When walking up to my bathroom mirror in the morning there is one thing that can make me feel insecure and just generally- blergh! Usually the final outcome from less-than-recommended sleep, dehydration or momentary adjustments. Note that drier than usual air from the office air-con or high altitude travel, ‘time of the month’ and weekend outings are all contributing factors to ‘the puffy and imbalanced face of hell’. Or in my case
Friday every-night is a case of the ‘mum and baby take turn to play the insomniac’ game. Regardless of which statement rings true to you, these are my tips and tricks for facing the mirror (and hopefully your other half. And with some luck the next door neighbour… baby steps!) with a brighter and clearer complexion.
There are three changes that may cause your face to be, quite frankly, less than recognisable. Bloating, an all-over puffiness where your facial contours seem to have diminished over night and left behind somewhat of a blowfish expression. Cold flannels or muslin cloths really help to take down the swelling- a little tip is to keep some boxed in the fridge! The most common issue is darker under-eye circles and puffiness– the ‘cold spoon for a few minutes in the freezer’ is a safe bet. If I know I’ll end up in this state ahead of time, I’ll make some really strong green tea and let it cool before pouring into an ice cube tray. Once frozen, lightly press to sooth the eyes and reduce puffiness- shockfull of antioxidants there’s no expensive potions needed but make sure you wrap them in a muslin cloth as they get seriously cold otherwise. If your skin’s surface taken it’s toll and gone haywire with dry patches, those pesky ‘under the skin bumps’ or just in some serious need of moisture a mask will work wonders.
Start by exfoliating- I prefer a product with Hyaluronic Acid as it won’t irritate the skin yet it’s super-effective, a day like this might cause for a double dose in form of Alpha-H Micro Cleanse Exfoliant which suits ALL skintypes. It dislodges imputities and gently polishes the skin whilst functioning as a cleanser, exfoliator, polish and mask- super! I like to follow up with my Alpha-H Balancing & Pore Refining Mask which is clay based, containing Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E to nourish whilst deep cleansing to remove impurities and toxins. Infuse moisture to your skin with your favourite moisturiser (I use my mini Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising+) and drink plenty of water as both swelling and dryness is cause by dehydration. Water is also the wonder drink to help flush out toxins so drink up!
You’ll now have some seriously improved skin- newly found elasticity, smoother texture and gotten your facial contours back. So let’s move onto the more beautifying part of the routine- the Spackle. The key is to avoid the ‘recently congested skin from stopping traffic’, or in other words- less is more. To let your newly found glow shine through, work a creamy concealer that double-duties for under eye and to cover redness like the amazingly purse-friendly Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in 02 Cool Medium– If you need something more heavy duty, warm MAC Studio Finish Concealer between fingers and pat on top. I use NW25 as it’s yellow toned to cancel out the last of the blue circles. Set any cream-product with a light dusting of powder- MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium will set the makeup, reduce excess shine and even out the complexion without enhancing flaky areas. Trust me, those are the only products you need and your skin will thank you for it.
Moving onto eyes and lips, an eyelash curler will help to open up the eyes whilst a tinted browgel really controls unruly brows, frames and lifts the face (Mine’s about a quid from H&M, does the job and used to actually be clear but with daily-powder use it’s tinted-voila!). For lips I patted in Max Factor Color Elixir Lipstick in Angel and slicked Maybelline Colour Sensational Gloss in Cashmere Rose on top. It’s a sheer combination of pink and peach tones that brightens the face. As the rest of the makeup are more of a ‘no makeup, makeup look’ the eyes is what stands out- bust out your Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette and cover discolourations with Foxy from lashline to brow. Blend Chopper from crease to browbone, Suspect over lid and Verve in the inner corner. Darken up the outer corner with the matte, light-brown Tease. Finish with two coats of Benefit’s Bad Gal Mascara on upper lashes only.
So there you have it, a really natural look, ‘You! But on a Good Day!’, that will awaken any complexion. Regardless of popular belief you can be alive the Day After The Night Before. Now where’s that coffee…