For the majority of the year we like to think that our drinking habits are fairly controlled and largely limited to the weekends when we can fully let our hair down. From mid November through to Christmas though, things can get a little more messy with the onslaught of festive parties and merry gatherings that make mid-week hangovers a very real and inevitable problem.
However, rather than attempting to change this outcome by not drinking at all (scoff) we decided to take a slightly easier way out by looking into the best tricks to help mask our morning-after nightmares. Helping us along the way with her expert opinion was the mother of all makeup artists, Mary Greenwell , who’s provided her top tips for disguising and concealing the five main signs of when you’ve been your most Christmas crackered.
First things first - before taking any external beauty preparations it’s important to get your head straight and give your body some much needed pampering. ‘If you’ve got enough time in the morning try and take a lovely warm bath filled with some energizing bath salts - these are fabulous for relaxing the body and drawing out all the nasty toxins from the night before,’ advises Mary. A couple of handfuls of Mrs White Old Soak Finest English Bath Salts , £15, is sure to do the trick for aiding tired muscles, soothing headaches and perking up a fatigued body and brain.
‘Salt baths can be exceedingly drying though,’ says Mary ‘so always make sure to deeply moisturise your body afterwards.’ For an instant hydrating boost we love reaching for the Ren Moroccan Rose Otto Body Cream , £26, whose nourishing ingredients and heavenly rose scent are the perfect way to refresh and revitalise (and a great way to help mask any unwanted boozy scents).
Puffy, lifeless eyes
Possibly the biggest giveaway of a late night out on the tiles are the puffy, panda eyes that rear their ugly head the following morning, angry at their lack of sleep. ‘A fabulous way to reduce puffy eyes is to simply apply some Witch Hazel lotion onto cotton pads and place them over your eyes’, says Mary. As a natural astringent, Witch Hazel has long been hailed for its abilities to shrink blood vessels and tighten the skin. We recommend opting for the cheap and cheerful boots brand of Distilled Witch Hazel , £2.99, whose cooling and refreshing effects are the ultimate sleepy eye saviour. ‘For an extra cooling kick keep the Witch Hazel in the Fridge,’says Mary. ‘This way the liquid is kept extra cold and will be doubly as effective at helping to reduce the swelling and will improve the blood circulation.’
For the times when you’re looking a little lifeless and out of focus ‘eye drops are the absolute best way to help wake eyes up and make them look bright and sparkly,’ says Mary. For an ultra refreshing formula look no further than Optrex Refreshing Eye Drops , £3.89, whose natural based ingredients will help to soothe, hydrate and replenish your poor little peepers.
While we like to think the bags under our eyes are Prada, sometimes they can also be pretty damn deathly and a tell-tell sign that sleep was not on the agenda the night before. ‘The best way to hide dull, dark circles is to use a really great concealer,’ says Mary. ‘I’m currently loving the Eve Lom Brilliant Cover Concealer , £30, and the Tom Ford Concealing Pen , £40.’ Both these little beauties contain light infusing complexes that work to brighten the skin and balance out uneven tones and redness. With moisturising properties they also help to hydrate this delicate area, working to create a smooth, flawless and perfected picture.
Perhaps it’s the dehydration, perhaps it’s the greasy food at 4am - we’ll never know - but either way an all night session of partying always brings with it a sad and sallow complexion the following day. ‘One of the most important things you can do for your skin when hungover is to pick products with light-reflecting properties,’ says Mary.
A great place to start is with the Burberry Beauty Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base , £34, which contains a gentle fresh shimmer that works to lift and illuminate, leaving the complexion fresher and more radiant.
While you’re working to brighten the skin, it’s also really important to make sure you don’t go too pale, says Mary, as this will only wash you out further. 'Pop a nice dose of colour onto your cheeks to ensure you’ve got that natural healthy glow look.’
We’re currently loving the new MAC Heirloom Mix Mineralize Blush in Modest Blush , £23, for its lightweight formula and pearlised finish that leaves gorgeously ruddy, rosy cheeks.
When you’re feeling a little worse for wear, the temptation is to layer up with up heavy black makeup in an attempt to hide the damage. ‘Resist this,' says Mary, ‘as it will in fact only make you look worse and ultimately, a little bit haggered. Keep your look on the softer side and as light, bright and breezy as possible.’
A favourite tool in Glossy HQ to help lighten and brighten is the makeup mogul Charlotte Tilbury’s Rock ‘N’ Kohl Eye Cheat , £19. A smooth nude pencil, this liner can be used along the upper and lower water line to create the optical illusion of wider, fuller and more awake eyes. A volumising mascara such as Hypnose Drama Mascara , £22.50, also does wonders for opening up the eyes by coating each individual lash from the root right up to the tip.
'Also, try not to leave lips nude as this can enhance your feelings of looking a little washed out and drained,’ says Mary. ‘Opt for a fresh berry lip instead that will help give a natural vitality.’
Topshop's Sheer Lips in Nuclear , £8, is a great product for giving lips a healthy sheen and a natural looking stained finish. Creamy and smoothing, this lippy in fact doubles up as a moisturising balm as well - just in case the late nights have wrecked havoc on your usually perfect pout.