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Skin Deep: Here's how to get through a hangover at work via the wonder of cosmetics

Just follow these quick and easy steps.


Welcome to Skin Deep with Louise McSharry, my opportunity to put years of obsessing over beauty products and techniques to good use. I won’t tell you something is good if it’s not. I won’t recommend products I haven’t actually tried. As the magical sitar in Moulin Rouge said, I only speak the truth.

Whether it’s because you’ve been celebrating the season of good cheer, or simply had one too many glasses of wine at home, sometimes hangovers happen, and sometimes they happen on a workday. It would be great if we could all learn our lesson and know the one that’s one too many, but that doesn’t seem to be happening at any great pace. Anyway, sometimes you only have a couple of drinks and the demon hangover still manages to get you, in the ultimate act of betrayal. ‘I didn’t even drink that much!’ As it is, from time to time (hopefully only very occasionally) we have to soldier through and go to work even though we feel like death. I can’t offer you a cure, although I firmly believe beige food has restorative properties, but I can help you make you look a little bit less than a walking personification of last night’s fun.

Realistically, when we’re suffering, we’re staying in bed until the last possible second, so I’m going to recommend some pre-session prep, which you’ll be grateful for the morning after.

PastedImage-26101 Here I am in the wild, experiencing a real life hangover

First, put your eye cream in the fridge before you go out. Aside from the fact that it’ll feel delicious on your poor delicate skin the next day, the coolness will lessen any puffiness which may or may not appear due to, er, lack of sleep.  I won’t stop going on about Penney’s offering, which is a gel so has a natural coolness and feels like a dream going on.

Second, put a pack of face wipes and some moisturiser in your handbag. These are essential for your workplace transformation.

I say workplace transformation because, as I mentioned, you’ll be in bed til the last possible second. This can also be a commute transformation, by the way. I don’t subscribe to the idea that doing your makeup on public transport is somehow problematic (unless you’re using something perfumed or that somehow sprays all over fellow passengers). In fact, I think that most people who complain about this behaviour are betraying a bit of subconscious (or sometimes conscious) misogyny. They say it’s ‘unhygeinic’ (How please?) or ‘rude’ (again, how?)  but what they mean is ‘I’m uncomfortable with seeing behind the veil of womanhood’. Personally I love nothing more than watching other women’s routines and find it a real treat when someone breaks out their makeup bag in a public place. I’m sure some of you disagree with me, so feel free to tell me as much in the comments!


No matter where this process is taking place, the first step is absolutely essential. Please, for the love of god, take off last night’s makeup. I’m not going to scold you for leaving it on overnight, we all do it, especially when we’re feeling sleepy after a few sherries. However, last night’s makeup is a dead giveaway that things got carried away, and while it may look decent to your bleary eyes first thing in the morning, it will almost certainly look crusty around midday. Also, old eye makeup bleeding into your eyes will only exacerbate any redness. No one wants to look crusty and bloodshot, and certainly no one wants to feel crusty and bloodshot. Get out those wipes and get rid of that makeup. (Makeup wipes are the skincare devil, of course, but sometimes needs must. I recommend Simple cleansing wipes because they do the job easily. Some wipes are too dry and drag across your skin, not doing it any good and making the job harder.)

Next, moisturise! The simple act of rubbing cream into your face will soothe your addled brain, and your dehydrated skin will suck it up like a sponge.

You can absolutely leave it there if you’re happy to go makeup free, it’ll probably be good for your skin. If you want to liven your face up though, and give yourself a visual boost, this simple makeup is quick to apply and doesn’t require you to bring a load of stuff to work with you.


Start by applying some sore of base, it doesn’t have to be actual foundation which may mean faffing around with brushes and sponges and the like. In fact, I think you’re better off with a decent BB/CC cream or tinted moisturiser. My current go-to in this realm is It Cosmetics ‘Your Skin But Better’ CC+ Cream, which gives lovely coverage but also offers an SPF of 50 as well as anti-aging antioxidants and vitamins. Sure look, we’ll take what we can get, eh? The only drawback for this product is that the darkest shade is probably not dark enough for some skin tones – it would be great to see the brand rectify this.

Give your face a bit of healthy colour next via a cream blusher, which can also be dabbed gently onto your lips to make them look a bit human. Stila’s Convertible Colour in Peony will do the trick beautifully, but any cream blusher will do.


Finally, a few coats of your favourite mascara (I’m still using Maybelline Lash Sensational), and a bit of brow product if you can’t bear to go without it, will make you look awake, alive and polished, even if you don’t feel it. All this in the time it would take to have a complicated period toilet trip, so no one will even question it. Let’s be honest, a lot of this is common sense, but we tend not to have our wits about us in these situations and small tasks seem insurmountable. It’s work making the effort though, you’ll feel better, and your hangover will be less noticeable to anyone you don’t want noticing it. Certainly less noticeable than the one belonging to a former colleague of mine who turned up to work one Christmas Eve having not been home with her contact lenses in a bowl of water.

Godspeed gals, the hangover waits for no woman but how much we succumb to it is within our control.

New Product


Penneys are killing it these days when it comes to beauty, so I was very curious to see what their new range of foundation was like. The Penneys PS… My Perfect Colour Ultimate Match Foundation may have a mouthful of a name, but it’s a great full coverage foundation in the vein of Estee Lauder Double Wear, and is certainly worth a go if you like that kind of thing. For €6? Where would you be going?

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