Stepping Off A Plane Like A Superstar

As far as appearances are concerned, there are two kinds of business travellers – the messy and the impeccably put together. EXEC tells you how place yourself firmly in the latter category.

It’s all very well to walk into a flight looking well groomed and delicious, but how good are you at stepping off the aircraft in more or less the same condition? Well, given the general state of suits and skirts at the airport arrivals gate, we figure it’s time to help out executives who need to dazzle and shine right after a long-haul. Here’s a bunch of tips that will help you shrug off the chaos of a flight and look like an absolute celebrity.

Matters Of The Skin
The pressurised, recycled air in an aircraft tends to dry out your skin. Adding to the damage is the fact that the cabin crew often turns the air-conditioning up to the ‘Artic Blast’ setting, and the cold alone is enough to rob your skin of its natural lustre. Sunburn can also be a problem on some flights; it is advisable to carry a rich SPF moisturiser that you can liberally slather across your skin – face and hands specifically.

If creams and lotions make your skin greasy, a moisturizing face mist will serve, as will a non-alcoholic body sanitizer.

Pumping Up The Intake
Hydrate your body as much as possible by drinking loads of water. You may have to use the loo a couple of times, but the trade-offs are worth it. Ozone in the air and altitude can sometimes cause mild bloating in the hands and face, and a well-hydrated system eliminates much of this swelling. In the same vein, avoid salty snacks, caffeine and yes, alcohol too.

Snooze While You Cruise
Get plenty of sleep on your flight, but remember to wake up an hour before you land to give yourself sometime to wake and groom. The in-flight entertainment, particularly video games, can be a great way to banish yawns and regain focus. Bouncy music works too.

If you must work on-the-go and don’t have the time to nap, bringing shades can help hide the bags under your eyes and are a great idea unless your flight lands at night – in which case you’ll look more that slightly ridiculous.

The Coiffure
The balding, the fuzzed and the buzzed will have no real problems with hair care on a plane. But for those of you who prefer to gel, coif and spray things into place, things might get a little tricky. To soften things up, remember to shampoo and condition during your pre-flight shower.

If you have long hair, it’s a good idea to tie it up in a low, loose ponytail. This keeps it from falling all over the place or becoming crimped while you nap.  You could even use mineral water mist on your hair to prevent it from frizzing up.

Sleeping on a flight will more often than not leave you with rumpled bedhead, so pack hair care essentials into your toiletries bag and finish all required adjustments in the loo about half an hour prior to landing. Five o’ clock shadow causing real problems? Pack a razor and know that moisturiser can double as shaving foam.

Dressing The Part
Many people will tell you to wear something a casual on the plane and change into your business outfit before landing. As sound as this advice maybe, it also entails a heavier carry-on bag and a cramped changing session in the loo. Instead, wear a light, anti-wrinkle suit and carry an extra shirt. You’d be surprised at the wonders a fresh button-down can do for your appearance, even if it is under a suit jacket. In every case, make sure your clothing is well tailored and fits to a T.

Cosmetically Speaking
Look for multipurpose make-up products like tinted moisturisers and richly scented lotions. If you must wear pre-flight make up, use light foundation, simple eyeliner, go easy on the lip-gloss and pray that the moisturiser and mist spray doesn’t mess with any of it. Ideally, however, all make-up application should be confined to your last minute grooming session, unless you have to impress someone on the plane.  Mascara, blush, toner and heavy foundation should always wait until your flight is nearly over, else you run the risk of dry, cracked make-up, racoon eyes and consequently, a visage reminiscent of old TV horror shows.

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