Do a pre-party polish
A light peel should always be your first step: it lifts off dead, dull surface skin cells and helps with absorption of subsequent products. Plus, the experts I speak to see gentle peels as one of the best ways of getting rid of highly damaging pollution particles that cleansers alone can’t shift. But keep it light – you want to remove just the dead top layer, not the healthy skin cells underneath; daily peel pads are great for this. Follow with vitamin C, which is always touted as an essential glow-giver. While it’s great to use long-term, I personally never saw the rosy-glow benefits it’s meant to give in the short-term until I tried Lixirskin Vitamin C Paste. Use it for three minutes post-peel and when washed off, skin has an even tone, clearness and clarity that you should actually see.
Let your skin do the drinking
It’s incredible how hydration alone can transform skin in minutes. There are plenty of moisture-plumping masks that work really well (Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery PowerFoil Mask and La Mer The Hydrating Facial are my favorites), but when time is short, layering up a hyaluronic acid serum can work just as well – keep reapplying until skin is so hydrated that the serum sits on the surface. But the best thing to do is both: layer the serum under the sheet mask, then use a face roller over it to de-puff and push the product even deeper into your skin.
The secret ingredient
The new-generation clay masks are a revelation. Forget the smile-and-they-crack versions of years ago; these are soft, creamy and are sure to deep-clean dull, oily, post-travel or city skin. Dr Sebagh’s Skin Perfecting Mask is excellent, as is Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Face Mask. They even work perfectly on my dry skin, leaving it looking refreshed, calm and velvety.
The 5 o’clock pick-me-up
End-of-day makeup can look flat and dull, but rather than starting over when time is short, try blending a few pumps of a non-oily, light-textured hydrating serum over your palms and press onto your face. This quickly revives your skin and makeup, leaving both looking fresh. Also, mixing a little eye cream into your concealer is a fast way to make tired eyes look bright; alternatively, Natura Bissé The Cure Sheer Eye Cream & Concealer is a brilliant blend of color and serum.
The cheat sheet
The real beauty of a dry sheet mask is that it work so well over makeup. I often wear Charlotte Tilbury’s Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask on top of my makeup in the car to a party or dinner and take if off when parking – it gives the best dewy glow without messing up your makeup.
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