Don’t know about you, but our thoughts are starting to turn to spring breaks and summer vacations. Of course, we alas no longer live in the golden age of travel, when the Grace Kellys, Elizabeth Taylors and Audrey Hepburns of this world were photographed setting daintily-shod foot onto aircraft steps, waving elegantly to the camera as they disembarked from their flight. (We’ve even seen in-flight pictures from the 50s in which women were photographed wearing hats throughout the journey.) Today, travelling is more likely to be cramped, stressful and positively bad for our looks – and health, if you’ve read the worrying reports about DVT.
But wait. It is possible to travel gorgeously – and ensure that you step off a plane, train (or out of an automobile) looking and feeling lovely. It just takes know-how…
Looking good once you get there depends a lot on what you do even before you leave the house – let alone take off…
- A couple of days before you fly, use more moisturiser to counteract the low humidity, suggests Professor Nicholas Lowe, consultant dermatologist at The Cranley Clinic, in London, ‘especially if you’re prone to eczema or similar conditions.’ (If you can plan further in advance, we also believe in taking Essential Fatty Acids to help maintain skin’s barrier function: we’re new converts to Power of Krill.)
- Try and stay calm throughout your journey, otherwise skin can manifest signs of your stress – in the form of increased sensitivity. Dr. Sandra Mooney, who’s advised British Airways on in-flight health, advises: ‘Pack your bags well before you’re due to travel. There’s nothing worse than arriving at the airport minutes before take-off.’ (Jo’s own tip: she keeps her suitcase in the spare room and packs it during the week running up to her holiday, and keep a running list of everything she’s packed so that she doesn’t forget what’s already been stowed and put 14 pairs of knickers in twice!)
- Buy a full-size 2 litre bottle of mineral water when you’re the other side of security – and set yourself the challenge of drinking the whole lot, by the time you land. (It’s easier to keep track of how much you’re knocking back than if you drink it by the glass.
- If you can stand it, give your pores a breather and don’t apply make-up until you reach your destination. (Wear dark glasses if you don’t want the world to see you without your ‘slap’ on!) Without make-up, it’s easier to slather on a richly hydrating moisturiser, several times during the flight. (See below for our This Works favourite.)
- Carry a small bottle of high-quality facial oil for in-flight facial massage. Rama Kant Mishra, an Ayurvedic physician, believes: ‘From an Ayurvedic perspective, travel creates imbalances which can result in facial breakouts, redness or skin sensitivity.’ The oil will not onlu hydrate and treat the skin, but will relax you, too. We swear by Annee de Mamiel Altitude Oil (b-r-e-a-t-h-e those antibacterial essential oils of lavender, eucalyptus, patchouli and peppermint), or her ‘seasonal’ oils (we’re loving ‘Spring’) – but the Weleda Wild Rose Facial Oil capsules are also practical, in-flight: pop a couple in your Ziploc in-flight bag.
- Follow the example of flight attendants, who take antioxidant vitamin supplements (with vitamins A, C and E, to counteract the dehydration and increased radiation at 35,000 ft.
- Wear socks instead of so that you can access feet and lower legs to massage them with a stimulating gel or cream, in order to refresh and keep circulation pepped up. We carry Temple Spa Chillicious, with a cooling gel action (it’s actually brilliant for hot flushes, but we like it for legs) – and at 100 ml it just comes in at the ‘permissible’ volume for in-flight liquids.
- Slick on a balm. Humidity-challenged cabin air (it’s drier than the Sahara) can leave lips thirsty. Gloss is an option, but tends to disappear, so use a lip balm – and what else would we pack but the bestselling Beauty Bible Lip Balm…? It can also be massaged into cuticles, while you’re watching George Clooney. Probably on an in-flight movie, but in Upper Class, one can always dream.
- Make sure your beauty weaponry travels safely. The air pressure changes in planes (even in a pressurised cabin) cause products to expand inside their containers, leading to leaks if lids aren’t securely shut. To ward off spillage, pack potentially messy items individually in sealed plastic bags inside your hold baggage. (NB Partially-used products tend to travel better than new ones, since there’s more room for expansion, and screw tops are more secure than flip-tops or pump-action bottles.)
- Enjoy the calming power of essential oils, at 36,000 feet. If you’ve space in that plastic resealable bag, you might try Quietude Calming Mist for Me & My Space, applied to pulse points or (if it won’t annoy your neighbours) spritzed into the air around you. Visualise your safe arrival in the destination with a smile on your face.
- Deal with your ‘do’ before touch-down. If air travel renders you a frizz-head (planes are filled with something called ‘ambient electricity’), smooth a bit of your regular moisturiser into hair – although use sparingly and keep away from the roots.) In fact, advises superstylist catwalk and session hair wizard Sam McKnight, ‘You should always fly with dirty hair, because you want as much oil and moisture in the hair as possible. Then treat your hair to a deep conditioning treatment, after you land.
- Fake the wide-away look on landing with a sweep of navy mascara, and/or drop in some eye drops to brighten the whites.
- A flying beauty ‘don’t’, meanwhile: don’t paint your nails during a flight, as not only is polish flammable, but air pressure will impair drying. So wear a pale or clear polish, while flying, so chips will be less obvious. Do, however, slather hands regularly with cream. Decant some This Works Enjoy Multi-Tasking Lotion into a flip-top clear plastic travel container; it can work as a face and body moisturiser and saves packing two products. Slather generously. And regularly.
On a long-distance train journey, you can face many of the challenges as on a flight: cramped seating, lack of fresh air, unhealthy on-board food. (And while the new, ‘hermetically-sealed’ trains may be better for our comfort levels than the old, draughty kind, they can be more looks-challenging, with dry-as-a-desert air.) So here are some ways to take the strain out of train travel…
- Stock up on healthy food at the station before you leave: sushi, fresh fruit, ready-prepared salads. (In our experience it’s still hard to find anything that isn’t a crisp or a Kit-Kat, on many trains.)
- If you want to relax and stay stress-free, inhale a sense-soothing scent – like lavender/neroli, and focus on breathing slowly and rhythmically. We’re also massive fans of yoga, which can help relax you in cramped, crowded spaces like planes and trains.
- Massage the ankles to stop fluid build-up; do circles with them, too – and walk up and down as often as you can. As for flying, pack a cooling gel (see PLANES), and massage into legs/feet regularly.
- Pack some ‘wet wipes’ for freshening-up (because train loos are often soap-free zones).
- Don’t let hair settle into a ‘ridge’ when you lean back in your seat. If hair’s long-enough, make a high, loose pony-tail or French twist, and release on arrival at your destination…
- Take a nap while doing the locomotion. Jo’s tip is to travel with a full-size pillow literally mashed into my hand luggage, which she uses to create a really comfortable head-rest wherever she is. (It also makes her feel at home in strange beds, which in our experience often have hideous, hard polyester pillows!)
Driving to Denmark? Touring through Tuscany? Motoring to Monaco? Aside from that ‘are-we-nearly-there-yet?’ boredom, long car journeys also pose beauty challenges. So here are some coping strategies. (Don’t leave home without them…)
• To keep your make-up fresh for the long haul, use oil-free formulations, powder blusher, waterproof mascara – and avoid eye pencils, which can smudge easily.
• For travel-sick children, try Sea-Bands: elasticated wrist-bands that work on the ancient Chinese principles of acupressure, and have been shown in scientific studies to prevent and cure the nausea associated with travel sickness.
• If you’re driving somewhere hot, pack beauty supplies in an insulated freezer bag, to avoid product melt-down on a long drive. (Park in the shade and always stow your make-up bag under your seat.)
• Our best in-car beauty tip is never, ever, ever to look at yourself in the flip-down ‘vanity’ mirror in a car. There’s something about them that shows up every flaw and imperfection – terrible for confidence, especially when you’re trying to arrive looking and feeling beautiful!
BEAUTIFUL TRAVEL SECRETS FROM THE FAMOUS…
Eva Herzigova, supermodel: ‘The most difficult thing about travelling is the waiting in airports or sleeping in a bed other than my own. That’s the reason I started taking a teddy bear along!’
Lucie de la Falaise, model: ‘I wear layers and take my own shawl or blanket. My antidote to stale airport/hotel air is to a bottle of lavender or eucalyptus oil to put on a handkerchief, on a lightbulb, or in the bath.’
Elizabeth Hurley, actress: ‘I drink as much Evian water as I can stand.’
Honor Fraser, model: ‘I travel with Vaseline. I put it all over my face – it’s really, really unglamorous but it’s the best moisturiser.’
Trish McEvoy, make-up artist: ‘The thing I want available at all times is eye cream. As I’m travelling, I can actually feel the moisture being sapped away. Eye cream’s easy to use wherever you are, since it’s in a tube.’
Lil’ Kim, singer: ‘I drink plenty of water, eat a lot of vegetables – no red meat – and also try to get as much rest as possible. And I always travel with candy: Bubblicious gum, and Snapple Lemonade iced tea.’
Jeanine Lobell, founder of Stila Cosmetics: ‘I have a horrible fear of flying, so I have to pretend I’m on a train. I roll the blind down so I can’t see I’m up in the air, and I hang out with the stewardesses. I can never believe people who are rude to stewardesses! Why be mean to the person who’s going to save your life?’
Ruby Hammer, make-up artist: ‘Long-haul flights, in particular, are disastrous – so I advise investing in a really good mask. Apply once seated, remove before landing, spritz face – then moisturse.’
Donna Karan, fashion designer: ‘I take a black cashmere shawl and use it as a blanket on the plane and when I arrive. I also use it as a shawl during the day and a wrap for evening. I also take a black mug – another touch of home; I ask the flight attendant to fill it with hot water and I add lemon slices I’ve brought from home. I also take a sketch pad and journal – some of the best ideas come to me on a plane. I’m constantly writing notes to myself – and To Do lists…’
Mariella Frostrup, TV presenter: ‘I bring my own earplugs and eye mask because airlines don’t give them out much these days, especially in economy.’
Tara Palmer-Tompkinson, TV presenter: ‘I always travel in a Juicy Couture tracksuit, because it’s the most comfortable thing in the world to fly in.’
Amanda Wakeley, fashion designer: ‘I take a gram of vitamin C every hour, to stop water retention.’