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9 pre-event skin-prep tips beloved by beauty A-listers

When it comes to looking your best for an event, how you prep the night before can truly transform and elevate your skin. MALENA HARBERS discovers what the experts do to achieve a glowing complexion when it counts

Anya Taylor-Joy (wearing pink), Adria Arjona, Zendaya

Gucci Westman, makeup artist

“If I have anything important coming up, I always reach for products that I know and trust – it’s not the time to try something new. My skin always looks its best when I’m hydrated, exercising and eating clean consistently but, for a special occasion, it’s nice to give it that extra boost. The night before, I’ll ‘baby’ my skin a bit with an extra-rich moisturizer from Augustinus Bader. When I’m getting ready on the day, I like a bit of gentle exfoliation to smooth away any dead skin cells, too – it gives a good base for makeup. My favorite step is to combine a bio-cellulose sheet mask with facial massage for lymphatic drainage. The ultimate combo for me lately has been 111Skin’s Sub-Zero De-Puffing Energy Facial Mask with a ReFa face roller. Not only is it a luxurious experience, but it instantly de-puffs and lifts my skin.”

Huda Kattan, founder of Huda Beauty

“If I have a campaign shoot or a big day ahead, I always make the time to treat myself to a long and relaxing skincare routine and bath the night before. Most importantly, I’ll cleanse my skin twice, then indulge in my holy grail product – the Huda Beauty Wishful Yo Glow Enzyme Scrub. I use it over my entire body, so my skin is polished and ready to glow. After this, I’ll soak my skin in a moisturizing sheet mask packed with active ingredients, followed by a hyaluronic acid serum and a jelly moisturizer, taken down from my face and neck to my décolletage. Finally, to truly feel relaxed ahead of a big day, I love to drench my skin in a facial rose oil, massaging it into my skin either using a jade roller or gua sha tool. Taking care of my skin is so important to me and pairing this with a good night’s sleep means I wake up ready to take on the world.”

Shani Darden, aesthetician

“I have a go-to routine for hydrated, glowing, sculpted skin the night before an event. I start off by using my Shani Darden Cleansing Serum, which is a gentle gel cleanser that removes all impurities without stripping the skin. Next, I use a chemical exfoliant such as Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare’s Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel pads or my custom professional lactic acid peel, depending on what my skin needs. Both options are great to remove dead skin on the surface and give an immediate glow. Next, I do a vibration therapy treatment with my Facial Sculpting Wand for a more lifted appearance. I always rely on this tool when I need to look my best – it really helps to tone, tighten, lift and clear out any puffiness. Following that, I use Nigma Talib, ND’s Serum No1 to deeply hydrate and plump up my skin. I finish with my Weightless Oil-Free Moisturizer, which combines hyaluronic acid and hydrolyzed collagen to provide lightweight hydration and keep skin supple without causing any congestion.”

Joanna Vargas, facialist

“The night before a big event, I always like to treat myself to a mini facial at home. I take an extra-long time – more than one minute – to cleanse my skin properly to make sure I’ve really gotten rid of all the surface dirt, sunscreen and makeup. I use this time to deeply massage my skin, using upward circles, so that I’m stimulating good circulation and bringing fresh nutrients to my face. I follow with my Joanna Vargas Exfoliating Mask, which I scrub on, taking it down to my neck and chest, and then I leave it on as a face mask. It contains pineapple enzymes and lactic acid, which make me look and feel brighter. I follow with a sheet mask – usually my Twilight Face Mask – for soothing and hydrating benefits. Finally, I always go to bed in my Super Nova Retinol Treatment Serum. The retinol in the formula ensures I wake up clean, clear and glowing.”

Sarah Chapman, facialist

“Before an important event, I focus on brightening and plumping my skin. After cleansing with lots of massage, I combine an acid exfoliant with a 10-minute steam using my Sarah Chapman Pro Hydro-Mist Steamer. As well as infusing the skin with plumping hydration, ionically charged steam helps the exfoliating acids to penetrate deeper for better results and creates a more even surface for applying makeup. After steaming, I sweep my Skinesis Liquid Facial Resurfacer on top for a final polish. Next, I use my Meso-Melt Infusion System. The combination of microneedling and serums really plumps my skin and boosts blood flow to make me look fresh. For extra radiance, I then apply an intensive vitamin C-based brightening serum to supercharge my skin’s luminosity. And to lock in moisture and nourish my skin overnight, I finish with my Skinesis Overnight Facial elixir and take a few minutes to really massage this into my skin to stimulate circulation and deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the cells, drain puffiness for a sculpted effect, and leave my skin with a rosy glow. I believe in lashings of product before going to bed for a real glossy look the next day and, if needed, in the morning I apply my 3D Moisture Infusion Mask before my makeup application, too.”

Jess Hunt, founder of REFY

“I always begin my prep the night before any event. I like to start by polishing my skin with a physical exfoliator, followed by a makeup-removing gel cleanser to make sure my skin is clean and fresh. I’ll then sleep in a thick, nourishing repair lotion that helps to support my skin’s moisture barrier, so I wake up with the most hydrated and glowy skin. The day of the event, I like to use a brightening face mask – my favorite is the 111Skin Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment Mask. Before I apply my makeup, I use Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base, as I find this gives my makeup a good base and helps it to last. Every day, without fail, I have to use my REFY Brow Collection tools to lift and brighten my eyes, too – a lifted brow just instantly transforms my face.”

Teresa Tarmey, skincare expert

“The day before I have a big event coming up – like a photo shoot, for instance – I always do a radio-frequency facial with a gentle lactic-acid peel to brighten my skin. The radio frequency is amazing for sculpting and gives a slight tightening of the skin – even after just one session. Then, I’ll always be sure to get an early night in bed. The day of the shoot, I use my favorite tool, NuFACE, to (quite literally) lift my face. I follow this with a little massage and a brightening, rose oil-based serum. I always finish with a lightly tinted SPF as my base, too – even if I’m not going outside.”

Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton, dermatologist and founder of Rose MD Skin

“I always start my event-day skin prep with a fruit-acid cleanser, which I typically leave on my skin for one to two minutes before rinsing off. This will give me a nice exfoliation without being too aggressive. Next, I apply my Rose MD Skin Skin Calming Booster, which uses hyaluronic acid to deeply hydrate and calm any leftover skin irritation. Finally, I use my Signature Moisturizer over the top – to help smooth my complexion and promote a dewy glow upon waking the next day.”

Arabella Preston, co-founder of Votary

“Prepping my skin for an event or shoot always involves a really thorough double-cleanse and exfoliation using a cleansing oil and face cloths. For my second cleanse, I apply a layer of my Votary Super Glow Mask, which contains salicylic acid and really nourishing oils to deep-clean and brighten my skin. I often leave it on while I have a hot bath so my skin feels super-soft and plumped up after rinsing. I also use my Magic Razor Wands at this stage to remove any unwanted hair from my top lip or chin, so that any makeup I wear the next day will sit really beautifully. I then apply my Brightening Hyaluronic Serum to give my skin a moisture boost, and finish by layering my Intense Night Oil on top. The gentle retinoid works its magic overnight with no risk of waking up to red or sensitized skin. Also, it’s a good idea not to use anything new or harsh on your skin the night before an important event – only products that you have tried and tested, so you know you can trust the results.”