Four beauty experts reveal their ultimate in-flight beauty routines

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Whether you are sipping champagne in business class or are squeezed next to a stranger for 14-hours in economy, flying takes it toll.  We asked four of Britain's leading beauty experts for their beauty and wellness tips so you can arrive like a true high flier.

1. Lily Pebbles 

The London-based beauty vlogger - catapulted from student to social media star with 250k Instagram followers - travels the world giving her honest and comprehensive reviews. 


How often do you travel? 

I'm very lucky to travel quite a bit. Working for myself means I can work anywhere and I love the sort of content I can create whilst travelling. My favourite place I've ever visited is Thailand, but my quick weekend escape destination is the south of France. 

What would we find in your clear plastic bag at check-in?

For a short-haul flight, not much, just a hand cream and lip balm. For a long-haul flight I like to have my This Works Stress Less rollerball to sniff when I’m nervous, a collection of hydrating skincare, while a refreshing face mist like the Caudalie Beauty Elixir is a nice pick me up throughout the flight. I get so dehydrated on flights that my skin and hair also dries out so I try to keep everything well hydrated. A big bottle of water is essential! I always take a comfy pair of socks to change into. 

What do you do pre-flight?

I make sure to drink lots of water and try and make sure my skin is in good condition. The Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair is a great serum to use in the evenings a week before flying as it’ll really prep you skin.

What do you pack in your carry-on?

My laptop, hard drive, camera (to film take off), magazines, noise cancelling headphones, sweets, water, travel sickness pills.... the list really does go on! I take a huge handbag and fill it with all my essentials. I like to use clear bags for toiletries (Muji do the best ones) so I can see everything and grab it quickly.

Who does the best sunglasses?

I always go back to Ray Ban - their styles just seem to suit me better than any other brand.

And luggage?

Samsonite cases are great because they are lightweight. I find some cases weigh loads before you even put anything in them.

And what do you do when you preparing to land?

About 45 minutes before landing I like to take some time for myself in the bathroom. I brush my teeth with a fold-up travel toothbrush, sort out my hair and get changed if I need to. I’m not the best flyer, so I’d usually not go straight out but if I had to I’d just go for the minimal “just got off a plane” look! 

What are your tips for holiday nails?

I usually either get a gel polish manicure or just a regular manicure. Even the regular manicures last longer than if I were to do it myself. I also tend to go for a colour that goes with everything on my nails and something brighter and fun on my toes.

And what scent do you love to wear?

I love to take the travel-size bottle of Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay cologne as the fragrance is fresh and fruity.

Finally, what are your tips for sharing your holiday on social media?

Amp up the 'saturation' and 'structure' . It will really brighten the colour of the sea and sky - it looks beautiful!

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This Works is available at Fenwick Bond StreetBracknellCanterburyKingstonNewcastleTunbridge WellsWindsorYork.

Caudalie is available at Fenwick Bond StreetBrent CrossCanterburyKingstonLeicesterNewcastleTunbridge WellsWindsorYork.

Estee Lauder is available at Fenwick stores nationwide.

Ray Ban is available at Fenwick Bond StreetBracknellBrent CrossKingstonLeicesterNewcastle and Tunbridge Wells.

Samsonite is available at Fenwick BracknellBrent CrossCanterburyColchesterKingstonLeicesterNewcastleTunbridge Wells and York.

Jo Malone London is available at Fenwick Brent CrossNewcastle and Tunbridge Wells.

2. Vanita Parti MBE, founder of Blink Brow Bar

Founder of Blink Brow Bar, Vanita regularly flies the world either supporting her global business venture that has earned her an MBE for Delhi-based children’s charity Butterflies. 

vanita parti

Tell us your routine before you board?

Moisturise! I use Blink Brow Bar’s Rose Day Cream of course as it contains Hyaluron, and lots of wrinkle-reducing seaweed, antioxidants, wheat germ and vitamin E so it’s great for your skin in flight. I also have a good blow dry to keep my hair looking fresh throughout the journey.

Do you have any beauty tips for getting upgraded?

A smart jacket, light makeup and a relaxed 'I-normally-travel-Business-Class' look usually helps!

What in-flight products could you not live without?

I always need a good hand cream and my Hourglass Lip Oil. To combat puffiness and dryness a good eye cream usually does the trick. I like Sarah Chapman’s Skinesis Eye Recovery as it has an instant skin-smoothing effect.

How do you lessen the stress of travelling?

With a gin & tonic followed by some Aromatherapy Associates Oil on my temples to help me fully relax.

How do you ensure everything fits into those clear plastic bags?

Hmmm – it's not always easy. I clear out my handbag before I travel so I’m not carrying anything unnecessary and I do a big makeup edit – you never wear as much as you think you will.

And what's your routine before you land?

I moisturise my eyes, face and hands, have a quick hair brush, a coat of lip gloss, add some Le Labo Rose roll-on perfume and I’m pretty good to go.

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Blink Brow Bar is located in Fenwick Bond StreetBrent Cross and Tunbridge Wells.

Blink is available at Fenwick Bond StreetBrent Cross and Tunbridge Wells.

Aromatherapy Associates is available at Fenwick Brent CrossKingstonTunbridge Wells and Windsor.

3. Ruby Hammer MBE, makeup artist

With 25-years experience in the beauty industry, there are not many tricks the internationally renowned makeup artist does not know.

ruby hammer

What are your beauty tips for getting upgraded?

I go for clean makeup with defined features - so groomed eyebrows, a bit of mascara with a hint of blue and tinted lip balm on the lips – there is no need for full blown makeup here, you just want to look bright and fresh. And a great pair of sunglasses wouldn’t go amiss. 

What in-flight products could you not live without?

I always try to exfoliate my face and body at home so the products I use in-flight have a chance to sink in and are not sitting on the surface of my skin. Then when I'm onboard, I use Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist to refresh my skin and Sisley's Express Flower Gel mask to hydrate and firm. I find Elemis Quiet Mind Temple Balm on the temples really soothes the senses, and massaging Nails Inc's Vitamin E Oil pen into the cuticles and Clarins Hand and Nail Treament into my hands is another good way to relax.

How do you make sure you sleep on a long-haul flight?

I start with all of the above and then use headphones to block out the noise, a silk eye-mask and pillow for my neck. I put drops of pure lavender oil on my seat, pillow and mask to send me off and if I'm really struggling, I'll do deep breathing.

How do you combat puffiness?

No alcohol, lots of water and compression socks. I also like to use Shiseido Pure Retinol smoothing eye masks - they're quick and concentrated and freshen my eyes.

Any tips before landing?

I brush my teeth. I use a face wipe or pads (the only time I do) - I like This Works In Transit No Traces pads. They're great for removing even mascara. I curl my lashes and use a NARS Multiple, which is great to add a pinch of colour to my cheeks and lips.

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Sisley is available at Fenwick Bond StreetColchesterKingstonLeicesterNewcastle and Windsor.

Nails Inc is available at Fenwick Bond StreetCanterburyKingstonNewcastleTunbridge WellsWindsor and York.

Clarins is available at Fenwick stores nationwide.

Shiseido is available at Fenwick Bond Street.

This Works is available at Fenwick Bond Street, Bracknell, Canterbury, Kingston, Newcastle, Tunbridge Wells, Windsor and York.

NARS is available at Fenwick Bond Street and Kingston.

4. Kathy Phillips, founder of This Works skincare

The former Vogue health and beauty director and frequent long-haul flyer has created a whole This Works In Transit range to combat the stresses of flying on your skin.

KP Headshot1

What are your pre-flight beauty tips?

I always put on moisturiser that is heavier than usual but without SPF, as I don't want to put unnecessary chemicals on the skin when I'm not in the sun. I tend not to wear mascara or powder to keep my skin fresh. I might wear cream, a blusher and a bit of kohl pencil, but these are more important when I arrive at the other end. 

What are your in-flight beauty saviours?

This Works In Transit Camera Close Up. It’s full of hyaluronic acid to plump up the skin and it's a mask, moisturiser and primer in one so it works well to stop puffiness on a flight. I also put This Works Stress Less Natural Remedy on glands and pulse points to relax me and the Eucalyptus and Lavender Essential Oils ward off germs on the plane. Eye drops and ear plugs are the only other essentials - and an extra cashmere scarf to keep me warm. 

And preparing to land?

I’d apply more moisturiser, cream blush (I like Nars blushers) to look healthy and kohl pencil (Laura Mercier Longwear Creme Eye Pencils as they don’t drag the delicate skin around the eyes) to look like I have a little makeup on. I'm pretty low maintenance really. Drinking as much water as possible is the main beauty tip. 

What do you use to carry your beauty essentials?

I have a big tote and several smaller envelope clutches inside. I have a leather zip clutch with my passport etc, as well as a see-through zip bag with makeup/cotton buds/creams, which is always packed and ready to go so I don't have to struggle at customs. I make sure my bag is big enough to put a small travel pillow and scarf in too. That's it.

This Works is available at Fenwick Bond StreetBracknellCanterburyKingstonNewcastleTunbridge WellsWindsor and York.

NARS is available at Fenwick Bond Street and Kingston.

Laura Mercier is available at Fenwick Bond Street, Brent Cross, Colchester, Kingston, Newcastle, Tunbridge Wells, Windsor, York.

By Claire Brayford