Flying is perhaps the worst thing to ever happen to beauty. The dry, stale air. The awful, exposing fluorescent lights. The 12 hours of foundation meltdown. Obviously, planes weren’t meant for photoshoots.
So, how can you combat the common mishaps and mayhem the mile-high atmosphere can wreak? Before you flash your passport and board, let’s find out.
Your biggest issue, even if you have oily skin, could be keeping your skin moisturized and supple throughout the flight. That dry cabin air seems to enjoy leeching all of the hydration out of everything (including your face).
The night before a flight, use a deep conditioning hair masque, and leave it on while you sleep for the extra benefit. That way, your locks will stay lush and lustrous throughout your trip, and your cuticles will remained sealed against any toxins that may be present in the cabin.
The morning (or whatever time it might be) before your departure, take a warm shower instead of a hot one (which can break down the lipid barrier on skin that keeps moisture in and toxins out), and try to keep it as brief as you can. Pat yourself dry instead of rubbing, and apply a nice, thick lotion all over within 60 seconds of stepping out of that steamy stall â€” while your skin is still all nice and porous â€” to lock that moisture in. If you have time, slap a moisturizing facial masque on for five minutes or so to give yourself an extra fortification against dehydration.
Balms are your best friends on long plane rides. To start, because they don’t qualify as a liquid, you can freely get them past airport security without a hassle (making sure you don’t miss your takeoff!). And they’re also mighty multitaskers. Seriously. Oil-based balms (rose or carrot oil being two of the best) can fix nearly any beauty problem you’ll encounter on a plane.
Smear over lips to instantly repair and protect against cracking, peeling, and general dryness. Rub into cuticles to stop them from ripping and pulling (also add a nice shine to your nails, as well as protecting polish from scratching). Dab on the top of cheekbones to add a subtle sheen while pumping up the moisture. Smooth over eyebrows as a down-and-dirty alternative to brow gel. Hey, my brows certainly get wonky after eight hours in a musty aeroplane.
Planes are notorious for causing even the most long-wearing makeup to deteriorate and end up as a greasy puddle on your lap. Dry skin turns dryer and flakes, while oilier skin produces excess oil to make up for the lack of moisture. Your best bet is to go sans any makeup, and just lather on a great moisturizer…
Wait — did I just write that?? Alright, if you just laughed and possibly glared, let’s continue as if I hadn’t said anything. There’s really no good situation here. Start by applying a great silicone or lotion primer (to match the formulation of your foundation). After that’s set in, opt for either a smooth cream foundation (for dry skin) or a long-wearing liquid foundation (for oilier skin), and apply sparingly, building up in sheer layers. Let that one red spot show through a bit instead of caking more and more on; the lights onboard will really emphasize any areas where you’ve overapplied. Next, opt for a sheer cream or gel blush, which is much less likely to become patchy if oil or dryness starts to peek through, and will aid in keeping your cheeks hydrated. Set all of this with a light dusting of powder pressed in with a puff for maximum effect. For lips, stay away from matte (which can do some seriously damage in the already drying environment) and opt for a sheer lipstain or just a nice tinted balm. Your eyes really only need a curling of the lash and perhaps a swipe of a nude shadow. Remember, you just want to look nice; you’re (probably) not trying to pick anyone up on a plane. You want to feel comfortable, and keeping it simple will ensure that you won’t have to do any touchups. Oh, and think about steering clear of mascara (unless it’s clear). Even waterproof formulas have a tendency to smudge a bit if you fall asleep with it on for a few hours.
This might sound silly, but the sun is a huge pest on planes. You really are much closer to it and its damaging rays without anywhere near the cloud or atmospheric protection you get on the ground. It’s incredibly easy to get sun damage even if you’re not in a window seat. And as you probably know by now, just because you’re not getting burned doesn’t mean you’re not receiving damage. Apply a sunscreen with UVA/UVB protection and at least an SPF of 45 before boarding.