Words by Anna Howard
Air travel is not kind to skin. Whether it's a long-haul extended getaway to some far-flung megalopolis or the mundane, weekly interstate communte, flights all have one thing in common: the ability to wreak havoc on one's beauty regime if one is not adequately prepared.
Here are our tips on how to perfect your beauty arsenal so you can bundle down the runway and straight to your next meeting feeling refreshed and looking like the high-flying executive goddess you are.
Your days will likely be filled with back-to-back meetings and networking shindigs, so you'll be ahead of the game if you take care of most of the beauty 'stuff' prior to your trip.
If you're particularly prone to breakouts, consider a facial in the days prior to your flight; for luscious locks that will hold for a few days, book a treatment or blow out; and keep those talons in check with a nude gel manicure so you won't be faced with any unsightly chipped nails.
At the moment, I can count six lip products in my handbag. The kicker: they're all a similar nude shade. Unnecessary! And I bet I'm not the only one.
There's a fine art to looking presentable in the office without having to lug around your entire bathroom cabinet. Full-size products are highly impractical in a carry-on or suitcase, so simplifying your routine is a must.
Invest in plastic travel containers to decant your liquids, or build up a collection of hotel amenities. You could also head straight to a beauty counter at Mecca and stock up on samples. Don't forget some zip-lock bags to minimise the risk of spillage.
There's no need to fill your carry-on to the brim with multiple moisturisers or six types of lipstick. Free up some precious real estate – and time – with double-duty products.
Any lady at the mercy of her pigmentation knows sunscreen is an absolute must 365 days a year. There's always room for sun block; however, the BB (beauty balm) and CC (colour correcting) creams of Asia are now sweeping the west. They act as an all-in-one sun protection, moisture and coverage saviour. Smashbox Colour Ready CC Cream is winner in this department.
Make-up wise, Stila's Convertible Colour and Lip & Cheek Stain can be used as both a blush and a lippie. A quick tap on your cheekbones and swipe over the lips will give you that pop of colour you'll need before disembarking, as well as loads of anti-oxidants to aid in a post-flight glow.
Hydration, hydration, hydration
Did you know that onboard humidity is generally a bone-dry 20 per cent, opposed to the usual 40-50 per cent you're used to on land? Needless to say, all that pressurised, recycled cabin air is no friend to your dermis.
Great skin starts from the inside out. Bring a large water bottle onboard and chug away, or carry an empty bottle and kindly ask the crew to refill as needed. High altitudes also affect your senses and often those pre-packaged meals contain spoonfuls of extra salt and sugar which can attribute to bloating. Swap the big breakfast for a fruit platter and if you're travelling internationally, it's worthwhile ordering a low-sodium meal.
Now, back to the beauty stuff. If you can, fly make-up free to let your skin breathe and apply those double-duty cosmetics just before landing. Before your flight, layer up the ultra-hydrating serums and moisturisers to better safeguard against the low humidity. Try to choose something with hyaluronic acid as it is a humectant (like honey) which draws water to the skin and delivers enhanced hydration. Always choose moisturiser over face mists, which do little more than simply spray water on your face.
Up the hydration game with a face mask mid-flight. There are plenty on the market, though the most effective and easiest are the pre-soaked cloth masks. SKII have a luxe range of moisture-boosting masks which deliver many benefits depending on your skin type.
We should warn you that these may be best suited to a red-eye flight when all the lights are out. Cloth masks offer a kind of Jason Voorhees, Friday the 13th, hockey mask type of look. Though, if you want to give that kid in 20D who's been kicking the back of your seat for the last two hours a scare, these will do the trick.
· Dry shampoo has two benefits – you can go days without needing to wash your hair and a quick spray post flight will add volume to lacklustre, limp locks.
· Invest in a neck pillow. Not only will it offer a better sleep, they'll avoid flattening your hair.
· An ice cube wrapped in a napkin and applied to eyes can help avoid the puffy look.
· Think twice about reclining as this can also cause puffiness.
· Cleansing mid-flight does a world of wonders.