7 Steps To Looking Cute Through A Hangover

You may feel like death, but you don't have to look like it.

So let’s say that it was your best friend’s birthday, and you all went to see the Joffrey Ballet’s Nutcracker, which was lovely. And then you hang out with your wonderful friends and drink wine all night, which you forget you can’t do as easily now because you are in your late twenties. You take deliberately ugly selfies, which you later describe as “grublike.” And you throw popcorn and Twizzlers at a hot dude, because you are charming and elegant like that.

And then you wake up feeling like absolute hell.


Of course, all of that was purely hypothetical. In no way did that happen to me last Monday. That would be crazy.

The only way to really kill a hangover is time, water, lots of naps and amazing Thai food. But I have some tips on how to LOOK like you’re more alive than you really are.

Wash Your Face

You guys knew I was going to say this, didn’t you. Even though I have only hazy memories of doing so, I definitely washed my face before passing out on my friend's couch. Though I woke up bleary and nauseated, at least I didn’t have heaps of crusted-on makeup to contend with.

I rewashed my face anyway to get rid of the wine-sweat and grossness that had accumulated on my skin in its drunk-sleepy state. Even though I can’t say I would win any beauty pageants, I definitely felt a lot better with shiny-clean skin.

This should be the first thing you do in your hungover state: stumble to the bathroom and wash your face. I know, you feel awful. But think of how awful your skin feels with all that stuff gunking up its pores! Wash and moisturise, then flop back onto your bed with a cool glass of water. You’ll feel marginally better, I promise.


After you’ve taken a nap and sent hilarious Snapchats to your friends (bonus points if they’re three feet away from you), the horrible knowledge will dawn on you that you have to actually LEAVE THE HOUSE. And I don’t know about you guys, but the times I leave the house looking like death warmed up are inevitably the times I run into every dude I have a crush on, editor I’ve worked with or former high school bully.

Not to say that I don’t like the way I look sans fards--I do. But I’d really rather not see people I want to impress with my under-eye circles out in full force.

I always have my concealer in my well-stocked makeup bag, because you never know what’s going to happen in your life. MAC’s Mineralize Concealer is my favourite forever--such awesome coverage, so blendable, and in a wide range of shades for everyone’s skin tones.

Liquid concealer is best for hangover-hiding, because it’s the easiest to use. Stick concealers I’m likely to forget I was applying and leave the house with stripes on my nose. And forget the stuff you have to apply with a separate brush--are you kidding? What do I look like, a magical genius? TOO HARD.

I want to conceal the areas of my skin that are a little red or broken out, so I dot the liquid concealer on my cheeks and chin, around my nose (red from cold, damn you Chicago winter!). I blend all this in with my fingers, taking breaks for water as necessary.

Underneath my eyes is another, very important story. Too much concealer will make you look cakey and weird, and it’s really easy to overdo it when you’re not exactly firing on all cylinders. Combat this by scraping off the concealer applicator so that there’s less product on it, then draw a few little lines underneath your eyes like so.

Next, tap the concealer with your finger to blend it. Don’t rub. Rubbing not only makes the delicate skin under your eyes unhappy, you also might rub off all the makeup. It is easy to do when your face feels like it might fall off!

Hide any spots that you might have by applying a little dot of concealer and tapping it to blend. This is the easiest concealer-blending method in the world, guys.

Finish everything with some pressed powder, if you carry it. I like NARS because it's lightweight, matches my skin exactly and the compact comes with a big mirror.

Now your skin looks totally perfect! Or at least, not like you’ve been up all night doing amazing drunk karaoke.


Even though I had concealed and powdered, my skin still looked... not great. Whether it was from all the sleep I didn’t get, the metric ton of Skittles I ate or the dehydration from ALL THE WINE, my skin looked dull and sad. It matched the inside of my head in that respect.

Luckily, I had a couple of amazing products floating around the bottom of my bag.

Medusa’s Makeup is a Chicago company that I’ve been a fan of since the old Medusa’s Circle days. I’ve gotten to try a bunch of their stuff now and I am totally in love. I had the Medusa’s Makeup highlighter and kabuki brush in my little makeup case for touchups. Thank god I did, because I really needed it.

The highlighter is really sheer and beautiful, with a gold shimmer. I had worn it over my pink blush for the ballet, but it looks just as good on bare skin. It gave my hangover-face a little shimmer and life, and the gold warmed up my skin the perfect amount. I brushed it on my cheeks, down the bridge of my nose and over my eyelids, and I looked so much more alive.

Be careful with this when you’re hungover. It’s really easy to overestimate how much shimmer you need and accidentally douse yourself in it. Because this highlighter has a golden shine, you can end up in Data territory...and while Data is amazing in every way, it’s not really a good look.

I mean, I’m not saying that I did that the first time around. But I’m not NOT saying that, either.

Eye Makeup

No. Mascara? Too hard, oh my god. Wear sunglasses instead.


On those days when you wake up and wonder if it’s possible for hair to hurt, the best hairstyle is a low ponytail. This has several advantages:

•It always looks put-together, or at least like you tried.

•It hides any rough sleeping knots or snarls (though you really should brush it out before you pull it back).

•You can wear a hat with it, which is crucial if it’s freaking nine degrees outside OH MY GOD WHY.

I couldn’t find any of the nine thousand bobby pins I usually keep in my purse--I imagine they skittered away like mice when they heard me coming, the jerks--so I tucked the shorter pieces in the front that always escape the elastic behind my ears. Which is all the better to show off my AMAZING Star Trek earrings.


If any among you has the fortitude to mess with liners and complicated lip colours while feeling like something growing under a log in the woods, let them step forth.

That’s pretty much what I thought. But I also know that a lot of people--including myself--feel better when they at least LOOK like they’ve made an effort. Since I’ve left my eyes bare and kept my skin very basic, I needed a good lip colour to balance everything out and give my face some colour.

Enter Revlon’s Kissable Balm Stain in Smitten, which is my beauty game-changer of 2013.

This colour is everything: a medium wine-pink that looks amazing on every. Single. Skin tone. Along with Clinique Black Honey, this is a shade that I never hesitate to recommend to people. It is universally gorgeous, and it is always in my bag.

I write about these balm stains a lot because I love them so much. They feel great, last for ages, and--most importantly when hungover--are really easy to apply. Thank you, whoever invented these glorious chubby pencils. You are gods among mortals.

I can also report that the formula stays on even after going to town on some Thai food. Crucial.


Drink all of it. Seriously. It’s important for your beauty, and also your health.

If, after all of this, you still look and feel like a hot sack of crap, you can always do what Tim did and slip on a leftover Halloween mask:

Extremely glamourous, and very festive.

How do you deal with hangovers? What's your day-after food of choice? Anyone else totally over red wine because of how AWFUL it makes you feel in the morning? And can I just take a second to say how amazing 2013 has been, and how much of that is because of you guys? From the second I started writing for xoVain, you guys embraced me so hard and really made me feel welcomed and loved. So much great stuff has happened this year for me because of your love and support. This really is the most incredible community, and I love you all so much. Here’s to an awesome 2014!