Lacklustre, sallow and pasty. Not the most endearing adjectives, we grant you, but spare a thought for your poor overworked epidermis at this time of year. Devoid of sunlight and being subjected to an unhelpful cycle of central heating and polar vortexes, no wonder it’s feeling a bit, well, ‘meh’. Luckily, we have a raft of industry experts on hand to give your skin back its get up and glow.
1. ‘Massage in your cleanser for 2-5 minutes at least three times a week using firm upwards and outwards circular motions to help with lymphatic drainage,’ says facialist extraordinaire Debbie Thomas. ‘By improving the circulation of the skin you allow toxins to be removed more effectively whilst delivering oxygen and nutrients for a healthier more radiant-looking complexion.
‘You can also give yourself a mini-massage whilst popping on a creamy face mask. Starting in the centre of the face and working outwards, pinch your skin using enough pressure so that it pinks a little but don’t go too mad. Do this in lines starting at jaw and working up to the cheek area. Massage for at least 5 but ideally 10 minutes leaving the mask a further 10 minutes before rinsing off. If you’re not prone to redness, finish with an ice cube rubbing it over the face in a continuous motion to further stimulate the circulation. Pat dry and apply your moisturiser.’
2. ‘Drink lots of carrot juice if you want slightly tanned looking skin but without the skin damage,’ says Debbie. ‘It may be tempting to take refuge in comfort foods but eating lots of fresh vegetables and protein nourishes the skin will give it a glow from within. Supplements are great to take too. The best are Vitamin C to boost collagen, Zinc to control the production of sebum and fatty acids such as omega oils which can help reduce inflammatory skin conditions.’
3. ‘Exfoliation is key to revealing a radiant complexion,’ advises Debbie. ‘Just take care not to overdo it. Instead introduce a radiance-boosting product into your daily routine. I love Valmont’s Renewing Pack Mask as it leaves skin plump and radiant instantly. For long-term skin health anti-oxidants are a must. Try either SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF Gel or Elizabeth Arden’s Prevage Anti-aging + Intensive Repair Daily Serum and watch your skin brighten and become more even with regular use.’
4. ‘For a luminous complexion, mix some flesh-toned liquid highlighter into your moisturizer and follow with a bb cream,’ says make-up maestro Lee Pycroft. ‘The highlighter will lend a halo of light to the face whilst the bb cream offers a smooth, dewy finish. If it’s more of a golden glow you’re after, use a tinted moisturizer a shade darker then your skintone to warm the complexion making sure you blend into the neck before following with a peachy cream blush to enhance the tawny glow. Finish by placing a few drops of facial oil onto a cosmetic sponge and dab onto the cheeks followed by a liquid tint blush for a radiant, rosy glow. This alluring cocktail will give a truly transparent finish.’
5. ‘Make-up is great for warming up a pale, lacklustre complexion and can be used to create a variety of finishes,’ says Lee. ‘Using a satin-textured bronzer dusted along the cheeks, forehead, neck and tips of ears, will sculpt the face and create a sunny glow which can be enhanced with a dab of balm on the tops of the cheekbones and eyelids. For a chic, polished glow apply matt bronzer where the sun would hit and team with a shot of gold shadow on the eyelids and an off-white highlighter along the tops of cheeks. This mix of textures gives shape, definition and radiance to the face. Finally, using a gel bronzer all over the face is a fasttrack way to a sporty-looking tan. Use concealer on any uneven areas and a golden-toned highlighter on the eyelids and along cheekbones for a super-natural gleam.’
6. ‘For a light glow over the winter months leave your tan on for 4-5 hours before washing off,’ advises tanning guru James Read. ‘Winter skin tends to be drier so mix a small amount of gradual tan with your favourite hydration mask, then apply with a mitt and leave on for an hour which will add a touch of radiance as well as some much-needed hydration. It’s also a good idea to go for a self-tan that’s specifically hydrating as central heating and the cold play havoc with your skin.’
7. ‘A good trick to extend your glow is to mix some self-tan with some aftersun/tan extender 2-3 days after tanning,’ says James. ‘If you need to shave after your fake tan, use an electric shaver rather than a razor as this won’t remove your tan and on the day of tanning use a straw when drinking drinks. This will stop your top lip from going white and looking uneven.’
8. ‘To make your tan look as even and natural as possible it’s good to do a little prep,’ advises James. ‘Rubbing frozen peas over your legs before tanning will seal your pores and stop you getting those little brown spots. To stop your tan sweating off and going patchy, use a mineral powder to dust under your armpits, breasts and behind the knees as the powder will soak up any sweat.’
9. ‘If you need to tan your back, a small paint roller is the right tool for you (really!)’ says James. ‘Roll over the self-tan and then stand in front of the mirror going over each shoulder and down the middle before finishing off on the small of your back and going back up again. Also make sure you don’t leave out the sides.’
10. ‘If your tan is too dark go and have a steam or sauna as this will fade the colour evenly and stop it from looking patchy,’ says James. ‘Crushed dishwasher tablets mixed with lemon juice is also a good trick to get rid of excess self-tan. Simply rub it gently over your body with a sponge and then shower off.’