Bookmark this post, beautygeeks, because you're about to receive the best* piece of beauty advice anyone could ever give you.
If you leave the house grey-faced, with unwashed hair and in an old sweater and baggy-bummed jeans for a quick grocery run, I pretty much guarantee you'll bump into an ex-boyfriend or one of the mean girls from junior high.
In this self-esteem-bruising situation, here's what you should do:
Don’t pretend that you don’t see whoever-they-are. Do not hide. Just walk right up and in your best fake-croaky voice (or in a whisper if you have terrible acting skills), tell them to stay back because you have a horrible cold and only left the house to pick up juice and Kleenex.
They'll make sympathetic noises while trying to back away from you and your toxic germ cloud. But most importantly, they'll attribute your straight-out-of-the-laundry-hamper appearance to a virus.
The joke, of course, is that this time of year, even when we’re not sick, we mostly look like hell, as nature and central heating have worked their dark magic for months, sucking the moisture and life from our skin. And under unforgiving grocery store lights everyone is a different shade of grey – we’re like squares on the saddest paint chip ever.
So while you’re indoors waiting for actual Spring weather (soon, soon) use one of these proven glow boosters to make yourself look a little more human and ensure you won’t scare people at the store when you need to buy chips on a Sunday afternoon.
Make yourself look less ashen and more alive with much-needed moisture and a gently rosy glow.
Physicians Formula Rosé All Day Oil-Free Serum ($19.99 CAD at drugstores and $12.99 USD at ulta.com) – this one has a glowy, faintly rosy iridescent sheen (that is by no means disco ball)
To reanimate your corpse-like self, add one little drop – two, max – of liquid or gel blush, such as Pixi Sheer Cheek Gel in Flushed ($24 CAD at Shoppers Drug Mart or ca.iherb.com and $14 USD at target.com) to a hydrating serum, such as Avène Hydrance Intense Rehydrating Serum ($44 CAD at beautyboutique.ca and $38 USD at birchbox.com), and apply it all over your face.
This seems so weird – why would I want to add red all over? – but it works. It's really a DIY version of those rosy-tone moisturizers.
If you have rosacea, though, or a complexion with more red than you'd like, try a Clarins SOS Primer in Green ($39 CAD at clarins.ca and $39 USD at nordstrom.com) mixed with your foundation, or on its own.
Too much coffee and too little moisture in the air, and you have crêpe-y, desiccated skin. Add some life back with a hydrating mist that contains glycerine. Essences are packed with beneficial ingredients, so why hasn’t someone created one with a spray for midday moisture assistance? Oh look. Lauder did.
Estee Lauder Micro Essence Aquaceutical Mist ($85 CAD and $68 USD at sephora.com)
Omorovicza Magic Moisture Mist ($114.40 CAD and $92 USD at beautyexpert.com)
Pre-warm weather, more than at any other time, God bless makeup. Instead of a "highlighter visible from space" preferred by Instagrammers, go for an all-over glow.
Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder ($46 CAD and $38 USD at sephora.com), available in six shades from pale to dark
Hydrogel masks aren't new, but when a budget-friendly version launches, it sparks new interest. Hydrogels adhere smoothly to the face without the fussy wrinkling that can happen with cotton or fibre sheet masks, and they seem more efficient at soothing and hydrating. Key tip: the slightly textured side goes against the skin. (Why that isn't printed clearly on every brand's packaging is inexplicable.)
Now that you're all fresh-faced and radiant as though winter never happened, here's the *second-best piece of beauty advice anyone could ever give you.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation similar to the one described at the top of this post? What did you do? And if you have a tip or tips for looking fresh-faced in a flash, please share in the comments; we'd love to know!
(caretobeauty.com, beautyboutique.ca and ca.iherb.com are non-affiliate links)