I Landed In Spain At 6 AM Looking Fabulous Due To This In-Flight Beauty Routine

I normally arrive off of a long flight with flat hair, yellow-gray skin, and red eyes. Not this time!
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I normally arrive off of a long flight with flat hair, yellow-gray skin, and red eyes. Not this time!

After a few very long years, I finally got out of New York City for a vacation, so I'm headed off to sunny Barcelona!

I always thought teleportation a la I Dream of Genie would be the most dignified form of travel--a sassy arm movement and voila, you have arrived at your destination. Unfortunately, air travel is far less glamorous. 

I was just packed into an aluminum can at 30,000 feet. A woman with an acrylic French manicure had to hand me pretzels over my shoulder when I got caught between the beverage cart and my seatmate, Alejandro, a chatty plastic salesman from the north of Spain.

Before I even sat down, Alejandro noted to me in a thick Spanish accent, full of dread, "A lot of stuff, yes?"

“Yes, sir. I plan not to look like a human raisin when my husband and mother-in-law pick me up at El Prat at 6am."

Air travel, while the closest convenience to genie teleportation, is the enemy of personal beauty. At best, when I normally arrive off of a long flight, my hair is flat, my skin is yellow-gray, my eyes are red, and for some reason, I carry an air baby around in my stomach for the next 24 hours. At worst, add a sinus infection to all that and you have my vacation to Japan a few years ago.

This time, I had a game plan. I would arrive with voluminous hair, glowing skin, bright eyes, the picture of health, and no bloat, damn it! I would accomplish this through a few essential beauty products, supplements, and avoiding the number-one airplane beauty killer: dehydration.

My pre-flight hydration pre-game included rubbing sweet almond oil on my skin, argan oil on my hair, and shea butter on my feet before leaving the house. I also drank a lot of water and green juice.

After going through the security check line from hell (shout out to the guy at JFK who told me to make way for the people who pay $10,000 per ticket when I stood in the wrong line for 30 seconds), I bought two bottles of Smart Water. It cost me $10.00 because the airport sucks, but I told myself it was a worthwhile investment to look amazing upon landing.

Alejandro was also happy to switch his aisle seat for my window and extra-happy once he realized well-hydrated people like me have to get up to pee half a dozen times. Most travelers drink coffee and booze, which dehydrates them twice as fast as drinking nothing at all. Not a good look.


Hydration is also essential when you want to avoid catching a bug from your flight mates. I spiked my Smart Water with a dozen drops of grapefruit seed extract and took some oil of oregano in a lemon shot.

Oil of oregano is great for overall wellness and immunity as it is antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-fungal, and an antihistamine. It's super-spicy and has an extremely strong oregano odor, so Alejandro was really loving me at this point when he couldn't even focus on the second half of Kickass 2 due to the bizarre scent surrounding him, but then the flight attendants brought around ass-scented hot food for everyone, so I didn't feel so bad after all.

Airplane food is full of artificial chemicals and tons of salt, so you're much better off packing your own supplies. I brought an entire chopped pineapple and a seaweed salad with me. I also ate before I left, and I'll eat delicious food made by my husband's 93-year-old Spanish granny when I arrive, so I'm pretty sure I can survive without Lean Cuisine's evil airplane cousin for a few hours. Avoiding this will also help with those air bubble babies.

Don´t drink the water.

Don´t drink the water.

After the captain turned off the seatbelt sign, I went to the bathroom to remove my makeup with a pocket-sized Nivea and a baby wipe. 

I wouldn't recommend washing your face with the water that comes out of an airplane sink. Instead, I use Avene Spray d'Eau Thermale (finally found a use for a brumisateur).


All winter, long I've been carrying a tube of Yu-Be around with my. It's a cult Japanese glycerine-based moisturizer that was apparently developed by mountain climbers.

It feels gross for exactly one second, and then my skin drinks it up and gets super-supple. It also has a menthol smell, which helps me breathe and relax. I use it on my hands and face to keep me dewy during the flight.


The air up here is so dry that the insides of my nostrils are already burning. Maybe it's because I have big nostrils, but this is always my number-one complaint about air travel until I discovered Ayre Saline Gel. My grandma used to use saline solution religiously to avoid sickness, but this gel is ideal for dehydrating air travel. I simply smear the gel around the inside of my nose and no more dry burning.

I smeared a generous layer of Egyptian Magic over my lips and made my way back to my seat. In terms of ranking the most annoying people on a plane, where does the beauty writer taking selfless in the bathroom rank?

The magical wonders of beauty rest.

The magical wonders of beauty rest.

After a few hours of vertical sleeping, I headed back to the airplane bathroom for a little for a little refresher. After brushing my teeth with Marvis toothpaste, I used an Herbal Essentials Lemon Towelette to freshen up my underarms and lady bits.

I sprayed my face with the brumisateur, applied more Yu-Be, and flipped my hair forward for a generous spray of Psssst Instant Dry Shampoo.

I applied bare minimum "no makeup" makeup: Revlon PhotoReady Concealer over blemishes, Make Up For Ever Smoky Lash mascara, eyebrow gel, and lipstick (on my cheeks too). The TSA is super-strict about liquids, so I only packed solid makeup products in my carry on. As a final touch to make me look more alert, I used Benefit Watt's Up on the inner corners of my eyes and a few drops of Visine to brighten up my eyes.

I forced my husband into a 6AM selfie, a true test of love.

I forced my husband into a 6am selfie, a true test of love.

After deplaning, I felt paparazzi-ready, and my skin was positively dewy. I never did get an air baby or a sinus infection. I'd say it was a pretty successful trip, beauty-wise. I didn't get much sleep due to all the peeing and beauty regimen-ing, but sleep doesn't matter when you're looking amazing.