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10 Beauty Secrets We Learned From A Flight Attendant

You'll never guess what they use to keep their makeup fresh.

Jico Joson

Count on flight attendants to know the best beauty tips to keep their hair and makeup forever flawless. These women spend so much time up in the air that they need a reliable makeup routine that will withstand 18-hour flights, heavy lifting (hey, those carry-ons are a bitch), and impatient passengers. So how do they do it? We spoke to Shobe, a former Pinay flight attendant (FA) at a Middle Eastern airline, who revealed her tried-and-tested grooming secrets.

1. Good skin is always a priority.

"You don't want to cover your face with a lot of makeup, so you need good skin. The air inside the aircraft is really dry, so I make sure to drink lots and lots of water throughout the flight. It doesn't matter if it's a busy or quiet flight—I always stay hydrated. I would drink 2-5 1.5 liters of water. No kidding! I also don’t smoke or drink and I love love love to sleep.”


2. You’ll never guess what they use to keep their makeup fresh.  

“During the flight, I would only use baby powder (Yes, as in taktak powder) to retouch and keep my face fresh. I’d constantly reapply lip balm and, if needed, lipstick too.”

3. Forget hairspray, there’s product that can keep your bun sleek!

“I use a tiny bit of petroleum jelly to tame strays and keep my bun in place throughout the flight.”

4. You don't need to buy expensive hair masks.

“I'd put a generous amount of mayonnaise on my hair, massage my scalp with it, use a plastic wrap, leave it for half a day while I did my laundry or caught up with my Korean drama series. I’d then rinse, lather on conditioner, and then wash everything off.”

5. You have to look after your hands and nails, too.

“I’d reapply SkinFood Jojoba Oil Nail Essence and Kamill Hand and Nail Cream with Natural Chamomile. Clear nail polish was allowed, but French manicures were very popular. Certain shades of red polish were allowed, like deep, bright red, or maroon. But if you have red nail polish, your lipstick MUST be red, too. Otherwise, it won't be allowed.

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6. The key to nailing your makeup routine is to let your skin absorb the products before applying the next layer.

“Before every flight—didn't matter if it was a 25-minute or a 16-hour route—I would always use toner and rich emulsion on my face and neck, followed by my serums. I’d let my skin absorb the serum before putting on moisturizers, day cream, and lip cream. After 10-15 minutes, I’d apply BB cream and powder on my face and neck. (I've always found foundation too strong for my skin.) I’d curl my lashes, apply the first layer of black waterproof mascara, and wait three minutes before applying the second layer. Finally, I’d apply pale pink or peach blush and lipstick for a natural glow.”

7. High-end brands don't guarantee a flawless face.

Shobe revealed that her kikay kit is a mix of expensive and drugstore brands like L’Oreal, Elizabeth Arden, Guerlain, Sulwhasoo, Maybelline, IOPE, Etude House, Johnson & Johnson, and Nivea.


8. Some FAs would get their brows threaded abroad.

“A lot of us would get our eyebrows threaded in India. They say that the best eyeliners are from there as well!”

9. They carry less makeup on the plane than you’d expect.

“My touch-up kit had a compact powder, baby powder, lip balm, petroleum jelly, and lipstick.”

10. So who has the best-looking skin?

“Koreans, definitely!”

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