Curing a 'Skin Hangover'
Jamal says you may be able to stop those holiday breakouts before they start if you exfoliate your skin regularly and use an alcohol-free toner to totally remove all traces of make-up and keep pores open.
"I like a combination treatment of Kiehls blue astringent plus azaleic acid prescription cream, or go over-the-counter with benzoyl peroxide used preventatively," says Jamal.
If, despite your best efforts, a breakout occurs anyway, makeup artist Holly Mordini suggests hitting the pimple with a few drops of Visine to constrict blood vessels (yes, the stuff that "gets the red out" of burning eyes will also get the red out of your blemish), then pat lightly with a concealer matched to your skin tone.
"Press the concealer into the blemish and feather around it. Add a bit of powder on cotton ball and press it on as well, because it's that layering process that works best to hide a blemish," says Mordini, vice president of global artistry for the Los Angeles-based Smashbox Cosmetics. Using a "heavy blob of concealer" will make your blemish look more obvious, as will choosing a shade too light.
The Day After: Curing a 'Skin Hangover'
Though preventive measures can help, the inevitable "skin hangover" is still bound to occur. More alcohol, combined with richer, usually saltier foods, plus a lot less sleep, can come together to give you a bloated, puffy look, particularly the day after a night of holiday cheer.
But experts say you can still face that 9 a.m. staff meeting looking bright eyed and bushy tailed if you simply "play it cool."
"When it comes to puffiness, particularly puffy eyes, cold is the answer to it all, and there is no better treatment than cold packs," says legendary skin care expert and make-up artist Adrien Arpel. The best part, she says, is that you only need 5 to 7 minutes to see results!
In fact, Arpel, who now heads the Signature Club A line for the Home Shopping Network, so believes in the power of cold packs that she designed her own gel-based cooling face mask specifically contoured to the eye area, where puffiness can be significant for many women.
If you can't get your hands on her gel mask in time, Arpel says buy a pair of gel-filled infant teething rings at the drugstore, chill them for about 30 minutes, and place one on each eye for five minutes to reduce the swelling.
"If you do it in a relaxing atmosphere like a hot bath, it somehow seems to work even better," says Arpel.
Another way around the bloat, she says, is to spend the night after the party sleeping with your head elevated. "The higher the better if you want to wake up less puffy," says Arpel.
Jamal agrees. "Alcohol dilates your blood vessels, and that is what allows the fluid to leave the vessels and enter the tissues, which in turn is what causes the puffiness." So, she says, sleeping with your head elevated can help the fluids to drain from your puffy cheeks and eyes.