From facials to feet fixers and hair heroes, Penny Fray selects her travel survival kit
Synthetic eye masks, cheap wet wipes and tiny tubes of toothpaste – the airline amenity bag is hardly a luxury start to any holiday. But this, as we all know, is an economy-class problem.
Pass through the hallowed curtains of first class and an expensively scented world of Bulgari perfume, La Prairie skincare and silk pillows await you. And that’s why the privileged few are possibly the only ones who emerge from a long-haul flight with sparkling eyes, glossy locks and the glowing skin that oligarch wives can muster.
How I hate these perfect creatures with their Louis Vuitton carryalls as I sniff wearily towards passport control with hound-dog eyes, flaky skin and “witchy” hair. It’s time for action and according to my gorgeously groomed friend, Alex, the secret to looking like a business-class passenger without spending thousands of rials on the extra leg room is quite simple: preparation, preparation, preparation.
First up – feet. Swollen, ugly hooves in sandals need to be avoided if you’re going somewhere glamorous, so make sure you book a pedicure in advance. If feet maintenance totally grosses you out and you’re too embarrassed to reveal the horrors of calloused soles, let me introduce you to the miracles of the exfoliating sock. You wear them for a week before travelling; skin starts to peel and like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, fabulous feet can finally be flaunted.
Meanwhile, the wealthy face has a natural dewy glow that derives from lots of sleep, water, organic food and a stress-free lifestyle. Of course, the average jetsetter also has a dermatologist and cosmetic doctor on speed dial. If you can’t afford the latter, start perfecting your skincare regime and exercise daily.
“By moving your body, your blood flows better; it’s a powerful and wonderful way to eliminate toxins,” says James Duigan, founder of Bodyism and guru to the wealthy. “Breathing properly, deep into your belly, is crucial to maximise the beauty effect of exercise as the oxygen cleanses and energises you on a cellular level.”
When flying, make sure you keep your skin hydrated with facial oil and mist. After all, humidity can drop to as low as 20 per cent on a plane, causing it to tighten and dry out. Likewise, keep lips moisturised with balm.
Heat is also really bad for your hair, causing it to frazzle and break. Use the flight en route to your sun-soaked destination to slap on some seriously moisturising hair treatments. I recommend using Moroccan oil sparingly and then tying your hair in a topknot. Alternatively, Kérastase’s elixir is also good.
Finally, if you have ghost-like skin like me, don’t forget the fake tan. Not only does it help you to glow, but it also gives the impression of year-round vacations. A cult favourite is St Tropez because it’s super light, easy to apply and gives an even, all-over tan. Add mascara, a bit of lip stain, a bright pashmina and voilà, you’re ready to look, act and feel like an island-hopping hipster.
CRÈME DE LA MER MIST from RO32 at Harvey Nichols and selected department stores. The highly charged waters in this refreshing mist from Crème de la Mer heals, hydrates and rebalances even the driest of complexions. It’s indispensable after the dry conditions of a long flight. You can even use it on holiday to rescue sun-scorched skin.
TANGLE TEEZER from RO6.5 at tangleteezer.com
This cult brush effortlessly detangles hair, delivering a smooth and shiny finish in an instant. I couldn’t survive without mine. It’s seriously good when humidity strikes and you need to de-frizz fast.
HOLISTIC SILK SLIPPERS, from RO50 online.
Using only the finest silk, these super lightweight slippers have magnetic massaging insoles that can aid leg and body circulation while massaging your feet. Perfect for inflight relaxation or after a long day of sightseeing.
THIS WORKS IN TRANSIT FIRST AID from RO10 at thisworks.com. Containing antiseptic and rosewood to calm cuts, blemishes and almost every other skin problem, this is the ultimate in beauty SOS.