A few drinks after work turned into a night out and it’s only Wednesday! You’ve had a few drinks too many and you have to wake up and drag yourself to work. How do you get through the day looking bright eyed and bushy tailed while everyone else looks like death?
Step one: Start drinking fluids
Alcoholic drinks are diuretic. The more you drink the more you have to run to the loo and the more dehydrated you become.
As soon as you wake up with that glorious fuzzy mouth feeling, drink a big glass of water. Put the kettle on and make yourself a cup of hot water with lemon and ginger. It will help to take away that slightly nauseous feeling and settle your stomach.
Keep drinking water and juices. Dehydration depletes the electrolytes in your system, (especially if you were throwing up) so you need to get some sugars and other nutrients as soon as you can. If you have any rehydration salts (the ones you use after you’ve had a stomach bug) take one of those. You’ll start to feel better!
Coffee is fine, but again, it’s a diuretic and we’re trying to get fluids IN not OUT! Try drinking tea but get as much water as you can.
Keep drinking juices and water throughout the day.
Step two: Take a warm shower
A warm shower will feel comforting and will wash away the smell of alcohol from your skin. When we sleep, the body flushes toxins out through the skin. You might not be able to smell it, but others will. Use your favourite body wash and shampoo to get rid of “Eau de Pub”.
I know you are tempted to just do the dry shampoo thing and hope for the best, but your hair absorbs odours. Pubs and clubs smell and you will smell like one. Wash your hair.
It will also help with a headache that you no doubt wish would just kill you and put you out of your misery.
Get out of the shower and moisturize your body. You will smell nice and your skin will feel better. Gently towel-dry your hair as much as possible. You don’t want to do a lot of noisy blow drying in your fragile state.
Step three: Cleanse and depuff
If you didn’t wash your face in the shower then go do your cleansing routine. Unless you are a skin care saint, you probably fell into bed without removing your makeup and you have some serious panda eyes going on.
Wash your skin properly and splash your face with cool water. A combination of dehydration and a lack of sleep can make your skin appear puffy and accentuate dark undereye circles.
If you have time, you can put some ice in a damp flannel and press it to your skin for a few minutes. Start at the forehead and work down towards your heart. If you don’t have time for that then just hold a cold flannel over your face for a minute. It will bring some colour back to your face and take down a little of the puffiness.
Apply your moisturiser and a light undereye cream. Heavier creams may add to the puffy appearance of your skin, so keep it light. Using a serum or essence instead of heavier creams can also do wonders.
Apply a lip balm and go have some breakfast while your moisturizer revives your skin.
Step four: Have breakfast
I know, the last thing you want is food, but it’s best to get some nutrients back in your system. Try to have a banana or an apple as part of your breakfast. Bananas are a super fruit but in this case, you could use its ability to release energy and regulate blood sugar to get you back on track. Apples help to settle your stomach and get rid of the fuzzy mouth feeling. It’s also a breath freshener.
Toast with peanut butter and jam or Nutella are great because they give you a bit of a boost without being heavy. A scone with jam or a pastry would be great too!
You can try cereals but milk can make you feel nauseous again so be careful. Keep it simple. Some people believe that a fry up is a good idea but technically you need to fatty foods BEFORE you go drinking, not after.
Now is a good time to take a painkiller for that headache. Taking painkillers on an empty stomach can irritate the stomach lining or make you vomit so eat something first and then take some ibuprofen with a lot of water.
It’s also a good idea to take a multivitamin or a vitamin C tablet. Excessive drinking can affect your immune system which leaves you vulnerable to cold and flu bugs. Combined with leaving your makeup on all night, your skin needs the help to fight spot causing bacteria.
Brush your teeth and have some more water!
Step 5: Hair and makeup
While your ibuprofen kicks, dry your hair and put it into the least fussy style that you can manage. Putting it up is better than having limp hair hanging around your tired eyes.
Keep your makeup light and dewy. If you have a hydrating or luminous primer, use that instead of a mattifying one.
On dry, tired skin matte products will accentuate rough patches or any imperfections and make your skin look more pasty. Dewy skin is a lot more forgiving.
Use a bb cream or light foundation instead of a mattifying product. Use an illuminating concealer under the eyes and especially on the darker inner corners.
Try not to use the heavy-handed Instagram approach to concealing. Your under-eye area is probably puffy. Accentuating that with a big triangle of thick, powdered concealer is the last thing you need.
If you are REALLY good at colour correcting you can add a little salmon coloured concealer under your eyes to disguise dark circles. But keep it light!
Powder and blush:
Powder your t-zone and use a little bronzer instead of blush. Using pink on your skin could accentuate redness in your eyes and face, so bronze up a little but don’t overdo the blush if you must use it.
Try using a peachy or gold cream eyeshadow all over the lid. You just want a little colour but no darkness. Dark crease or outer-v colours can accentuate dark circles and sunken eyes. Keep it simple.
For that same reason, you might want to skip the heavy winged eyeliner and black mascara. Try a brown mascara for a softer effect.
Use a tinted lip balm or lip gloss instead of matte or dark lipstick to hydrate your lips and give you a subtle pop of colour.
Step six: Get dressed and get yourself to work
Unless you have to wear a uniform of some sort, I suggest that you wear something flattering but very comfortable. Restrictive or fussy outfits will just irritate you further.
Accessorise with something bright or colourful to pull your simple outfit together. It’s the difference between jeans and a t-shirt and an outfit.
If you’ve been out clubbing and drinking in your sexy heels the night before, your feet may be tired and swollen. Dehydration can also make your feet more swollen so you might want to consider ballerina flats, soft leather boots with only a slight heel or a lower kitten heel if you have to wear them for work. You may also be slightly dizzy from the effects of dehydration so sky-high heels may not be a great idea…
You can make up a travel mug of lemon and ginger water to sip on the way to work or you should be hydrated enough to grab a coffee if you need one.
You should not drive the morning after you’ve been drinking. It’s a pain but you could still be over the limit! No drinking and driving!
Step seven: Graze
Try to snack on fruit, nuts and seeds. You want to keep your blood sugar stable during the day so that you can stay awake and concentrate. You will be tempted to eat chocolate, crisps and rubbish but it won’t do you any good. Spiking your blood sugar and then dealing with the slump is even worse when you are hung over.
You also want to stay away from energy drinks full of chemicals and caffeine. Do you really need to put more toxins into your body? They also pick you up and drop you into the depths of misery. Drink water and fruit juice!
Try a comforting veggie soup and a sandwich combo for lunch with your favourite coffee or tea.
Step eight: Exercise (SORRY!)
I know, you’d rather not move at all, BUT: Getting some fresh air or sweating it out in the gym will help your body rid itself of toxins. The feel-good hormones also help to calm the nervous system and a headache. It’s uncomfortable at first but it really works.
If you can’t bring yourself to go to the gym, try going for a light walk during lunchtime or when you get home from work. The fresh air will do wonders for your fuzzy head.
Step nine: When you get home
When you finally get yourself home, have something nutritious and comforting for dinner then go have a long, hot Epsom salt bath to draw the toxins out and relax your body. You will find the benefits and uses of Epsom salts here.
Go to bed early, get a good night’s sleep and promise yourself you won’t ever drink that much again…until the next time.