Looking pulled-together at work is a bit more challenging for flight attendants than for those who have to do it at the average desk job. Not only do in-flight employees face early wakeup calls, long days and jet lag, but they also have to maintain their looks at 35,000 feet, where the air is drier, the lighting is rough and the changes in pressure can throw bodily systems for a loop.
How do they stay so glamorous?!
We asked flight attendants for their style tips, and five factors quickly emerged as key to a polished in-flight appearance. Although passengers are by no means required to dress up, these cabin crew habits can help anyone who wants to look fly in the sky (or upon landing, for that matter).
1. A stellar smile
Smiling is part of a flight attendant’s job, of course, and many female cabin crew members are required to wear lipstick as part of their uniform. Red is their go-to color for a reason, according to Elizabeth Upshaw, a former JetBlue flight attendant. “Try a red, and you’ll be surprised how much it helps you look rested and ready to go,” she said. “Red lipstick also helps your teeth appear whiter and makes your smile dazzle.”
“I know so many flight attendants who swear by LipSense. You apply at the beginning of the day, and it lasts through my four-leg days. I love that it comes with a moisturizing gloss that I can swipe on during the day.” ― Elizabeth Upshaw, formerly of JetBlue
2. Long-lasting primers and creams
“I use Urban Decay’s ‘All Nighter’ spray. That keeps my makeup seamless and perfect for the day. It keeps it from melting off.” ― Emily Jones, Frontier Airlines
”I always have on a pore minimizer BB cream. Just a small layer of something on my skin protects it from all of the contaminates in the air!” ― Katie Taylor, flight attendant with a major airline
The male flight attendants we surveyed were big fans of concealer.
4. A hydrating facial spray
“Many of the Emirates cabin crew use a hydrating spray during flight – they can be applied over makeup and give skin an instant boost of freshness,” said flight attendant Carmen Tejeda. When reapplying makeup, she said, a spray “stops touch-ups from looking cakey.”
“I travel with Evian facial spray.” ― Flight attendant who asked to remain anonymous
“I always have Mario Badescu’s rose water facial spray during flights to add moisture.” ― Christina Tomyo, Spirit Airlines
They’ve said it before, and they’ll say it again: Almost every flight attendant we surveyed mentioned hydration as the core of their in-flight routine.
“The key to staying refreshed while flying is to drink PLENTY of water. It’s recommended to drink at least one cup of water for every hour of flight.” ― Ebony Christina of Fly Girl’s Guide