Quick beauty fixes for a dull and blemished ‘lockdown face’

Some self-care and a touch of cosmetic enhancement can help boost spirits

Lockdown face is a real thing. I will proclaim it from the (socially-distanced) rafters. I will shout it on the beaches (provided they are within my 5km). A combination of dull skin, increased breakouts and unmitigated existential dread, lockdown face is a genuine phenomenon.

These are not just the ravings of a hysterical woman who has not left the house in two weeks, though they are, in part, exactly that.

Now, I’m not for a moment suggesting that if the current circumstances are showing on your face, making it a bit drab and unhappy, covering it up is a solution to any deeper problems. It certainly isn’t. However, I know that when I wake up looking like last night’s Bolognese dinner congealing on the plates I’ve certainly left unwashed, I feel worse if I stay that way. A bit of self-care and a touch of cosmetic enhancement helps kick the old dread into the ditch for a while.

Let us be realistic though. We are wearing less make-up. We have less energy. We want the boost, but without applying the full Joan Collins just to wait mournfully for the postman to bring an electricity bill. So, let us be strategic here.


The basics

To do the basics well, you need a nice moisturiser, a skin tint or foundation, a great concealer, a natural-looking but enhancing mascara and – I won’t compromise on this – a cream blush. Without the blush, the face will be pallid and flat. It is essential for dimension and to give the face some life and lift.

If you find yourself looking shiny as the day passes or feeling more prone to breakouts than usual, try an oil-free moisturiser such as Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream (€31 at arnotts.ie). It will sit comfortably under make-up without too much shine.

Milk Makeup Sunshine Skin Tint (€45 at selfridges.com) is my favourite discovery of the year so far. It has far more coverage than the word "tint" implies and gives the skin a sumptuously-plump, glowing finish that makes it look immediately happier.

For the lockdown blemishes, a particular type of concealer is needed. Mac Studio Fix Conceal and Correct palette (€36 at brownthomas.com) allows you to customise your cover for every issue. The formula is a touch dryer than you might imagine, but this is desirable because it stays in place to cover blemishes seamlessly and without light reflection (which will only enhance them).

L'Oreal Paris Air Volume Mega Mascara (€15 at pharmacies nationwide) is the perfect "natural" mascara – which is to say the effect it creates isn't one bit natural. This deeply-black mascara fans lashes out without clumping and fattens them just enough to give some pleasing heft without suggesting that you think you are going to a nightclub.

Finally, Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Fresh Melon (€27 at arnotts.ie) is the cream blush GOAT (greatest of all time). More interesting than pink. Easy to apply with fingers. Boots life into a drawn face instantly and is cheering both to look at and use. Don't skip the blush!

Product of the week 

Jo Malone London Wild Bluebell Cologne (from €59 at brownthomas.com).