Let’s face it: a long-haul flight is never going to be glamorous. Combine the harsh recycled cabin air with tiny plastic cups of water and that head-lolling-forwards sleep, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for dehydrated skin and scary under-eye bags.
SUITCASE called upon some of the beauty industry’s most chic travellers to discover their secrets to staying fresh while crossing the continents.
My must-have product is my Vaishaly Night Nourisher (£75) for dry/sensitive skin. As we are all aware, the air conditioning on planes is particularly bad: it extracts moisture from our skin resulting in very dry complexions. My night nourisher keeps skin hydrated, soft and glowing – I apply it continually throughout the flight, as and when my skin needs it. Before applying to my face, I love to put my hands over my nose and take a few deep breaths; the essential oils of rose, geranium, ylang ylang and lavender help me to relax and unwind before take off.
I believe massage is one of the most powerful things that we can do for our skin, plus it forces us to take a bit of time for ourselves. Create firm circular movements on the face, massaging through the muscles and not just the skin surface. This will really get the blood and oxygen pumping around and give the skin a healthy glow.
I always take This Works In Transit No Traces (£17)wipes to thoroughly cleanse my face on boarding and again just before landing. Then, I apply a thin layer of Sisley’s Express Flower Gel Mask (£80) and leave it on – it’s invisible so no-one will know! CND Solar Oil (£11.95) goes on my nails and toes along with lashings of Clarins’ Hand and Nail Treatment Cream (£21) and By Terry’s Baume de Rose (£39)on my lips. I spray Jurlique’s Rosewater Balancing Mist (£18) to rehydrate through the flight and use the Quiet Mind Temple Balm by Elemis (£18.50) to relax – this is great on wrists and pulse points as well as temples. Finally, Nurse Jamie’s black silk pillow (£46) is so much kinder to my hair and skin than the standard airline offering. My rituals make me feel like I’m in first class, whichever cabin I happen to travel in.
Always cleanse again before landing, brush your teeth and add a little dab of Bobbi Brown’s Retouching Wand (£26.50) wherever you need it – under the eyes, around the nose and across the chin. It’s such an amazing product; it melts seamlessly, so looks just like your real skin, only better. Next, I’ll curl my eyelashes, use a multiple cheek-and-lip product and perhaps a blotting paper from BeautyBlender (£16) to take away any shine. The result: you are fresh and glowing, not heavy or puffy!
A hydrating spritz. I love the Queen of Hungary Mist from Omorovicza (£25) as it doubles up as a sort of air-freshener for your immediate vicinity. I also carry a rich, thick moisturiser that’ll beat the dry cabin air (L’Occitane’s Precious Cream (£48) is doing the trick for me at the moment) and a mini can of my COLab dry shampoo (£1.99). I spray in before takeoff (at the airport so that I don’t fumigate fellow passengers) and tie my hair into a bun, then reapply a little to the roots before landing just to give lift and counteract flatness. It also acts as a hair fragrance, which is much-needed after long-haul flights.
Don’t drink alcohol or sugary, fizzy drinks (so tempting, but if you need to look good when you land…) and the old, boring-but-true adage: drink lots of water. Take your make-up off before the flight and moisturise well – your skin will honestly look so much better than if you just try to ‘fix up your make-up’ at the other side. Best to start from fresh, with a plumped-out and refreshed-looking face!
I like to use COLab extreme volume dry shampoo (£3.49) to create texture in the roots and then pull the hair back into a messy bun. But actually, if you’ve kept it in a bun for the whole flight (I just simply twist my hair around until it forms one and then secure with a tie) then letting it out post-flight often reveals huge bouncy waves, especially if you’ve liberally spritzed the roots with COLab before pulling back. You can also add texture to the lengths of a casual braid, ponytail or my tried-and-tested favourite: tip your head upside down, apply COLab extreme volume to the roots, massage and then flip back up. If yo’ve managed not to dislocate your neck then you’ll be good to go and your hair will look mega-volumised.
You should always try and scale back the make-up that comes with you, unless you are flying somewhere to do a red carpet event! I invest in Muji travel bottles (from 75p) for my kit as we’re limited in terms of liquids nowadays with all the safety restrictions. I’d suggest you just bring your daily essentials such as lipstick, eye liner, mascara, concealer, blush, bronzer and of course a pressed powder. Personally, I don’t wear make-up on holiday; it’s the one time that I just relax and try to break the habit. I like to treat my skin with indulgent skincare and make sure that it just has a couple of weeks to breathe without foundation or powder.
As soon as I get on a plane I like to take my make-up off and layer on a mask or an intensive moisturiser, it helps to keep skin from getting parched. A lip balm is also an essential, as I find that lips dry out so quickly in-flight. I try to combat this by packing my Sensai Total Lip Treatment (£74) which helps to nourish skin and lips and, if I have space in my carry on, I love the brand’s Cellular Performance Intensive Hand Treatment (£70) too, which is utterly amazing.