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7 travel beauty tips and tricks
Looking good while travelling is kind of a big ask. It’s one thing to arrive at the airport feeling fresh and fabulous...
… but ultimately, you get to your destination resembling something closer to this:
The most depressing part of our travel beauty decline? Those gorgeous flight attendants always manage to look immaculately groomed and fresh-faced, no matter how long the flight! *Shakes fist*
So how do they do it? We got the inside scoop from Flight Purser Margaret Lai, who’s been part of the Cathay Pacific in-flight crew for seven years and frequently flies for up to 16 hours at a time. Here are her tips for maintaining a glowing complexion at 35,000 feet and above…
1. Don’t indulge too early
You may already be in vacay mode, but Margaret warns against “overindulging too early on”. Why? Well, what you eat will affect how your skin looks. Margaret recommends eating “before you leave for the airport so you’re not tempted by the fast food options at the terminal” and ditching salt, sugar and greasy foods as these can be “dehydrating for your body”.
To drink: “It’s important to drink water pre, during and post-flight to maintain optimal hydration from the inside out. Avoid alcohol in-flight and make water your only go-to drink.”
2. Pack the right beauty essentials
Preparation is key for an effective in-flight beauty regimen, so take the time to “sort out your beauty carry on necessities prior to leaving”. If you’re travelling internationally, don’t be put off by the 100mL liquid limit - Margaret points out that “most beauty brands these days offer travel sized versions of their product ranges” which you can “top up on throughout the year via gifts with purchases”. Alternatively she suggests to “fill sample pots and containers with your favourite products from home”. QVS 3 Travel Jars or Manicare Cosmetic Jars are perfect for travelling.
Margaret’s must-haves: “Make-up wipes, blotting paper, moisturiser, sheet masks and a hand cream.”
3. Remember your SPF
I’m the first to admit it’s never occurred to me to apply sunscreen on an aeroplane, but Margaret reminds us we’re still at risk of sun damage, as UV levels actually increase with elevation. “Being in-flight doesn’t make you less prone to the harmful and ageing effects of UV rays, [so] the same sun safety rules apply even when you’re flying – especially if you’ve opted for a window seat.” For SPF protection and extra skin hydration in one, try Kosmea Moisturising Lotion SPF 30 or Indio Age Defence SPF30+.
4. Dial up your in-flight hydration regimen
Dry aeroplane air is known for its moisture-sapping abilities, so Margaret recommends treating your skin to some “serious glow-inducing treatments” while on-board. Start off with a hydrating sheet mask (“these are disposable and are a dream to travel with”) and then apply a rich layer of face cream to seal in the goodness. bh loves Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Overnight Firming Mask and BABOR Neuro Sensitive Cellular Intensive Calming Cream Rich.
If you have really dry skin: Margaret recommends mixing your moisturiser with “a few drops of rosehip oil” for extra hydration benefits. Oh, and don’t forget to pop some sheet masks in your luggage for your return plane trip!
5. Ditch the make-up
You may be tempted to rock some killer contour for your flight, but Margaret swears by “going bare-faced and allowing your skin to breathe”. Not only will you be free to smush your face into your neck pillow, you’ll also have “a clean canvas to work with when you want to reapply moisturiser throughout the flight”. If you must wear make-up, Margaret recommends opting for waterproof products, as well as an eye primer and translucent powder to help them last the distance.
6. Prioritise your beauty sleep
Fact: “No amount of skin care or make-up can replace the beauty benefits of a good night’s sleep.” Even if you’re buzzing with excitement for your trip, it’s important to make an effort to get some shut-eye. Margaret recommends ear plugs for light sleepers - especially “if you have a crying baby or loud neighbour on board”. She also advises packing a silk eye mask “to block off light and help minimise any crinkles you get from sleeping”. Finish off with a soothing lavender spray to help you relax and doze off.
7. Freshen up strategically
Now that you’ve made it to the tail end of your journey, it’s time to ensure you look your very best when you land. “Freshen up in the comfort of your own seat by using blotting paper to blot away any excess oil.” Follow with a swipe of a make-up wipe (bh recommends Swisspers Rosehip Facial Cleansing Wipes) to instantly refresh and cleanse away any impurities. Last but not least, top up your hydration levels with a final layer of face moisturiser.
If you can’t go bare-faced any longer: “Apply your make-up no more than 30 minutes before you land so that it stays nice and fresh.”
Do you have any other beauty tips for flying?