How To: Prepare your Skin for an Important Event

skincare advice before party

I’ve finally managed to get around to filming my Preparing for a Beauty Shoot video and I have a feeling that, in a small way, it may be something of an anticlimax. Because I don’t have some kind of crazy twenty-five-step facial routine that I do before a modelling job; I actually keep things very simple. I pare things down. I don’t try out anything new or potentially reactive and I don’t suddenly overload my skin with lots of “radiance” or “glow-giving” products.

I’m hoping that this video will be useful for anyone who is getting ready for an important occasion whether it’s a wedding, prom, Christmas party or some kind of public appearance or photographed event. I’d say that it’s even more useful for people going to an event than it is for a model preparing for a shoot, because on a shoot you have the skill of the makeup artist to rely on and the welcome effects of the brilliant lighting…

Please do watch the video – it’s embedded below or you can view it on Youtube by clicking here – but here’s a “video in a nutshell” précis for those who can’t abide the sound of my voice.

The Day Before the Event

The day – or evening – before the shoot or event, I have two rules. The first is that I don’t ever try anything completely new. It’s tempting, I’ll admit, especially when I always have a good stock of untried things to get through, but I just stick to my old faithfuls. I might do some kind of mask if I’m feeling frisky, but usually these days I leave the more “active” products alone and let my skin rest up. Beauty shoots are actually very hard on the skin – there’s a lot of poking and prodding and wiping makeup off and buffing it on again. I get particularly sore around the eye area – red, patchy lids and sometimes quite odd areas of itchy, raw skin beneath my lower lash line.

beauty blog skincare faves

Here are some of my pre- (and post-) shoot soothers. Or, if not entirely soothing, just very light and neutral. The first is the Alpha-H Essential Hydration Cream, a great no-nonsense moisturiser that feels light, non-clogging and non-greasy. Those with very dry skin may need more from their moisturiser but this suits me just fine. You can find it on Cult Beauty here. (Use code CULTAH for free shipping on any Alpha-H.) The second is an all-time favourite; Pai’s Echium eye cream. Just brilliant on sensitive, fragile skin. I wrote about it in my Desert Island Beauty post.

The next product is fairly new on my rota – MV Organics Rose Soothing Protective Moisturiser. I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Sharon McGlinchey (the owner of MV Organics) a couple of months ago and you’ll be hearing more about her very soon – she’s a knowledge-machine when it comes to skincare and especially organic skincare. She has very strong views on the ingredients used in cosmetics and should probably have her own chat show, she’s unstoppable! The Rose Moisturiser is very light – those with dry skin might want to mix this with a few drops of nourishing oil, perhaps – but I have been using it alone on days when I just want to keep things very simple and gentle. Many “rose” products in mainstream beauty are directed at women with dry skin and the formulations tend to be very rich. This is not one of those products – I used it even when my skin was PMT-oily and it worked very well for me. I’ll be talking more about MV Organics, like I said, but in the meantime you can find out more about the range here.

Last on the pre-shoot line-up; Calendula & Rose Damask moisturiser from Elemental Herbology. Richer than the other two by quite some measure, but still not too overpowering for my skin. I get the glow and the supple feeling that I’d get after using an oil, but with less risk of grease overload.

the best face masks reviews

If I do have to do something a bit stronger to get my face ship shape in a short amount of time then I have a little arsenal of masks that I know won’t be too much for my skin. They do the job, but they don’t take off seventy-five layers of skin in the process. I can use them even a couple of hours before I have to be somewhere and I know that I’ll be in safe hands – they are well tested! Quick run-down: the Facial Glow peel from Elemental Herbology, the Miracle Mask from NUDE, the Essential Enzyme Peel from Aromatherapy Associates and the Meso Mask from Filorga. I could also, obviously, turn to my trusty steed, Liquid Gold, if I wanted a skin pep-up the night before, but I haven’t mentioned this in the video because more often than not, I use my soothers, these days. Also, whereas I have tested out Liquid Gold to the absolute limits, others watching the video may not have and I wouldn’t offer it up to newbie skin as a night-before fix. It can take a little getting used to!

All of the brightening masks that I’ve mentioned above seem to provide, for me at least, the perfect amount of “fizz”. I can feel them working, they give a glow, but they aren’t OTT. In fact, the Meso Mask from Filorga feels quite soothing. All of these masks seem to effectively perk my skin up without leaving it feeling vulnerable – they are all perfect hangover masks, too, especially the Meso which can be left on for ages before it needs to be rinsed off. You can put it on and have a good 30 minute cat nap before it has to be removed.

I’m going to stop now, before this post becomes a transcript of the video (see Saturday’s post on transcripts) – it’s all in there, and I’ll start repeating myself! You can see that below I’ve detailed all of the products I mention in the video- I’ve divided them up into labelled groups for your convenience. There are some hair masks, great cleansing balms and also some “stronger” masks and peels that I use two or more nights in advance, just so that I get the optimal results when the shoot or event is happening.

Enjoy, share the link with your nearest and dearest friends, let me know your thoughts. If you are reading via email and want to watch the video then, as always, you can click here to view it.

Night Before Stuff

Alpha H Essential Moisturiser:
Pai Echium Eye Cream:
MV Organics Rose Moisturiser:
Elemental Herbology Rose and Calendula:

Effaclar Duo:
Dr Nick Lowe Spot Treatment:

Masks, if you must – these seem to be OK on my skin, but obviously test at a safe time first, think… a week ahead!
Meso Mask from Filorga:
Miracle Mask from NUDE:
Aromatherapy Associates Enzyme Peel:
Elemental Herbology Facial Glow:

“Two Nights or More Before” Products (just to be safe!)

Omorovicza Copper Peel – whew, expensive!
Melvita Purifying Mask
Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask:

Failsafe Hair Masks

Goldwell 60 Second
SEAH Cashmere Mask

Cleansing Balms to Remove Makeup

Clinique Take the Day Off Balm:
Merumaya Balm:
Una Brennan range at Boots:
Emma Hardie Amazing Face Balm (my absolute fave!)

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