These ge­nius beauty hacks will give your skin an in­stant boost. No fuss, no frills – just hard-work­ing skin­care tricks that ac­tu­ally work, says Sarah-Jane Cor­field-Smith

Friday - - CONTENTS -

Seven hacks for in­stantly ra­di­ant skin. Shine on.

When it comes to skin­care, the gen­eral motto is that slow and steady wins the race. Mean­ing that you have to wait at least a month for your lat­est mois­turiser pur­chase, with all its whizz-bang ingredients to kick in and for you to no­tice a dif­fer­ence – that’s the time it takes for your old skin cells to shed from the sur­face and for newer, plumper, younger ones to reach the top. How­ever, in this day and age where we ex­pect our on­line pur­chases to be at our doorstep within 24 hours, our take-out to be on our table in 15 min­utes and our taxis at our pickup lo­ca­tion in un­der five, there is now a time and place for fast-act­ing, quick-re­spond­ing skin­care prod­ucts. ‘Of course we all want great-look­ing skin and we want it now,’ says skin­care guru Emma Hardie. ‘Ul­ti­mately, us­ing great skin­care ingredients con­sis­tently and reg­u­larly will im­prove your skin, but this takes time. And we all need a quick fix, es­pe­cially on those days when we feel our skin looks a bit life­less, dull or tired. This is where prod­ucts that give in­stant re­sults – whether that’s adding an in­stant glow, giv­ing your skin a surge of mois­ture to make it look plumper or us­ing clever prod­ucts that cre­ate sub­tle op­ti­cal il­lu­sions – come into play.’ But this isn’t just be­cause we’re get­ting more and more used to ev­ery­thing work­ing in su­per-rapid time frames, but also be­cause there are days when you want to look bet­ter, more awake, brighter, fresher and glowier be­cause your self­con­fi­dence and self-es­teem need it. And there’s ab­so­lutely noth­ing wrong with that. Re­search has shown that the bet­ter our skin looks, the bet­ter we feel in our­selves.

On the flip-side of that is that bad skin days can lead to neg­a­tive feel­ings. In fact the Bri­tish Skin Foun­da­tion re­vealed that 95 per cent of peo­ple who suf­fer with acne said the ap­pear­ance of their skin im­pacted their daily lives. And there is now more and more re­search be­ing put into psy­cho­der­ma­tol­ogy and the link be­tween the state of our mind and the ap­pear­ance of our skin. Which is where we are re­minded again of the power that great skin­care and other skin-boost­ing prod­ucts can have.

Yes, to many it may seem friv­o­lous to buy yet an­other lo­tion or com­plex­ion-en­hanc­ing won­der, but if it makes your skin look bet­ter in­stantly, and in turn lifts your spirit, then it’s worth its weight in gold.

Read on to dis­cover the seven won­ders of in­stant skin-boost­ing trick­ery.

Acids reign

‘Hon­estly, I don’t think there is a more trans­for­ma­tive and quick-work­ing prod­uct than a re­ally good acid­based ex­fo­lia­tor,’ says Tom Og­den from skin­care brand Al­pha-H (who hap­pen to do one of the best, Liq­uid Gold, if you can get your hands on it). ‘Not only does it take off the top layer of skin, which is all dead cells and de­bris just mak­ing your com­plex­ion look dull and tired, but it can shrink the ap­pear­ance of pores and even out skin tone.’ Hoorah. And don’t be put off by the idea of rub­bing ‘acid’ all over your face. Whilst these prod­ucts are slightly as­trin­gent, and can feel tingly on first use, they are in fact nor­mally de­rived from fruit – mostly pineap­ple and pa­paya – and are per­fectly safe for your skin. And they work fast. Most are de­signed to be used overnight so that your skin isn’t ex­posed to the sun while they get to work and you wake up to a truly re­ju­ve­nated face. How­ever, more and more are be­ing de­signed to be used morn­ing and night so you can plump things up dur­ing the day too. Just make sure to pair them with a re­ally good SPF.

WE LOVE: Sarah Chap­man Ski­ne­sis Liq­uid Fa­cial Resur­facer (Dh187). This can be used day and night and is packed with fruit acids, lac­tic acid (es­sen­tially de­rived from milk), and phytic acid, which comes from grains and legumes. Sat­u­rate a cot­ton pad and swipe it all over your face and wait a few hours for vel­vety and se­ri­ously glowy skin to be yours.

Let there be lu­mi­nous light

Keep­ing your skin hy­drated is a key step to it look­ing good. This is, of course, some­thing that takes time and needs to be done on a daily ba­sis – and it starts from the in­side out. ‘Healthy skin is hy­drated skin so you need to be aim­ing for at least 6-8 glasses of wa­ter through­out the day and keep­ing al­co­hol and caf­feine to a min­i­mum,’ ad­vises der­ma­tol­o­gist Dr Anita Sturn­ham. ‘It’s also es­sen­tial to mois­turise, mois­turise and yes, you heard it, mois­turise! Look for mois­tur­is­ing ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid and vi­ta­min E.’ How­ever, as well as those key hy­drat­ing ingredients it’s also es­sen­tial to have a mois­turiser that con­tains light-re­flect­ing pearls as these will make a dif­fer­ence to the ap­pear­ance of your skin in­stantly, whilst the other ingredients work on a long-term ba­sis. Lightre­flect­ing pearls are lit­tle balls of shim­mer­ing par­ti­cles that stay on the sur­face of the skin, be­cause they’re too big to sink in. Their spher­i­cal shape al­lows light to bounce off your skin and cre­ate an in­stant lu­mi­nous sheen, which makes your skin im­me­di­ately look fresher and health­ier. A life­saver for those days when

you need to look like you’ve had eight hours’ sleep, when the re­al­ity has been far from that.

WE LOVE: Givenchy Hy­dra Sparkling Velvet Lu­mi­nes­cence Mois­tur­iz­ing Cream (Dh285)

Not only has this been proven to boost skin hy­dra­tion by 52 per cent in just two hours, but it also con­tains a very spe­cial tech­nol­ogy that does as light-re­flect­ing par­ti­cles do but one step fur­ther. Givenchy trade­marked its Sparkling Wa­ter com­plex, which, as you may have guessed, cre­ates the ef­fect of sparkling wa­ter on your skin. We know that sounds too good to be true, but it re­ally works. With one ap­pli­ca­tion, your skin looks as lu­mi­nous as the top of wa­ter when the sun shines on it.

3 Clever con­cealer ‘If I wake up and ei­ther don’t have long to do my make-up or need to add life quickly and in­stantly to my skin, then it’s a light-re­flect­ing con­cealer I reach for,’ says celebrity make-up artist Flor­rie White. ‘Un­like heav­ier con­ceal­ers that are bet­ter for hid­ing spots, or foun­da­tion, which is re­ally for mask­ing larger ar­eas of skin, a light-re­flect­ing con­cealer adds a sub­tle wash of colour to even out the skin tone and make it look more uni­fied, but adds that in­stant glow and health­i­ness to the skin. I use it un­der the eyes, across the fore­head, across the cheek and even above the cheek­bones and on the brow bones as a low-key high­lighter. That way it still looks like your skin but it’s not caked in make-up and it cre­ates that gor­geous dewy ef­fect that is an in­stant skin trans­former.’ We’re sold!

WE LOVE: Clin­ique Air­brush Con­cealer (Dh155)

There are so many great felt-tip ap­pli­ca­tor con­ceal­ers out there, but this is one of the best-sell­ing around the world. And for good rea­son. It con­tains mag­i­cal light re­flec­tors and is avail­able in 11 shades, so there is one for ev­ery­body.

4 Mas­ter­ful mists You might think that spritz­ing some­thing as light­weight and seem­ingly in­con­se­quen­tial as a face mist over your skin isn’t go­ing to do a lot. You’re wrong. It’s time to in­vest in a great fa­cial mist for your in­stant perk-me-up skin­care ar­se­nal. ‘Dur­ing the day when your skin gets de­hy­drated it’s not prac­ti­cal to start ap­ply­ing more mois­turiser. This is where mists come into their own as they can eas­ily be ap­plied on top of what you’re al­ready wear­ing,’ says make-up artist Amanda Bell. And they re­ally do have an in­stant skin-re­viv­ing ef­fect, thanks to the amount of ac­tives they con­tain – plus, be­cause of their wa­tery na­ture, they nat­u­rally cre­ate a dewy ef­fect.

WE LOVE: Cau­dalie Beauty Elixir (Dh80)

This is per­haps the most cult fa­cial mist out there. It con­tains 100 per cent nat­u­ral ingredients that all pack a se­ri­ous skin­boost­ing punch, in­clud­ing grape ex­tract that in­stantly adds ra­di­ance. Be­cause it con­tains so many nat­u­ral ingredients, it also has aro­mather­apy benefits, too, so take time to in­hale as you spray for some in­stant calm. It comes in a nifty travel size that makes it the ideal trav­el­ling com­pan­ion to keep your skin hy­drated, look­ing fresh and smelling amaz­ing.

5 Optimus primer ‘Ini­tially, a primer’s sole pur­pose was to get your make-up to stay in place for longer,’ says makeup artist Lan Nyguen-Gre­alis. ‘How­ever, their for­mu­la­tions have moved on so much that they do so much more than that now. A lot of them con­tain blur­ring pig­ments that give the skin that soft focus – per­fect if you have en­larged pores, fine lines or gen­er­ally just need to cre­ate that in­stant air­brushed ef­fect.’ And who doesn’t want that?! They can also con­tain hy­drat­ing ingredients so for some skins, a de­cent primer could be all you need to trans­form your skin from drab to fab in one sim­ple step.

WE LOVE: Dior Diorskin For­ever & Ever Wear Primer (Dh204) Packed with hy­drat­ing ingredients, this primer comes in one shade that blends seam­lessly into all skin tones. It con­tains those won­drous, soft-focus pig­ments to make your skin look in­stantly more flaw­less – like you’ve ap­plied an In­sta­gram fil­ter to it. Plus, it has a broad-spec­trum SPF, so this truly can be all your skin needs to wear.

6 Fake it bet­ter If all else fails then there’s no bet­ter way to quickly re­vive ex­hausted look­ing skin than by tak­ing it a few shades darker. A sur­vey car­ried out by supplement brand Imedeen re­vealed that 57 per cent of women feel more con­fi­dent about their skin when it’s tanned. Self-tan­ning guru James Read says ‘tanned-look­ing skin makes you look more glam­orous and ul­ti­mately, makes you feel bet­ter.’ And thank­fully self-tan for­mu­la­tions are so ad­vanced now that long gone is the wet bis­cuit aroma and fear of dreaded streaks. Now you can ap­ply an in­stant tan­ning lo­tion and get the bronzed look you want in min­utes.

WE LOVE: Clar­ins Self Tan­ning In­stant Gel (Dh160) This clear gel cre­ates an in­stant tan but also de­vel­ops over time so the more you use it, the darker you will go. It also con­tains some re­ally ef­fec­tive skin-boost­ing ingredients such as aloe vera and shea but­ter so your skin will get drenched in hy­dra­tion as it gets trans­formed. And it smells of hol­i­days. And there’s noth­ing bet­ter than that.

7 Pow­er­ful masks We can’t imag­ine it’s passed you by, but we’re in the midst of a face mask ex­plo­sion right now. Why is this? Be­cause they de­liver in­stant, vis­i­ble changes to your skin with min­i­mum ef­fort and max­i­mum re­sults. And that’s what we all want. This is all thanks to the huge in­no­va­tion in the de­liv­ery mech­a­nism of masks, specif­i­cally sheet masks, us­ing high-tech fi­bres that can get fast-act­ing, ac­tive ingredients into your skin bet­ter than ever be­fore. And all it takes is 10-15 min­utes whilst you watch your favourite Net­flix show, and you can see an im­me­di­ate change to your skin.

WE LOVE: Char­lotte Til­bury In­stant Magic Fa­cial Dry Sheet Mask (Dh85)

There’s a rea­son the word magic is used in the nam­ing of this face mask as you can’t be­lieve that it’s ac­tu­ally do­ing any­thing, but it is! Meet one of the first dry face masks to hit the mar­ket. It utilises a clever de­liv­ery sys­tem – bio-mimet­ics – to re­lease ingredients slowly into the skin so that they keep work­ing for longer. Ingredients such as shea but­ter, av­o­cado oil and stearic acid – all of which plump, hy­drate and make skin look in­stantly health­ier. It also leaves a very slight sheen on the skin, which keeps go­ing for eight hours, so you can ei­ther use this be­fore ap­ply­ing make-up and have the most gor­geous glow base to work from, or use it on top to re­vive what you’ve al­ready got on. Plus you can re­use it three times – mak­ing it a bit of beauty bar­gain.

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