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Long Flight? Tips & Tricks To Look Refreshed On Arrival

Last year saw me travel a lot more that I usually do and with the majority of my trips being long haul travel, I thought I would share some tips that help me look and feel refreshed after long flights and share some travel essentials that are staples in my carry-on. My trusted pink Longchamp bag has been to Hong Kong, Australia and all over Europe and still continues to survive the trips and the contents I tend to throw in it. This coming from someone who will pack everything but the kitchen sink and that straps are still intact!

In addition to having a magazine, book or the iPad I have always pack items that I can easily access once I get on the flight and that will allow me to easily relax and rest. Below are some of the tips that have helped me and will hopefully help you feel more refreshed after long haul flights:

1. H2O – Drink Plenty of Water. Traveling can be dehydrating, especially during long-haul travel. Dehydration can also mean dry pasty looking skin when you land so drink as much water as possible before and during your flight.

2. Get Some Sleep.  If flying long haul I tend to pick flights leaving at night but even if you leave in the morning or afternoon, try and get as much sleep on the flight as possible to help you align your sleeping patterns to your destination’s time zone. Getting some rest on the flight also means reducing the effects of jet-lag when your arrive.

3. Take Your Make Up Off.  When traveling long haul wear as little make-up as possible. Usually, a brow pencil and mascara is about as much as I wear when flying long haul. That way you don’t have to spend forever taking it all off when you get on the flight. I’ve also found that the air on flights to somehow helps the makeup clog up the pores. If you do wear make-up, having wipes in your bag or carry-on gives your quick access to help remove any make-up.

4. Wrap Hair to Avoid Dry, Bedhead Hair.  For that refreshed look when your get off the plane, I find that wrapping the hair or a simple braid and tuck helps return moisture so that when you unwrap the hair as you get off the flight you reduce the bed hair effect and add a little volume at the same time.

5. Cleanse, Tone, Moisturise.  This is a no-brainer. You skin always looks brighter and more radiant when you take care of it. As fun as travel is, the business of flying can be drying on the skin. I usually have oily to combination skin but flying sometimes can produce extra sebum and then sometimes dry on longer flights. I always find that removing make-up, cleansing, toning and the moisturising properly helps counter the effects of the drying air on the plane.

6. Get Comfortable.  Let’s face it, plane seats are not the most comfortable things are they? So those little things you bring with you can go a long way in making your flight a little more comfortable and bearable enough for your to get some rest during long flights. So a shawl, wrap or scarf can keep your warm when they blast that cold air as well as some trusty cashmere socks. Also, make sure you wear comfortable shoes when flying. These are just a few of the essentials I always pack to make travel that little more comfortable.

My In-Flight Routine

In Flight –  Shortly after take off I sneak off to the bathroom to remove any makeup, whether that is with a cleanser/toner, my Ren hot cloth cleaner or with wipes—depending on what I have packed at the time. I remove any makeup and moisturise. I currently dance between Elizabeth Arden and Decleor moisturisers as they are the only ones that seem to agree with me and not make my skin get too oily. Then I brush my teeth and wrap my hair. By the time I get back to my seat I feel refreshed and my seat mates usually think it’s a different person sitting next to them as I turn up with a silk scarf around my hair.

Before Arriving – About 30 to hour minutes before landing. I sneak off to the toilets again. Freshen up with wipes, moisturise (if I am using tinted moisturiser I use my trusted MAC Tinted Creme with 30 SPF), unbraid or unravel my hair, apply a little oil or moisturiser to my hair depending on current hairstyle, and brush my teeth. Then I apply my brow pencil and a little mascara and am good to go!

Travel Staples I Pack In My Carry-On For Long Haul Travel

Longchamp Travel Bag. This is usually my main carry-on of choice when I travel, especially if I have checked bags. It’s big enough for me to stuff it with my all my travel essentials that I need for in-flight comfort as well as anything I may need for any layovers while my main suitcase gets transferred to the next flight. I also love that it folds over to the size of a small purse so that if I am traveling light, but know that I will be coming back with more than I went with, it’s perfect for bringing back goodies without having to take an empty suitcase with me.
Face Wipes. This and hand sanitizer are always in my handbag or carry-on. These are also perfect for wipe any any germs from seat handles and people’s hands you may have been checking through the day, can you tell I am a germaphobe?!
Ren Hot Cloth Cleanser  I love Ren products. I actually found out about their products when my young sister got a job with Ren in their Shepards Bush (London) store—it was love at first application. I have their bath oils, lotions and body washes and the Ren Hot Cloth Cleanser, it gently exfoliates and removes all make-up without that drying feeling which leaves your skin refreshed and ready for moisturiser.
Sleeping Eye Mask.  I am a light sleeper and find any little thing can disturb my sleep. I can’t exactly avoid the noise on the flight but I can certainly avoid those flicking their lights on and off when reading or watching moving on the flight so I tend to pack a sleeping mask in my carry on just in case I need help to sleep.
This Works Pillow Spray. I have the smaller pillow spray but last Xmas my boyfriend bought me a gift box from This Works, which included the pillow spray among their bath soaks and a few other items. I tell you this stuff works!! I am not only a light sleeper but also an insomniac. On the flight, I usually either spray a little on my eye mask, the travel pillow or spray it on a tissue and just sit back with that over my nose and relax into sleep. Perfect for long haul flights when you want to sleep and align yourself with the destination time zone.
Silk Scarf.  I have a couple of silk and satin scarves that I rotate and travel with. The air conditioning on flights can be drying to not only your skin but also your hair. I usually find that wrapping your hair and tying a silk or satin scarf on your head to help with retaining moisture in hair when travelling long haul. Returning moisture in your hair means also goes a long way on looking refreshed when you finally get off the plane.
Want more of Bianca’s fab Travel Fly? Visit her blog over at It’s All Bee.