Recently, I traveled to Hawaii—and was so ready to leave my snow boots and parka behind in frigid New York City (there’s only so many two-degree days one girl can take!). The only thing standing between me and my island getaway? Two 10-hour (ish) flights. Yikes. When I first booked my tickets, my initial thought was that I would finally be able to use all those travel beauty tips from celebs I’d mentally taken note of…okay, so that may not have been my first thought, but realizing I could totally justify spraying myself with rose water and loading my face up with rich moisturizer in the name of journalism was pretty up there.
Besides getting to pretend to be fancier than I really am, I was also curious to see if any of these fabulous-sounding skin-care tips would make me glow like somebody rich and famous. So I put them to the test. Read on for what worked, what didn’t, and what might have freaked out my cab driver.
Flight One: 10 hours and 15 minutes
1. The celebrity: John Mayer (don’t judge)
The tip: Apply Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 ($7, nordstrom.com) throughout the flight to keep lips protected from the dry, recycled air on the plane.
The result: My lips stay crack-free and moisturized the entire plane ride. Plus, every time I used the lip balm, I thought about what John (a.k.a. the recovering “ego addict”) would look like in shiny lip balm.
2. The celebrity: Lauren Conrad
The tip: Load up on moisturizer after washing your face in the airplane bathroom. Hey, if the airplane bathroom is good enough for LC, it’s good enough for me. I bust out my wipes and go to town with Garnier Moisture Rescue Gel Cream ($5.99, garnierusa.com), which I apply more of every two hours. Every. Two. Hours.
The result: Hello, thick, amazing moisturizer of my dreams. My skin sucks the lotion right up every time I apply it. Is it dry in here or something? Even though my complexion is normally oily, it doesn’t make me a greaseball. In fact, my face feels really soft.
3. The celebrities: Lauren Conrad and Amber Valetta
The tip: Drink plenty of H2O on the plane to keep skin glowing instead of feeling dry and flaky. I bring 32 ounces onboard with me and ask for so many refills that I wouldn’t be surprised if the flight attendants want to dump a bottle on my head.
The result: It’s hard to say if staying hydrated is really impacting the way my skin looks, especially after using so much moisturizer, but my body feels surprisingly good after I get off the plane. And even though I drank an insane amount, I didn’t have to pee as often as I expected to.
4. The celebrity: Kim Kardashian
The tip: Never fall asleep on the plane with makeup on. Three hours into the flight, I break every celeb skin-care tip that probably exists and drink a very dehydrating glass of red wine. Oh, well. #YOLO. Oh, and I get very, very sleepy. Before I conk out, I head to the bathroom and use one of my Yes To Cucumbers Facial Wipes ($5.99, yestocarrots.com).
The result: My face feels super clean and fresh, despite the fact that I’m on a crowded flight. Plus, I may have saved myself from post-plane breakouts to come. Boom.
Ugh I hate falling sleep with all of my make up on!
5. The celebrity: Alessandra Ambrosio
The tip: Swipe on a brightening vitamin C serum to counteract skin dullness caused by the stale air on the plane. The Victoria’s Secret model told PopSugar.com that she throws on the serum before getting some beauty rest, and I follow suit with Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost ($28, thebodyshop.com).
The result: The serum goes on slick and helps mattify the shininess of my moisturizer. And despite the fact that I look exhausted when I step off the plane—because, um, I am—my face feels really good. The bags under my eyes haven’t gone away (hey there, bags), but overall, my skin looks smooth and even a little dewy. Too bad my hair didn’t react as well to the flight.
Flight Two: 8 hours and 45 minutes (Three days later)
6. The celebrity: Molly Sims
The tip: Pat facial oil onto skin to keep moisturized. In an interview with Glam.com, Molly Sims mentioned that she always packs one with her when she flies. To be honest, my face has been struggling since I got off the plane about 72 hours ago. Between the change in climate, using a lot of acne medication on pre-travel pimples, and direct sunlight exposure for the first time in months, my skin is a irritated and a bit dry with oil in my T-zone. After we take off, I head to the bathroom and rub some oil Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil ($32, indielee.com) all over my face.
The result: It feels silky, and my skin absorbs it up right away. Sadly, my face still feels rough and dry almost immediately after I apply it, though. I think I’m going to need something a little more heavy-duty at this point.
7. The celebrity: Behati Prinsloo
The tip: Spritz a rose water on the face for added hydration and a nice pick-me-up. According to PopSugar.com, that’s what Mrs. Adam Levine did on her flight to this year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in London. Right now, I’m concerned about the flakiness of my face, so I spray on Jurlique Rose Water Balancing Mist ($24, jurlique.com).
The result: And it’s burning. So much burning. It lasts for about a minute. At least it smells good?
8. The celebrities: Lauren Conrad, Amber Valetta
The tip: Sleep with a hydrating face mask on. Since the first two products I tried on the flight somehow still weren’t cutting it, I decided to take Lauren and Amber’s advice about using moisturizer (which successfully worked for me on the first flight) to the extreme. What can I say? I like to live dangerously. I use Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque ($35, kiehls.com).
The result: The mask was insanely rich and made my face look shiny, but it felt refreshing after the combination of the previous two products set my face on fire. After wearing the mask for about six hours, my skin feels really hydrated and looks how it typically does when I wake up in my bed—as opposed to awaking from five hours of plane sleep. I don’t even bother rinsing it off.
9. The celebrity: Ming Xi
The tip: Use a hydrating sheet mask after a long flight. The Victoria’s Secret model shared this genius post-airplane travel secret with PopSugar.com. After my plane lands in a snowstorm, I get in a cab headed to my office and break out my Hada Labo Tokyo Ultimate Anti-Aging Facial Mask ($13, ulta.com). I immediately realize that there is a lot of product on the mask. Without a towel or bathroom sink available, it’s hard to work with. I put it on my face before I get a little worried that my cab driver might be terrified of me and kick me out (seriously, I look pretty creepy, right?). I keep it on for about two minutes before chickening out.
The result: Even though I didn’t keep it on for the 10 minutes suggested, the serum on the mask is really goopy and makes any remaining dry patches disappear. Plus, that tight, dry, I’ve-been-chilling-on-a-plane-for-an-entire-day feeling is completely gone. I decide to just use the mask as a wipe to reapply the serum to my face for the next hour.
Although I think getting more than five hours of sleep would have helped me look and feel even more fabulous, the two masks kept my face from looking like death when I got to the office. One my colleagues even called me “glowy.” Score! Now if only there was a rejuvenating mask could use for my brain.
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