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A jet-setting makeup artist shares her tried-and-true strategy for arriving fresh-faced after a long-haul flight.
Written By Lexy Lebsack
The Ultimate Airplane Beauty Routine: a jet-setting makeup artist shares her tried-and-true strategy for arriving fresh-faced after a long-haul flight  |  #VioletGrey, The Industry's Beauty Edit

– PHOTOGRAPHED IN THE STUDIO WITH VIOLET GREY

There is a lost glamour in air travel. Train cases have been replaced with plastic sandwich bags, and the need for socks (to traipse through security) make chic shoes an impossibility. While practicality trumps luxury when it comes to pre- and post-takeoff preparations, the miracle of flight can be restored, a bit, with one small indulgence: an expert in-flight beauty routine.
“Everyone wants to walk off of a plane feeling healthy, glowing and rested — which is very hard to do after spending hours in the air!” makeup artist Mélanie Inglessis told VIOLET GREY. The in-demand artist is well-versed on the subject since she jets overseas for clients regularly. (Inglessis works with Olivia Wilde, Kate Hudson, Rosamund Pike and Cameron Diaz, to name a few.) Luckily, she has honed a no-nonsense, tried-and-true routine she performs on both herself and her clients (when scheduling permits them to fly together). This expert routine, a three-step, product- and technique-intensive labor, was developed over years of travel. While it is in-depth, it ensures an arrival suited for paparazzi flashes and straight-from-the-airport engagements.

BEFORE
TAKEOFF

by Mélanie Inglessis

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Remove all of your makeup with Klorane Wipes as soon as you sit down; even if you don’t wear much makeup it’s important to cleanse the skin. Then spray a hydrating mist, like Koh Gen Do’s Refresh Skin Spray, all over your face and neck and wait for it to dry.

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My little trick is that I love to mix oil with La Mer. Take a small amount of the cream in the palm of your hand and add a single drop of oil. Mix it and warm it up in your hands, then massage your face for a few minutes. It’s almost like a treatment, so you can go a little heavier than you would normally.

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Next, apply La Prairie's eye cream all around the eye area, and put on a thick layer of lip balm from the same compact. Depending on how long the flight is, you can use a little more spray to hydrate the skin, or repeat the oil and La Mer mixture. 

30 MINUTES
BEFORE LANDING

by Mélanie Inglessis

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About 30 minutes before you touch down, take another wipe and cleanse your skin again. Apply SK-II’s eye masks (leave on for about 10 minutes), and mist skin again with Koh Gen Do’s lotion spray to rehydrate and prep your skin.

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Remove the eye masks (allow the excess product to absorb into skin), and apply By Terry’s Sérum de Rose over the entire complexion and neck. This adds moisture and makes skin look luminous.

10 MINUTES
BEFORE 
LANDING

by Mélanie Inglessis

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Before touching down apply your makeup. Tom Ford’s Traceless Foundation stick is perfect. If you have a Beauty Blender simply mist it with Koh Gen Do’s spray, press it onto the stick, then cover any imperfections. If not, use your fingers.

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Next, dab a bit of NARS’ concealer on the back of your hand and spot-treat wherever you need more coverage — maybe around the nose, under the eyes and anywhere you’re red. 

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YSL’s cream blusher is nice because it’s natural-looking and gives skin a light flush of color. Smile and blend the color onto your cheeks with your fingers. Then, without wiping off your fingers, touch the tip of your nose, the center of your chin, and your eyelids, which brings the color together and brightens up the face.

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It’s nice to have a groomed brow when you’re wearing minimal makeup. Remove any excess product from the brush of M.A.C.’s Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Set (with a tissue is best), then just comb the brows up and out.

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A tinted balm is the way to go because it gives you moisture and a touch of color. I like By Terry’s balm in Toffee Cream, which is a great shade that will flatter every skin tone.

ARTIST
PROFILE

“It takes arriving at a certain point in your career to not feel like you have to show off your skills at every single job,” makeup artist Mélanie Inglessis told VIOLET GREY. “When you’re just starting out you always want to push the envelope, but it’s not always appropriate for the situation. Sometimes I just take a step back because the dress is there or the hair is there, and I don’t feel as if I have cheated if I don’t do much.”

Not that she needs to prove her skills. The Paris-born artist’s alma mater is London College of Fashion (the school incubates top-tier talent from a variety of creative disciplines including Stella McCartney and Kate Lee), and she assisted artists like Val Garland, Charlotte Tilbury and Pat McGrath before hopping the pond to begin a successful editorial and celebrity career Stateside. And while her charmed start in makeup would suggest otherwise, she did not, in fact, have childhood aspirations or connections in the industry. Instead, her curiosity started in her early 20s, when she literally wandered into the university’s admissions office one night after work at a local bar. Enter a ravenous work ethic and fast-forward more than a decade, and Inglessis’s client roster is a who’s who of Hollywood: Olivia Wilde, Kate Hudson, Rosamund Pike and Cameron Diaz.

Of course, Inglessis still likes to go big, flexing her signature — “fresh, natural skin and a cool, rock ‘n’ roll smoky eye” — when the occasion calls for it. Her clients happily oblige her in whatever she feels is best, naturally. “I’m lucky enough to work with beautiful ladies who trust me and trust what I do,” she says.
"I’m lucky enough to work with beautiful ladies who TRUST me and trust what I do." —Mélanie Inglessis, Makeup Artist  |  #VioletGrey, The Industry's Beauty Edit
I’m lucky enough to work with beautiful 
ladies who TRUST me and trust
 what I do.
—  MÉLANIE INGLESSIS, MAKEUP ARTIST
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