Long term, hardworking beauty products, like eye creams or serums that take six weeks of nightly application before you see an affect, are all well and good. Alas, I hear you bellow from the depths of your frustration (and possibly your bed) “I haven’t GOT six weeks. I’m riddled with problems NOW!” Well, join the queue.
While you’re at it, allow me to share with you the knowledge I have garnered over years of being both a beauty writer and lazy professionally. I don’t want products that will gaze at me dolefully from the shelf, intoning “You’d look fine by now if you had used me yesterday, or maybe since January”. No. I want products that will enable the worst sides of my indulgent nature, by eradicating the consequences of my poor choices. Luckily for us all, I’ve found plenty of them.
The Instant Night’s Sleep – Vichy Slow âge Night Cream & Mask (€28.80 at feelunique.com)
Look, nothing is really the same as a night’s sleep, and I don’t recommend you deprive yourself of sleep and try to hide that crime against self care with a jar of goo. However, we have all gotten a splendid night’s sleep and still woken up looking like we have in fact been dredged from some terrible underworld, or from a frogspawn infested pond. In those instances, a spoon fresh from the freezer applied to puffiness, some water and a good product are all the hail mary available to us. Applied for ten minutes pre-special occasion or night out, this will brighten and plump the skin very nicely. Applied overnight, it will ensure you awake, having slept well, actually looking like you have.
The Instant Corned Beef Leg Eradicator – Vita Liberata Body Blur (€27.95 at lookfantastic.com)
Not everyone uses tan; sometimes you don’t have time, and sometimes you think your legs are in good fettle, then get them out for the first time since October and realise they look like oversized chicken drumsticks made of poor quality corned beef. This is essentially a body makeup, but it is idiot-proof (and transfer proof), fuss-free, and beats those stockings that make you look like a prematurely aged member of the British royal family.
The Instant Face – MAC Morange Lipstick (€20 at Brown Thomas)
This is a miraculous lipstick. If your skin is good, or you are just wearing foundation and perhaps a bit of mascara, a slick of this dictatorial red orange is enough to make you look ‘on purpose’. Nobody wants their face to look accidental, and with an unfinished face of makeup, it often will. If you don’t have time to worry about it or apply more than two or three products, but still want to look slightly editorial and better than everyone, opt for Morange.
The Instant Glow – NARS Orgasm Blush (€32 at Brown Thomas)
I don’t mean ‘glow’ as in light reflection or glossy radiance, though there is a product for that further down the list. No. I mean instant glow (wink wink), the sort you get from a brisk walk in the snow, or a fight with your mother about your life choices, or adult activities and such. Orgasm suits everyone. No matter your skin tone, you can wear it. It injects the face with a delightfully natural looking pink hue featuring a touch of iridescence. It is a beauty product of iconic status for good reason.
The Instant Pick-Me-Up – REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial (€38 at Marks and Spencer)
This quick mask is just the thing when you find that you look like a batch loaf past its best and you have one minute to spare. It will render skin that simply will not allow makeup to sit calmly atop it docile enough to work with, relieve that grey newsprint complexion and just generally wake up a dormant face. Facial dormancy is a real thing – many of us wake up several hours before our faces do.
The instantaneous Glow – Glamglow Glow Starter (€42 at Debenhams)
I vastly prefer a liquid highlighter to a powder, partially because I can just shove a splodge into my moisturiser and throw it at every surface of my head. This is a moisturiser that has the glow inbuilt, but you can apply it over the high points of your face (under makeup but on top of your favourite moisturiser) as well if you want. It is sumptuous, and can also be mixed with makeup for a light, sheeny and flattering base that also, incidentally, makes you feel instantly fancier.