How To Glow At The Darkest Time Of The Year

How To Glow At The Darkest Time Of The Year

As the shortest day approaches, most women’s skin gets the ‘blahs’. (No, you’re not alone.) But we happen to know several ways to wake up your face fast – which is just dandy, when December tends to be a social whirl and you want your skin to look energised and glowing. You can go the professional route: trek to a salon, have your face massaged, be slathered with creams (and lie there hoping you’re not getting a parking ticket). Or you can go the D-I-Y route, which is infinitely cheaper and more accessible. Now, that’s not to say we don’t love a facial – see a list below of some of our favourites. But realistically, who has the money or just as importantly the time to indulge more than once in a blue moon…?

Your daily regime is one thing. But it’s easy to be lulled – out of sheer inertia and/or laziness – into doing the same for your skin, day in, night out. So we really, really can’t encourage you too strongly to try these face-waking techniques on how to glow.

If we had a lunching-lady sort of life, we might see professional facialists more often ourselves. But actually, even though we’re beauty editors, we can’t justify that sort of indulgence as frequently as we might like. You can achieve a huge amount – near-miraculous, actually – with a simple, at-home, two-step blitz: a gentle-but-effective exfoliation, followed by a mask.

A new gently exfoliating ‘face-waker’ ideal for prepping skin for a mask is the just-launched Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Refine & Polish Miracle Balm, which contains small buffing spheres that ensure a smooth, receptive ‘canvas’ for any mask you apply. Then the mask itself: we’re massive fans of Sarah Chapman Skinesis Instant Miracle Mask, which truly lives up to its name – just don’t get caught answering the front door slathered in rose pink ‘rubber’ – and Innovative Skincare Coolmint Revitalising Masque. Or follow with the divine, divine, divinely rose-y Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Cell Revitalise Rose Mask, with a scent our Beauty Bible testers just raved about.

We also follow advice from facialist Suzie Mitchell (she’s local to Jo in Hastings), who’s something of a miracle-worker for tired faces. For instance, this tip for temporarily ‘ironing’ away lines from the face and boosting glow. Suzie says: ‘put a little facial oil in one palm and rub hands together, then smooth over face, neck and bosom. Rather than fingertips, use the big muscle in the cushion at the base of your thumb, always working upwards. Start by fanning out over and round your neck, the work round and up your jaw and cheekbones to the temples, then across and up your forehead to your hairline. Repeat, covering the whole face for five to ten minutes. The oil will be absorbed, skin velvety, and your face look rosy and “lifted”.’ And it really works.

If we’ve 15 minutes (rather than five), we also swear by this technique from Annee de Mamiel on how to glow…

  • Smooth your favourite facial oil all over your entire face and neck.
  • Cup your hands over the nose and mouth, breathe in and out deeply.
  • Tug your earlobes with thumb and index finger. Then with fingertips, use firm, circular movements to massage from behind ears to base of neck.
  • From the point of your chin, work up and outwards along the jaw to your ear; then from the corners of your mouth over the cheeks to the ear; then from the base of the nose over the cheeks to the ear. Repeat the whole sequence three times.
  • Sweep your fingers firmly over your eyebrows, then under, then gently pinch along them. Repeat twice.
  • Pressing firmly with your middle fingers, circle the eyes beginning above the inner corners and working outwards. Repeat three times.
  • From the centre of your forehead, just above the nose, zig-zag middle fingers in small, firm motions out to the temples; repeat working up the forehead.
  • With the side of your index finger (held vertically), smooth skin from the centre of the face outwards, beginning with your forehead, then sides of nose, middle of mouth and centre of chin.
  • Finish by breathing deeply, hands cupped over your mouth and nose.


  • Annee de Mamiel
  • Sarah Chapman
  • Vaishaly Patel
  • Emma Hardie (not your typical facial – no products, but seriously ‘lifting’)
  • Anastasia Achilleos
  • Ole Henriksen
  • Bliss Triple Oxygen Facial
  • Antonia Burrell