Hand Luggage Heroes

I’m currently tapping out this post mid-flight en route to Milan (by the time you read this I’ll be eating gelato for breakfast), cursing the fact I that didn’t spend £3 extra for more legroom and wondering if the small child behind will ever stop pounding on the back of my headrest. Don’t you just love flying? Luckily it’s nothing that a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, a few leg stretches and an episode of The Office can’t fix. Could there be a better occasion to share my hand luggage heroes with you? I think not. Before the past year my flying experience was pretty minimal – I was one of those that used to cheer when we landed – but in the past few months I’ve racked up a few air miles (no longer whoop at touchdown) and reckon I have a few tips, tricks and must-packs to share. Be warned that I am the type of person who is convinced that their luggage is going to get lost so do drag around a few extra toiletries and an extra pair of pants more than I need to. Think of it as an extra arm workout.

Let’s cover the non-beauty basics first. Bag-wise, I reckon it’s always best to pack everything into a handbag that you’re planning on using when you’re away, otherwise they are a pain the derriere to stuff in your suitcase. The bigger, the better (though be mindful of airline restrictions – boo). Gum, hairbands and earplugs go without saying. I throw sunglasses in out of ‘lost luggage paranoia’. And for electronics I bring my laptop for blogging/emails/The Office marathons, a portable charger for my phone and the aforementioned pair of noise-cancelling headphones which basically drown out the world.

The standout hero though is This Works’ Deep Sleep Stress Less Rollerball which makes me feel cool, calm and collected even when I’m not. A nervy flyers best friend. For toiletries I also lug around a mini deodorant, toothpaste, fold-up MUJI toothbrush, hand sanitiser, a baby bottle of Bioderma incase I just fancy wiping it all off and a perfume rollerball that I picked up from Sephora on my last trip there, to freshen me up.

Makeup I keep minimal because I quite frankly don’t give two hoots what I look like when I’m getting antsy at baggage reclaim; though a few bits do get thrown into a MUJI clear pouch. This time round I plumped for a YSL Touché Eclat (which hides the fact that I’ve never, ever been able to sleep on a plane), CHANEL Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder in B20 (I bring this along for the ride mainly because of the mirror), Clinique’s High Impact Waterproof Mascara and a mini of the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 01 (which is not only super cute, but acts as my lip colour, gloss and balm in one).

See? It’s not too bulky. All the essentials with a few extras, you know – just incase.


  • I love your bag! great choices for the beauty kit!

    Things I bought in Paris |

  • Anna Blush

    Packing for a holiday is my favourite thing, particularly choosing what will make it in to my hand luggage. I think you did really well keeping things minimal, it can be so tricky at times. Also I absolutely love that bag! xx

  • Ella

    I love packing for the trip – but packing to go home is a nightmare as there always seems to be 10x as muh stuff!

  • Avanti

    Love the handbag! Very chic


  • Rachel


    I am new to flying and just wondered about taking make up on board a plane and what the rules are?


    • Emma West

      Large liquids are generally restricted and everything else is fine. Look on their FAQ on the airline website.

  • That looks perfect! x Love your sunglasses!

  • I love seeing what other people pack for flights, and I have to say I am the same – I have a spare jacket, socks, pants and even a puzzle book incase there is some disaster and my iPad dies and I need amusing – which came in handy on a 10 hour flight with broken TV and dead iPad!

    Have a great time in Milan!

  • Great tips Anna!

  • great informative post! I am a huge Aveda fan and haven’t had a change to try This works, seems it is time to give it a try..

  • Great post – I love how organised your makeup bag is 🙂

    Josie xoxo | Fashion Mumblr

  • Isabelle McWilliam

    Hope you have a fab time in Milan!

  • Your hand luggage looks so tidy and organised! I stress that much when I’m about to head away on holiday I literally just throw EVERYTHING in (in case I might need it) haha

    Emma | The Fashion Six

  • So organized ..I end up carrying far too much when i fly! Enjoy your trip 🙂

  • Great tips! When I travel, I like to have my oversized carry-all bag (love my Lululemon gym bag!) and inside of that, I’ll keep my important travel documents in a slim wristlet. That way, my passport and ticket are kept organized and I have a smaller bag for going out once I get to my destination!

  • lisa robb

    Defo need some sort of computer/iPad on the plane with you!!
    L x

  • Parisian To Be

    I absolutely detest flying; I don’t know why, but I do. I always bring the This Works Deep Sleep Rollerball with me, as well as loads of magazines and eye candy.

    xo Lillian from Parisian To Be

  • The Deep Sleep rollerball sounds wonderful, I’ll definitely be trying that out, thank you! 🙂 x

  • sofika
  • London Kat

    That’s so funny – I literally did the same post the day before yesterday on my inflight beauty essenitals (nowhere near as impressibely steamlined as you!)

    Have a wonderful time in Italy
    Kat xx

  • Bella

    I wouldn’t expect you to sleep on a 2 hour flight either ;).

  • Sybil Mae

    Your handbag is so cute 🙂
    Have a great time in Italy!

  • AnneGT

    Must have that bag! It’s fabulous. Where did you find it????


      It’s a Sophie Hulme bag, available from Harvey Nichols or Net-a-Porter

  • well justified picks 🙂 I hope your flight wasn’t as bad as you described hehe, The Office gets me through anything x


  • I’ve never had a flight cancelled, delayed, or luggage lost (knock on wood). Yet I ALWAYS bring an extra pair of panties, an extra camisole, and my toothbrush. You just have to be prepared!

  • Dagny Stefansdottir

    Very nice post and good tips.
    P.s. I love your handbag.

  • Manouk

    I basically packed the same stuff for my flight on Sunday. My flight will only last for an hour so one episode of The Carrie Diaries on my Ipad will do 🙂

    WOMANOUK (beauty and portrait

  • Sounds like the perfect amount of products, I love the selection too! x

    Maddy from UNSTITCHEDD | The Little Deer Sunglasses and £20 Voucher Giveaway

  • Talisa Lauren Tossell
  • LeeLee

    Love how organized this is. Have fun in Italia!

  • You’re so organized! I also love your handbag, it is gorgeous. 🙂


  • MyOwnLoves
  • Elsa Novelli

    uh! I love it! where is the envelope purse from? xx

  • LOVE these posts ! so useful and nice to read ! hope u are having a lovely time in Milan ! xx

  • I really want to try the clarins lip perfecter! Have a great time in Milan 🙂

    Kate xo // http://www.beautybabbles.comKate xo //

  • Tarte Tanya

    Great essentials!
    Loving that mini of the Clarins lip perfecter!
    Hope your having a great trip!

  • A lovely blog about cosmetics and some essentials luggage the item you’re declared are so expensive and we should carry very carefully.

  • I love that handbag! I always try to pack as much as i can in my bag / carry on as well for the same reason!