I recently found an article online about the secret in-flight beauty treatments every fashion girl apparently swears by. As I excitedly scanned through it, looking forward to trying out their expert tips on a 14hour flight I had coming up, when I got to the bottom of the page, I was disappointed by how incredibly unrealistic it was. Nobody, unless you’re a celebrity flying first-class or chartering a private jet, would deep condition their hair and wrap it in a scarf, spritz their face with hydrating mist every hour or give themselves a facial or manicure in public while the stranger beside you looks on incredulously thinking you’re some sort of diva. And besides, didn’t our mums always teach us that even something as simple as brushing our hair in public was bad manners?
.I prefer to lock myself away in the privacy of the tiny airplane bathroom, or better, take 5-7 minutes out to refresh myself at the first ladies room I see once I land. Here are some tips I employ every time I take a long flight to make sure I feel, smell and look fresh by the time I meet whoever is waiting for me at Arrivals:
1. Sleep as much as you can so you wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed after your journey. Have trouble sleeping on modes of transport? Welcome to the club! Here’s how I overcome it:
.(a) Take a night time flight so your body feels tired at the time you usually go to bed so falling asleep is easier.
.(b) Don’t sleep the night before your flight so you’re nice and exhausted by the time you board and have the best sleep ever as a result!
.(c) Use an eye mask and earplugs / cotton wool in your ears so you’re not woken up by a fellow passenger turning on their reading light, opening a window shade or talking to a flight attendant.
.(d) Use a neck pillow instead of a flat airline pillow to make sure your neck isn’t in an uncomfortable position and you wake up pain-free.
.(e) Drink a glass or two of wine to help you fall asleep. We all know it works!
2. Stay hydrated by asking for a bottle or two (or three) of water during the flight. Your skin will thank you as air pressure really dehydrates the skin, and getting up to use the restroom now and then will give you an opportunity to stretch your muscles and keep your legs from swelling. This works best if you prefer an aisle seat.
1.Finding an outfit that is chic, comfortable but also does you justice during the varying temperatures onboard is key. When in doubt, jeans and a top with a removable third layer tick all three boxes. Pick comfy shoes like on-trend white trainers, low block heels or cute flats instead of uncomfortable heels or sloppy flip flops. As for your bag? A big, structured bag in a bright colour or a black designer bag always pulls the look together for me, while holding my neck pillow, beauty products, travel documents and iPad.
2. Prepare in advance. If I had my way, I’d have my whole beauty arsenal in my hand baggage to make me feel human again after hours and hours on a plane. However, since you’re only allowed liquids and aerosols under 100ml, do a little research and buy all your essentials in travels sizes before you board. A lot of the time, these are even available at the airport, in case you’re busy running around with last-minute packing.
3. Skip using any makeup on the actual flight unless you absolutely have to (and by that I mean if you’re seated next to a handsome stranger, but how often does that even happen anyway?). This spares you the embarrassment of waking up to find a thick layer of foundation smeared all over the airline pillow, mascara or eyeliner bleeding and giving you racoon eyes, etc.
4. What I prefer to do instead is this: carry a foundation or tinted moisturizer in your handbag. Right before or just after you land and head to the restroom to ‘powder your nose’, use blotting papers to get rid of any oil that may have built up on your face. Next, I lightly spritz with a facial mist for hydration and a dewy look (Pixi Rose Glow Mist is my favourite). Then I dab a tiny bit of concealer of BB cream ONLY on areas I need it – for me, this is under my eyes around my nostrils and on any spots. This gives a beautiful, flawless finish to the face that is super natural, glowy and fresh.
5. I then use either Benefit’s Benetint or a peachy-pink lipstick on the apples of my cheeks, on my lips and just a little on my nose to give my skin a peaches and cream look. Et voila! The perfect fresh ‘no-makeup’ look that’ll leave everyone wondering how you look so fresh and fabulous after being stuck up in the air for the best part of a day.
6. See if you can get your hands on a travel-size can of dry shampoo or, if nothing else, a small bottle of baby powder. Spray or sprinkle either product onto any greasy bits on your scalp and then massage it a little with your fingers. Feel free to use a teasing brush (or toothbrush!) for a little extra volume, and then flip your hair upside down for added lift and life to limp airplane hair.
Let’s face facts, shall we? Even though women aren’t really wired to discuss this stuff in detail, there’s no sugarcoating the fact that after hours and hours up in the air, its a little hard to maintain that ‘just-showered’ feeling. Here’s how to deal:
1. Carry a travel-size pack of baby wipes and wipe any areas you think need freshening up. Next, use a little hand sanitizer on your underarms. No, I am not crazy. BO is caused by the bacteria that live and thrive in your underams – hand sanitizer kills 99.9% of this bacteria, making you smell better instantly! After that, use a little deodorant and you’re good to go.
2. Perfume samples are an added bonus when you want the confidence your signature scent brings you, without committing to carrying the full size version which can be heavy, break in your bag or risk security confiscating it for being 100ml.
3. And lastly, to make sure your breath is as on point as a toothpaste commercial, carry a small bottle of mouthwash (Listerine make under 100ml bottles), give yourself a nice, thorough gargle, top it off with some strung mint chewing gum and you’re good to go for air kisses on arrival! Bon voyage!