I am not above admitting that I have a post-red eye flight beauty routine.
Living on the west coast, I find myself on overnight flights somewhat frequently, since there’s not really a more efficient way to make it to the east coast without spending an entire day traveling.
It’s a pretty safe bet that I will look a hot mess by the time I get off of a plane, especially an overnight flight.
The combination of airplane air, airplane hair (static, everywhere), zero sleep and wrinkled clothes is usually enough to make for one ragged-looking passenger on arrival: ME.
Unfortunately, airports are often where I’m either meeting people for the first time, or seeing someone I haven’t seen in a long time. Since there’s nothing like a first impression, I have perfected the art of TRYING to make myself look decent after a red eye flight with 5 minutes in an airport bathroom.
Damage Control in Advance: Pre-Flight Preparations
I try to set the stage for a post-red eye beauty refresh before I even board the plane by putting on only minimal makeup and putting my hair in a loose bun or braid. Twist Me Pretty and The Small Things Blog are two of my favorite places for hair inspiration, and I love these hair ties because they don’t leave a dent.
Step One: Make a Pit Stop at Duty Free
Once I land, I make a beeline for duty free.
Yep, in addition to selling 42 different kinds of imported alcohol, and silk ties that not even your dad would wear, duty free is a great place to scoop up a spritz of perfume and slather on some hand lotion. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to take away from the plane is that unique airplane smell….and sometimes smelling good is half the battle.
Related: Solid Perfumes for Travel
Step Two: The Airport Bathroom (and Lighting)
Next, I hit the nearest ladies room and park myself in front of a mirror.
Before I even start to try and freshen up I just try not to panic, and remind myself that it’s not as bad as it looks. Airport bathrooms are NOTORIOUS for having terrible lighting. It’s not you, it’s the overhead bright-white fluorescent bulbs.
Next, I unwind my plane hairstyle, flip my head upside down and spray my hair with texturizing spray or dry shampoo. Travel size, of course! Aerosols can be hard to find in travel size, which is why I was so excited to find this and this at Sephora.
Then, I grab a Colgate wisp to give my teeth a once-over. These are great for flying, since you don’t even need water to use them, and they do a decent job of making you feel like you’ve actually brushed your teeth.
Last Step: A Touch of Color
Finally, if I have it in me, I will use one product to add some color to my lips and cheeks. This will go the furthest in making you look the most refreshed in the least amount of time. I love this this gel blush since it’s a solid (and gives a really natural tint for only $3), but I am also a huge fan of Benetint (in travel size!!) if you have room in your liquids bag.
Done! In less than five minutes, you’re on your way to ground transportation looking a bit more like your fabulous self.
Related: What to Wear on Long Distance Flights
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