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Ask Adeela: how to get party-ready skin in an instant

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Parties inevitably play havoc with skin, so it’s worth putting in the effort to create a beauty timeline that leaves you prepped and primed for the nights you’ll never forget (and the ones you can’t remember).

I like to split my party skincare routine into three phases: pre-party prep, party day and post-party recovery.


Pre-Party Prep 

CeraVe Micellar Cleansing Water, £9.96 for 295ml, cloud10beauty.com

The evening before an event, allow yourself a few minutes to prep your skin overnight – and think like a facialist. During my professional treatments, I never apply the most hydrating ingredients first, unless I have created a clean canvas. Thoroughly cleansed, exfoliated skin will not only better absorb ingredients, it will also reflect light to create an effortless glow.

First, cleanse skin with CeraVe Micellar Water. This cleansing tonic is permanently in my on-set treatment kit as not only is it fragrance-free and non-irritating, it also wipes away the day’s build-up and make-up without making your eyes red or stripping the skin’s delicate barrier.

Sisley Exfoliating Enzyme Mask, £90 for 40g

Sisley Exfoliating Enzyme Mask, £90 for 40g

Dior Capture Youth Glow Booster Age-Delay Illuminating Serum, £79 for 30ml

Dior Capture Youth Glow Booster Age-Delay Illuminating Serum, £79 for 30ml

Then it’s time to remove the remaining stubborn oil, bacteria, dead skin and pollutants. Exfoliants generally fall into two categories: gritty scrubs and harsh peels. I’ve never been a fan of scratchy scrubs as they cause micro-tears in the skin, which while not visible to the naked eye are a hotbed for bacterial growth and irritation. And peels, if not administered by professionals, may cause redness, downtime or, worse, burns. So I’d opt for a sophisticated grain-free resurfacer like Sisley’s Exfoliating Enzyme Mask. It starts off as a powder and when mixed with water turns into a foam. The papaya-derived papain enzymes work like the proverbial Pac-Man, breaking up and eating away the surface dead skin to reveal a fresh face.

Like an artist applying a primer on a canvas, follow with Dior Capture Youth Glow Booster Age-Delay Illuminating Serum. This runny, water-based serum, which falls under exfoliants with its high concentration of vitamin C and AHA glycolic acid, is perfect for party-skin prep (or for weekly use). My pro-tip: after your last glass of water before bed, or your last kiss goodnight, dot a couple of drops on the lips before applying a lip balm. You’ll wake up with hydrated lips that won’t chap or dry.


Party-Day prep 

Clé de Peau The Lip Serum, £68 for 15ml (right), cultbeauty.co.uk

Here, you need to start multitasking, because no matter how much you plan to be on time, the minutes will tick by as though you’re on Mercury. Once you’re out of the shower, apply Lancôme’s Advanced Génifique Hydrogel Melting Mask onto damp skin, being sure to squeeze every last drop of the serum from the sachet and work into the neck, chest and the back of your hands.

Lancôme Advanced Génifique Hydrogel Melting Mask, £18.45

Lancôme Advanced Génifique Hydrogel Melting Mask, £18.45

Foreo Bear Microcurrent Device, £279

Foreo Bear Microcurrent Device, £279

Dior Capture Youth Plump Filler Age-Delay Plumping Serum, £79 for 30ml

Dior Capture Youth Plump Filler Age-Delay Plumping Serum, £79 for 30ml

Tata Harper Illuminating Moisturiser, £116 for 50ml

Tata Harper Illuminating Moisturiser, £115 for 50ml

While your skin is cocooned in the mask for 10 to 15 minutes, turn your attention to the cheekbones and jawline. I was initially fooled by the cutesy look of the Foreo Bear, a handheld microcurrent device, only to learn that it has enough power to firm all 69 facial and neck muscles. Dab a little of its accompanying conductive gel over the Lancôme hydrogel mask and glide the Foreo Bear over the top for a microcurrent-stimulated mini facelift. 

Remove the mask and pat the remaining serum into your skin. Follow with a full pipette of hydration courtesy of Dior’s Capture Youth Plump Filler Age-Delay Serum. One of its main ingredients is sodium hyaluronate, the cousin of the famous hyaluronic acid (HA), which behaves like a water-holding sponge. HA will make your make-up glide on like a dream.

Armani Lip Power Long Wear lipstick, £33

Armani Lip Power Long Wear lipstick, £33

Jo Loves A Fragrance Paintbrush, £40 for two x 7ml

Jo Loves A Fragrance Paintbrush, £40 for two x 7ml

Now for the lips. Apply Clé de Peau The Lip Serum to enhance fullness and condition against dryness. Then they are ready for lipstick. My festive choice is Armani Lip Power Long Wear lipstick. 

No matter how prepped and primed you are for the party, have some handbag hacks ready: keep Jo Loves’ A Fragrance Paintbrush handy to freshen up pulse points. And show your soles some kindness and carry Vivaia sustainable knitted foldable flats kept in a soft mesh bag. 


Post-Party Recovery 

Fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask (right), £81 for 100ml

The only way to come out of the season fresh-faced is to always take your make-up off and apply a delicious sleeping mask, such as Fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask. The travel-sized pot fits neatly into your purse, or reach for the full-sized pot in your bathroom cabinet.

Ask Adeela

Do you need advice on spot solutions, pigmentation or any other skin emergency? Send your quetions to askadeela@ft.com and she will address your concerns in an upcoming column

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