11 In-Flight Holiday Beauty Tips for The Jetsetter


Last year’s holiday celebrations looked different. Opening gifts via Zoom, face time-air-kisses and hugs, and table settings for one. Now that the U.S. has lifted restrictions to travel again, or as freely as possible under COVID-19 restrictions, cabin fever is a thing in the past and travelers are flocking to airports only to experience unbearable crowds, packed planes, bad weather, and unruly passengers doing whatever it takes to see their loved ones.


According to Travel + Leisure, they expect about two million travelers to pass through airports in the United States each day over the Christmas holiday. And since pandemic-induced travel obstacles are at a high, you can count on extended travel time.


Whether stuck on the tarmac for hours, canceled flights, or emergency landings, this is sure to cause stress, which will take a toll on your skin and makeup.


Traveling can be difficult on your body, health, and your skin. Stress weakens the skin’s barrier, which hinders your skin’s ability to retain water. It is a known fact that the low humidity in airplanes can cause skin dryness, along with discomfort in sensitive areas like your eyes, nose, and mouth. And with the air as dry as it is, your skin will absorb your makeup. This is a double negative for the jetsetter who plans to fly international or domestic, expects to deplane and go straight to a holiday party, and wants to look just as polished when she gets off the plane as she does when she gets on.


The Covid mask mandate is not letting us be great! It is one thing to touch up your makeup during the flight, but now we must worry about our makeup ending up on our mask.


Who better to get tips from than Joan Sloan? A makeup artist, owner of J. Sloan Beauty, and a flight attendant.

One of Sloan’s passions is making women feel beautiful. No stranger to the beauty industry, before becoming a makeup artist and launching J.Sloan beauty line this year, she was the owner of one of the largest Salon and Day Spas in San Diego, California, where she created her first makeup line. Years of traveling the world with her family and the NFL—she is the former wife of retired NFL player John Jackson, an offensive tackle with the Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, and Cincinnati Bengals—inspired her to become a flight attendant for an international airline.


“Looking your best throughout your travel day takes only a few extra minutes to plan, says Sloan. “But because of the mask mandate, you’ll need to add a few more minutes than usual and a few more steps so your makeup stays on your face.”


Here are a few helpful holiday travel tips Sloan lives by:

1. Start your day off by hydrating and nourishing your skin. It’s important to cleanse and moisturize your complexion to prime it for your flight ahead. You don’t need to start your day off with too much makeup, but if you do, make sure it’s long lasting and waterproof.

2. Wear waterproof eyeliner to keep your winged line or tight line flawlessly locked in place.

3. Waterproof mascara is good for traveling. It is obviously more resilient against sweat, tears, and water.

4. To keep foundation on your face, if you have combination or oily skin, apply a sheer super-hydrating mask. If your skin is on the dry side, add an extra layer of protection — a moisturizer with shea butter and hyaluronic acid serum. Shea butter adds an extra layer of moisture and protects skin from damage from the environment like pollutants, while hyaluronic acid will aid in hydrating the skin. The best part is that hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1000x its weight in water!

5. Use an oil-free primer to hydrate and smooth your skin and reduce pores and imperfections. Primer helps makeup adhere better to your skin and last longer while creating a soft finish.

6. Apply a matte long-wear foundation to prevent makeup transfer onto your mask.

7. For extra protection, use a setting powder to minimize the transfer.

8. Keep a hydrating concealer and primer to minimize touch-ups. This will avoid applying makeup throughout the flight.

9. Wear long lasting matte lipstick- a classic red or dark cherry long lasting lip gloss that will pop your lips! This will flatter any skin tone while boosting up a bold holiday look. The long-lasting pigments will last even after you’ve been eating or drinking on a flight.

10. Wear a face mask with a clear window visible expression so you can see your lips and beautiful face. This mask will prevent your lipstick from feathering and your foundation from smudging, especially if you choose to sleep on the plane. But make sure you sleep pretty by leaning your head back on the headrest (with a protective cover).

11. Traveling can dehydrate your skin. Try not to rely on oils all the time to keep your skin nourished and supple. Rose water is a simple formula that acts as an anti-inflammatory skin toner or apply a little hydrating mist to your face throughout the day.


Sloan mentions my all-time favorite, which is to drink plenty of water for internal hydration during and after travel. We must work on our skin from the inside out!


She also stresses how important it is to use an easy and essential beauty product at the end of the evening. “No matter how tired you are, use makeup remover wipes before you apply your nightly cleansers and creams,” says Sloan. “I use wipes by Neutrogena. They are great for traveling and refreshing, and they rid impurities from the surface of your skin, which could lead to irritation or cause rapid aging. They also reduce the risk of getting pimples, blackheads and other types of blemishes.”


Let’s face it. Staying fresh and beautiful on a plane for several hours while traveling can be difficult. But these tips and tricks to help you look put-together after a long flight will help you deplane more confident and get you to the holiday festivities faster.


This article was originally published in Bronze Magazine.


Happy Holidays!

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