How to look good on a long haul flight

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Ever wondered how Emirates cabin crew look immaculate following a long-haul flight? Us too – so we asked them. Here the effortlessly gorgeous looking Emirates crew reveal how to stay fresh and well groomed after several hours in-flight


Is there one top tip or ‘secret’ that you convey to every member of cabin crew in training?
There is no top secret as such, but it is recommended that cabin crew follow a skin care routine that helps them deal with the different hours that they work. Exfoliation and masks are highly recommended as it helps to enhance the appearance of the skin.

How are crew members trained to look so well groomed, even after a 15-hour flight?
They have to touch up their make-up throughout the flight. We give them tips such as: eye gel helps to refresh the eyes during a long flight and can be used over make-up.  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.

Dehydration can be a big problem when flying – yet your female crew manage to look radiant after every flight. Is there a particular regime in terms of skin moisturisation that they need to follow?
Hydration sprays can be used to maintain the moisture balance in the skin. You can either purchase from a skin care or make-up house.

How do female crew members manage to keep their make-up on, in place and looking so fresh when they are working so hard and for so many hours?
They are trained by subject matter experts on a recommended sequence to follow. This starts from using the correct skin care products to a specific make-up routine.   They use a powder over their foundation that helps to ‘set’ the make-up and therefore will last longer; they also re-apply their foundation/powder as well as blusher throughout the flight. Blusher plays a big part in helping the skin look fresh as it gives the impression/illusion of a healthy glow even during long flights.  When foundation and powder is applied on to the lip, under the lipstick it will last longer as well. The use of lip gloss or lipstick that contains gloss is not recommended as this could cause the lipstick to wear off easily.

Red is the signature lipstick and yet, with so many nationalities and skin tones, there are so many colours of red from which one can choose.  How do your cabin crew members decide which shade of red to choose to suit their complexion and more importantly – how does the lipstick stay on throughout the flight?
Our female crew must match the red lipstick to the scrunchie (red hair band worn by crew in the beige colour of uniform) and the red hat. Each skin tone is different and each individual would need to find their perfect match.

Is concealer a much-used product to disguise potential dark circles and tired eyes?
Concealer is highly recommended for dark circles, however when applied you need to have the correct colour in order for the circles not to appear darker. A product with light reflectors in is extremely good for this and works better than a normal concealer. Concealer can also be used to cover pigmentation as well as pimples. This is also the only item of make-up acceptable to be used by gentlemen.

Are there any no no’s when it comes to grooming and make-up? What’s not allowed or advised against?
The ‘rules’ of make-up that we normally teach the cabin crew are:

  • Your foundation needs to be as close to your natural skin colour as possible in order for your skin to appear even.

  • Do not use lip gloss over lipstick as the colour wears off quicker and the gloss can change the pigment in the lipstick giving it a different colour.

  • Be careful of using bronzer as it can make the skin appear “tired” especially in the aircraft lighting.

  • Be mindful when choosing mascara, as waterproof mascara tend to dry out lashes when used over long periods and for long hours at a time.

  • Do not draw your lip pencil outside of your lip line.

Using eye-liner on the top lid, will give the appearance of more open, larger eyes, for those ultra long trips.

Are men advised to wear moisturiser or are there any particular grooming requisites for men – other than spotless hands and nails?
Yes absolutely. Men have their own skin care and shaving routine. It is important that they also look after their skin especially because they have to shave before each flight. Shaving can irritate the skin and cause dryness therefore we give them certain tips regarding shaving i.e. a shaving oil can be used prior to shaving to help soften the hairs and moisturise the area, preventing skin irritation and dryness. They can use a shaving brush to apply the shaving gel/foam as it acts as a natural exfoliator and helps with ingrown hairs.

What are the three most important things that every member of crew should remember or consider when it comes to grooming and representing Emirates, whether in the air or on the ground?
They are the forefront of the airline and the uniform identity is the direct link to our prestigious brand. They are the public face of Emirates and are recognised by our customers and also the customers of other airlines.They only have one opportunity to make a good first impression.

Post flight, are there any tips for cabin crew such as rest; a long bath; tepid shower; cleansing routine etc?
Rest is definitely recommended as it helps with cell renewal/rejuvenation which helps our skin to repair itself and look immaculate. They are recommended to stick to a skin care routine and always remove their make-up after a flight. It depends on the need of the skin at the time, a face mask and eye mask can be applied. When in highly polluted areas we also recommend them to exfoliate and apply a Vitamin C mask to the skin. Anti-Oxidants are also recommended – these products contain Vitamin A, C and E.

Can you pass on any tips for your customers in terms of how to look great when stepping off your flight on arrival at your destination?

  • Avoid make-up during the flight, if make-up is a must use a light concealer/tinted moisturiser, a bit of mascara, blusher and lip gloss/lipstick, try and avoid heavy make-up.
  • In the case that make-up is worn to the flight, remove it during the flight.

  • Use lip balm throughout the flight.

  • Body lotion to be applied at intervals throughout the flight.

  • Before landing use a cleanser/daily exfoliator, moisturizer and an eye gel (mini skin care routine) – this will help with your skin appearing vibrant and feeling fresh.

  • After the mini skin care routine is carried out – make-up can be applied. Under-eye concealers with light reflectors are recommended it helps the eyes to appear refreshed.

  • For a fresh look use a natural foundation and soft blusher (light pink/peach), mascara and a natural lip gloss.
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