It’s not just the cocktails…
The reason you wake up looking washed out has as much to do with your body clock as that last glass of champagne. When the sun sets, the skin automatically moves into its cleaning phase, removing dead cells and so on. Then, around 12 to 3am, when we should be asleep, it moves on to the vital repairing stage. If, however, you’re in full-on party mode during these hours, those important jobs can’t be done. That’s why we wake up looking pasty and dull – it’s the same reason that chronic insomnia ages skin. So rather than the usual morning face wash, use a balm that you can massage in to really deep-clean the skin. Massage boosts circulation, which takes away toxins and brings back some of that rosy glow.
Polish it up
Doing a gentle peel completes some of the job your skin should have done itself the night before. But go gently. I love the new U BEAUTY Resurfacing Compound; it’s made with a blend of acids, yet it’s sting-free. Deploy it as a clever mini-program, using it twice daily over two weeks, to leave party-season skin looking polished and smooth. Alternatively, Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta® Ultra Gentle Daily Peel smooths without any skin tingle.
Brighten with vitamin C
Lixirskin Vitamin C Paste is a game changer; the smell may not be so great, but leave this on skin while you clean your teeth, and when you rinse it off, somehow your washed-out complexion has a whole new even-toned clarity. Or, if time is short, Joanna Vargas Vitamin C Face Wash does two steps in one, cleansing while creating a glow – just keep it on the skin for a little longer before rinsing off for an extra boost.
If you only have time to do one thing, then try this simple but brilliant skin-transforming tip. I got it from the super-talented makeup artist Andrew Gallimore after raving to him about the ultra-dewy complexion he had created for Jessie J. Apply a hydrating serum or mask, wait a few minutes and then reapply up to twice more to literally saturate your skin. (If you have the time or inclination, face rolling over the mask or serum is great on puffy, weary skin – remember to only roll upwards, not back and forth.) Then, in the areas where the product has disappeared, you can keep reapplying until you see that it’s left sitting on the skin rather than sinking into it. Tissue off the excess, apply a face cream to seal it all in and then get on with your makeup. It works on all skin types, and doing this post-peel is your fastest way to that super-dewy, glass-skin finish. It’s also great for rehydrating after a flight.
Finishing touches and cheats
Keep makeup light, as a heavier base will accentuate tiredness. I love the newer balm foundations that give skin a dewy, juicy finish, like Code8 Radiate Beauty Balm. Also, Westman Atelier Vital Skin Foundation Stick manages to cover invisibly so that skin looks amazing, not made-up; Tom Ford Beauty Soleil Glow Tone Up Foundation also gives weary skin that much-needed boost. Charlotte Tilbury Magic Vanish under-eye corrector is a new discovery that I can’t rate highly enough, as it conceals and counteracts dark circles to make eyes look fresh – it’s a post-party essential, along with eye drops.
And finally, an old-school trick that makeup pros use, because it works: depending on your skin tone, using a peach or apricot-toned blush or eyeshadow can have a near-miraculous effect, giving an exhausted face a total refresh. The Shiseido InnerGlow CheekPowder color/highlight hybrid is beautiful. If you don’t have eyeshadow in the right tone, use a blush over the eyelids instead.
The people featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown