So you haven’t started your beauty regimen for New Year’s Eve yet? It’s not too late! Whether you’re kicking off the New Year in grand style, or just looking to get prepped and primed for 2016 (after all, in many Asian traditions, the first day of the year is all about a clean slate, from home to wardrobe), look no further than this handy beauty guide to get your skin, hair and smile party-ready (and a few tips while at the soirée, too!).
The Countdown: Two days before
- Get a facial or use a mask two days before the event — your skin will look its best two days after any treatment. Just don’t get any hardcore treatments like microdermabrasion or anything exfoliating, lest you have a reaction, unless you’ve used the product before and know how your skin will react.
- Wash your hair or get a blowout a day or two earlier — second day hair has more grip and is easier to work with. If you’re worried about sleeping on and mussing up your hair, use a silk pillowcase, like the one from Slip, and apply Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Night Cap Overnight Perfector before you go to bed to wake up with perfectly smooth, nicely texturized hair that’ll last for days.
- If you wake up with a big, red pimple, do not put a hot compress on it, says Dr. Jessica Wu, a dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at USC Keck School of Medicine. Instead, hold a cold washcloth against the skin to reduce swelling. (Visine can also help because it shrinks the blood vessels in the skin; put a few drops on a Q-tip and dab the area.) If the event is the next day and you see a big whitehead that you must squeeze, do it gently (and if it doesn’t pop, don’t keep pushing). Hold a tissue against the area until it stops oozing, then put a dab of antibiotic ointment on it and cover with a bandage. When you wake up the next morning, remove the bandage, and there should be little or no scabbing. If you let air get to it and it dries out, the scab will be harder to hide with makeup. Apply a medicated concealer containing salicylic acid. Dab on concealer with a fine brush to lightly “stipple” the area — don’t rub. Dr. Wu’s go-to concealer is by Clé de Peau Beauté in ochre, which is pricey, she says, but a stick will last her almost a year.
The Countdown: The day of
- Still have that pimple, or feeling a new one coming on? Stick on Peter Thomas Roth Acne-Clear Invisible Dots. It’s infused with salicylic acid, tea tree oil and hyaluronic acid (to prevent drying and flaking) and it’s clear, so you can leave it on all day. It’ll shrink and lessen the redness of the pimple by evening.
- If you didn’t have time for a facial a day or two before, try a day mask the morning of. Meant to infuse skin with goodness during your morning regimen, many day masks plump and firm skin, and you don’t even have to rinse it off. I love La Mer’s The Intensive Revitalizing Mask for a real infusion of moisture. For something lighter, or if you have oilier skin, Koh Gen Do’s All in One Refresh Gel works well to soothe and calm skin with aloe and algae extract. What you’re looking for here is just some gentle hydration (and maybe antioxidants) to plump skin and gird it for the barrage of alcohol coming its way later that evening.
- De-puff eyes with an under-eye mask, like Rodial’s cooling Dragon’s Blood Eye Mask made with bio-cellulose or Patchology Energizing Eye Patches, which was developed by the scientists behind the nicotine patch to reduce swelling and fine lines in as little as 20 minutes.
- Pregame like Dr. Wu, who, in her book, Feed Your Face, writes that she like to have a snack (try almonds) before a big dinner to avoid overeating.
- Brush your teeth with Luster Premium White Polish, which uses Bluverite® technology to make teeth look whiter after just one use. This is my secret weapon for my smile — I use this every day and not just on special occasions. Its subtle blue tint really does make my teeth look whiter, similar to the way a blue-based lipstick whitens a smile.
- Before you put on that lipstick, give your lips a nice, gentle scrub with GlaMER Lips Organic Lip Scrub. It’ll get rid of flakes, increase circulation for a nice plumping effect and hydrate with its base of jojoba and unrefined coconut oils.
The Countdown: At the party
- Finally out the door? In her book, Dr. Wu recommends a dry red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir to maximize antioxidants (chardonnay, if you prefer white). If you’re more a cocktail kind of girl, she says go for vodka with club soda or diet tonic water.
- Don’t forget to hydrate with a glass of water after every drink. That’ll also help you moderate your drinking.
- After all that rich, scrumptious food, chew gum with xylitol (the one by Korean brand Lotte is the best) to freshen breath and clean teeth. Now all you’ve got to do is make sure you have someone to kiss at the stroke of midnight.
Happy New Year!
Adapted from stories written by me and originally published in Audrey Magazine.