Tips for Looking Good After a Long Flight – Female Traveler Edition

There are any number of style blogs that provide women travelers with expert advice on make-up and hair, but how often do you see advice from an average person who’s learned a thing or two from hard experience?

Tips from a Weary Flyer

Here are some suggestions from a self-described weary, middle-aged female flyer – who likes to look as good as she can despite the rigors of flying today. This anonymous passenger has no beauty credentials whatsoever, so take her advice for what it’s worth – all she claims is, it worked for her. If you have better ideas, we’d love to hear them.

Airline dress codes – what you don’t know can hurt you

Hair – Dos and Don’ts

Do experiment beforehand: If you have long hair, try pulling it into a topknot, then wait a few hours, let it down and see what it looks like. Some people think the result actually looks better than if they’d just worn it loose the whole time, but you be the judge. Some have even used this approach on freshly-washed, still wet hair – pull it up in a topknot still wet, and let the plane ride do the drying. Curly hair? Might want to go for a natural look rather than spending the time before a flight taming it with a hot comb and or blow dryer.

Don’t use hair spray: If you normally spray, keep a small container in your carry-on (less than 3.4 ounces; the TSA has yet to confiscate mine) but don’t use it until after you land – just head for the nearest airport restroom. If you fall asleep on a plane with freshly sprayed hair smashed against a window (or a seatmate’s shoulder) you could be in for a far more interesting look than you planned.

What you should know for dealing with rude passengers

Make-up – Dos and Don’ts

Don’t put on make-up before the flight: Think about much earlier you have to rise to put your make-up on (OK, even if it’s just a few minutes, it’s a few extra minutes you could be sleeping). And who are you wearing it for? The taxi driver, during that long drive to the airport, or the TSA agent at the wretched security line, or your snoring seatmate during that two-hour flight or the cranking travelers gathered around the baggage carousel? None of those people care what you look like. Besides, by the time you’ve made it this far, your make-up is not exactly fresh-and-dewy looking, is it? It is not.  So don’t bother.

Do put it on toward the end of your journey: Either at the tail end of your flight  – yeah, dump it all on the tray table and get to work, no one cares – or right after in the airport. And this sets you up perfectly for the next tip.

Do put on moisturizer: Got your hair pulled back, with no make-up on? Perfect time to slather on the moisturizer (and do this at home if you like). As they say, planes have a drying effect* on the skin, so don’t forget the Chapstick either. And drink lots of water blah blah.

*The 787 Dreamliner is supposed to be less drying, but who knows what aircraft you’ll end up on.

Don’t go overboard: Not so long ago, your weary traveler saw a tip that said, using mascara on lower lashes is aging so she did her own personal experiment and guess what – they were right. And here’s the huge bonus: There were no black smudges under her eyes even after a day of strenuous walking/hiking for in a hot and humid location.

As for you male travelers, we’ll have advice for you in the future but feel free to start sharing any tips now. 


Published: August 19, 2013