THE BLOG
06/11/2013 02:42 pm ET Updated Aug 11, 2013

How to Survive a Red-Eye Flight

I am about to get on a red-eye flight from Sacramento back to DC (well, technically via Philly). I have to admit I try to avoid these, but one has to do what one has to do. I fly to Europe 4 times a year, and to Geneva, red-eyes are the only option. Tomorrow, as is always the case when I land in Geneva, I will go from the airport to home, quickly shower and change and head to the office for a day packed with meetings and deadlines. I have no time for jet lag, no time for red eyes.

Here is how I make this type of air travel as painless as possible.

1. The minute I get on the plane, I go (or try to) to sleep. No drink (certainly a glass of wine before boarding), no meal, no movie. If the flight is 5 hours only, as is this one, every minute counts.

2. A comfortable -- and stylish outfit. No dresses or skirts, certainly no shorts (it's too cold and who wants their skin rubbing against airplane seats?!), but no sweatpants either. Find the right middle, cashmere pants, in my case tonight my favorite pair of comfy jeans and a jacket. It is true everywhere, but particularly true in airports and on airplanes: if you look nice, the flight attendants will treat you nice.

3. Socks. I never wear socks, except when working out or on an overnight flight. Cold toes are the number one thing that will prevent me from sleeping. My favorite pair is from Life Is Good, super soft, and fuchsia pink.

4. An eye mask. This does two things: it tells flight attendants you are out for the night and they better not wake you; and it actually helps filter the light out and enhances sleep. A nice silk one with a funny saying on it, like "Busy beauty sleeping" always makes me smile (and the silk is kinder on my skin).

5. My favorite moisturizer, by Alchimie Forever of course (Kantic+ intensely nourishing cream). It conforms to the FAA travel size requirements, and both seals in moisture and protects me from the deadly "airplane air." I slather it on when I get on the plane, and right before I get off, to ensure a dewy, healthy complexion.

6. Eye drops. There is a reason these overnight flights are called red-eyes. I am fond of Similasan Dry Eye Relief, but whatever you favorite brand is will work.

7. Avoid makeup other than mascara and lipstick. Skin makeup (concealer, foundation, powder), travels quite poorly, and ends up making skin feel dryer and more uncomfortable.

8. A travel toothbrush and toothpaste. A must in the morning before getting off the plane. Nothing like a clean mouth to make one feel civilized. Add a bight lipstick, and it's ok if you bump into an old beau while getting off the plane.

9. A bottle of water. Other than cold toes, being thirsty will keep me awake and uncomfortable. And who wants to depend on the drink service to have water? I like to flavor mine with Super Orange Emergen-C. It helps keep me healthy too...

10. A smile. Delays, cancellations, just the fact of flying overnight can be taxing. A smile will make the entire experience more pleasurable. For yourself and for those around you.
You are now free to fly around the country...

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