Saturday, December 8, 2007

Beauty Talk: Socialite’s Survival Guide to Beautiful Skin for Holiday Season

So you have a lot of friends, get many party invitations and are a passionate party-goer? This definitely involves keeping long hours and indulging in delicious cocktails as well as smoking more cigarettes than usual or subjecting your skin to that second-hand smoke at clubs and bars. Such treatment will not go unnoticed by your skin. Dull complexion, pale skin color, irritation, red patches or even broken capillaries can become your everyday enemies for the holidays. You will need some extra strategies and fix-it techniques to keep your skin looking healthy and radiant through the whole party season.

The Morning After:

Afraid to look into the mirror? Your skin is stressed after too little sleep and too many martinis but tonight or tomorrow is another party, so you need to revive it in almost no time. As model and actress Cheryl Tiegs once said “There are days I feel beautiful and days I don't, and when I don't, I do something about it.”

Let’s start!


Lack of sleep and too much alcohol cause your body to retain water. To fight after-party morning puffiness dermatologist Dr.Frederic Brandt recommends to apply a cold compress onto the skin for about 10 minutes. You can soak a towel in ice cold water and press it to your face: “this constricts blood vessels and there’s less fluid accumulation”. (In Style, US Dec 06)

If your skin is not only puffy but also looks red and irritated, sooth it and bring down the swelling by making a similar compress but with very cold milk. Make-up artist Kristofer Buckle uses this express method for an early morning skin treatment. He explains: “Milk proteins reduce redness and the cold takes down the swelling” (Elle, US July 07). If the flushing and irritation persist, NYC dermatologist Francesca J. Fusco recommends to suck on an ice cube. “Receptors on the roof of the mouth respond to cold by constricting blood vessels,” she explains. (In Style, US Sept.06)


Get rid of your eye bags. Experts at In Style recommend to relieve the puffiness by placing potato slices over eyes or to brew two packets of black tea, cool them down and place on your eye lids for 10 minutes. (In Style US Dec 06) Caffeine contained in tea will tighten skin in the eye area and help to take away the puffiness. What I would add to this is make sure to use just black unflavored tea and be careful not to let it get into your eyes.

You can also use some specially developed products with caffeine, such as

  • Nutritionist Regenerating Eye Cream from Garnier contains Omega-3, -6, Magnesium and Caffeine, hydrates and smoothes the skin around the delicate eye.
  • Stress Relief Eye Mask from Estee Lauder contains aloe, cucumber and caffeine extracts that sooth, diminish puffiness, reduce appearance of lines and wrinkles.
  • Primordiale Optimum Yeux Flash Masque from Lancome contains caffeine and ruscus extract relieves puffiness in just 5 minutes.

  • For a finishing de-puffing touch massage your eye cream in with several anti-clockwise circles.

    Dark circles under your eyes are a much bigger challenge. You won’t be able to make those disappear and will have to apply your concealer smartly. But there is still something you can do. Experts say that dark circles are genetic. However age and free radical damage resulting in capillary leaks contribute to the shade and deepness of eye circles. Vitamin K and Arnica are believed to strengthen capillaries and to help you disperse bruising. Vitamin K and Arnica come as a supplement or as an ingredient in an eye creams. Drink a lot of water to help your kidneys purify the body. According to some experts “stressed kidneys can cause under-eye shadows”. (Glamour, UK Dec 06)There are some products specially developed to fight dark circles. For example: Talika Eye Detox Purifying Capsules - a supplement that promises to help fight dark circles and eye puffiness by improving “lymphatic and vascular system located in the eye contour area”. To increase effectiveness of this product, Talika recommends to use it together with Talika Eye Contour Gel which fights eye bags and dark rings with the help of such ingredients as proteins of sweet white lupine, proteins of sweet almond, cornflower water and extract of horse chestnut.


    Invest in a couple emergency products for your after-party recovery in advance. Here are some products for your consideration:

    Quick helpers against irritation:

  • SOS Serum by Guerlain delivers quick relief to the stressed irritated skin and prepares it for the next step in your skin care routine.
  • Irritation Solution from SBT contains aloe vera, vitamin E, mimosa tenuiflora extract to instantly sooth and reduce the skin's sensitivity.
  • Almond oil from Weleda contains almond oil, extracts of chamomile and calendula flowers to soften, soothe and rebalance your skin. Recommended for dry skin types.

  • Soothing Masks:

  • Calming Moisturizing Mask from Clinique provides relief to sensitive dehydrated skin, moisturizes, calms down and smoothes.
  • Regeneration Cream Mask from Swiss brand Biokosma is an unscented pleasantly creamy mask, contains aloe vera, sweet almond oil, malva and some other soothing, regenerating and moisturizing ingredients.
  • Kiehl’s Soothing Gel Masque contains Chamomile, Green Tea and Dandelion extracts, hydrates, softens, soothes and refreshes the skin.

    Calming Moisturizers:

  • Verite Fluid or Cream from Estee Lauder - contains lipids helping to repair skin’s protective hydrolipid barrier. Soothes, improves elasticity and texture. Provides powerful anti-oxidant protection
  • Biotherm BioSensitive Line is free of skin irritants fragrance, color additives and alcohol. Moisturizes and creates a gentle protective film on skin’s surface. Reduces red blotches.
  • Hydra Zen Neurocalm from Lancome contains natural plant extracts (rose, lilly-of-the-valley, orange and apple) as well as Hyaluronic acid, ceramides and Glycerol to provide skin with long lasting moisture, sooth it, restore its balance and protect from environmental stress.


    Save your skin additional stress from peeling. If temptation is too strong because you just cannot stand the dull colour of your skin, go with milder exfoliating products. Some of them are mild enough for everyday use.

  • Gommage Microperle Hydration from Chanel a gentle polishing gel that contains gel like micro-spheres and is lightly exfoliating and hydrating for the skin.
  • Buff and Wash Gel from Sisley is an amazing combination of a wash gel, scrub and a tonic. Developed for everyday use in the morning to stimulate, wake up your skin and give it instant radiance.
  • Exfoliating Gentle Mask (Masque Gommage en Nuage) from Kenzoki - a soothing mask for brighter, softer skin. Contains chestnut extract to take away dead cells and speed cellular renewal while huang-qin and mallow work to sooth your skin. Though this mask is not for everyday use, your stressed skin can benefit from it. This product promises to deliver radiance and at the same time sooth.


    Detox Shower:

    To stimulate cleansing of the lymphatic system, help your body get rid of toxins, and improve microcirculation, do a 20-second dry brushing before you step into the shower.

    To further stimulate your skin and the lymphatic system apply body moisturizer with massaging movements (long sweeping strokes and circular movements) always moving upwards and towards your heart.

    No Gym:

    It is not recommended to stress your body after the night of the party with a work out even though you might start feeling those martinis and canapés building up around your waist.

    What to drink:

    Start your day with a liver cleansing drink of hot water and grated ginger. You can also add a bit of honey to stabilize your blood sugar.
    Harper’s Bazar recommends Milk Thistle as the “first aid for over partied liver”. It is available as a supplement or as a drink. And of course to counteract the dehydrating effect of alcohol drink a lot of water in the course of the day. (Harper’s Bazar, Dec 07)

    What to eat:

    Don’t start snacking on junk food or sweet Christmas treats this will only distress your already misbalanced blood sugar level and stomach. Go with healthy choices of fresh or cooked vegetables, fruit and lean protein. and Harper’s Bazar recommend an egg fry-up or grill-up with some mushrooms, tomatoes and meat as an excellent “sustained-energy pick-me-up”. According to an article featured on the BBC website, this dish is also rich in amino acid, cystein, “which is thought to be good at clearing out toxins”.

    If you don’t have to go to work this day, take a nap to help your body regain the energy. You need just 20-30 minutes to give your body an energy recharge.

    Read Second Part of Socialite's Survival Guide to Beautiful Skin for tips on how to get energy and radiance back into your skin, camouflage tiredness (tips from pros), while-at-party tips and products.

    Some useful tips on how to get your skin ready for the party in a matter of couple weeks.

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