Of all the stories to truly unite us, it is perhaps supermodel Naomi Campbell's elaborate, germ-phobic plane ritual which may well be the clincher.
Because, as Naomi Campbell, the Naomi Campbell, reminds us, it doesn't matter which end of the plane you're travelling in, the grossness of being trapped in a tin can with other people is unvoidable.
As Campbell says in her now viral Youtube video from last week "the coughing and sneezing … I just can't."
So the real lesson is, pack Dettol and use it liberally.
But also, isn't there just something so compelling about hearing people's holiday beauty rituals? Whether it's, as The Cut put it this week, "the fancy thrill of tiny beauty products" or watching Instagram videos of influencers detailing their step-by-step routine for skincare while airborne, I can't get enough.
In any case, now is the right time to be thinking about travel beauty. There's the lucky ducks doing Euro summer, clogging up your Instagram feed with their Aperol Spritzes, and the sporty kind heading to the snow. Some of us are travelling by plane. The rest of us are gritting teeth and getting through winter and the havoc it can wreak on our skin.
We all know to pack sunscreen for both sun and snow holidays, a super-hydrating moisturiser for the snow (try Tatcha the Dewy Skin Cream for nourishing wind- and sun-affected skin) and a good lip balm (try the new Blistex Lip Infusions, which have added ceramides and vitamin for keeping chapped lips at bay). You should definitely treat yourself to a sheet mask (easy to pack!), either for after arriving or wearing on the plane if you don't mind mildly frightening your fellow passengers. A recently trialled favourite is Dr. LeWinn’s Face Mask Reversaderm Brightening Vitamain C Face Mask which is good for brightening a dull complexion. Though Lucy Shaw, retail skincare manager at MECCA, is a fan of using an oil rather than a mask when flying.
"Most people opt for a moisture mask on a flight, but what your skin really needs is oil, this will help create a protective barrier on your skin and slow down the rate at which we lose moisture in the dry cabin environment. I also run any excess through the dry ends of my hair as a treatment," she says. Her pick is Sunday Riley CEO Glow.
Another travel beauty win is two-for-ones. Not the shampoo and conditioner kind! But the space/weight allowance saving kind.
They don't have to be specific two-for-one products either. Take M.A.C's famous Velvet Teddy lipstick. It's a nudey/pinky shade that's flattering for many and you can also use it as a blush.
There's also plenty of nifty products to try, whether you're travelling or not.
Take for example French haircare brand Christopher Robin's Hydrating Shampoo Bar with Aloe Vera. Its solid form means you won't need to decant your favourite shampoo into travel friendly bottles (you can get good ones at Muji though) or worse, using the random one you swiped from a hotel. Plus it's gentle and good for hair that can be tricky to manage when travelling thanks to different water and changes in the weather.
Filing under things I wish I'd known about earlier are Yuni’s Shower Sheets, which are great for situations where a shower is the kind of indulgence you pledge to never take for granted again or for freshening up after a full day of touristing.
M.A.C has also released a 30ml version of its bestselling Prep + Prime Fix, a water mist with green tea, chamomile and cucumber plus vitamins for refreshing and hydrating your skin. Good for on the plane or just to keep on your desk at work for when you need a pick-me-up that doesn't involve the vending machine.
For packaging nuts the new "clicker pen" version of YSL’s Opium fragrance is total catnip and travel-friendly (it works in the same way as the brand's famous Touche Eclat concealer, which incidentally, should always be included in your carry-on for its ability to make you look far more rested than you actually are).
Meanwhile, Karina Sulzer from Skin Gym says her range of facial tools, which include crystal rollers, will help with puffiness and fatigue. Sulzer, who I met after she'd just gotten off a 14-hour flight from LA and really didn't look like it, says she uses the rollers over a sheet mask during flights "to get the circulation going and helping soak in the goodness in from the mask. The roller massage is essential to get your circulation going and landing with a fresh face." She also asks for a cup of ice to dunk her roller in before hand for further help in the de-puffing stakes.
Other than cute products that fit under the 100ml flying limit, one of the most important things to remember when it comes to travel beauty is staying hydrated.
As Suzanne Santos, chief customer officer at Aesop (which has just released great new travel kits called Departures featuring a selection of travel sized formulations, including the Immediate Moisture Facial Hydrosol) says, travel is "undoubtedly hard on the skin".
Santos always travels with Aesop's Resurrection Rinse-Free Hand Wash, which is, it must be said, a much nicer alternative to Dettol, and Ginger Flight Therapy, which has a calming (and delicious) scent.
Santos says it's important to consider what impact your holiday destination might have on your skin, and to tweak your regime accordingly.
"Generally speaking, depending on the destination, it is likely the skin will be faced with a sudden shift in its environment upon arrival. When you exit the airport, you can instantly sense it – that feeling of walking into a sauna, or sometimes a fridge. Just as we would be mindful of the skin’s changing needs from one season to the next, we should adapt our skin care routine to respond to dramatic changes in climate and humidity," she says.
Travel is the reason Kirsten Carriol formulated her Aussie Flyer Leave-On mask as part of her Lanolips Face Base range.
"You need a mega rich cream to apply before, during and after flight to get your skin back to base, says Carriol, adding that the mask helps to wake-up skin cells and get circulation moving again.
As for Carriol's other travel beauty tips, "Dark circles are a dead giveaway of jetlag – so a good concealer is a must for long-haul flights. Dry-looking lips are also a huge sign. Just before I land I use a lip stain to give my lips colour and then apply a tinted balm on top to get hydration back and add a natural, healthy glow. Hydration is key to keeping skin happy, especially when changing climates and a good multipurpose hydrating balm and a deeply hydrating face mask is a must."
What to buy this Thursday
Your weekly recommendation for a late-night shopping trip …
Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Smoothing Sugar Scrub
Chapped, dry lips are nobody's friend. Well, maybe they're winter's friend. Because this is the season you're most likely to suffer from them. Yes, you need a good lip balm (shout again to Blistex and Lanolips) but in the cooler months I've also been enjoying using this lip sugar scrub from Estée Lauder's Pure Color Envy range. Not just because it kind of tastes like coconut and chocolate but because it's been helping to (gently) exfoliate my lips and keep them soft. This winter I've even been able to keep wearing red lipstick, which is a nightmare on dry lips, and I think this product is part of the reason. $48, davidjones.com.au
Skin Deep, our weekly beauty column, is not sponsored. All product recommendations are genuine endorsements.
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