On… hangover makeup

On Saturday, we had planned a quiet, early evening grown-up Burgess family dinner.

Fox and I are taking the boys to Ireland for Christmas, so the plan was to have an ersatz-Christmas dinner, with my mother and sister and her husband. That morphed into a long late Burgess family lunch, with all of us PLUS our children and their baby and toy cars and colored pencils and iPads and prosecco and beer and wurst and pretzels and schnitzel at this lovely place. Then Fox and I still had an evening sitter booked, so we decided to go out just the two of us for martinis and burgers. Because THAT’S what you need after an afternoon of wurst and beer. And then our friends Joanna and Alex texted and said, hey come to a party in Brooklyn, and next thing you know we were drinking mystery punch and doing a nose competition at the funnest house party ever.

Then Ned and Errol woke at 630am.

Why do they only wake this early on weekends? I mean seriously.

And the hangover commenced.

I once had a hangover so bad that I had to call this service. It wasn’t like that this time, maybe because I was uncharacteristically conscious of drinking water all evening. (Is that a sign that I am finally, truly, a grown-up?) On the hangover scale, it was maybe a 3 out of 10. And yet, I was still a bit blurggg. My skin felt like old newspaper: dry and crinkly and a little grubby. My eyes were bloodshot and watery. Short of going back to bed for ten hours, which was never going to happen because CHILDREN, I needed to fix myself.

First: rehydration and sustenance.

I always carried Diorlyte in my wallet in my 20s in London. So classy, I know. Some girls have a lot of sex and carry around condoms. Me, I had a lot of fun in bars, so I carried rehydration salts. Children’s Pedialyte is even better. It’s pre-mixed (because WHO has the TIME to MIX STUFF) and tastes quite lovely. So I sipped Pedialyte and a double espresso, and made breakfast: a fried egg on this seedy bread with lots of salty Irish butter and kim chi sauce on the side.


I bought this CosRx Overnight Honey Mask on a whim (oh, how many times can I start a sentence that way) a few months ago, and have tried it eight or nine times now so can confidently recommend it. It’s hydrating and calming and cooling, all at the same time. Just what you need on a slight hangover. Also important for a hangover: it doesn’t smell of anything, and it’s not too sticky or slimy or thick. So I threw that on, put this in my eyes and these magical things under them. While waiting for all these products to earn their keep, I ate breakfast.

Then I was exhausted. So I lay on the rug with my small boys for a while, playing Lego with one eye open. I’m very good at playing Lego with one eye open.

NOW. There is no point applying eye make-up when you’re hungover. It won’t stick, it’ll make puffy eyes even puffier, it’ll just look sad and old and nasty. The best that you can hope for is to even out your skin tone and look fresh and healthy.


First, apply that crazysexycool squalene unguent. A couple of drops on the cheeks, one on your forehead, smear it around a bit.

51LdiMFFNvL._SX522_Then put a pea-size amount of Becca Skin Perfector in Pearl on the back of your hand, and rub it into the tops of your cheekbones and forehead. It’s very very subtle, which means you can slap it around. You’ll wonder if it’s worth the effort at this point. Trust me, it is. Becca Skin Perfector makes you look like you drank green juice and swam in an icy-cold sea every day for the last decade.


Next: foundation. I have an old Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick that my mother gave me because it was too pale for her. I only use it when I’m tres tired and need extra help. (Normal foundation is too watery for hangovers, and concealer is too thick to apply everywhere.) Paint yourself a teeny-tiny  little goatee in broad stripes. I know, you feel like one of those ridiculous make-up things on Pinterest, but trust me, when it comes to hangover skin, this is necessary. Paint that goatee. Call yourself Freud. You’ll like it. (When you’re buying your foundation stick, by the way, err on the side of yellow. It counteracts the ruddiness in your hangover skin.)

Take a squared-off buffing brush – I like this one – and buff in the foundation stick. Make sure you get it down under your chin and along your jaw. You may want to use your fingertips to really press the foundation in around your nose. Foundation stick seems to like the human touch. (Don’t we all?)


Now take a pale pink, slightly glowy blush – I have an ancient one from Tarte called Flush that I trot out for hangovers. Splodge it on to the centre of your cheeks. Less is more, especially if you’re prone to hangover flush.

And lip balm. That’s it. You’re done.

NB: This make-up won’t last all day. Hangovers eat make-up. A weird but true phenomenon. But it’ll see you through brunch, or Christmas shopping, or, as in my case, two hours of Super Soccer Stars in the West Village. Sunglasses, perfume, air of ennui, and you’re good to go.





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