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How to Emerge From A Plane Looking Fresh-Faced

How our editorial director hops from an overnight flight to backstage at New York Fashion Week without looking like she’s been hit by a truck.
  • How to Emerge From A Plane Looking Fresh-Faced
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    8 slides
  • Get a facial a few days before your flight.
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    Get a facial a few days before your flight.

    The better your skin is pre-flight, the better it’ll look at baggage claim. I firmly believe the most important part of any facial is extractions—you want your pores to be totally cleaned out. Depending on your skin type, microdermabrasion and oxygen help sustain the glow, too. For an at-home version, use Boscia’s Luminizing Mask ($34) and Kate Somerville’s DermalQuench ($95) and your moisturizer of choice.

  • Do not wear makeup on the plane.
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    Do not wear makeup on the plane.

    Regardless of what time you’re flying, do not get on board with makeup on your face. If you do, wash it with a mild cleanser, like Fresh’s Soy Face Cleanser ($15) as soon as you get on board and generously spritz a hydrating mist, like Caudalie’s beloved Beauty Elixir ($18), all over your skin before moisturizing.

  • MOISTURIZE!!
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    MOISTURIZE!!

    This is the most important step. There are few places as dry as an airplane, so in addition to drinking more water and less alcohol, apply a rich cream or oil to still-damp skin post-cleansing. (I have very oily skin and I still do this.) Clinique’s Moisture Surge Overnight Mask ($33) goes on like a regular moisturizer, without visible residue. Sunday Riley’s Good Genes ($105) and Tarte’s Pure Maracuja Oil ($17) are other winners.

  • Meanwhile, about your hair.
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    Meanwhile, about your hair.

    Do not try and preserve a blowout on board. Instead, embrace your hair’s natural texture. The cleaner it is for takeoff the better. If you put it up, keep it loose to avoid kinks and come armed with dry shampoo, like the travel-sized versions from Batiste ($4) or Oscar Blandi ($11).

  • Sleep.
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    Sleep.

    Bring a pillow, earplugs, and a sleep mask—all of which will make it easier to sleep. The more sleep you get, the more refreshed you’ll appear. Splurge on Catbird NYC’s Cat Eye Mask ($24) for inspiration.

  • Don’t be afraid to break out that other kind of mask.
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    Don’t be afraid to break out that other kind of mask.

    More than one makeup artist swears by SK-II’s Facial Treatment Mask ($90 for six) pre-arrival. I can’t commit to a full mask, but I will spritz the Caudalie again before applying Shiseido’s Benefiance Pure Retinol Instant Treatment Eye Mask ($62 for 12 sets) underneath my eyes.

  • Before landing.
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    Before landing.

    About 45 minutes pre-landing (before the fasten seat belt sign’s turned on), I’ll head to the bathroom, wash the moisturizing mask off my face face, brush my teeth, and put that dry shampoo to use. I’ll use a light moisturizer, like Sisley’s Super Soin Self Tanning Hydrating Facial Skin Cream ($141) to even out my skin. If you want more coverage, try a BB Cream like Lancome’s Bienfait Teinte ($45) or Olay’s Total Effects CC Cream ($23).

  • Because it’s fashion week…
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    Because it’s fashion week…

    If I were visiting family, I’d skip this part, but it’s fashion week, so I’ll sweep on Kevyn Aucoin’s Volumizing Mascara ($28) and press RMS’s Lip Shine ($25) in Sacred onto my cheekbones and lips. Once off the flight, I'll spray the travel-sized Byredo Perfume ($110 for 3 refills) in Gypsy Water in my hair—and continue to do so throughout the week.

    Final note? You want to look put together form head-to-toe, not just from the neck up. Luckily, Who What Wear’s the best place to find airport outfit inspiration. You don’t need 6-inch heels, but you might take cues from Diane Kruger’s laid back style.

Tomorrow night, I’ll hop on an 11:15 p.m. flight from LAX and land at JFK at 7 a.m. the next morning. If all goes according to plan, I’ll be backstage at Peter Som’s runway show two hours later, kicking off a week of non-stop backstage coverage. Beauty sleep? I’ll be lucky if I get a few hours mid-flight. Thankfully, I’ve racked up plenty of miles in my lifetime and learned a thing or two about emerging fresh-faced from a plane. Rule #1: drink a lot of water. For the rest, click through!

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