What Hannah Betts doesn’t know about beauty products isn’t worth knowing. Here, she shares her favourites. This week: how to look like an angel the morning after you've been partying like a demon
I am a realist. You sleep in your make-up, I sleep in my make-up, that woman in Hogarth’s Gin Lane dropping her nipper? She's totally sleeping in her slap. The drink and/or erotic encounters at result in such slovenliness can leave one looking better in the short-term. Sleeping in your slap, however, never does. Here’s how to play the next day, aka the complexion equivalent of assuming the recovery position.
First and foremost, it’s all got to come off. Start with the eyes. Boots No7 has provided my go-to multi-purpose remover for the best part of decade, so inevitably the formula and design have been mucked about with so that it’s now not quite as good. That said, it still cannot be beaten when it comes to de-gothing those eyes (No7 Beautiful Skin Eye Make-up Remover, £7.75, Boots.com ).
The urge to unearth one’s features using a Brillo pad will be strong. Resist and deploy a Clarisonic whizzing brush cleansing thingummy instead (Clarisonic Plus, £179, Spacenk.co.uk ). I was a piteously late adopter of this device, but using is believing – not least when one is required to chip away archaeological layers of encrusted night-before. I use mine with a face oil.
If there's still more sin to be stripped away, Origins Never a Dull Moment Skin-brightening face polisher (£24, 0800 7314039) is the hung-over gal’s friend. It contains papaya enzyme which acts to Pac-Man up dead cells so well that there's no need to scrub away. Simply collapse and let it do its thing. Elle Macpherson swears by it, but don’t let that put you off.
Sleeping in eye make-up can cause ghastly red sores at the corners of the eye. Once, after a particularly sparkly festive season, I could only reverse the effects with scrupulous cleaning and globules of manuka honey. It seemed a sterling strategy, after all, manuka with its natural antiseptic properties is used in hospitals to protect wounds from infection, but it is not a great look. Prevent such indignities with eye drops then use Sisley’s preternaturally soothing Eye Contour Mask (£73.50, 020 7591 6380). I am never without this wonder salve. Every home should have some.
The facial equivalent of a morning-after trip to the clap clinic is blackheads on the conk. Again, it can be tricky to get rid of these, but Bliss’s Sleeping Peel Mask does the trick. It can leave one temporarily red-nosed, but nothing nukes those critters like it. Naturally, this means that the product has been discontinued and my tub must date back to 1904. Still, I am assured that its Steep Clean 15-minute Facial (£35.80, Blissworld.co.uk ) will have a similar effect. I will test and report back.
Stubble rash-induced chin acne can be alleviated by Sleeping Peel’s sister product, with its somewhat irritating title Peeling Groovy (£49.10, Blissworld.co.uk ). Dab on, let it sting a bit, wait five minutes, then apply a layer of moisturiser. It’s brilliant at preventing drink-related skin meltdown.
Curiously, I find that a hangover often gives me a big pouty, engorged mouth come morning. This can look fabulous, but my lips end up chapped when they finally return to normal dimensions. Pop an antihistamine, which should help alleviate stubble rash too. Alas, I am yet to find a solution to red wine lips other than: toothbrush, flannel, get in there.
At this point, I like to use an oil to give something back, as it were. My friend Vaishaly's Night Nourisher (£75, Vaishaly.com ) is the absolute business: exquisitely scented with chamomile, geranium, Damascene rose, lavender and ylang-ylang, utterly face feeding, and reminiscent of the restorative qualities of being with V herself.
At this point I am supposed to recommend leaving your skin bare to breathe. Yeah, right. But why not compromise with a half skincare product/half light foundation BB cream? Estée Lauder’s DayWear B.B. Anti-oxidant Beauty Benefit Creme (£32, Esteelauder.co.uk ) is incredible and will bestow the dewy loveliness that one simply doesn’t deserve. Down some milk thistle with a glass of posh squash and no one will be any the wiser. Chin-chin!