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For more info on sending in questions, see the bottom of this post. Now let’s get down to bossing people around on the internet! Today we’re talking about being gross on airplanes.
Q: Lizz, could you provide some advice on how to look and feel less gross after spending the night on a plane? I’m flying to visit a potential ladyfriend in September and would rather not meet her at the airport looking like an oily zombie. Thanks!
A: It is so funny you should ask this! I was recently picked up at the airport by my person after a monthlong trip. I was coming off eight hours of flying and had a sneaking suspicion there might be flower giving involved (which there totally was) and was highly concerned that I might look totally gross. I was semi-successful in my grossness prevention, so I have some good tips. Well, enough about me. What are YOU gonna do?
You’ll want to start by getting plenty of sleep the night before your flight. You probably won’t sleep well during your overnight flight and at the very least you’ll have one good night of sleep under your belt. Some people will tell you to stay up the night before so you can successfully sleep all night on the plane. Some people are wrong. You’re either going to sleep on the flight or you aren’t — staying up all night will only make you look worn out.
Make sure you drink lots of water and moisturize daily leading up to your flight. Flying is really dehydrating and can leave your skin feeling just awful. In fact, if your skin gets dehydrated it will counteract this by producing oil making you look greasy.
Finally, in order to look your best post-flight, you need to forgo putting on any makeup the day of your flight. You’re going to sit in a gross plane for hours and sleep and all make-up is going to do is get oily and runny and leave you with raccoon eyes. Wash your face before you leave and that’s it. No makeup. (If you absolutely must wear makeup, pick up some Neurogena Makeup Removing Cloths for when shit goes bad.)
During the Flight
The most important thing you can do during your flight is try to relax. I know you’re going to be all jittery because you’re seeing someone who gives you butterflies, but read through Long-Distance Flying 101 for relaxation/amusement ideas. If you can just relax you can probably sleep, and if you can sleep you’ve won half the battle. If you’re of age, have a glass of red wine or three and read a tragically boring book. That ought to knock you out. As someone who stayed up with those pre-cutie butterflies myself, I can tell you that avoiding sleep will just make you crazed.
When you are awake, it’s important to maintain self care. Bring both facial cleansing wipes and a high quality oil-free moisturizer. If you start to feel oily, give your face a once over with the facial wipe and then lightly apply your moisturizer. If you tend to have dry skin, bring a heavy night cream moisturizer. Bring lip balm and apply liberally, as dry and cracked lips are no good for reunion kissing. As for your hands, you should be sanitizing hourly anyways because airplanes are fetching gross. Layer a good hand cream on top of that because dry and cracked fingers are also no good.
But seriously, mostly just try to get some sleep.
Your inclination might be to try to get yourself put together in the last few minutes of the flight in the bathroom. Avoid this. Now that people can’t go up to gates without a ticket, you will certainly pass a bathroom before seeing your honey. Duck in to the restroom and wait for a larger stall to open up. Strip completely down and clean your whole body with body cleansing or isopropyl wipes make sure to get behind your neck, under your arms, your inner thighs and under your breasts. Reapply deodorant under your arms (duh) and feel free to stick some wherever you feel dirty (previously mentioned locations). If your hair gets greasy, this is a good time to dust your hair with dry shampoo. Now, redress in all new clothing (including undergarments) and exit the stall.
Now that you have a mirror, you can wipe down your face one last time with a facial cleansing wipe and moisturize. If you wear makeup go ahead and apply it now, but keep it light/natural so as not to be too obvious. I suggest just mascara, eyeliner (if you wear it), some lip balm and a little blush. Sanitize and moisturize your hands again.
Evaluate your hair. Depending on your hair, the dry shampoo will have varying levels of effectiveness. If you’re still looking a bit greasy, fold a bandana like a thick headband and tie it up like a pin-up/Tupac. This will cover your roots without obviously trying to cover your roots. It also gives you a sort of adorable traveler look. If your hair is long and mostly just unruly, a bun is your best shot (with or without the bandana). Short hair should respond well to the dry shampoo, but bring a styling product that can be applied to dry, dirty hair just in case.
Finally, brush your teeth. Actually, you might want to do this first. You’ll feel worlds better.
This might seem like a lot, and it sort of is. But flying all night and still looking hot is serious business. Here’s your best-to-have packing list for your carry-on. Don’t forget to pack liquids in 3oz or less!
+Facial cleansing wipes
+Body cleansing wipes or Isopropyl wipes
+Travel sized deodorant
+A full change of clothes including bra and underwear
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