When it comes to looking your very hottest, nothing compares to a dedicated routine. Spending the time finding products which work for you, and sticking to a consistent application process can deliver excellent results over time. But that’s just the issue—sometimes time is exactly what you don’t have. For these beauty emergencies, there is a selection of products which can offer super satisfying, instantaneous results. Here is a collection of the best.
Skin Looking Blah? Kate Somerville Exfoli-Kate
Exfoliation is essentially the essence of good skin: it smooths texture while boosting brightness. The Kate Somerville Exfoli-Kate combines a physical scrub with fruit enzymes to deliver extremely quick and extremely effective results. After three minutes, skin will be smoother, and any congestion or texture will be massively reduced. It also smells amazing—kind of like Christmas. This is perfect night-out prep, as it gives a post-facial glow and makeup glides on beautifully afterwards.
Flaking Out? CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion
If your skin is dry and flaky, it can feel like anything you put on top of it makes it worse. While exfoliating can help, sometimes there’s nothing that can fully resurface your skin in time. When this is the case, you need a moisturiser which acts almost like a glue, sticking any flakes back down and protecting your irritated complexion – while repairing it. The best product for this is cheap and unglamorous, but seriously amazing – the CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion. I’ve used some bougie moisturizers in my time, and nothing compares to the instant hydration and smoothing prowess of this drugstore staple.
Feeling Sleepy? Clarins Beauty Flash Balm
If your skin is more on the dull and gray side, there’s another solution: the Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. I think this product is often overlooked because of its vague name. Understandable, but also a real shame. This product is a primer, but not like a primer you’ve ever used before. It instantly tightens and brightens the skin, giving it vibrancy and lift over which any makeup applies perfectly. It’s essentially like a cup of coffee for worn-out, overworked skin.
Angry and Red? Mario Badescu Healing & Soothing Mask
Acne happens to the best of us, but sometimes trying to treat it can leave things looking worse—particularly if you go in with something aggressive which dries out skin and makes you all red and angry. While it can be tempting to try to kill it with fire, if you want to look better immediately and deal with the breakout later, I highly recommend the Mario Badescu Healing & Soothing Mask. It’s excellent for immediately reducing redness and calming any irritation, soothing complexions, and allowing you to better conceal any blemishes. It’s also a great option if you’ve overdone it with exfoliation or extractions.
Bad Hair Day? Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray
I’ll keep this one brief. If your hair is just looking terrible, the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray always helps. It’s super, super expensive, but I’ve never found anything as reliable for fixing my hair issues. It’s part dry shampoo, part texturizer, and part hairspray, and always gives hair a more intentional messy look. There are cheaper alternatives, but in times of need I always come back to Oribe.
Everything’s Wrong? Dr. Jart Cicapair Color Correcting Treatment
We love a well-rounded queen, and that’s exactly what the Dr. Jart Cicapair Color Correcting Treatment is. It’s a soothing and calming hydrator with a green pigment which helps minimize redness. When you rub it into the skin, the green pigment turns more beige, giving skin a teeny bit of coverage and evening out any discoloration. It also has an SPF of 30. For no-makeup days, this is a perfect base product which just makes skin look better, but it works equally well under foundation to give protection and a more natural finish. A legend.
Looking Tired? Benefit Eye Bright Pencil
I’m not really one for an under-eye concealing routine—I tend to find it ends up accentuating texture and making me look caked in makeup. However, if my eyes are looking particularly tired or red, I do have a trick up my sleeve. The Benefit Eye Bright Pencil is a cool, milky pink-toned kohl which, when smudged into the waterline, immediately makes you look youthful, well-rested, and ready for the day. It also makes eyes look wider and bigger, plus gives a cool, subtle ‘60s vibe. There are a ton of waterline-brightening pencils, but the tone and long-lasting formula of this one make it the best.
Resembling a Zombie? Glossier Cloud Paint
Whatever the question, blush is the answer, and the Glossier Cloud Paints are (probably) the best blushes on the market. They have a gel-like formula which applies super easily, blends seamlessly, and lasts all day while looking extremely natural. While powders can sit on the skin’s surface, the Cloud Paint becomes one with the face, giving you the look of a natural, just-worked-out flush. Dusk is a fabulous all-rounder shade, but a recent love of mine is the deeper, warm rose shade called “Storm.” It gives Snow White rosiness to the cheeks, which makes you look instantly more alive (and at least ten times cuter).
Need Instant Coverage? Tarte Shape Tape
Tarte Shape Tape has been a cult product basically since its launch, and I must say I’m a fan. I would never use this under my eyes, though—it just seems too thick and dry to go in that area. What it is fantastic for, though, is spot-concealing. The key to getting your Tarte Shape Tape right is using as little as possible. It’s extremely pigmented, so a pinprick-sized amount should be enough to conceal even the biggest and reddest pimple. Tap over with your finger to melt it into your skin seamlessly.
When in Doubt? Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter
I try a lot of makeup. And this product is one which has simply blown me away. It’s absolutely amazing for just making you look better. You can use it under or over makeup to give your skin a totally flawless, airbrushed-looking glow, and yet it never really looks too much like makeup at all. If everything is wrong and you’re just not feeling cute, swipe this on and I promise you’ll look and feel a lot more like the queen you are.
Annie Walton Doyle
Ameerah de Chabert