Time was, you could just smash an absinthe cocktail and get back to writing For Whom the Bell Tolls. But these days that’s an HR issue and hangovers have to be ridden out for the sweaty duration. I can’t change that. Nor can I help you with your mess of a life and consequential substance problem. But here’s how to hide it from your mom/dad/girlfriend/boss/self so we can all carry on like everything is fine.
It was actually Hemingway himself who best summed up hangovers. So to borrow from literature’s great absinthe fiend, let’s hide the bastard behind the eyes*. I do of course hope you have a handle on your shit and this article is taken as fun and not your daily course from here due to being a fucking mess and finding this incredibly useful. That ain’t cool.
*THIS REFERENCE IS DOUBLY FUN BECAUSE THERE’S AN EYE CREAM IN THIS ARTICLE
Stage 1: Eye creams
Told you. Now, take a good look at yourself in the mirror. No, you shouldn’t have done that thing you did and yes, your life is a cyclical prison of getting fucked up from which death is the only escape. But cheer up, buddy. Because, y’know, all the other stuff. And that friend you have. He’s cool. Maybe you should get a dog? Life’s OK. Buddy.
Anyway. Look into your eyes. Alcohol does a right number on the blood vessels in and around this area. Which is why you look like you’ve gone a few rounds with Conor McGregor. You need to cool and reinvigorate the skin here. A metal rollerball that delivers some soothing ingredients will help you look less beat up. So wash and then with gentle strokes apply a product like Clinique’s Anti-Fatigue Cooling Eye Gel. Keep it in your pocket.
Stage 2: Matte moisturizers
Post-alcohol sweats is a real phenomenon. Your blood pressure often increases after too much sauce, simultaneously a sign and cause of the flight or fight response. Yes, dude, that means you drank so much beer that the primitive biochemical clusterfuck of hormonal reactions to being chased by a sabertooth tiger kicked in and now you’re sweating like you’ve done a bad murder.
Shower. That’s tip one. You don’t need me for that bit. Dry off. Trouble is, you’ll start leaking salty liquid from your face pretty rapidly. Which is why a mattifying moisturiser is your friend (only friend?) during hangover days (every day?). Apply Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Moisturizer to your face immediately post shower and you’ll be shine free for the duration. Or at least until your mid-afternoon 30-minute toilet cry.
Stage 3: Breath fresheners
If the only person you talk to today is yourself – three hours of ceaselessly screaming at the mirror, for instance – then you can skip this stage. For the mildly functioning among you, there’s every chance you might speak to someone at work. In which case, even if you can’t notice it yourself, it’s safe to assume your mouth smells like fermenting ass.
Again, this is science, so stick with me. Beer is yeasty AF. There’s this whole miasma of sugary, fermented deliciousness bubbling away in your gut and you’ll project it wherever you go. Green veg and green tea help your body metabolize this shit so start there. Then buy and keep in your desk an antibacterial mouthwash such as Corsodyl’s and the strongest gum you can purchase with the few cents you have left in your wallet after last night.
Stage 4: Man makeup
OK, not exactly makeup. But if you’re feeling adventurous then there’s BB cream – something male brands have borrowed from the female market – and I wholeheartedly endorse it for the purpose of this column. And while the rollerball will certainly reduce a bit of the puffiness, for most guys it’s simply not enough. Perhaps you’re prone to dark circles after each session. Maybe you chased your 12 beers with 12 lines of flake.
Either way, get help. Then apply a judicious amount of Lab Series’ BB Tinted Moisturizer, focusing on the area around your eyes.
Don’t be put off by the cream colour; it works for most fair-olive skin tones (Unfortunately it only comes in the one shade). The key is using only a small blob, which acts more as a way of evening out your skin than a full-on concealer like the one used by the girlfriend you’d definitely have if only you could stop mainlining absinthe.
Hit me with your grooming questions below so I don’t have to come up with column ideas for myself and can just answer them next week. – Alex Harris
Knock, knock. Who is it? Groom service.