You know my last post but one about wishing I had a sick note? Well this time I need an actual sick note to explain my hiatus – in the Seychelles I contracted tonsillitis swiftly followed by a bout of food poisoning. JOY. It wasn’t all bad, though – the Seychelles is stunning and I still felt enormously privileged to have seen it.
Getting there, however: ghastly. Simply ghastly. The two fairly lengthy flights filled me with dread – I seriously don’t enjoy flying and was acutely aware that I could not fall back on my usual coping mechanism of a glass of wine (I know – appalling flight form because one glass equates to two at that altitude etc etc) and little snooze as I needed to arrive perky so I could get cracking on the shoots for the magazine on the very same day we landed.
While the work bit was slightly thwarted by illness, I think I hit the ‘perfect inflight essentials’ thing on the head – I arrived feeling a little beaten but not wholly defeated, which is as much as anyone can ask for after about fourteen goddamn hours in the air. Here’s what I did…
TAKE OFF MAKE-UP //
This was a difficult step for me; I was travelling with some of the team who are accustomed to seeing models and celebrated beauties sans slap. Needs must, though – my skin is volatile and would certainly have become red or spotty had I attempted to keep old make-up on for the duration of the flight. A balmy cleanse would’ve been impossible in the air so instead I swiped a few This Works In Transit No Traces pads over my skin then nipped to the loo where I rinsed my face with S5’s Neutralise Cleanser and brushed my teeth.
PUT IN MOISTURE //
Planes are notorious for drying out skin. The answer is to drip feed moisture from the off. I usually pop a moisturising eye mask on after cleansing (in this case, one of Chantecaille’s ridiculously expensive eye masks, which are great, but I’ve used loads of cheaper ones I’d be equally as happy to have packed) and rub a good oil onto skin (I alternated between Ila’s Face Oil for Glowing Radiance mini, which is part of their travel pack, and The Organic Pharmacy, part of their mini discovery kit, which both have the added bonus of smelling delicious which was a nice change – air cabins smell horribly stale, don’t they? Like old coffee and chalky croissants, no?).
Lips and eyes (once the mask was off) were slathered in La Prairie’s Perfection a Porter and cuticles in OPI Avoplex Cuticle to Go serum. During the flight, I sprayed Liz Earle’s toner on to refresh and soothe and topped up the moisture whenever I was awake.
GET CIRCULATION GOING //
My sister constantly warns me about the dangers of DVT so while it’s one of the few ailments that doesn’t strike fear into my very core, I’ve still registered that keeping an eye on circulation is pretty important when sitting for hours on end. The accepted wisdom is all worth following – walk/jump/generally get blood pumping in the lead up to a flight and then stretch and take a walk around the cabin as often as possible during transit. I also always take a manual massage tool with me to push blood around any areas prone to getting stiff and puffy. This time, I packed H Gillerman’s Muscle Remedy rollerball, which contains a blend of lavender, basil and spearmint to aid circulation and relax tense muscles
SLEEP, SLEEP, SLEEP //
Three things are essential for getting decent zzzs in public: wear something comfy, pack a travel pillow so you don’t need to borrow a stranger’s shoulder, and take an eye mask. Once all settled, I tend to whack my earphones in to listen to something ‘soothing’ (the make-up artist I was sat next to found my choice of Gentleman Prefer Blondes – an eminently pleasing and relaxing film to watch – amusing), and try to drift off. Suggestions for the three products? Pillows are much of a muchness (though if I ever find one to best the others I’ll of course let you know), but Holistic Silk make brilliant eye masks that actually block out light and don’t rob the face of all the precious moisture that’s just been applied and Hey Jo make my favourite comfy but chic leggings.
I really believe the powers of aromatherapy are not to be sniffed at (excuse the pun, they bring me such joy). As travel distorts the body clock, I use different tinctures to prompt responses. During this flight I used De Mamiel’s Altitude Oil, which is soothing and antimicrobial so generally is a good one to have during travel, and dotted it on my pulse points every time I remembered (note: my skin doesn’t respond negatively to essential oils though most do – unless you’re like me, err on the side of caution and dot it on a tissue). I also packed Jurlique’s Lavender Hand Cream mini because it’s such a soothing scent and reminds me of bedtime at home.
NUTRITION & WATER //
This pretty much goes without saying but eating well and steering clear of that glass of wine is the thing to do when in the air for a long time. Plane food is gross across the board, so I packed a couple of GoMacro bars for energy dips and took Jet Ease to top up on vitamins depleted by travel stress and not eating terribly well. My boss took a huge tupperware of chopped vegetables with her to ‘eat her water’, as it were, and I’ll be following her lead on my next long haul – she arrived looking and feeling pretty energetic. As I didn’t prepare as well as her, I just guzzled tonnes of water to keep my hydration levels up.
BE PREPARED FOR LANDING //
Waking up to get off the plane is almost as hard as getting comfy. Aromatherapy again plays a huge part – either take a few deep breaths of the De Mamiel oil or, like me, switch to another blend to signal the shift in modes – I inhaled some Aromatherapy Associates Breathe Essence in an attempt to revive myself, then rinsed my face in cold water, patted a tiny bit of oil onto my skin, brushed my teeth and finally applied a thin layer of Chanel’s CC Cream SPF 50 onto my skin to protect and even it out.