Ho-Ho Horrors – Christmas Beauty Survival Guide


For a season that’s generally described as being “filled with good cheer”, chances are you’re going to have some moments that are quite the opposite. Between drama-tinged family politics, obligatory festive binges and pressure-filled plans, this entire month has the ability to rival Halloween for scariest occasion in the annual social calendar. And that’s not inclusive of the ho-ho beauty horrors which tend to accompany these emotional and physical stressors, further complicating this season of mirth and photo opportunities.

So even if you’re feeling exhausted after having RSVP’ed to every soiree, trimmed the tree and checked everyone off your shopping list, now is certainly not the time to skimp on your beauty routine. Follow our mingle belles’ repertoire of trusted survival tips and shortcuts to keep those seasonal spoilers under wraps, and your biggest party conundrum remaining will be what to wear. Here’s to an Instagram-perfect holiday season!



It could be the stress from the last minute Christmas shopping and holiday travel, the dietary indiscretions during Thanksgiving, or the Almighty Law of Murphy working against The Law of Attraction – pimples just have this irksome tendency to poke their ugly heads right before every important event.

Cortisone injections by your derm can kill untimely zits real quick. But getting appointments during the festive season isn’t always possible. Especially if you’re breakout-prone, stock a salicylic acid blemish buster in your holiday toolkit. “A salicylic acid-containing product such as the Sloane Inc Clarity Water sends pimples packing due to its anti-inflammatory properties. The sebum-dissolving BHA also helps to detoxify congested pores and nix camera-unfriendly shine,” shares Dr Toby Hui from The Sloane Clinic.

One of the fastest ways to disguise a sudden pimple is, of course, through corrective colouring. Corrective colour makeup operates on the principle that opposites on the colour wheel cancel each other out, i.e. green is the perfect solution to neutralise that red zit sitting right upon your Rudolph nose. So if you have a green-based cream concealer (such as the Physician’s Formula Gentle Cover Concealer Stick in Green) at hand, dab on a small amount on the spot before your foundation to best camouflage the blemish. If you don’t, blend in a high coverage product like the Vichy Dermafinish Fluid Corrective Foundation with a concealor brush after your usual light foundation just to hide the individual blemishes, followed by a translucent powder to set your makeup. This will prevent a heavy mask-like effect and allow the natural beauty of your unaffected skin to radiate through.

“Just try to keep things relatively matte, particularly in the zit-fested zone – shine attracts unwanted light on the swollen zits – and you should be back in the game,” reassures makeup artist Lanice Lu.

“A gorgeous red lip will also detract attention from the mega pimple and add an aura of holiday glamour to your evening,” she adds. ” If opaque red is out of your comfort zone, go for a sheer splash of red or fuschia gloss that’s so easy to wear and will instantly warm up your entire complexion.” Try VMV Hypoallergenics Z Lip Gloss in Cabaret, a saucy red lippie that bathes kissers in irresistible vibrant colour and skin-bettering goodness of green tea antioxidants and moisturising virgin coconut oil.


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If the holidays have run you down with lifeless, bloodshot eyes, makeup artist Ywenny Rowena says to skip the usual festive smoke and instead go gilded.

She starts by prepping under-slept models with an anti-histamine eyedrop, such as Visine or Spersallerg, to decongest and wipe away the telltale eyeball redness quickly. Lightly massaging in a chilled caffeine-doused eye serum will perk up puffy lids and dark circles as well. Neutralize any residual reddish or violet hue due to stagnant blood circulation in the undereye skin with an illuminating eye primer or yellow-based concealor. “I then blend a light fairy wash of shimmery champagne shadow, a universal glamour booster which will match every wardrobe, on the inside corners of eyes and outwards to make them appear bigger and brighter by catching the light,” says Rowena.

“A well-curled, pumped up set of lashes allows you to get away with any sin. Thank God for mascara!” To add that extra twinkle to your blinkers, the smudge-proof Smashbox Photo Op Eye Brightening Mascara has a clever formula that contains a blue tint to make the whites of your eyes pop. 


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It happens. You had one (or five) too many cocktails and – beyond the killer headache – it’s showing up on your face too. The constant stream of celebratory booze can cause you to wander out of your bed like a rum-soaked zombie in a few ways: The alcohol can seriously dehydrate the entire system, drain away your colour and radiance, and morph you into a complete “PMS”-like puff ball overnight.

So if your mirror reflection resembles less of a warm and fuzzy Christmas poster and more Edvard Munch, don’t scream in panic. First, apply the fail-safe cold damp flannel (or a cold brightening mask like the trusty Shiseido White Lucent Power Brightening Mask, or an ice pack…or even a packet of frozen peas for that matter, if desperate) to your cleansed face – it always works wonders to shrink the bloat. Gently rub the flannel over your skin for a quick glow-revealing exfoliation. Immediately work in a hydrating serum with hyaluronic acid to nourish the new skin cells that have been revealed.

“The focus here is about about quenching the skin, since alcohol depletes the life-giving aqua from cells. I find a spritz of Sloane Inc Skin Illuminating Essence through the Nano-Mister to invigorate and prep skin, followed by light massage of Sloane Inc Miracle Lift gets the circulation moving and gives me that much-needed moisture surge due to its generous hyaluronic acid content. At the same time, the Vitamin B3 soothes stressed, blotchy skin and skin-tightening goodies leave my face instantly lifted. Et voilà! I look radiantly human again,” says Senior Beauty Therapist (and party animal) Gemma Lee.

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– By Emily Wong


*This article has been selected Editor’s Choice for Dec 2013*