There are some lucky humans who can step off a long-haul flight looking fabulous, but I am not one of them. Sleeping on the plane and living out of a suitcase makes it hard for me to maintain my preferred level of personal presentation, but over the years I have discovered a few hacks that have eased the way. Here are a few tried-and-tested favourites to keep you looking and feeling like a million bucks next time you hit the road.
Mini dry shampoo
A few years ago I discovered two miraculous things; dry shampoo comes in a miniature version, and you can carry it in your hand luggage. I always pack a full-sized can in my suitcase, but the miniature is perfect if you’re meeting someone special on arrival or going straight to a meeting.
Perfume bottles are bulky and fragile, and travelling with your signature scent is not always worth carrying around a sock-swaddled lump. Lush sells a great range of solid perfume pots - try Dirty for a minty pick-me-up!
Bonds Insta-Tan Sheer Tights
Bonds Insta-Tan Sheer Tights are an awesome back up for those times when you’re jetting off to a destination wedding and can’t squeeze in a spray tan to complement your cocktail dress. It’s almost impossible to tell that you’re wearing these super-fine stockings, which also come in a toe-less version to accommodate your favourite strappy sandals. As far as I know, there is no arm equivalent, but I will keep looking!
Have you ever experienced chafing from wearing shorts in a sweaty summer setting? Body Glide will be your new best friend - a handy stick that reduces friction with a swipe of its wind-up stick. It also eases the discomfort of troublesome hems, and is a go-to for runners.
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Primo lip balm
Forget aesthetics; changing climates and air conditioning can give you chapped kissers in less time than it takes to say ‘my lips hurt real bad’. My favourite lip balm of all time is actually a nipple balm, a closely kept secret of new mums that was ousted on the shelves of Mecca. Dr. Lipp’s Original Nipple Balm for Lips might seem a little pricey, but you won’t regret forking out for the best.
I am no stranger to shiny head syndrome, and I always have a lightweight finishing powder on hand when I am out and about in humid destinations. I love Benefit Shine-Vanishing Pro Powder - it’s got a little brush stashed in the base, which is wonderfully handy when you’re on the go.
Mini wax strips
If you didn’t have time for a spray tan then you probably didn’t get in for a bikini wax either - or maybe you’re lucky enough to be on an extended vacation and need to maintain. Rather than risking a foreign salon where they almost speak English, invest in some mini wax strips to tide you over.
I don’t use eye gel on a daily basis, but I never travel without Perfect Potion’s Rosewater Eye Gel. Plane and hotel air conditioning play havoc with my peepers, but a little pat of eye gel vanquishes those puffy bags in no time.
Nail polish sheets
I make a point to get multiple mani/pedis in any destination where I can afford it, but when I get out of the city and my nail polish starts deteriorating, my fluoro-pink toes stop looking so pretty. Neat little packs of remover-soaked wipes are great for banishing any dregs of ill-advised colour, and are available for as little as a dollar from most chemists.