A bronzer and a massage – how to obliterate the traces of last night.
My hard-drinking days – such as they were – are behind me. Not for any halo-related reasons, but for pure vanity. The morning after two units of picpoul in front of Planet Earth II, I look like I’ve been out on the lash with Kate Moss and Oliver Reed. The price my face is paying in middle age for even small amounts of booze seems neither worth it nor fair. That said, unless you are in recovery or pregnant, I think it’s a bit rude not to drink at Christmas parties. It’s not nice to make the alcohol-dependent feel judged on baby Jesus’s birthday. You have to join in. But I have to take measures to stop my face looking like a vintage handbag at this most wonderful time of the year.
The most powerful tool I have is Trish McEvoy Instant Eye Lift (£31; selfridges.com). It’s not so much a concealer as a magic wand of tinted under-eye treatment. It disguises that morning-after flashmob of extra lines and makes me not just look less exhausted but wide awake. It comes in a light and a dark shade. I have been mainlining shade 2 for weeks.
You need to know how to apply it, though. A lovely girl at the make-up counter at Liberty showed me the trick. Draw an upside-down triangle under each eye, from the inner corner to down the side of the nose and up along the cheekbone, then under the lower lash line. Gently press it in with your ring finger (it has the lightest touch). And, hey presto – you don’t look like Lurch from The Addams Family. I can’t recommend this product highly enough.
An eye-widening mascara is an essential morning-after treatment. My current weapon of choice is Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara (£20; johnlewis.com). A subtle bit of brow work will distract from wanness. I’d avoid anything that involves artistry when your hand may not be steady. Instead, use a brow-brush product such as Charlotte Tilbury’s Legendary Brows (£18.50; charlottetilbury.com). The cadaver-like pallor that affects all skin tones will be helped by old-fashioned bronzer. Forget contouring or strobing. Just get Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder – simply the best (£36; johnlewis.com). Use a giant brush and blend it well under the cheekbones. I take a bit up to the temples too for extra warmth.
Before I begin the concealment, I’ve found massage irons out a crumpled countenance. Nichola Joss – the facialist for half of Hollywood – suggests a quick, DIY fix: “Gently tap your middle finger from the outside of the cheekbone inwards along the upper cheekbone and into the eye area and the bridge of the nose. Moving upwards, apply more pressure and sweep along the eyebrow and browbone to the outer corners of the eye. This will reduce puffiness, gently lift the brows and destress the muscle. Repeat and circle the eye six times.”
Joss also suggests Sanctuary Youth Awakening Eye Serum (£16; boots.com). Says Joss, “I keep mine in the fridge. Using it chilled gives eyes an extra wake-up call.”