My first big travel moment happened when I was sixteen and involved a nine hour flight. I told my mom I needed a “plane outfit” for the occasion. You know, an outfit that is chic, comfortable and, most importantly, reads that I am ten years older than my sixteen-year-old self and no I’m not nervous at all about this travel because I do it all the time.
I won’t tell you what that “mature, casual, jet-setter, plane outfit” ended up being. Okay, I’ll tell you because I have very little shame…
It was beige, terry cloth, and tracksuit-y. Alright it was a Juicy tracksuit. Yes, like Paris Hilton (shudders). BUT it did not have “JUICY” emblazoned on the ass, so I think I still have a single thread of dignity to stand on.
My plane and travel persona has since gone through many, many a persona. Let’s just say I relate a little too well to when Kristen Wiig got a little too… wiggly… in Bridesmaids.
I have since found my travel stride in one glass of white wine, one cheese plate and at least one movie I’m too embarrassed to watch anywhere except when strapped in next to complete strangers who will never even know my name. (I find it very cathartic to cry next to strangers on a plane, I highly encourage it. You quickly learn how gracious most of humanity is when they completely ignore you.)
But the one thing that has remained an elusive mystery to me is what the hell to do about my beauty routine on a plane.
Everytime I get on a plane I look at the flight attendants with their fresh faces, bright eyes and perfectly lined lips and internally scream, “how the f@$%@$#% do you look like a Disney Cartoon Princess!?!?”
Because when I board a plane, I buckle myself in, not only physically for safely but mentally, knowing in an hour’s time my body will have morphed into what can only be described as a troll who has really let herself go.
I finally decided to get to the bottom of the flight attendant perfectness. I put out the call to a few flight attendants and begged (okay emailed) them asking… how the hell do you look so good?!
Okay, but back to hydration. Women these days apparently want to drink, bathe, mist, gulp, take a nap in any product that claims to hydrate their skin till it is one drop of water away from being prune-y. (Seriously, it’s all anyone talks about on beauty meetings these days. Let’s hydrate that skin.)
Since essences hydrate, many a woman has been told by celebrity and beauty blogger alike to douse their face in an essence or a mist during the flight. Basically create an ecological rainforest in 12A for the duration of the flight with the amount of mist you’re spritzing.
When I asked my greek chorus of flight attendants about the spritizing conundrum, half of them didn’t know what an essence was and the other half said, yeah no. One in particular said, and I quote, “there’s a reason you’ve never seen a flight attendant mist themselves. It’s not necessary. Just drink water. Lots of water.”
If I want to eat the whole cracker I might as well say goodbye to any comfortable seated position that doesn’t involve my head between my legs.
So how do those flight attendants prance up and down them ailes in those navy blue cocktail dresses?
They all gulp down peppermint tea to aid in de-bloating.
And apparently they know an experienced traveler is on board when they just ask for hot water and dunk their own fancy peppermint tea bag into it.
I, Veronica McCarthy, do solemnly swear to never again cast shade upon the fellow traveler who busts out their own tea packets on a flight. They are smarter, wiser, and less bloated then thou.
They are also eating crackers without pain. Do not poke fun at them. Praise them for their ingenuity and commitment to eating crackers without pain.
And the people who design said airplanes do not, not disagree with me. I know this because I learned those bathroom hand soaps are harsher than clorox and strip off every molecule of hydration (and germ) your hand has to offer.
Even if you’ve created a rainforest in 12A from spritzing the entirety of your bottle of essence, first apologize to every passenger within ten feet of you. You are part of the problem. And second, do yourself a favor and slap on some good ‘ol fashioned greasy hand balm. It’ll work a lot better than any rainforest of essence and every flight attendant I interviewed claimed hand balm as their most used inflight product.
Compression socks don’t just make a slim margin difference that you trick yourself into believing is a huge difference because you need to do some type of self care act every hour on the hour less you shrivel into a raisin of a person. (Do you remember the good ‘ol days before “self care” was in everyone’s lexicon and you just ate an apple to eat an apple? Sigh. I miss those days… but I digress…)
Compression socks (or hose) make a night and day difference. They circulate my blood better and thus my brain is simply more alert. I yawn a hell of a lot less, I’m less groggy, more focused, and generally a better person to be around.
And that’s just the side effects of wearing compression socks when sitting all day in a fifth floor walk up that’s maybe I dunno, 100 feet off the ground? (Actually I have no idea how many feet above sea level it is. I notoriously never measure things and each piece of furniture in my apartments is off by about one to two inches which I explain to my boyfriend as my “endearing trait.”)
All this to say, every flight attendant you see in her uniform is also modeling some compression hose. Get yourself some, seriously, I never fly without them anymore.
Alright, so now I’m dying to hear, what are your travel beauty hacks?