Sky-high glamour: How SQ girls take care of their nails

Singapore Airlines stewardesses are known for many things – their iconic uniforms, stellar service – but top on the list has to be their perfect presentation. Here are some of the things SQ girls do to keep their nails looking perfect on every flight

Photo: The Straits Times

If you thought your company's dress codes were strict, have you ever heard of the grooming guidelines that SQ girls have to adhere to every time they turn up for a flight?

For one thing, they need to have a full face of makeup when they report for work, with a manicure to match their lip colour. Moreover, this should correspond to a list of approved shades of pink or red. And speaking of manicured nails, here's how they get impeccable looking nails on every flight.


The guideline

Photo: The Straits Times 

When you talk about SQ girls, their signature red lips, blue eyeshadow and red nails come to mind.

A lot of care is taken into ensuring that these colours remain consistent for the thousands of SQ crew operating the flights daily. Want to know how they do it? The answer is simple: a list of approved nail polish shades, so everyone sticks to similar colours to ensure consistency.


Pretty, but practical too

Photo: 123rf

Maintaining pretty nails may be part of the SQ uniform, it’s not like they sit around looking pretty throughout the flight.

There is actually a rule that fingernails must be maintained at a certain length so that it doesn’t impede their duties on board the flight.


Perfectly painted all the time

Photo: 123rf

Cabin crew put their nails through a lot of torture – from opening canned drinks, securing the many latches on a plane, knocking their hands and nails onto various hard objects during meal service – it’s almost as if there’s a secret nail polish they use that is really hardy.


The SQ secret

Photo: 123rf

We hate to burst the bubble, but there really isn’t any trick up their kebaya sleeves. It’s simply a lot of commitment to maintaining the SIA image. Like everyone else, their nail polishes chip especially with the amount of work they go through, but all SQ girls carry a bottle of nail polish in their handbags so that they can touch up their nails during the flight.

When the chip is too big and you don’t have nail polish remover handy, apply a layer of nail polish and while it is still wet, wipe the nail and some of the old polish will come off with it. Do this several times and you’ll have a smooth nail surface to work with.


Other fuss-free ways

Photo: The Straits Times 

Besides regular nail polishes, some SQ stewardesses prefer to go to nail salons to get red gel nail manicures as they last much longer.

Sometimes, they might even go for fancy nail art which they cover up with regular nail polishes during the flight, but remove when they are off duty. The gel topcoats allow regular nail polishes to adhere better, which means they are also less likely to chip during the flight.


Photo: 123rf

The approved range of approved nail polish colours have widened considerably over the last 10 years, and it’s no longer a requirement to only wear bright red nail polish.

Colours like deep pinks are also acceptable but the rule is, their nails have to complement their lip colour.

This story was first published on The Singapore Women's Weekly.