We drank. We ate. We celebrated. We stayed up way past our bedtimes. And now we’re paying for it with bags under our eyes, sallow complexions and the post-holiday blues. But have no fear, we have spoken with the experts and want to share their advice to get you out of that cold-weather slump, and back to looking beautiful.
1. Curl your lashes: It makes eyes look more awake and helps them stand out against a tired complexion, says Bobbi Brown, veteran makeup artist and author of the new Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual. And remember to apply mascara only to your top lashes to avoid darkening the under eye area and steer clear of dark liners and shadows that can make you look even more exhausted.
2. Fake a vacation tan: Rub on a gel self-tanner or brush on bronzer to give skin a healthy glow. Follow with a dusting of pink blush on the apples of your cheeks to warm up your skin, says Brown.
The Sephora Sculpting Disk has a powder, blush and bronzer for amping up your complexion. $26.
3. Don’t go dull: “People tend to exfoliate less in the winter months because [their skin is] so dry, but in reality, you should use a gentle scrub once a week to remove the skin’s dull top layer,” says New York dermatologist Diane Madfes, a consultant for Garnier Nutritioniste. And add a richer night moisturizer during the winter months.
4. If you can’t catch up on sleep – fake it: “Sleep can be your best friend. A good night’s rest will give your skin time to regenerate and repair from the day’s free radical damage,” says Madfes. But if you can’t spend a day in your pyjamas then she suggests trying skincare products containing omega 3s and 6s, vitamin A and antioxidants. She also likes serums as they help give a boost to the surface of the skin.
The Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller contains caffeine to treat puffy eyes. $19.
5. When you’re overtired, use less makeup: “Not more,” says Chase Aston, The Body Shop’s resident makeup artist in the UK. “Use lovely cream-based radiance enhancing products. Nothing powdery, nothing flat,” he says. Aston recommends using a product called Tinted Glow Enhancer for drab skin. Apply anywhere on the face or on the cheeks and to make your skin pop, “for a dewy look that’s not too done up. Put it on over a foundation, on bare skin or mix it with your moisturizer. Apply anywhere the light naturally catches” – your forehead, cheeks, the bridge of your nose, and the chin.
The Body Shop Tinted Glow Enhancer provides moisturizing coverage with light diffusing particles to illuminate your skin. $14.
6. Draw the attention away from your eyes when you’re fatigued: Blend soft, sheer colours on the eye and cheek area and put a pop of colour on the lips. For a great wide-awake look, try a deep pink colour. “For the budget-conscious you can also rub it into the apples of your cheeks,” says Aston. “Blend in and you instantly look awake.”
7. Add some light to your life – highlights that is. “January and February are such dull months that I think throwing in a few highlights doesn’t hurt because it brightens up everything,” says Christopher Martin, colourist and co-owner of Toronto’s Shagg Salon. He recommends keeping your highlights within one or two shades of your base colour to make sure they blend nicely. Alternatively, if you’re trying to prolong the time between salon visits, Martin suggests trying colour-boosting shampoos to enhance your colour and shine. Try ones for redheads, blondes, brunettes and even for black or silver hair. They also help hide your roots so they won’t look so obvious as your colour or highlights grow out, says Martin. Pantene Pro-V Highlighting Expressions Shampoo and Conditioner protect against mineral deposits and dulling residues for shiny colour. $10 each.
8. Try a leave-in conditioner and a hair mask once a week: “Treat your hair like you would your skin,” says Martin. You use more face moisturizer in the winter, so you should use more conditioner on your hair as well. Also, try to limit shampooing and blow drying to once a week and simply touch up your style in the mornings in between. If you have to wash your hair every day (after the gym or after sleeping), wet your hair, and put conditioner only at the ends, Martin advises.
9. Detox, detox, detox: You reached your limit of bon bons and red wine, so it’s time to cleanse your body and boost that tired immune system. “The liver is one of the most important organs in the body when it comes to detoxifying,” says Nigma Talib, a naturopathic doctor in West Vancouver. Alcohol, cigarette smoke and too much protein all negatively affect the liver. They also likely top the list of overindulgences during the holidays. Talib’s advice: Eat healthy foods to help your liver process toxins such as cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, oranges and tangerines. For vitamin supplements, she recommends vitamin C, niacin and vitamin B1. Not only do these help rid your body of toxins, they also improve your complexion. Olay Quench Plus Age Defying Body Lotion boast antioxidants such as green tea, vitamin C and grapefruit seed extract to help preserve your natural moisture barrier. $10.99.
10. Moderation is the message: Eat organic, don’t smoke and reduce your cocktail consumption, says Talib, and take probiotics to help keep your gut and skin healthy. Fish oils, in liquid or pill format, are also great for their anti-inflammatory effect both internally and externally. Also, instead of masking your sleep deprivation with coffee, sip on warm, antioxidant-loaded green tea. Of course, starting an exercise regime in the New Year will help your body rid itself of all the fun things you put into it.