A beauty routine for frequent flyers

EMIRATES' BEAUTIES: Cabin crew member Regina Valcaneras.
EMIRATES' BEAUTIES: Cabin crew member Regina Valcaneras.

For frequent flyers, travelling can be taxing on their skin, eyes and lips.

But, with the right beauty routine, you can look as glamorous as the world's most stylish cabin crews.

To help you learn how, we turn to Emirates' Image and Uniform Training Manager Helen Roxburgh.


Even though fresh air is constantly added to recycled air through very fine filters, to remove dust and bacteria, Roxburgh says the air in the aircraft cabin has low humidity levels.

This, she says, can cause mild drying of the skin.

One of her top suggestions is travelling make-up free, especially on long-haul flights.

"If this is not on the cards for you, we recommend using either a tinted moisturiser or a mineral-based make-up, which will still allow your skin to breathe," Roxburgh says.

If wearing make-up, blusher, she says, plays a big part in helping skin look fresh: "It gives the impression of a healthy glow even during long flights."

Hydration sprays can also help maintain the moisture balance of skin, while drinking a lot of water, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol, will keep you hydrated.


If you're prone to dry and irritated eyes, Roxburgh suggests talking to your local chemist or doctor about eye products before you leave home.

"Eye gel helps to refresh the eyes during a long flight and can be used over make-up," she adds.

"For those who wear contact lenses, we recommend removing them for air travel and opting for glasses instead."

If you wear mascara onboard flights, be mindful of what mascara you choose. Waterproof mascara tends to dry out lashes when used over long periods, says Roxburgh.

"And using eye-liner on the top lid only gives the appearance of more open, larger eyes."

If eyes are looking tired, concealer will reduce dark circles.

"However, when applied, you need to have the correct colour in order for the circles not to appear darker," says Roxburgh.

"A product with light reflectors in it is extremely good for this and can work better than a normal concealer."


The use of lip gloss or lipstick that contains gloss isn't recommended, as this can cause the colour to wear off, says Roxburgh.

"Don't use lipgloss over lipstick, as the colour wears off more quickly, plus the gloss can change the pigment in the lipstick giving it a different colour," she says.

"And do not draw your lip pencil outside of the lip line."


"It all begins with using the correct skin-care products and make-up," says Roxburgh.

"We invest in comprehensive training by grooming experts and provide our crew with top beauty tips to ensure they look as good at the end as they do at the beginning of any flight."

When applying make-up, Emirates stewards apply a powder over their foundation to help set the make-up so it lasts longer.

"We also teach the crew the benefits of wearing foundation and powder on their lips, so the Emirates-red lipstick lasts longer," says Roxburgh.

"They also re-apply their foundation/powder and blusher throughout the flight.

"Also, it helps to remove all make-up and apply a vitamin C mask during their bunk rest periods, as it boosts the skin cells and gives the skin a healthy glow."


"Men, too, have their own skin-care and shaving routine," says Roxburgh.

Shaving before each flight can irritate the skin and cause dryness, she explains.

"One of the key tips is the use of a shaving oil to help soften the hairs and moisturise the area.

"They can use a shaving brush to apply the shaving gel or foam, as it acts as a natural exfoliator and helps with ingrown hairs."


Roxburgh recommends resting on flights to avoid arriving at your destination looking tired.

Post flight, she says rest will help cell renewal and rejuvenation, as the skin repairs itself.

"Our crew always remove their make-up after a flight, and depending on their needs, will often apply a face and eye mask."

If the destination's air quality isn't top notch, Roxburgh advises Emirates stewards to exfoliate and apply a Vitamin C mask.


Never wear new shoes when travelling, says Roxburgh.

"There is a chance your feet will swell while travelling, which will have you limping down the runway rather that strutting.

Before the plane hits the tarmac, Roxburgh suggests using a cleanser or daily exfoliator, a moisturiser and an eye gel. This will help your skin appear more vibrant and feel fresh, she says.

After the mini skin-care routine, you can then apply make-up.

"For a fresh look, use a natural foundation and soft blusher in light pink or peach, mascara and a natural lip gloss."

She also recommends carrying dry shampoo or powder, as it can prevent hair from looking oily when you get off the flight.


"There's no one top secret that works, but it's recommended that cabin crew follow a skin-care routine that helps them deal with the different hours they work," says Roxburgh.

"They are trained by experts on a recommended (beauty) sequence to follow, from skincare to make-up and everything in between."

Exfoliation and masks are highly recommended, she says, as they help to enhance the appearance of the skin.

Stewards are taught that foundation needs to be as close to natural skin colour as possible so it appears even, and Emirates also prefers the use of blusher over bronzer, because bronzer can make the skin appear tired, especially in aircraft lighting.

All cabin crew members wear the Emirates signature red lipstick, a foundation that matches their skin tone, eyeliner and mascara.

Clarins make-up is used in grooming training, and stewards are free to choose their own brands.

Do you have any mid-flight beauty tips to share? Leave a comment below.