International Beauty

Between long international flights, missed connections, and unexpected hotel stays, returning from my recent adventures abroad took no less than 34 hours. That's 34 hours of stuffy planes, crowded airports, and less than the desired amount of sleep. Needless to say, after the initial 12-hour flight, I wasn't looking my sharpest. I had showered that morning, but from the looks of it, it could have been a week.


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This wasn't an isolated incident either; I feel like every time I travel I step on the plane looking just fine and off looking like I just spent a month lost in the jungle. With the most recent airline restrictions, most of my toiletries end up in my checked luggage on top of it. After my latest trip, I am now resolved to never arrive at my destination looking like The Creature from the Black Lagoon again.


With spring break coming up, there will be plenty of opportunities to travel -- plenty of flights to catch. After searching the Internet, I've discovered that the key to looking great as you stroll to the baggage claim is packing a handful of beauty essentials in your carry-on luggage. Since the amount of liquids you can take on a plane is limited to as many 3.4-ounce or less containers you can fit in a clear, quart-size bag, you'll want to pack carefully and take only what you need.


Airplanes recycle the air in the cabin, which can make it very dry and grimy. Turns out, this recycled air, paired with fatigue and varying temperatures, can turn your skin into a mess. Overly dry skin can even cause excess oil production. The best thing you can do is to clean and moisturize your skin at home, wear as little makeup as possible, and take a travel size bottle of facial moisturizer in your carry-on luggage to apply throughout the flight.


Now let's talk about makeup (my favorite part). I know I said to wear as little makeup as possible to get on the plane, but that doesn't mean you have to get off the plane without any. Pack a few basics: lip gloss, undereye concealer, powder, eyeliner, and mascara. Step into the restroom shortly before landing or use a compact at your seat to freshen up. If you want to clean all the re-circulated air scuzz off before applying your makeup, a pack of good facial cleansing wipes will do the trick. You never know when you'll hit turbulence, so apply your makeup with a light hand and touch up in the airport restroom if needed.


Last of all, let's talk about how to take care of your hair. Resting your head against an airplane seat for hours at a time does the same thing to your hair that sleeping does: traps sweat, oil, and dirt. This is where a few good hair products can do wonders. Either in the airplane or airport restroom, use dry shampoo to suck up oil and dirt, and touch up your hairstyle with a convenient travel-size flat iron.


What are your tried-and-true beauty tricks for traveling? How about sharing some of your very own travel horror stories?



Posted by Andrea Sparks

Andrea Sparks



Feb. 24, 2011 at 12:38 PM

I believe that there should be a law against taking photos of celebrities who are traveling. It's impossible to look right after even a very short flight! These are good tips, though. I suggest packing floss and a waterless disposable toothbrush, you know, the kind with the toothpaste built right in. Oh, and sleeping pills. Lot's and lot's of pills.

Feb. 24, 2011 at 12:40 PM

Those are great tips! I am definitely going to start traveling with facial wipes, because my face always feels so filthy after I get off the plane. My trick for those with curly hair is this: wash and straighten your hair the night before. This means you don't have to wash it the next morning when you're running to the airport, and you can put it in a high ponytail on the flight so it doesn't get smashed and greasy. When you arrive, pull your hair out of the ponytail, pin a bit at the top back to hide your roots, and put on lip gloss. :)

Feb. 24, 2011 at 12:49 PM

After hearing OTHER people's travel horror stories I make sure that I always take an extra outfit with me in case my luggage gets lost. I think I NEED that mini hair straightener!!!!

Feb. 24, 2011 at 12:54 PM

The day I realized I could brush my teeth on the plane was a life changing day for me. Tiny bottle of water, toothbrush and toothpaste and I'm a new woman. Lotion is also key, as is a comb and some lip gloss. For extra long flights I like to pack a fresh pair of socks to change into so at least some article of clothing feels fresh when I arrive at my destination.

Feb. 24, 2011 at 1:01 PM

When I was in college my boyfriend moved to Michigan and we decided to attempt a long-distance relationship. The first time I flew to see him I was all about looking pretty and running to the airport bathroom to re-apply makeup and wearing an uncomfortable dress. The plan was to take a train from the airport, so I boarded all primped and made up...and then we got stuck for two hours in humid 90 degree weather and they turned off the air conditioner to save power. By time I reached the train station it looked like my face had melted off and I had bathed in grease. Oh and I had spritzed on perfume to cover up the scent of sweat and it ended up causing an allergic reaction on my arms. A true vision. Since then I just travel with the assumption that I'm going to look haggard when I arrive at my destination, but at least I'm comfortable!

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