5 quick beauty shortcuts if you’re not ready to face the world yet

We’ve done this before, but re-emerging out into the world feels harder this time. We’ve allowed ourselves to properly hibernate.

We’ve sat at our makeshift home desks, eating tubes of Pringles and shrivelling up next to the radiator. Now, like a mole coming out of its hole, it’s hair covered in soil – or in our case, Dorito shards and mince pie crumbs – we’re expected to socialise?

If you’re you’re getting stuck into socially-distanced catch-ups with the uni lot, off to cheer your nan up, or planning some park dates with your mates, it might feel bonkers unzipping your makeup bag and going from zero to peak glam when you’re on such good terms with your eye bags these days.

Remember in Sex In The City when Samantha returned from Hollywood and announced “three months of driving in L.A. and I forgot how to use my f*cking legs”? We’re starting to see where she was coming from. You know that thing we used to use on our hair? Spiky. On a pole. Got rid of knots? It’s been so long since we used our hair brush… and our dryer… and our tongs, can we ever remember how to use them?

The same goes for our makeup and brows. The latter already looks wild. The former? We’ll see how this smoky eye look goes… It’s been a while.

On the other hand, you might feel wholly unprepared for the outside world and looking for a few quick fixes to help you feel human again (I for one will be drawing my cheekbones back in). If so, here’s what we’d suggest…

1. The pre-game face mask

You’ll probably fall into one of two camps, here. The Skin Superintendent – taking extra time to ensure that your skin has had the space and nourishment to flourish during lockdown, like a proud parent home-schooling its offspring. Or the Skin Spurner – ditching regimes and skipping steps because, who’s going to see you anyway? If that’s you in the second group and you’re currently sporting sapped, dejected skin, you’ll be needing a pre-game face mask.

111 Skin’s Biocellulose Treatment Mask (£20) is the A-listers insider secret. Employed tactically before red-carpet events, it offers an instant boost to tired skin. Priyanka Chopra-Jonas previously let slip, “it’s the first thing that goes on my face before make-up, and it makes anything I put on after look flawless.”

While Margot Robbie revealed: “I’ve discovered this brand called 111SKIN. They have these sheet face masks that I put on before going to work or before getting ready for an event. They’re so amazing and I keep them in the fridge so it’s refreshing when I wear them. I’m kind of obsessed with them.” Leave one on for 20 minutes before you plan on doing your makeup and it’ll guarantee fresher-looking skin.

2. The split-end sealer

If you haven’t made it to the hairdressers recently and are feeling a little frayed at the edges, try a smoothing treatment after your hair wash. Aveda’s Botanical Therapy Repair Mask) is a leave-in conditioner that infiltrates all the way into the hair’s inner cortex to strengthen from the inside out.

GHD’s Split Ends Therapy (£21.95) is a heat-activated treatment cream that binds broken hair fibres together to give that fresh straight out of the salon feeling. Both magic, smoothing potions boost shine and leave hair looking shiny and healthy, meaning you can fake it ’til you make it (or cut it).

3. The glow booster

If you feel like you haven’t seen the sunshine in days, a sweep of bronzey warmth is an instant mood and complexion booster. St.Tropez Self Tan Purity Vitamins Bronzing Water Serum (£22) bestows a believable overnight glow to offset any pastiness.

Or mix some liquid highlighter into your usual foundation for fresh, satiny skin. BECCA’s Ignite Liquified Light Highlighter (£32) comes in six shades including Strength, a deep bronzer for dark skin tones, Creativity, a warm gold for medium skin tones and Passion, a pearly champagne for pale skin tones.

4. The tactical braid

If your hair’s grown out and your not quite short how to rock the new shape, try an updo instead. Even better, stud it with embellished barrettes and sparkly hair accessories, because it is the season. Knotted plaits, teased curls and pretty ponytails are the way forward.

5. The decoy

Distraction tactics work, so play up one feature and make that the show-stopper. If you’re skin’s being gripey, no-one will notice if you’re rocking beautifully fluttery XXL lashes or a statement power pout (non-transferable to make it mask friendly of course).

So dazzle them with a glitzy eye look or let a beautiful graphic liner do the heavy lifting while the rest of your face can chill.

6. The jazzy face mask

And if all else fails. Whack on the biggest, shiniest, jazziest face mask you can find. We love this sequin-embellished style from STUFF.

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