Female cabin crew working for Virgin Atlantic are no longer required to wear make-up, the airline has announced.
Staff who do wish to wear cosmetics including lipstick and foundation are encouraged to do so within the company’s existing palette of colours, as set out in official guidelines.
A spokesman for the airline said: “Our world-famous red uniform is something all of us at Virgin Atlantic are incredibly proud of. As an airline, we have always stood out from the crowd and done things differently to the rest of the industry.
“We want our uniform to truly reflect who we are as individuals while maintaining that famous Virgin Atlantic style. We have been listening to the views of our people and as a result have announced some changes to our styling and grooming policy that support this.
“Not only do the new guidelines offer an increased level of comfort, they also provide our team with more choice on they want to express themselves at work. Helping people to be themselves is core to our desire to be the most loved travel company.”
As well as cabin crew, the make-up edict extends to all ground staff too. Trousers are available as an option for all women and will now be provided as standard upon joining the airline.
In 2011, hair dressing magazine HJ interviewed make-up artist Mim Allgood and hair expert Helen Kavanaugh in their roles as grooming standards managers for Virgin Atlantic.
As well as sticking to regulation colours, the women explained that hairstyles must not have visible roots, no primary colours and fringes cannot go below the base of the eyebrows.
Kavanaugh said: “Cabin crew represent the airline as soon as the uniform goes on and it is our job to ensure they are well-groomed and promote the brand as a glamorous, yet contemporary company.”
In 2013 Turkish Airlines rowed back from banning all female flight attendants from wearing lipstick and nail polish. The company quashed the rule after an outcry by secular Turks worried the country was becoming too Islamic.
Virgin Atlantic, which is now 49% owned by Delta Air Lines, is headquartered in London and employs more than 9,000 people worldwide.