June 21, 2024

Here are my Beauty Director-approved hacks to combat its effects

Your virus affected me badly. I had a ton of symptoms that took their toll physically – from nausea and being sick, to muscle aches andanxious stress. And these things don’t just disappear without a visible fight. And my skin. Oh my poor skin.

When GLAMOUR’s Contributing Beauty Director, Alice Du Parcq, contracted Coronavirus, she was understandably worried about her overall health as she battled the illness alongside caring for two young children. But once it was over, she was surprised to find her complexion had also been badly affected. Here, she shares the step-by-step beauty plan she mastered to save her skin.

I knew you’d make me feel rubbish. I knew you’d scare me. I didn’t know you’d age me 10 years and make me look so damn horrendous. Covid-19, you absolute little sh*t.

Like a giant middle finger in the mirror every morning, here’s what I’ve been noticing recently: brown, speckled pigmentation patches like I’d been sunbathing under a colander. Angry red skin around my nostrils. Really deep ‘eleven’ lines between my brows. Puffy, dark, cracked-dry pockets under my eyes. A grainy texture when I trace my fingers over my face.

Actual flaky patches of parched skin inside my eyebrows, on my upper lids, on my forehead and along my jawline. Chest spots. Like actual tiny zits on my chest.

Is this what complexion rock-bottom looks like? If so: BRING IT ON. As a Beauty Director with over 20 years experience in the business, skincare is what I know. It’s my happy place. I know what to do. I can fix me! So after a long spell taking the gently-gently #skipcare approach, it’s time to pull out the big-gun products from my stash and get my serious skincare game ON.

Two weeks in, this is what my new routine looks like and this is how my skin’s responded…


I massage on Susanne Kaufmann Eye Rescue Stick every morning the minute I wake up. It’s magical. The oil rollerball contains caffeine (good for de-puffing) and within a few minutes there’s a little cluster of eye-gunk in the inner corners, which means whatever congestion has accumulated overnight has been squeezed out. Gross but incredible.

Once I’ve done my skincare routine (below), I use a second eye product – how extra am I? It’s called… deep breath… Kiehl’s Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Dark Circle-Diminishing Vitamin C Eye Serum. Yes to all of that please. It’s moisturising but not sticky, my eye area skin feels and looks fresher already, plus it prevents concealer from cracking. Speaking of…

I LOVE high street concealers – L’Oreal Paris Infallible is one of the best out there, but I need something with extra clout for my shocking peepers. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Concealer comes in 20 shades and provides a dose of hydration, vitamins and glycerine. It is unlike any concealer I’ve ever tried: it’s glossy and blends beautifully, like a tinted lip balm for eyes. Best of all: it doesn’t cake up or crackle. It’s gentle enough for the skin around my nose too.


Cleansing ground to a standstill when I was unwell, so I have some major catching up to do. Every morning and evening I do an intense massage using the classic Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm, bringing it down to my chest. Unctuous, greasy and spa-scented, it removes every trace of filth and product without purging your skin to death. I use basic supermarket face flannels rung out with hot water (rather than a muslin cloth – too scratchy).

To eliminate all the hyperpigmentation and kick my cells into performing properly again, I’m using a lightweight exfoliating tonic straight after cleansing. REN Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic is like an Aperol Spritz aperitivo for the skin: a bracing flash of refreshing AHA BHA acids (including Lactic, Salicin and Azelaic) to loosen and lift out residue grime from pores, and to stimulate a little pre-party pizzazz inside every cell before the skincare fiesta begins.


Aahh, serum: how many are there in the world right now? Billions probably. I’m using two, just to be a princess. And because I look like sh*t and need the help. The first is Skinceuticals C E Ferulic, which has strong levels of anti-oxidants to repair and protect. Then, once dry, a quenching pump of Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Serum to sort out my heinous dehydration. After two weeks I can feel they’re working because I don’t have that 3pm skin ‘tug’ anymore.

Eye cream, as above.

Everything has to be multi-purpose and pushed to the max now, including my moisturiser. I’ve chosen Clinique ID Dramatically Different Moisturising BB-Gel, which is a glossy and hydrating gel with added foundation pigment, so the effect is very sheer and fresh. And since you can add an Active Cartridge Concentrate of boosting skincare bespoke to your needs, I’ve chosen the blue one for Pores and Uneven Skin Texture.

UV protection is eye-gougingly boring, so I’ll skip past this but if you want to hear more about Estee Lauder’s phenomenal SPF50 gel, then read a full review here. Pressed on top of my skincare, I’m ready for concealer (above), mascara and brow gel.

In the evenings I have two routines after cleansing. On one night it’s the Chanel serum (above) then a smothering of Skinesis Glow Illuminating Elixir, a holistic yet power-packed facial oil (imagine a NASA science lab nestled in a Balinese spa garden). On the other night: it’s a layer of The Inkey List Retinol. Because Retinol is life. And the Kiehl’s eye cream (above) every night.

And when the world opens up again…

I am 100% topping up on some Baby Botox for those ‘eleven’ lines. No amount of skincare will help those. This will be the ultimate middle finger to the excessive frowning and furrowing from these past few weeks of anxiety, illness, worry and confusion. Covid-19, you will linger in our lifetime and beyond, but you can exit stage left from my face now, thanks hun.

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