Makeup for Hungover Days | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Makeup for Hungover Days

Life&Style writer Phoebe Hughes-Broughton explains how to do your makeup when hungover

Unfortunately, this article might be coming too late for some of you, since we’re already passed Fresher’s week – aka the week where people who have never experienced a hangover before suddenly discover fresh hell – but equally, starting lectures means after a wild night at Rainbow you actually do need to get out of bed before noon and look like a sane human being, for which some might need a little help. Fortunately, many moons ago someone invented this magical stuff called makeup that is designed entirely to trick people into thinking you actually got enough sleep and are not still tasting that lovely mixture of vodka and vomit in your mouth.

Obviously, when hungover, your skin isn’t particularly receptive to makeup, so we’re gonna keep this simple. There’s just 3 basic features that we need to whip into shape to help you look less exhausted, as follows:

1. Skin

Unfortunately, this one is gonna be a biggie. Starting with the under eyes, aka the focal point of all things sleep.

Even if, like me, you wear a FitBit that tells you just how little sleep you really got last night, there’s no need to go telling everyone else. And just because you don’t tell them in words, doesn’t mean those bags under your eyes aren’t doing the talking for you.


‘Colour correcting’ has been floating around the makeup world for the past year or so, and I’m sure you’ve seen enough of clown-style faces on Instagram to scare you away from trying it for life. But don’t be afraid. Colour correcting is actually pretty simple, especially if you already have a rudimentary understanding of the colour wheel (or if in your hungover state you’re able to google a quick picture of it).

Essentially, those lovely bags under your eyes are likely to be sporting a lovely shade of blue/purple/green at the moment. In order to counteract this, just look for whatever colour is opposite these shades on the colour wheel. For most people with lighter skin tones, your under eyes will currently be a lovely shade of greenish-blue, for which the best option is a pink/salmon toned concealer. I’m using the Pixi Correction Concentrate in Brightening Peach (available at M&S) here, but NYX also makes potted colour correctors (available at Boots) at a slightly more affordable price, and if you prefer something with a wand then MUA or Collection are your best drugstore affordable options (both available at Superdrug).


For darker skin tones, something more orange- or red-toned will be your best bet. Again, NYX has some options for you here, but you can also follow in the footsteps of the crazy life-hack-loving Instagrammers and try a true red lipstick as a colour corrector (maybe experiment with this while completely sober first, so you can blend it out perfectly and don’t end up looking even more insane than before).

Now to the rest of that canvas that some people naively call a face. Right now, your skin is probably tired, dehydrated, and red. Luckily, there’s a simple product that can fix all of these issues in a pinch, and it won’t be too heavy for your skin to cope with either.

BB and CC creams are your new best friends. Launching onto the UK beauty scene just a few years ago, brands like Rimmel and L’Oreal already make great versions of these – with Rimmel having different formulas according to how much coverage you want and how oily your skin is, all at great prices.


The one I’m using here is the IT Cosmetics CC+ (available on QVC), which is more pricey but also boasts anti-aging properties and SPF 50, so I think it’s worth the cost. It also has a citrus scent, which I love but some people understandably find it too much, so bear that in mind if you’re thinking of picking it up. Just cover your skin with your cream of choice – no primer necessary – and set with a powder if you have particularly oily skin like me.


Most concealers are pretty thick I’m choosing to skip that step altogether. I’m also choosing against contour/blush/highlight because I find that they just irritate my skin when it’s in this state, and CC creams aren’t so full coverage as to block out all redness you may have from the night before, so just tell people that’s blusher and all will be fine.

2. Eyes

As much as the beauty world has recently become obsessed with brows, in this state I’d recommend leaving them alone altogether – especially if you’re still feeling a little tipsy, as drawing on your eyebrows with any alcohol in your bloodstream is not going to produce anything near a masterpiece. If you must touch them, just use a tinted brow gel to add a bit more volume and texture – my favourite is the Essence Make Me Brow (available at Wilko).


For the lids, leaving them bare is probably best, especially if the alcohol has made them particularly dry, but you could blend a little bronzer into the crease just to bring some definition there.


A light layer of mascara always helps to open up the eyes, but don’t go for anything overly volumising or clumpy as that will just irritate them in this state – I’m opting for the Barry M 'That’s How I Roll' mascara in the waterproof version, which has the added bonus of not reacting to any tears you might shed when you’re forced to watch videos of your drunken-self attempting to dance last night.


Finally, a white or nude toned eyeliner in the lower rim will really open up and brighten your eyes, disguising the fact that you’re still half asleep. I’m using the Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Khol Kajal in 005 Nude, but most drugstore brands make eyeliners for this purpose.

3. Lips

A simple lip balm is all you need here.

Let’s face it, whether it’s because you spent a whole night making out with some random at the club, or just because drinking that much alcohol can dehydrate your skin as well as your internal organs (try not to think too much about that), your lips are not ready for ten layers of mattifying lip liner and liquid lipstick today.


Luckily for you, tinted lip balms are a thing – combining moisture and colour to give a perfected yet efficient look. Vaseline is obviously most people’s go-to brand here, but virtually every drugstore and pharmacy you wander deliriously into will sell their own (hopefully even cheaper) version, so shop around.


And now, finally, you’re ready to face the world. Don’t worry if you’re planning to go out again tonight, though – the more often you practice this routine, the more it will begin to feel like second nature, so you can just claim that every night out is actually serving an educational purpose. Or something.


Aspiring author. (@PhoebePhairy)


7th October 2017 at 9:00 am