Long-haul plane journeys can be fun because they are one of the few times in life when you are encouraged to eat constantly, radically limit your movement and get drunk at every meal.
The fact that mobiles are forbidden and conversing is discouraged are merely added bonuses. However, delightful as this all sounds, nothing is quite so terrifying as catching sight of yourself in the magnifying mirrors of the airplane loos.
Suddenly, any post-holiday prep was a complete waste of time. Your eyebrows are a disgrace, your skin is sallow and, oh-my-God, are those wrinkles? Suddenly, being talked off a ledge at 35,000 feet is looking like a real possibility.
Ah, but I have the secret, my beautiful friends. The airplane mirrors will always be mean but with a few inexpensive (well…) and vital beauty products, I will have you perky and pristine at arrivals in no time.
First of all, how you dress is how you feel. Britney Spears has never been the girl to emulate and I suggest you do not start now (aka no velour). I would wear trousers/jeans but that’s your call. Layers are essential and I never travel without a large scarf; useful if the aircon is intense or the blankets disgusting.
I’m sure you don’t need to be reminded but moisturizer is king. Plane humidity hovers around 10% which is very low and part of the reason why you get so dehydrated. Take off your make-up as soon as you get on the plane. I like Clean and Clear face wipes simply because they’re individually packaged and come in pairs but it doesn’t really matter.
Although your seat neighbors may now be giving the girl who washes in public looks, I’d apply a intense moisturizing cream like Nivea’s regenerating night cream (inexpensive and amazing).
I decant mine into little pots (easily purchased from M&S or Boots) to be in line with FAA regulations but not everyone is quite so obsessive.
Smear on some lip balm like Smith’s minted rose or the new Mac lip conditioners for some color and you’re good to go.
I always travel with an eye mask (which I steal from my Papa when he goes on business trips) but you can buy them anywhere if you’re not into kleptomania. Most good airlines also hand them out.
Every hour or whenever you remember, I like to give my face a blast of Evian’s mini water sprays. They are wonderfully hydrating and just generally make you feel more refreshed and reinvigorated. They are useful for convincing yourself that, of course, you can still be a jet setter! Even in Economy. At the back. By the loos.
As the flight comes to a close, you’ll want to sneak into the washrooms about an hour before you land so you don’t have to queue. At this point, I’d use another face wipe to remove any grim plane residue and brush my teeth. Any chemist sells mini travel toothbrushes and toothpastes which are worth investing in if for no other reason then when you spend the night elsewhere.
How much makeup you want to wear is really up to you. On my most recent flight, I applied some tinted moisturizer (Laura Mercier’s in nude), some lip gloss (above), curled my eye lashes and threw on some mascara (Maybelline the falsies volume express – love!) and called it a day. On other flights, I’ve been bored, had it around and applied a full face of make-up.
It really depends on how you feel and who you’re meeting at the other end. While, of course, I am not suggesting that any girl feel any pressure to look a certain way or conform to any social stereotypes (blah, blah, blah), it is undeniable that knowing you don’t look like death makes you feel a little better. It also may make your cheeky smile as you breeze through Customs more effective.
Whatever you decide, I would always use an caffeinated eye roll (Garnier’s skin renewal, I have two!) and some eye cream/concealer to alleviate dark circles. My favorite is Nars duals in custard/ginger which has vitamin E. I am obsessed with eye drops at the moment (Clear Eyes maximum redness relief) which are an cheap way to look more awake.
Oh, and no one’s hair looks good after an eight hour flight. Work some of John Frieda’s overnight repair formula through it at the beginning and throw it up in a messy bun. At least it’ll be moisturized at the end.