Let’s face it. Flying is never fun. Being sardined in a plane 35,000 feet above sea level for hours on end, trying to sleep in awkward positions a little too close to complete strangers is, sadly, unavoidable. But thankfully there are ways to make the whole thing more comfortable. It’s also a good time to engage in an elaborate beauty routine, because, hey, what else are you going to do to while away the hours?
1. BEFORE THE FLIGHT
Make sure you’re prepared. If you’re flying economy you’re going to need a really good neck pillow – one with proper support that will tie at the front and not let your head bob forward. I recently got the Cabeau Memory Foam pillow from Sleep Solutions. I also invested in the amazing some noise cancelling Bose Quiet Comfort Wireless noise cancelling headphones - and they are literally life changing. When I'm ready to sleep I put on the Brainwave App which has binaural programs like Dreamy Sleep, Deep Sleep and Power Nap (I also use it at work on the Concentration and Creativity setting!) As for ear plugs, the best I’ve found are Macks Mouldable Silicone Earplugs. Also essential a silk eye mask (I love my embossed initialed mask from Slip) and a cashmere wrap is perfect as it can get really cold on the plane. For an even more comfy nap, bring a quilted jacket – Bonnie (aka Oz Beauty Expert), who was on my recent Bioderma trip with me with had the perfect one from Staple The Label – and I ordered one straight away. It's a blanket, quilt and jacket in one and it’s like being wrapped in a cocoon. I love that it has a big hood you can put on to screen out the rest of the world.
What to pack…
In a small, clear toiletry bag (I like the Mecca Cosmetica Jetset Travel Bag) pack your beauty kit. Remember all products have to be under 100ml. The best thing is to buy travel size or ask your department store counter for sample sizes of your favourite products - take a cleanser, moisturiser or facial oil, sleep mask, hand cream, lip balm, hairbrush, toothbrush, mini deodorant, mini dry shampoo and a sleep balm or pillow mist and any makeup you want to apply for landing. I like concealer, mascara and cream blush, skin tone eye pencil and a chocolate brown shadow for brows and liner.
On my recent trip to France with Bioderma, I was lucky enough to fly business class with Emirates. They have a new direct flight straight to Nice, with a stop in Dubai, so I was able to sample the services. The flight itself was a dream. Emirates business class is incredible with a full service bar, delicious Middle Eastern fare (I ordered an incredible Mezze plate) and Veuve Clicquot by the glass. I did a few hours of work and then rewarded myself with a movie, before the flight attendant came and popped a mattress over my already cosy seat reclining it to flat so I could take a nap. I arrived at Nice feeling like I’d just had a full 8 hours sleep (I think I had more than that!) and ready to take on the day. Obviously I don't get to fly business class every day, so for those trips, I've figured a few more tricks to make the whole cabin experience a lot more bearable...
2. ON TAKE OFF
Once you’re settled and the plane is climbing to altitude, take all your makeup off with some wipes so your skin can breathe. On Emirates they give you hot towels before you take off, so you can really get your face and hands squeaky clean. They also give out pretty impressive amenities kit containing Bulgari products. When there are no hot towels on offer, I either freshen up in my seat with a micellar water or makeup wipes or pop into the bathroom to give my face a quick cleanse. Next apply a moisturiser or facial oil and let that penetrate while you watch a movie. Watch the video of my routine that I actually shot on board this flight, here…
3. SLEEP TIME
Before you sleep, apply another layer of hand cream and thick layer of a soothing or sleeping mask. To help get you into the zone, you can try putting lavender or sleep balm on your pulse points. Herbal sleeping tablets like Valerian or Melatonin Supplements can really help, too, just make sure you take them an hour before you’re going to try and get to sleep. Pop your eye mask on, ear plugs in and settle in for some Zzzs.
4. STAY HYDRATED
Make sure you sip water every time you wake up or finish a movie – you should try to drink nearly a cup of water for every hour you’re in the air – even more if you’re drinking alcohol. And yes that will mean lots of toilet visits – which is important to keep your blood flowing (and reducing risk of DVT) so book an aisle seat.
5. IN TRANSIT
Walk as much as you can. Get the blood pumping around your body and if it’s daylight, try and sit near a window to get some light into your retina. This can help reset your body clock. If you’re lucky enough to have access to a lounge, it’s a good chance to have a shower and eat some fresh food. The Emirates Lounge in Dubai is huge and even has a spa – you can get a 20 minute massage for around $60.
I arrived into Dubai from Sydney in the morning and legged it to the lounge, keen to caffeinate myself before the next leg. After a shower I took advantage of the WIFI and knocked some emails out. A quick Skype with the family and I was ready to take on the next leg. When you’re back on board, repeat your hydrating beauty routine as above and keep up the water.
6. ON LANDING
To freshen up, cleanse your face again and apply a light moisturiser, followed by some concealer under the eyes. Another tip I love to disguise the red rims your eyes can get from flying, is to use a skin toned eyeliner like Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Inner Rim Brightener in Nude (which is better than white which can be too freaky and unnatural). I also pack a duo of brown eye brow shadow which I use on my brows and on my outer lashline for a bit of definition. A slick of mascara, a dab of blush cream (which can double as lip colour) and you’ll be looking much fresher than you feel. Then just add sunnies for the perfect rockstar “I-just-landed-like-this” appeal. Watch my pre-landing video here.
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Still life photography and Styling by Annie Lin