Whether you’ve overegged it at the neighbour’s drinks party, marinaded yourself in Merlot during a particularly drawn out game of Monopoly or are simply cranky and exhausted from too many nights “sleeping” precariously on a friend or relative’s air bed, the festive period can be less than forgiving on the face. With the seasonal celebrations fast approaching, not to mention a few cruel working days sprinkled in, I’ve conjured up some SOS face tips to make you look a million times better than you may actually be feeling. I can’t help you with that dry mouth/ emotional text regret/ mysterious mark on your leg, but your face is otherwise saved.
Wash it away
Last night’s makeup that is. A nice warm bath with magnesium or epsom salts will help to bring down hangover or exhaustion induced inflammation, replenishing the body with vital minerals, plus a lolling in a bath is far preferable to trying to hold it together under a rather alarmingly gushing shower head at this stage. Follow up with some serious facial rehydration, but this doesn’t have to be a drawn-out process, as makeup artist Lou Dartford underlines:
“A brightening mask really can work wonders. My current favourite is Aurelia Refine and Polish Miracle Balm , £57. It literally works in five minutes- you can see and feel the difference. No excuses.”
Want to throw the kitchen sink at the situation? Cellcosmet Anti Stress Mask , £109, is beloved by Claudia Schiffer and incidentally our editor Victoria for its humectant hydrating powers that bind moisture to the skin, with plant-based antioxidants to help to protect skin from further damage and purifying clay to keep any booze related breakouts at bay.
If your budget doesn’t extend to a luxe mask, hit your skin with your usual night cream instead for extra nourishment. Spend a bit longer than you normally would massaging it to boost circulation and thus help expel that unique grey tinge that a rough night will anoint you with. Wine/ tequila/ air bed face should be calming down already.
Puffy, sunken, sallow and sometimes darkly ringed eyes are the windows onto your Sauvignon soaked soul. Melt away the evidence with a cooling gel mask such as ELEMIS Pro Collagen Hydra-Gel Eye Masks , £48.50 for 6, or simply make a habit of storing an eye cream in the fridge for these desperate times (just don’t spread it on your toast in foggy confusion).
Use Clinique Pep-Start™ Eye Cream , £22, pre-concealer for additional hydration and a flattering veil of mineral pigments to at least detract a little from any under eye baggage. If red-eye is your issue, brightening eye drops can pretty much make it look like last night never happened.
Both extreme fatigue and time on the sauce can result in you being somehow simultaneously dehydrated and sweaty. A bit weird, but handle it with a restorative, perfecting primer. Successful wine disguise is all about layering- it’s no use going in with a foundation trowel when your canvas is cracking. Instead, team a light base with a smart primer. Smashbox Photo Finish Radiance Primer with hyaluronic acid , £30 is all buttery deliciousness, and Marc Jacobs Under(Cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer , £32, is a nutrient rich balm for blah skin, plus it makes sandpaper skin smoother, stat.
Nars' troubleshooting primers also yellingly launched this year on International Hangover Day, i.e, 1st January, and they're designed to solve a multitude of non-ideal skin issues, from dullness to pores the size of planets.
As above you may be tempted to wallpaper your face with foundation, but Lou advises otherwise:
“Less is more- too much makeup will actually make skin look more tired, especially when it comes to foundation. If you don't have a tinted moisturiser mix a little bit of your regular moisturiser into your foundation to soften it a little, it will sit better on your skin and help it look more radiant.”
A facial spritz applied whenever you’re flagging is also helpful reviver and will keep your skin from drinking up any colour.
Reach for the cream
By all means for your coffee, but also for your makeup. Powders can look a little too obvious, and create a ‘Sahara’ effect on skin that’s already more than a little arid. Creamy colour is the way forward according to Lou:
“Cream blusher is amazing for lighting up tired skin- it delivers an instant healthy glow, plus it couldn’t be simpler to apply.”
Daniel Sandler Watercolour Crème Rouge , £16.50, was one of Escentual.com’s biggest sellers for past year, and was particularly popular in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Essex, Leeds and Yorkshire, so visit any of the above and expect rosy cheeks and nil evidence of late nights. In fact, stains, balms and multipurpose colour was one of the year’s most prolific makeup trends, with a 33% increase in Pins on Pinterest, and 2 million Pins for multipurpose beauty in general. If there’s a time for two-in-one makeup, it’s the holiday season- light to lug about and a doddle to apply.
The strobing/ contouring business may have gotten a little out of hand over the past few years but highlighting as a technique isn’t going anywhere, mainly because it makes skin look alive, pretty much no matter what you’ve put it through. Again, creams and balms are your friend in this situation. Just take it from Lou:
“I love solid and liquid highlighters such as RMS Living Luminizer , £36. It hydrates nicely and gives you a glow, but it’s not too shimmery and has no glitter particles to speak of, so you just look naturally healthy. Highlighters with too much shimmer can sit in dehydration lines and make skin look worse.”
For a fluid alternative, No7 Skin Illuminator , £12.50, can be strategically applied alone or blended into your base for extra ‘beam’ on groggy mornings.
Second to your skin, this is probably the area where most work needs to be done. If you’ve emerged from your pit looking and feeling like a dry-eyed drink badger, your first port of call should be some cooling, brightening eye drops. Makeup-wise, Lou has some tricks up her sleeve:
“Firstly, curl lashes to open up your eyes. Next apply a flesh toned liner ( Charlotte Tilbury Eye Cheat , £19, is fast becoming cult) to the inner rims of the eyes to widen and brighten- avoid white as it can be too stark. Also if you’re applying eyeshadow, a note on shades- browns and bronzes in particular can contain a lot of red, which makes eyes appear more tired.”
This isn’t the time to bring out the spangle- creamy, low key matte shadow is what you’re after, as Harley Medical Group makeup artist Bryony Blake advocates:
“If you're tired or have hooded eyes, try taking a matte colour slightly higher than your crease line. By doing this you’ll create the illusions that your eyelid crease is higher, and that your eyes are bigger. Pop a tiny bit of highlighter under the brow for additional life, and tracing a liner along the top lash line can really help to extend the lashline and make eyes stand out.”
‘Cut crease’ makeup Pins are ever popular, so there’s plenty of inspiration online for creating ‘a look’, and the Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics palette , £39.50, is a toolkit of neutral mattes that is as flattering for evening as it is for the morning after.
If powder shadow isn’t playing ball for crinkly, sleepy eyes, Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick , £23, is available in a new array of earthy, easy to wear shades. Smooth on, smudge and just generally look a hell of a lot fresher.
Liner wise, new Eyeko Sport Waterproof Eyeliner , £16, will stay put throughout your recovery, and comes complete with a smudger brush to soften hard lines.
No tired eye look is complete without lashings of lash (not that kind, I think you’re done there). Some swear by a purple toned mascara to brighten the whites of eyes, and if you’re feeling that, 3ina The Color Mascara , £8.95, in 103 will certainly wake you up. Otherwise pile on your usual mascara, or if you’ve got the time and budget to outsource your eyes for party season, consider deploying both lash and brow definition to an expert to wake up looking bright eyed with no effort. blink brow bar has recently expanded its treatment menu to offer everything from long-lasting lash curls to brow rehab for the overplucked, while Benefit Brow Bars up and down the land take care of waxing and tinting on the daily.
Give it some lip
First off, get some balm on those babies. Some find that a bright lip detracts from fatigue face, but if both applying and maintaining bold lip colour is giving you the shakes, go for something soft, creamy and easy to wear. Ellis Faas Milky Lips , £23, was made for such times. A pigmented gloss that dries down to a stain (upkeep=minimal), it feels light as air, will last you for months and was designed with women that don’t actually like the feel or texture of lipstick in mind. Now pour yourself a pint of water, do a downward dog and boss it.
Still feeling/ looking fragile? I’ll leave the following expert hangover tips just here …
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