Does your face look slightly puffier and redder than normal? Do you see dry patches? Are your eyes bluish-red? Congratulations, you had a great night out! And according to celebrity aestheticians Joanna Vargas and Joanna Czech, your face is exhibiting the physical signs of a hangover.
“When people are hungover, they are experiencing inflammation,” explains Vargas, and that often manifests in the non-pretty signs mentioned above. But not to worry: Your hangover face can be fixed more easily than your pounding headache. Here are the best hangover beauty tips from a dermatologist, some celebrity aestheticians, and a makeup artist, so you can put the physical effects of last night behind you. Read these while lying down, or have a kind friend with a quiet voice read them to you in a low whisper.
Try to Get Up
Start by first removing your makeup from the night before. If operating the sink seems like too much of an effort, use a micellar water like Bioderma or a cleansing cream that doesn’t require water. You can do both of these from bed.
If you can make it to the sink, celebrity makeup artist Suzy Gerstein, whose clients have included Leighton Meester, recommends using a creamy cleanser with a richer texture. “They are brilliant because they feel like silk and have a balm-like feel, which can be removed with water or lotion and tissued off, leaving all the skin-plumping ingredients behind.”
Vargas, a Sofia Coppola favorite, then suggests exfoliating to bring glow back to the skin, and dermatologist Elizabeth Tanzi seconds using a gentle exfoliating wash to “wake up the skin” and get the blood moving.
Touch Your Face a Lot
All the experts agree that the key to reducing puffiness is to massage your face. If Gerstein has a client come in hungover, she’ll do a facial massage to boost circulation and encourage lymphatic drainage. The same goes for Vargas and Czech, who already do lymphatic drainage as part of their facials. Here’s how.
Make Your Face Drink Water
Tone, mist, and mask. Gerstein creates a hydrating mixture combining a serum (her choice is Kypris’s Antioxidant Dew) with an essence (Beauty Elixir II), using a damp makeup sponge to apply it all over the face. She follows it up with an eye mask. Czech, whose client roster includes single-named stars like Sting, suggests using a balancing toner, followed by a mist and mask.
If you have the energy to DIY your own mask, Vargas suggests one with yogurt and honey because yogurt “reduces the effect of inflammation on the skin, while the honey hydrates.” It can also be good to sleep in a hydrating sleep mask, adds Czech — provided you can remember to put one on the night before. Otherwise, sheet masks work, too.
Take the ice cubes out of the freezer and rub them over your mask, suggests Czech. She likes doing this to minimize puffiness and swelling. Tanzi also suggests using cold teaspoons to de-puff around the eye area. As a bonus, the old-as-dirt beauty trick with chamomile tea really works. Czech recommends steeping tea bags in hot water, letting them cool, and then putting one on each eye for ten minutes to look refreshed and de-puffed.
Take a Bath
Showering will probably seem like too much cardio at this point. Czech recommends decompressing by soaking in an Epsom salt bath with lukewarm or tepid water. “It improves circulation for the whole body,” she says. Try not to fall asleep in the bath.
Although you’ll want to use an illuminating tinted moisturizer, which can help your skin look more luminous, avoid shimmery eye shadow. Gerstein explains, “Shimmery shadow can irritate sensitive eyes and draw attention to their puffiness.”
Put Some Color On
If your skin is looking sallow, adding a bright color will perk up the skin and your face, much like the smell of a hot breakfast sandwich does to your spirits. Gerstein recommends a cream blush and tinted lip balm. “Avoid powders on dry skin, as they can look dull and splotchy.”
Avoid Too Much Concealer
“It may seem counterintuitive but extra full-coverage concealer under the eyes can only make puffy eyes look worse,” says Gerstein. She suggests using a moisturizing foundation, lightly using color-corrective concealer, and defining brows — a great way to draw attention away from dark circles. YouTube makeup sensation Wayne Goss turned me on to Bobbi Brown’s Tinted Eye Corrector in this video, and it’s still the first thing I reach for when someone remarks that I look “sleepy.”
Now put on your sunglasses, open the fridge, and get started on part two of your cure. Or go lie down on the couch and wait till the dreadfulness stops. You do you.
The nonirritating makeup remover that gets everything off and is loved by every makeup artist.
The infamous tinted moisturizer with a hint of radiance that brightens up sallow skin and evens out blotchiness.
It will soothe the aches in your body and improve circulation, and generally make you feel better about moving.
A corrector that goes beneath your moisturizer, to knock out and deflect the purply-black color of under-eye circles.
A cream blush that comes in many face-warming, brightening colors that blends and diffuses easily into the skin with a few pats.
This post was first published in December 2015. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.