There is only one way of avoiding the morning after - don't have the big night. But for those of us who can't help ourselves, or indulge in the occasional big night, here are a few important skincare basics, for both the big night and the morning after.
Always, ALWAYS remove your makeup
I know the last thing you want to do when you're stumbling home at 4AM is to hover above a sink and fuss over your face and teeth, but trust me, it will be worth it in the morning. Makeup left on overnight can clog up the skin and interrupt the skin's renewal, so it is absolutely essential to remove every little bit of makeup before you go to bed.
Some brands have made it exceedingly simple and quick to remove your makeup, so you can do what you really want to do - just collapse onto your bed and close out the rest of the world!
Bioderma Créaline H20 (pink cap) and Sébium H20 (green cap)
These cleansers are an absolute godsend - they cleanse thoroughly and effectively, and yet, are gentle on the skin. What's better - you don't need to rinse them off with water! Just pour the product onto a cotton pad, and wipe it off. Pat dry, and you are done! Remember that the Sébium H20 is not meant to be used on the eyes, but it does a fabulous job and ridding the skin of grease and regulating the sebum production.
For more information, read my review on the Créaline H20 here (250mL, AUD 39.95) and the Sébium H20 here (200mL, AUD 29.95).
These makeup wipes remove even the most stubborn waterproof mascara, and leave your skin feeling tingly fresh after you're done. They are formulated with Tea Tree, which is great for preventing breakouts, and they smell divine! A no-fuss essential for getting rid of makeup after a big night out.
Moisturise your skin
Alcohol and/or lack of sleep can have a very detrimental effect on your skin, the most common of which is dehydration. This can cause dull skin and premature wrinkles, and affects the skin's overall health as well. It is crucial to try and replace the lost moisture in your skin with a good moisturiser or moisturising serum. Some fantastic ones to try are:
Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream (50mL, AUD 34)
This is an intensely hydrating, very rich cream (oilier skins may want respond better to the Ultra Facial Moisturiser) that offers round-the-clock hydration in addition to preventing further moisture loss. It is packaged in two sizes, a 50mL and a 125mL, and doesn't feel greasy on the skin, which can be a bother especially when you're probably going to do the face-plant onto your pillow 5 minutes later.
Kiehl's Rosa Arctica Youth Regenerating Cream (50mL, AUD 84)
Another amazing moisturiser by Kiehl's, this cream utilises the regenerative qualities of the Haberlea Rhodopensis (otherwise known as the Resurrection Flower) to prevent ageing and boost the skin's radiance. It is also highly moisturising and very rich. The best way to apply this is to warm it up between your fingers, then pat it onto your face.
Ella Baché Hydra-Revitalising Crème de la Crème (50mL, AUD 105)
Ella Baché Hydra-Revitalising Crème de la Crème (50mL, AUD 105)
This gorgeous moisturiser is lightweight, yet delivers amazing results. It keeps your skin moisturised and plump, without the greasiness and thickness often associated with deeply hydrating products. It is perfect for more oily skins, because it does the job without adding unnecessary oil to the skin.
Biotherm Aquasource Nuit High Density Hydrating Jelly (50mL, AUD 59)
This night serum is amazing at providing intense hydration to your skin. It absorbs instantly and works wonderfully overnight to give you plump, soft skin in the morning. It also smells so beautifully light and refreshing. Apply one pump and pat into your skin. It absorbs very quickly and feels velvety smooth on the skin. No greasy film! Face-plant WIN.
De-Puff, Brighten, and Hydrate!
Anyone who's stayed up late, whether to party or to cram for exams, knows the pain of having to try and conceal puffy, dark, tired eyes. A great way to reduce the appearance of tired eyes is to pat on a good eye cream before going to bed.
Uriage AquaPRECIS Moisturising Eye Contour Care (15ml, AUD 39.95)
Formulated with the healing qualities of the thermal springs in France, Uriage skincare both heals and moisturises the skin. Due to the make-up of the thermal water (I won't bore/confuse you with the science here), the skin more readily absorbs this eye cream. This eye cream brightens the eyes and provides continuous moisture, and is oil free, fragrance free, paraben free, and hypoallergenic.
emerginC Scientific Organics Eyelight Cream (15ml, AUD 65)
This cream is rich and moisturising, and contains antioxidants designed to fight the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, puffiness and under-eye circles, while hydrating and brightening. If you've got a bit of cash to spend, then this is a great night eye cream to splurge on, because it does wonders to hydrate and reduce fine lines and puffiness around the eyes.
After the big night, your skin is definitely going to need some TLC. It is most likely dehydrated, and will look ruddy and dull. The best you can do for it is to use gentle, hydrating skincare, and follow that up with a hydrating mask to replenish moisture and calm the skin.
Guinot Instant Radiance Moisturising Mask (50mL, AUD 69)
This mask is the perfect one-two-punch all rolled into one little tube. The essential oils in the mask provide excellent hydration, and stimulates the blood so that the skin looks more energised and radiant. It also smells beautiful, which can't be bad for that hangover :)
Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque (75mL, AUD 61.50)
If it's instant, intense hydration you're after, you can't get much better than this mask. It only needs 10 minutes to work its magic, and your skin emerges smooth, plump, and moisturised after!
Caudalie Moisturising Cream Mask (50mL, AUD 32.90)
This is a multi-purpose, cheaper alternative that performs just as well as the more high-end products. Apply for 15 minutes and once you wash it off, your skin will look and feel soft and supple. You can even use this around the eyes and as an overnight mask - perfect for re-hydrating overnight!
Morning After Makeup
As it is with skincare, the morning-after makeup also needs to be nourishing and hydrating. Some great base products to apply before your makeup are:
Dermalogica Skin Perfect Primer SPF30 (22mL, AUD 79)
You all know I love my multi-tasking products. How can you go past makeup that also functions as skincare?! It's genius! The Dermalogica Skin Perfect Primer just launched this September 2012, and can - *inhales* - even out your skin tone, provide sun protection, enhance the skin's luminosity, fill in surface irregularites (i.e. pores and fine lines), absorb excess oil, stimulate collagen replenishment (anti-ageing YES!), moisturise the skin, stimulate cell renewal, and help your makeup stick to your skin. How's that for multi-tasking?!
This is the perfect product to both prep and protect your skin for the long day ahead. You can even wear it on its own.
Uriage Bariederm Reconstructive Barrier Lip Balm (15mL, AUD 19.95)
This lip balm is great for repairing chapped lips, and as a bonus, also provides a protective barrier to shield the lips from whatever lip product you want to apply. It lasts for up to four hours on the lips, providing continuous hydration.
L'Oreal Paris Youth Code Luminosity Hydrating Day Cream (AUD 29.95)
Infused with L'Oreal Paris' patented Lumi-Gen technology, this day cream offers both moisture and illumination. The cream contains pearly, illuminating particles, and instantly brightens and illuminates your skin upon application. It also works to even and correct your skin tone, and create more luminous-looking skin.
L'Oreal Paris Nude Magique BB Cream (AUD 26.95)
BB creams are perfect for the morning after, because they offer hydration and have beneficial effects on the skin. This BB cream also corrects dull and uneven skin, and contain pigments that adapt to your natural skin tone. Though moisturising, this BB cream doesn't feel at all heavy on the skin, and gives you a natural, healthy glow to your skin.
Remember to HYDRATE! Drink lots of water whilst you are out and after you get home, before you go to bed. Keep a bottle of water beside you so that if you wake up at night for whatever reason, you can drink more. And once you wake up in the morning, drink some more!
I hope this post helps! It might seem like a lot of work, but your skin will thank you for this! x