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Looking Good Hungover—It's Possible!

Being hungover is an unfortunate reality of the holiday season. (It’s the price we all must pay for getting such awesome presents.)
It just sort of happens—you stop by your company holiday party or meet up with friends for a civilized cocktail…and then before you know it, you’re dancing to a Ke$ha song in a bar halfway across town and you’re wearing a feather boa and drinking your sixth martini.
And the next morning, you’ve still got to get up and pretend like you’re a functioning member of society. I can’t help you be more productive (that’s what coffee and Excedrin are for), but here’s how to look good while doing it.
Take a Cool Shower
You may be tempted to hop into a hot, steamy shower to sweat out the toxins—resist. Take a cool one. The cool water will help constrict blood vessels, lessening swelling and inflammation. It’s also a pretty good wake-up.
DO Wash Hair
Trading clean hair for a few extra minutes of quietly laying horizontally might seem like a good deal, but don’t skip a quick rinse of your locks, because washing removes odors from the night before and makes you look more polished overall. A mint shampoo (like Origins Clear Head Mint Shampoo, $16) removes residue and leaves a scent behind that can help energize you.
Slather on a Caffeine Cream
If you don’t have time to sit with green tea bags over your eyes for fifteen minutes, a cream is a great alternative. Topical creams with caffeine can help to further reduce swelling and puffiness.
Plop In a Few Eye Drops
One of the chief features of a hangover is dehydration, and and your eyes get just as dehydrated as the rest of your body. A few drops of a moisturizing drop like Thera Tears (about $13.50 at drugstores) can help keep eyes comfortable, which means they’ll be less red. Wearing glasses instead of contact lenses helps, too.
Use a Brightening Concealer
If eyes feel puffy or sallow, a concealer with light-diffusing particles can help create the illusion of brightness. Skip cakey formulas that are designed to camouflage blemishes and pick one specifically made for the under-eye area, like YSL Touche Eclat, $40.
Skip Perfume, but Dab On Peppermint Oil
Heady fragrances + extra-sensitive noses = barf city. Keep an emergency stash of peppermint oil, and dab a few drops on pulse points. The aromatherapeutic scent can help quell nausea.
Take It Easy on the Makeup
On sallow, parched, and swollen skin, cosmetics can tend to look garish and mask-like. A hangover’s the time to rock the natural look. Apply a tinted moisturizer or BB cream for subtle evening-out of skin tone, then a natural pink blush. A coat of mascara and soft pink lips are all you need to perk up your face.

Allison Ford

Allison is a writer and editor who specializes in beauty, style, entertainment, and pop culture. She was part of the editorial team at DivineCaroline (now for more than three years. She loves makeup, sparkly accessories, giraffes, brunch, Matt Damon, New York City, and ice cream.

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