How to look good on the go

Bridget March

Beauty editor

Think travel and beauty don’t mix? Think again. Cosmopolitan’s globetrotting Digital Beauty Editor spent 15 months hunting out the planet’s best beauty buys before her wedding in Sri Lanka – now she shares her secrets

Long flights

Long flights

Want to arrive looking fresh and fabulous? Try these top air-travel beauty tips.

Pack your own tea bags. Your standard post-meal coffee or tea will not only dehydrate you, but will also keep you awake. Instead, bring a soothing herbal brew such as dandelion or fennel. Get an added boost by drinking extra water before and after your flight, and steering clear of those salty complementary snacks, too.

For an instant radiance boost carry a mini face spritz, and to lock in moisture, apply a lightweight mask like Bobbi Brown’s Skin Nourish. With a creamy translucent formula, it won’t attract any odd looks from fellow passengers.

Prevent dry and puffy eyes by avoiding waterproof eye makeup when flying, and ask for ice cubes from the drinks trolley to swipe across the under-eye area, deflating excess baggage.

Remember, rest is best. To nap comfortably on a plane, always pack cosy socks and a big scarf to keep out the air con. A Tempur Sleep Mask will block out the light and handily moulds to the shape of your face, eliminating any tell-tale napping marks. Just don’t forget to wake up and stretch your legs occasionally to revive and energise.

Destination weddings

Destination weddings

Whether you’re the bride or a lucky guest, prep at home and pack savvy for a winning wedding look.

Invest in gel nails and lash extensions before your trip. Time a mani/pedi and lash treatment just prior to travelling and you’ll enjoy more than three weeks of chip-free nails and mascara-less makeup. For a big occasion, it’s also good to go with a beautician you trust rather than hunting one down out there.

Avoid frizzy hair in humid climes by packing some wonder products. I used the T3 Single Pass Whirl Wand to wave my wedding-day hair in Sri Lanka – it’s humidity-proofing. I sealed my style with the frizz-fighting Alterna Bamboo Smooth Kendi Dry Oil Micromist. Want to give your look a road test? Try it in the sauna first!

For long-lasting makeup, try the Laura Mercier Oil-Free Foundation Primer and Urban Decay’s makeup setting spray. To stop T-zone shine in tropical weather, keep some blotting papers handy — it’s better to absorb excess oil instead of piling on more makeup to hide it.

Combat stress and nerves if you’re the bride or groom-to-be with yoga and meditation apps on your phone. Something like Yoga 15 has a short routine to rest your body and calm your mind, while iSleep Easy does exactly what it says on the tin. And don’t forget to plan some time to relax into your busy wedding schedule – it’s supposed to be a holiday too, after all!

Business trips

Business trips

When travelling for business, combine work and wellness to make the most of your trip.

Beautify at the airport. Didn’t have time to do your hair and nails? Make the most of your time before boarding and get a tandem manicure and blow-dry in an airport salon – it should last a good few days, saving you hours during your trip.

Explore while you exercise. Make your jetlag-shifting workout more inspiring than the treadmill and go for a run or hire a bike from your hotel to see the city. It’s the best way to fit a workout and sightseeing into a busy schedule.

Swap the bar for the spa. How often do you have a spa at your disposal? Make the most of any downtime by recharging in the sauna instead of giving in to peer pressure and heading to the hotel bar.

Party holidays

Party holidays

How to maximise minimal beauty sleep and look your best, no matter how hard you’ve partied.

Get a spray tan before you go as let’s face it, you might not see that much daylight. To avoid the day-five fade and make sure you don’t go home any paler than you left, top up your glow with a moisturising gradual tanner like Bondi Sands Everyday.

Choose your drinks wisely. Make soda with fresh lime or coconut water your mixers of choice — it will counteract some of the dehydrating effects of booze. Avoid sugary, caffeinated options such as cola, fruit juices and energy drinks, which can unsettle sleep and leave your skin thirsty.

Pack products that cheat sleep. Cut corners before bed with quality face wipes and boost your precious few hours’ sleep with the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask. For the morning-after, Skyn Iceland Skin Hangover Emergency Relief Kit is a saviour to revive and hydrate tired, stressed skin. I was grateful for it when I met my now-husband in Croatia, on the last day of a dance festival…

Swim off your hangovers. An energising swim is the easiest way to make you feel human again. Yes, a quick dip counts as exercise — as does dancing the night away. You’ve got this.



Low on space? Here’s the essential beauty edit that won’t break your back.

It’s ALL about multi-use products. Foundations with built-in concealers, double-ended liners and do-it-all-palettes save space and offer versatile looks. And leave room for the semi-permanent Rimmel Wonder’full Volume Colourist Mascara, which darkens bare lashes from the first application.

Buy local. You can’t pack it all, so ask locals which hair/beauty/body products they swear by (they know their climate better than you!). You’ll discover new gems, plus you’ll save money by buying products with exotic ingredients in their native market. Think coconut oil-enriched everything, and don’t forget to ask if they’re ethically sourced.

Bring your workout with you. Resistance bands and skipping ropes can be stuffed into shoes, taking up zero space. Learn some moves with them beforehand or follow YouTube tutorials when you’ve got Wi-Fi. Where possible, join local classes (think Muay Thai in Thailand or yoga in India), which will also let you experience some of the culture where you are.

Take these tips in hand then find your way to our travel advice index to help plan, book and prepare for your holiday.

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