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  • Writer's pictureDr Dara Seebaran Suite

Flying Fabulous: How to Look Good After A Long Flight

Updated: Jan 6, 2019

I just survived an eleven-hour flight, literally half way across the world. Along the way, I realised I had subconsciously done a few things to ensure that when I landed I didn't look like an extra from The Walking Dead. Here are my treasures for keeping your face fabulous on a long haul journey.

1. Ditch The Makeup: This may sound counterintuitive but hear me out. Wearing a thick layer of concealer, foundation, bronzer highlighter etc... leaves your face caked literally for hours. This contributes to blocked pores and acne breakouts. Wearing a lot of makeup while trying to sleep also means that you are more likely to have eyeliner smudges and running foundation, which will be even more difficult to correct with limited supplies on a plane. Instead, cleanse, apply moisturiser and at most a little concealer. Let your skin breathe.

2. Spectacles Are Fashionable: If you wear contact lenses, I would forgo them for the flight and rely on your glasses. Contact lenses dry out eyes in normal conditions, and this effect is only made worse at elevation, reading for hours, watching in-flight entertainment and while you try to sleep. Wearing them makes your eyes more likely to be irritated, puffy and red.

To give yourself a rested look, wear your glasses for the majority of the flight and switch to contacts about 30 minutes before you land. Keep moisturising eye drops on hand if you have no other option but to wear lenses. If this is a major problem for you, try using a hydrogel cooling eye mask while you sleep. Worst case scenario; keep some large shades on board, to hide all eye troubles once and for all.

3. Hydrate; Water water and more water. You can lose over 1litre of water from your body during a 3 hour flight. Don't rely on the air hostess to keep you lubricated. Keep a medium sized bottle of water with you during the flight which any kind air hostess will allow you to refill when necessary.

4. Pay Attention To Your Lips: This is another area where dehydration makes itself felt. The air in aircrafts is very low in humidity so that we lose a lot of moisture through evaporation from our mouths. Dry and cracked lips are a dead give away that you aren't hydrated enough. In addition to drinking copious amounts of water ( and visiting the toilet as a result), make sure you apply moisturising lip balm before the flight takes off and every hour or so. There is no such thing as too much. Look for a product that has shea butter to seal in the moisture.

5. Say No...To Alcohol: This only makes sense. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it makes you urinate more often. This effect combined with the dry cabin air contributes to dehydration. No one ever looked good dehydrated. The ripple effect on your skin, mouth and eyes combines to make you look even more tired. Give this temptation a miss. Add to this list, any salty foods such as the pretzels and peanuts that are airplane staples.

6. Stay Minty Fresh: Most airlines will give their passengers packs with toothpaste and toothbrushes. These are your friends. Would you get up after an 11 hour nap and not brush your teeth before you met the world? I don't think so. Having fresh breath is stimulating and forms part of most morning routines. This has the bonus effect of waking us up before we meet the world.

7. Apply A Serum: Your skin can't get enough moisture when flying. Most night creams are super hydrating, so I would recommend applying your night cream of choice thoroughly before you bed down for the flight. You can combine this with a gentle self-facial massage that has the added benefit of calming your body down in preparation for sleep.

8. Take Your Vitamins: 50% of the oxygen in the cabin is recycled. This means that germs are being recycled which is why people are over 10 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight. To combat this, stock up on your vitamins both during and after your journey. No one looks glamorous with a running nose.

9. Beauty Sleep is No Joke. The first thing to do is your normal bed time routine. If that entails washing your face, brushing your teeth and applying your night creams it. Keep warm, especially your feet. I always fly with a thick scarf ( usually from Zara) which can double as a blanket if need be, and bring thick socks. Headphones that cancel out noise are a must for the picky sleeper. Why not kill two birds with one stone, and use a hydrating eye mask to soothe the eyes and reduce the amount of light hitting your eyes.

10. Top Knot: Finding a fashionable and comfortable hairstyle for a long flight can be a challenge. I advise keeping your hair away from your face so its easier to read and watch in-flight entertainment. To avoid bed head , try to avoid hairstyles that will be ruined by resting your head on the headrest. Two hairstyles that can work are the high top knot bun and a low plait. Both leave the back of the head unencumbered and keep hair out of the face. I usually go for the bun, and let my hair down at the airport as part of my arrival transformation.

There you have it, my top tips for looking fabulous and fashionable at the end of a long haul flight. After all, you never know WHO you might meet just as you land!

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