Photo by Nicole De Khors from Burst

Lesser known beauty tips from 40,000 ft.

At age 22, I finished college and left Ireland for Abu Dhabi in the UAE to work for an airline. I had makeup and hair requirements when working in retail but the airline was a complete step up. In our first week of training, we had a makeup and hair session with a member of the Grooming Department. Prior to arriving, we had been given instructions on what to follow in terms of makeup and hair. This session was to delve a bit deeper into the style guide and to refine ourselves further. 

When the expectations in terms of eyeliner, lipstick and acceptable hairstyle were determined, the grooming officer would approve your hair colour, your shade of foundation and of lipstick. There were then random grooming inspections before flights to make sure these rules were still being followed. There were three styles of nail design that were acceptable but your nails had to be done. Your bobby pins had to match your hair colour and there was a limit to how many could be used. If you had acne, you weren’t allowed to fly and had to seek an equivalent of a sick cert. Your BMI or weight was tracked and expected to be brought within the ‘normal’ band.  

The beauty standards were astronomical but there was no denying how polished the crew looked when compared to other airline crew around the world. Knowing that it was just an adventure and not forever certainly helped me. Although it feels shallow to admit it, it was also just enjoyable to be part of the glamour of it all. Arriving in the modern, spacious airline headquarters with panoramic views of a growing city and the desert, these beauty rules were just a continuation of the opulence. At that time, not spending one hour on your hair and makeup would have put you at stark contrast to the surrounding luxury.  One hour’s worth of makeup coupled with dehydration from flying and irregular hours put a toll on your skin and wellbeing. Here are some beauty tips from the galley. 

1. When applying mascara and eyeliner or removing eye makeup with a wipe, avoid tugging on your eyelid

If you’re applying makeup 6 days a week and this is already section of your face where lines will develop then there’s no harm in getting into the habit of applying eyeliner and mascara without touching the skin around your eye. Similarly, when you’re taking off your makeup, hold the wipe or cotton pad to your eye for 10 or so seconds and you can avoid multiple rubs of your eye. There is nothing wrong with laughter lines and we’re all lucky to live long enough to develop them. This habit can reduce soreness and sensitivity too <3

2. Wash your makeup wipe if your skin feels oily

Sometimes after using a makeup wipe, your skin can feel greasy and somehow less clean. If your skin is already feeling oily, run a makeup wipe under the tap to get rid of some of the excess remover.

3. If you’re putting your hair up, there’s no need to wash your hair

Fresh clean hair is much harder to manage and you’ll just end up putting hairspray in it anyway.  Overwashing your hair can leave it dry and if you dye your hair, it will also be one wash closer to fading.

4. Hold hairspray a good distance from your head

Speaking of hairspray, do exactly what it says in the tin and hold the hairspray an arm’s length away from your hair. It prevents your hair becoming sticky or crunchy. Spray and then brush or pull your hair into place.

5. Take lipstick off entirely before reapplying

If you try to replenish lipstick on top of existing lipstick, it will crumble, gather and crack. Wipe it all off and start from them beginning, you’ll also never have to do a lip scrub ;)

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.