I can honestly say I’ve traveled more than the average gal. In the last six years I’ve been to 20 countries and countless hours with my ass in a plane. Most of my travels have centered around the Middle East and staying pretty in that region of the world is an entirely separate blog series. But I have learned a thing or two about keeping it real on 6, 10 and 18 hour flights. First and foremost, upgrade to First Class when at all possible! I know that’s not realistic but I have noticed that the times that I have upgraded I’m more refreshed when I land. I think it’s a combination of more leg space, being able to keep my feet elevated, stretching out to sleep, and I actually drink more water because I don’t have to climb over 3 people every 30 minutes to pee. Oh, and the champagne..
But for the other 90% of my flights I’ve developed a well-honed, tried and true regimen that keeps me from looking like The Mummy when I land.
- Hydrate like crazy before you board! Now I’m definitely the type of gal to be found at the airport lounge or bar having a glass of wine pre-flight no matter what time it is. Unless I’m flying out of Kabul or Baghdad, then I know better than to ask and just pop my headphones in and not make eye contact with anyone. But I do limit myself to two glasses of vino and I’ll have about 2 liters of water as well. I can’t stand the wine selection on most flights (unless I’m in First Class, woo!) so I’ll stick to water then. The number one culprit of blahness in flight is dehydration so make sure you board hydrated and you stay hydrated.
- After wheels-up and the first drinks/meal have been served, I’ll wipe all my make-up off and slather on my some jojoba or argan oil or if it’s an overnight flight I’ll put on my Korres sleep mask. I also moisturize my cuticles with my Dior Cuticle Cream and run some Alterna Kendi oil through the ends of my hair too. If it’s good enough for Katie Holmes, it’s good enough for me. At this point my neighbors are usually giving me the skeevy eye. And don’t forget to take your shoes off, let those puppies breathe and not swell!
- Airplane food is not designed to be nutritionally sound and they’re loaded with sodium. So if you want to land and not look like the Stay Puff Marshmallow then I suggest you avoid the free dinner (unless you’re in First Class!) and either eat before you fly on a longer flight, or pack some proper snacks for a shorter flight. For short flights I like to grab some fruit or a veggie cup at the delis in the airport and definitely a large bottle of water. For longer flights I’ll have a full meal at a restaurant and make sure I load up on protein because that will keep you fuller longer than carbohydrates. And keep you less bloated!
- I’m not usually one to condone pill-popping but I do tend to take a sleeping pill if I’m on an overnight fight and crossing major times zones. I get serious jet lag that takes me out for days so having a leg up on some sleep definitely helps me out. As soon as I get on the flight I’ll change my watch and phone to the destination time so I’ll know when to catch some beauty sleep. Again, please don’t mix booze and sleeping pills…
- When the flight is about 2 hours from landing I’ll put my shoes back on, stretch my legs and grab my beauty bag (see below for my must-haves) and brave the nasty ass bathroom to freshen up. I’ll wipe my face with cleansing cloths again, spritz on my Caudalie Beauty Elixir, re-apply some jojoba oil, and touch up my hair and make-up. I always keep my make-up light while traveling, even though I try to keep my skin as hydrated as possible it will still be a little blah and layering on foundation and powder is just going to make you look dehydrated and old. If you need blush then keep to cream blushes as they’ll blend better than powders. Same with concealers. My favorites are Kjaer Weis cream blush and YSL Touché Éclat.
I always carry a mini arsenal of beauty products with me, in-flight or on the street, that keeps me prepared for anything. First and foremost is my fantastic Chanel lipstick charger for iPhone/Android. I found this gem on Spoiledrotten.com and luckily they ship to APO’s. Laura Mercier’s Matte Translucent Smooth Focus Powder Shine Control is a lifesaver for oily faced gals like me, a little goes a long way so this should last me years. To help combat oil I also carry rolling papers (like for rolling a doobie!), they soak up oil on my face and I just toss them in the trash. Sephora carries oil blotting papers but these are essentially the same and cost just pennies instead. My signature scent is Chanel Mademoiselle and I keep a travel spray with me at all times. NARS Montenegro matte lipstick has been my go-to daywear lipstick, it’s a natural shade and goes on smooth. Make sure your lips are moisturized before applying a matte lipstick, the last thing you’ll want to show is cracks and creases, some lip balm before and after will help set it. If I’m glamming it up I’ll wear Dior Garden Party, it’s a brighter red but has been the perfect shade of red for my pale skin and blonde hair. Not too dramatic or in your face. I am definitely not a fan of lip liners but I understand the importance of so I only wear invisible liner. YSL Touché Éclat is an amazing cult classic for a reason, it’s part concealer and part highlighter and leaves your eyes looking smooth and brightened. I use it for my eyes, bridge of my nose, cupids bow and cheekbones as a highlighter. I used to be a fan of Benefit highlighter but I didn’t like the sparkly residue it left over and the product started drying out in the glass bottle after about 6 months. I recently ordered RMS Luminizer so I’ll see how that fares when my Éclat runs out. Stay posted. I always travel with my classic Burberry trench, it keeps me warm and away from those bacteria filled airplane blankets and I’m usually hopping between seasons so it’s a safe bet. That was the first gift my soon-to-be-husband gave me and it’s my favorite! I love my Love…Another comfort I splurged on for longer flights was cashmere pants from Banjo & Matilda. Pricey, but oh so luxurious. They’re dressy enough to wear to the airport and not look schluppy and will keep their shape even after 14 hours. I usually pair mine with a slightly oversized tee that I can tuck in with my white Tretorn’s and trench or a black silk tank with a light cardigan if I’m flying to warmer weather.
Dressing well is a form of good manners. -Tom Ford