airport, or if your checked luggage reaches your destination a few days after you do. Keep reading to get all the details!
Makeup: Though seemingly-large bottles of foundation, like Dolce & Gabbana's Perfect Reveal Lift version ($72; sephora.com) may appear too large for your carry-on, products under 3 oz. will make the cut, but to avoid any hold-ups in the security line, go ahead and pack your liquids (foundation, BB cream, lip gloss, etc.) in a zip-top bag so the TSA won't have to rifle through your makeup. Thanks to their streamlined shape, palettes take up less room in your bag, so make sure to bring one in lieu of single shadows or blushes. Your nail polish can also go into your carry-on bag, but if you're bringing a few hues from your lacquer collection, stick them in a well-padded makeup bag and place them in your checked luggage.
Hair: If you don't have travel-size products on hand, transfer your Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Shampoo ($30; bumbleandbumble.com) into a smaller container to fit in your carry-on, but if you must bring the full-sized bottle, pack it in your checked luggage. To avoid any spills (and wardrobe mishaps), unscrew the top and place a thin sheet of saran wrap directly between the bottle and the cap, then screw the top back on as tightly as you can. Place the shampoo in a plastic bag for extra insurance. Bringing along dry shampoos or hair sprays? Klorane's Tinted Dry Shampoo ($20; birchbox.com) is by far one of our favorites, but at 3.2 oz, it falls just over the limit, so pack it in your checked bag. Unless you're traveling with a mini hair dryer, we recommend stashing your full-size in your checked bag, though any flat irons or curling are usually tiny enough to place in your carry-on, you know, just in case you need a gateside touch-up...
Fragrance: Obviously, the rollerball version of your B. Balenciaga fragrance ($25; nordstrom.com) makes for a more carefree travel companion than its full-sized counterpart ($145; nordstrom.com), but that doesn't mean the larger bottle can't fly. At 2.5 oz., it can be put in your carry-on, but we usually pack it in our checked bag to minimize the hassle. If you still have the fragrance box around, place it back in to minimize movement, and stick it carefully between your stacks of folded clothes. No box? No problem! We've used the same method with a pair of socks---put the bottle into one sock, cover it with another, and nestle the bottle between the rest of your clothes in the center of your suitcase.
Skincare and bodycare: Most skin serums like SK-II's ($160; sk-ii.com) or Soap & Glory's ($48; sephora.com) weigh in at about an ounce, so you'll have no trouble placing those in your carry-on, and you won't have to worry about keeping your glow intact if you're stuck at the airport. Face washes, toners, body washes, and body creams should follow the same rule of thumb as your shampoos and conditioners---if you can't transfer the liquids into smaller containers, pack them in your checked luggage, and line them in plastic to avoid any leaks onto your designer dresses. Though sharper objects like nail scissors or your Venus razor are tiny, we recommend erring on the side of caution and placing them into your checked bag.