SQ girls are always impeccably groomed, but do you know the amount of care that goes into looking perfect for the flight? We let you in on their makeup and beauty secrets.
When you’re on a long-haul flight, you can sometimes experience up to 16 hours of daylight and it’s important to keep skin protected against UV damage, even if you’re in an airplane. The Sunplay Skin Squa Sarafit UV Essence, $16.90, has a smooth texture that dries to a comfortable matte finish unlike some sunscreens which leave the skin feeling greasy and sticky.
Cabin air can be quite drying and most SQ girls counter that with a proper skincare routine, as well as a hydrating primer which will also help makeup stay on.
Cabin air is often too dry for powder foundation, so liquid foundation is more ideal. One of the best are serum foundations which are really watery and doesn’t make the skin look caked on. The Shiseido Synchro Skin Lasting Liquid Foundation, $74, adjusts according to the skin, keeping dry part moisturised and oily part of the face matte. If you are oily in the T-zone, a dust of loose powder would help keep the shine at bay.
Brows are an important part of grooming and an SQ girl wouldn’t be caught without drawing their brows. The shu uemura Brow Sword in Seal Brown, $53, allows you to shape brows precisely and fill in sparse areas easily.
The trick that SQ girls learnt in their grooming class, is the use of non-waterproof eyeliners like the YSL Beaute Dessin du Regard EYE Pencil, as an eye shadow base. Draw a thick eye line about half the width between your eye socket and lash line, blend the colour upwards towards the socket to get a nice, blended gradient on your lid. This forms the base for eye shadow to go on later.
The signature SQ girl eye shadow colour which we are all used to have been given a modern update. Darker blues and silvers have been given the green light in place of bright blues and pink highlighters which often look dated.
That said, some SQ girls are not suited for darker shades and tend to stick to the brighter ones. It’s all about what complements the skin. The Chanel La Collection Libre de CHANEL 2016 Architectonic palette would probably be my go-to palette if I were still flying. Doesn’t stop me from using it now though.
We bet you didn’t know this but when SQ trainees attend their grooming course, they’re separated into two groups – those with warm skin tone and those with cool skin tone. Most trainees have cool skin tone which explains why you see most stewardesses with blue eye shadow. Luckily for some, they’re allowed to use brown, which means a wide variety of nude palettes (including the Urban Decay Naked palette) can be used.
SQ girls use the darkest eye shadow shade near the lash line, with a mid tone to blend the colour all the way up to the socket. A highlighting shade (M.A.C Shroom is a very popular shade) is then used on the brow bone.
Most of the time, liquid eyeliners are used to line the eye. SQ stewardesses are really adept at using liquid eyeliners but that’s only because they practise every day. Usually, just a small flick at the end of the eye would do. You definitely don’t expect to see SQ girls with crazy cat eyeliners.
While some SQ girls use false eyelashes or go for extensions, they were taught to use mascara during their grooming classes. A good mascara like the Eyeko Waterproof Sport Mascara, $34, really opens up the peepers. The waterproof formula prevents smudging so their eye makeup looks fresh even at the end of the flight.
Long before Kylie came along with her lip kits, SQ girls were already using lip liners. They are great for shaping the lips, ensuring that their red lipstick doesn’t bleed and prolonging the longevity of their lip colour. Things can get pretty hectic at times and there’s really no time for SQ girls to touch up their lipsticks.
A bright red lipstick is a quintessential part of an SQ girl’s uniform. These red lipsticks have to be approved by their trainers before they can be worn during the flight. Some of the popular shades are M.A.C Lipstick in Russian Red (pictured above), NARS Audacious Lipstick in Carmen, Lancome L’Absolu Rouge in 160 Rouge Amour and YSL Beaute Rouge Pur Couture Satin Radiance Lipstick in 01 Le Rouge.
Most would opt for a creamy textured lipstick as matte lipsticks are simply too drying to wear for long hours. Lip balms are also a must to wear underneath the lipstick.
Most people would leave lipsticks to the last so that they can adjust the shade to wear, but as SQ girls have to put on bright lipsticks, the intensity of the blush is adjusted instead. The shades are also picked based on the skin tone, with pinks complementing cool skin tone, and peach blushers for warm-toned skin.
To ensure that makeup stays put and doesn’t slide, especially for long-haul flights, a makeup setting spray like the Urban Decay All-Nighter Makeup Setting Spray, $48, would be great for keeping everything in place. Some makeup setting sprays also have hydrating properties, which are awesome for keeping skin hydrated in dry cabin air.
You might not notice is, but a cabin crew’s hands come in contact with many things – can drinks, cupboard doors, bags or trays. Couple this with constant washing of hands to keep them clean, and you get really dry skin on the hands and peeling cuticles if you don’t take care of them. A staple in an SQ girl’s handbag (and even the stewards too), a hand cream like the L’Occitane Shea Intense Hand Balm, $46, is a godsend for keeping hands soft.
Facial mists are a must-have for cabin crew. They refresh skin and makeup, and has the added benefit of waking them up since they can’t really splash their faces with water. Try the Skin Inc Pure Serum Mist, $98, to infuse skin with hydration.