Almost everyone enjoys the occasional late-night party, but too much partying leaves its mark. While this hangover makeover probably won’t help how you feel the next morning, it does wonders for how you look.
Step 1: De-Puff
Alcohol causes water retention, and not all of that excess water can hide under your clothes. Some of it becomes under-eye puffiness. Reduce the swelling with something cool–the back of a spoon, slices of chilled cucumber, or cloth-wrapped ice cubes. If you have a de-puffing product like Garnier Nutrisse’s Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller on hand, give it a try.
Step 2: Rehydrate
It seems paradoxical that the same alcohol that made you retain water also left your skin dehydrated, but it’s true. Your body retains water specifically to offset the dehydration that alcohol consumption causes. Drinking plenty of water while you’re partying can help how you look and feel the next day, but if your mojitos have left you looking like the Mojave, your first goal is adding moisture to your skin.
Wash your face with lukewarm water (not too hot or cold, which could redden skin) and smooth on an emollient moisturizer without first drying your face. The moisturizer will hold the water from your washing close to your skin and smooth out all the little lines that your dehydrated skin revealed.
Step 3: Get the Red Out
Red may be a festive holiday color, but it looks anything but cheerful on your face the next day. Alcohol consumption affects tiny capillaries under your skin; morning-after skin often appears red, particularly through the nose and cheeks. Just covering it up with foundation will do nothing to freshen the look of your skin, though. What you need is some corrective color.
To remove some of the red tones from your skin, use a concealer or color-correcting primer that has a yellowish or even slightly greenish cast. Apply the corrective color only where you need it most and steer clear of the skin around your mouth; applying color corrector there could leave you looking “green at the gills,” exactly what you don’t want with a hangover. Just a thin, sheer layer across your nose, cheeks, and under-eye area should be enough.
After removing some of the ruddiness from your skin, apply your foundation. Sheer is better with foundation, too; a heavily made-up face doesn’t look fresh. Tinted moisturizer or your regular foundation mixed with moisturizer works well.
If you wear powder to set your foundation, keep the application light. You didn’t go through all that trouble of moisturizing skin and making it dewy just to cover it up with too much powder.
Step 4: Accentuate the Positive
Choosing an eye color palette in cool colors will counteract any residual redness. Steer clear of reddish browns and salmon pinks near your eyes; warm hues can make already-puffy eyes look inflamed. Sparkly shadows will only emphasize any residual swelling, so avoid metallics. Instead, try a matte shadow in a grayed-out taupe or other neutral hue in the crease of your eyelid with a dot of a lighter matte tone just above your irises. Apply mascara to top lashes only; morning-after eyes can water frequently and smudge mascara on lower lashes.
Hangover headaches can leave you looking wan, so offset the sicklies with a little color on your cheeks.
Confine the color to your cheeks, though, even if you usually bring blush up to your temples. The less ruddiness you have near your eyes, the better. Apply blush only to the apples of your cheeks until you’ve recuperated.
Lips suffer the worst effects of dehydration, so keep your lip color sheer, but emollient by layering your favorite color over lip balm. Chapped lips are a bad combination with vivid lipstick, but a layer of balm underneath makes your lipstick application sheer and even.
Step 5: Keep It Light
Once you’ve applied your makeup, take some of it off. Go over your face with a clean, dry makeup brush to remove excess powder and blend away any harsh lines. Look at your full face with a critical eye and remove anything that looks overly bright or noticeable.
Let your clothing or hair be your focal point. Hangover days are not the days for bold, dramatic makeup statements; on the contrary, the only statement you want your face to make is, “I was in bed by ten o’clock.”