How to prep your skin for a special occasion

I went to a charity ball last night and decided to treat myself and get my makeup done.

So, the week before I upped the skincare ante to make sure it looked its best. You can call it a diet for my skin.

I’m pretty sure you’ve heard me say this before – your skin is your canvas so if it’s not looking in top shape, no amount of makeup you use to cover up the things you might not like, will do the job. Sorry!

A basic skincare routine should include:


Cleanse your skin

Moisturise. You can use a serum, cream, essence, eye cream – whatever you want that works for your skin.

Sunscreen. UVA and UVB rays get to us through the car and office windows, not just when we go outside, so make sure you’re always wearing at least an SPF 30, to prevent fine lines and wrinkles making themselves at home on your face.

Click here to find out what type of sunscreen you should be using.


Remove makeup. If you leave it on, it clogs the pores possibly causing breakouts and leaves skin looking dull.

Cleanse to remove any remaining makeup, dirt and oil that your makeup remover might not have got to. I love a cleansing oil (read about it here) and also the Face Halo which removes makeup with just water. Read more here.

Correct. Night time is the best time to tackle and correct any specific skincare concerns like pigmentation or redness, because there are no environmental factors like pollution getting in the way when we’re in bed, so it’s most effective.

Night cream. You can add a hydrating night cream on top of your corrector of choice, or forgo this step. Same goes with an eye cream.

Two to three times a week you should exfoliate to remove dead skin cells and allow your products to penetrate deeper for maximum effectiveness.

These routines should do the job but when there’s an occasion coming up, hydration is key. Having skin that’s hydrated means it’s more plump, firm and smooth.

It takes around 30 days for there to be a more permanent change to your skin if you alter your skincare routine because that’s how long it takes skin cells to turnover. If the occasion coming up is your wedding for example, start at least 3 months before the big event.

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Here are the extra steps I took, the week before the ball

1.     Extra exfoliation. Instead of exfoliating twice a week at night, I did it three times and each time applied a mask straight afterwards. I followed that with my usual skincare routine.

2.     Hydration spray. I am using the Mario Badescu facial spray with aloe, herbs and rosewater. I sprayed much more religiously during the day. It can be used under or on top of makeup and you cannot overdose.

3.     Face masks. In addition to a clay mask and replenishing honey mask after exfoliating, I used a couple of sheet masks, just for that extra hydration boost. I used one of the sheet masks the morning of the ball, so my skin was ready for makeup. Hyaluronic acid was the essential ingredient for me.

4.     Eye cream. I was a little more generous with my eye cream to ensure the thin skin under there was as plump as it could be. I didn’t want any makeup settling in the creases. Be gentle and just dab the product on using your ring finger.

I loved my makeup from the ball, done by the incredible Amy Capeda and will be doing a separate blog post really soon on what she did and how you can recreate the ultra glam look.