As I’ve mentioned, Fashion Week is a time-economy nightmare. I’m a real lover of long baths, overnight face masks, 40-minute-leave-in conditioning treatments, the works. I am a believer in self-care as a means for mental wellbeing and for me; that is tied up in looking after my body through beauty rituals that make me feel clean and lovely and smell delicious. It’s less about what I look like and more about how I feel: scented candles, meditation, fragrance sticks… all that jazz.
However, for a few weeks every year, I write off all of that stuff and it is totally about what I look like, and in as short an amount of time as is humanly possible. I’m lucky if I get time for a full teeth-brushing, let alone a four-stage home facial, so I have found the products that work for me and FAST.
Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energising Mask: 5 minutes
My mother is a hugely devoted fan of Bliss, and she introduced me to this favourite of hers.
Packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants, it brightens your complexion, deeply moisturises and supposedly helps prevent breakouts by thrusting oxygen molecules at the anaerobic bacteria which cause blemishes and killing them off. It might sound a little pseudo-pharmaceutical, but whatever, it actually works for me in record time.
All you do is massage the gel into damp skin and it foams up into an amazing froth and then, after five minutes, you rinse it off. FIVE MINUTES! I use it in the bath whilst I’m shaving my legs and I swear to god that by the time I am drying my hair, I am glowier and look like I’ve had at least an extra few hours sleep which, to be frank, is a miracle. No more sallow skin!
Skyn Iceland Nordic Skin Peel: 30 seconds
I am an obsessive fan of exfoliation all over my face and body; from microfoliants to microdermabrasion scrubs, they are the product that I hoard with most eager voracity. However, the key to exfoliation is generally to go slowly and gently rather than rough and ready, for fear of permanently thinning or damaging your top epidermal layers. Basically, it’s a bad idea for me to use my favourite Kiehl’s sea-shell scrub when I’m in a frantic hurry, because I’m going to scratch the hell out of my face.
So, I have turned to the Nordic Skin Peel in times of hurry. It contains an AHA (always necessary for me) but also papaya fruit extract, which is in my favourite Elemis mask when I have time (it works to dissolve dead skin and brighten the new layers), white willow bark for salicylic acid alongside witch hazel (to help prevent congestion and soothe any irritated areas), jojoba seed (one of my hydration favourites), and green tea extract (to work as an antioxidant).
All I do is swipe one of the pre-soaked pads around my face after cleansing, before I go to sleep, and I wake up looking significantly fresher. My skin is less dull but simultaneously, the pads work to calm any current breakouts without irritation. Winner.
Ole Henriksen Truth To Go Facial Wipes: 1 minute
I actually don’t have a picture of these, so you’ll have to imagine what a facial wipe looks like, because I finished my pack the other day and am waiting for the new stock to arrive from the internet.
Whilst I am not usually a fan of makeup wipes, I was applying my evening face in taxis and sometimes you just need to start afresh. You can get them in little packets to fit in stupidly small bags, and they take off all your makeup without completely destroying your face. Usually I find it’s one or the other with wipes: you either leave half your mascara on or you end up with a scaly, dehydrated rash.
These wipes are soaked in makeup remover accompanied by vitamin C to brighten your face and a whole heap of antioxidants to actually cleanse your pores and avoid the inevitable breakouts that you are going to get from wearing a ton of makeup for 22 hours a day.
Plus, they smell amazing. Like orange vanilla sherbet or something. I have actually had complements on my face smell after using these.
Sally Hansen Maximum Growth Cuticle & Nail Treatment: 90 seconds
If you aren’t regularly using cuticle oil of some formulation, you are missing out. Nourishing your nail beds and cuticles is a great step to promoting nail growth, strength and health and also it stops your fingers looking so gross and shabby. I mean, it legitimately makes a huge difference to the appearance of your hands, so you should definitely start.
However, I obv don’t have the spare two minutes to do this stuff at home when I am working crazy hours, so I chuck one of Sally Hansen’s Maximum Growth Cuticle & Nail Treatment Pens in my handbag and do it in the taxi on my way out in the mornings.
All you do is twizzle the end and some oil comes out (not too much, do not fear PR companies who have lent me expensive clothes) and then you massage it into your cuticles. Easy as pie and your fingers and nails will thank you.
Sisley Floral Spray Mist and NARS Skin Smoothing Face Prep: Mere Moments
Don’t have time to prep and prime your face? Are you, in fact, applying foundation and concealer on top of makeup that you’ve been wearing for 16 hours because there isn’t enough time for a full refresher? Starting to look a little bit cakey, smudgey and disgusting?
My ultimate top-up products for these crisis moments are Sisley’s Floral Spray Mist, and NARS Skin Smoothing Face Prep. The mist is something which you can spray in the general direction of your face to refresh what is already on there and revitalize your poor skin; with cornflower, rose and orange blossom, it refreshes, softens and hydrates whilst the witch hazel offers calming and decongestion.
Face Prep can be applied over makeup and smooths any raised blemishes whilst giving a perfect matte finish without caking. A transparent, powder-y cream, you simply rub it on to problem areas and then either reapply a touch of powder or concealer on top for discoloration or leave it as is. PERFECT.
So, those are my emergency quick-fix products for crisis situations. What are yours? I hoard this stuff, so tell me what you use to fix your appearance when there just isn’t enough time for proper glamour.