By Louise Emma Clarke
Founding Editor of The-Beauty-Pages.com
It only seems like yesterday that we were getting a glimpse of what was in store for Spring/Summer – but on Friday, London Fashion Week kicks off once again for the Autumn/Winter 2012 shows.
I come from a fashion journalism background and have been well used to Fashion Week coming hand-in-hand with blisters (too many high heels) exhaustion (too many late nights), lank hair (too much styling) and terrible skin (too much makeup). So how do I suggest that you survive it on a beauty level? If you are heading to the shows, my tips and recommendations are below – and if you are staying at home, why not get yourself dressed up, treat yourself to a survival kit, and follow the action online?
I will never forget the pain of aching soles, pinched toes, and blisters, which are as much a feature of London Fashion Week as the models, catwalks, and goody bags. I used to head home, collapse through the door, and kick off my high heels in seconds – and having an array of foot soothing products on hand to pamper tired toes and aching soles is a necessity.
Start by pouring warm water into a bowl and adding Crabtree & Evelyn’s Sea Foam Foot Soak, £9.60, which contains sodium bicarbonate to provide a soothing fizz and laminaria seaweed and algae extract to soften skin. Once feet are out and dried off, apply L’Occitane Shea Butter Foot Cream, £17.50, liberally – then pop on a pair of socks and head to bed, allowing the rich, shea butter-infused cream to pamper feet overnight.
Fashionistas head to salons in their droves every morning for professional blow-dries – flicking through their schedules, sipping on strong cappucinos, and fuelling on a complimentary breakfast as their tresses are tended to. It’s all very civilised, but after a week of it, hair starts to show signs of over-styling – snapping, frizzing, and misbehaving for weeks afterwards.
I’m not suggesting that you cut out the blow-dries (I would be there like a shot given the chance), but it pays to add an intensive hair mask into your nightly wind-down session. Do this every night throughout the shows and it will counteract the damage done at the salon the next morning. I love Schwarzkopf Professional Essensity Repair Mask, £9.35. It’s also worth stashing a good heat protection spray in your handbag and asking the stylist to spray it onto locks before your blow-dry – Tigi S Factor Flat Iron Spray, £9.50, is ideal.
It’s unfair that spots and blemishes appear at the time you least want them to rear their ugly heads – but with full faces of makeup, late nights and rushed meal times, it’s bound to happen if you are prone to problem skin.
The best way to prevent Fashion Week spots is to start using a skincare product that contains Salicylic Acid a few weeks beforehand, which keeps pores unblocked and prevents blemishes from forming in the first place. Clarins Pore Minimizing Serum, £17.20, would be ideal – apply it twice daily after cleansing to keep your skin clear and blemish-free.
If time isn’t on your hands, however, you need to have some emergency supplies in place, such as a fast acting blemish treatment and a great concealer. For the treatment, I loveClarins Blemish Control, £13.60, which reduces swelling and redness overnight. And for the concealer, I wouldn’t be without Vichy Dermablend Ultra Corrective Cream Stick, £19, which covers even the largest spots with ease.
As much as they love it, there’s one thing that every fashionista will admit – London Fashion Week is exhausting. It’s common for scores of them to ring in sick in the days afterwards, claiming they have been struck down by “Fashion Week Flu”. So how do you keep energy levels up when you are running around London by day and partying until the small hours by night?
The key to a fresh-faced look is to get as much sleep as possible the night before, so take time to wind down before you switch the light off (however late it may be). I swear by lavender as a natural sedative and love to burn L’Occitane’s The Harvests Lavender Candle, £15.17 as I am getting ready for bed. A few spritzes of Crabtree & Evelyn Lavender Linen Mist, £12, on your pillow should send you off into a deep and happy slumber.