Virgin Diaries :: Sky-High Skincare

In class at Virgin Atlantic's London-Based Grooming School. I'm in the center.[trip style = any]

Virgin Atlantic's got the market cornered on runway-ready beauty {pun intended}. Intent to find out how flight attendants look hot on high, I flew to London a few months ago to attend their grooming school, a three-pronged skin, makeup and hair course EVERY uniformed staff---guys and gals---goes through when they sign up, up and away with Branson's birds.

Curious how Virgin's flight attendants, dubbed "red hotties" by travelers, look impossibly airbrushed {read: runway hair, luscious red lips, rosy cheeks and bright eyes} at hour 10 of an international flight, I was schooled in Virgin's sky-high skincare, modern make-up tips and airtight hairstyles as if I was signing on as staff. Jumping into character from top to toe, I even slipped on the signature red uniform and red shoes, complete with a set of wings pinned to my lapel.

Confession: as a devotee of beauty magazines since I applied tinted lip gloss as a pre-tween, part of me wondered what I could really learn at London sky school. A lot! Sky-high beauty is VERY different from day-to-day beauty.

Gleaning enough grooming tips to fill a 747, I'm commandeering Trip Styler's content on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of this week with red carpet-ready---er, make that red concourse-ready---tips for glam globetrotting. Today will focus on sky-high skin. We'll devote Wednesday to jet lag-masking makeup tips. Friday will take us into the hair chair for updo {pun intended} 101.

Interviewing Virgin Atlantic Crew about inflight beauty

Sky-High Skin "If you spend money on one (travel) skin saver, buy a good moisturizer" said Mim Allgood, Virgin's ultra-groomed Grooming Standards Manager. Looking at the dewy-faced crew, I'd tend to agree. Somehow, they come out of a long haul flight with picture-perfect skin while everyone else is as parched as the Arizona desert. This isn't just good genes. Recruits are taught to prep for travel daily with a solid skincare regime {and find a good facialist to visit once every six weeks!}. Here's the photo-ready formula:

Pre-Flight 1/ Exfoliate the night before, apply a hydrating masque and slather MORE moisturizer than your usual amount to give skin a boost of extra hydration. 2/ Before you leave for the airport, cleanse and moisturize, massaging the moisturizer onto the complexion with your knuckles for up to two minutes to achieve a plump facade. 3/ Avoid any diuretic---tea, coffee, pop---and hydrate with nature's nectar: H2O. 4/ Trip Styler Tip :: in an exclusive travel beauty interview with Dr. Murad, he said we should also "eat our water."

Inflight 1/ Keep your moisturizer close by to refresh your skin throughout the flight. Virgin flight attendants favor Dermalogica and Kiehl's. 2/ Drink a lot of water. For example, the flight attendants I interviewed each consume a litre and a half of water on an eight-hour trip. 3/ On the topic of inflight bevvies: consuming is not recommended because it saps skin of moisture. However, when the Virgin flight crew I spoke to are traveling personally, they indulge in a flute or two of bubbly. 4/ Spritz md formulations Moisture Defence Antioxidant Spray on the face throughout the flight for mini moisture surges.

Post-Flight 1/ Cleanse skin and place a few drops of lavender essential oil into a basin of hot water. Stand over top, soak a face cloth and compress your face two to three times. Not only does this refresh tired skin, but if you do it before bed, lavender is known to assist in calming the body.

The night before my flight home to Vancouver, I stood in front of the mirror in my London hotel room eager to put my training to the test. At hour six of the eight-hour flight, I noticed my skin appeared visibly plumper. In this moment my hypothesis was confirmed: travel beauty is oceans away from everyday beauty.

Virgin Atlantic Travel Beauty Tips 1

Trip Styler Tip :: As we mentioned late in 2011, Virgin’s birds are flying West {again} this summer. Starting May 14th, a seasonal non-stop service takes flight from Vancouver to London {return}. Yay!

[photos by @tripstyler taken when I was a guest of Virgin Atlantic in London]