If you've ever looked in the mirror after a weekend of late nights and 2 a.m. pizza sessions to find dark circles under your eyes, a chipped manicure, frizzy hair, and a general air of chaos, you're not alone. While it's totally acceptable, even necessary, to blow off some steam after each busy week of meetings, deadlines, and stress, most activities any less wholesome than early morning yoga and green juice tend to do a number on the appearance. Life just ain't fair.
So what's a girl to do? Settle for a splotchy complexion all in the name of boozy brunch? As a firm believer in living my best life on the weekends (even if that means camping out on the couch for 48 hours straight), I'm no stranger to the maintenance that becomes necessary by Sunday to look and feel my best for the new week ahead. Being the proactive beauty editor I am, I've developed a tried-and-true Sunday night beauty routine that helps reveal a completely refreshed, amazing-looking woman when all is said and done. A welcome side effect is that it also helps move my mind from the anxiety of any unknowns in the coming week to relishing in unapologetic self-care. Consider it a total-body overhaul that also helps to reset the mind.
Ahead, find the Sunday-night beauty routine that lets me enter Monday feeling like 100% that bitch.
Resurface my face with a chemical peel
This two-step liquid peel is my favorite at the moment. Step one contains a potent blend of lactic and glycolic acids to slough away dead skin cells, instantly revealing a brighter, more energized complexion. This compound will tingle on application, for sure. It might even burn a little. But step two is meant to neutralize the chemicals with soothing centella asiatica, green tea, and colloidal oatmeal. I enjoy the effects of this peel all week long when I look in the mirror to see tiny pores, an even skin tone, and a clear complexion.
If you're looking for a less intense but still effective alternative to the above, look no further than these handy little peel pads by Bliss. The individually wrapped pads are soaked in glycolic acid that's gradually released into the skin while you sleep. There's also licorice, calendula flower extract, and witch hazel soaked into the pads, making them more gentle.
For a natural version of an exfoliating peel, I always reach for this option by Eminence. It deploys willow bark and salicylic acid to clear out pores and encourage cell turnover. Soothing botanicals then go to work on any redness or inflammation to leave the skin clear and radiant.
Exfoliate the rest of my body, too
There's no better feeling than physically scrubbing away dead skin from every inch of your body (from the neck down, of course). It's just so satisfying to work a coarse mixture all over, before rinsing it away to reveal soft, supple skin. This one by Dr. Teal's is perfect for such a Sunday scrub down, and your skin's softness with persist well into Monday.
I know, $54 might sound a bit steep for a body scrub, but trust me, this one's worth it. First it's a mask that detoxifies the skin, then as you rub it off, super-fine volcanic pumice gently exfoliates the skin. Oh, and it smells incredible. I truly cannot say enough about the intoxicating lychee scent. It's such a luxurious experience that you'll look forward to every single weekend.
I'm a big fan of this coffee scrub, and not just because I'm a caffeine fiend. Aside from the scent of a freshly brewed cup that envelopes the shower, the mixture also contains cold-pressed almond and macadamia oils that leave the skin soft to the touch. When I use this scrub before shaving my legs, they stay smooth for the entire week ahead.
Wear under-eye patches
Tired eyes are such a Sunday struggle. Whether they're due to late-night Netflix or one to many glasses of wine (or both!), those under-eye bags are no match for these soothing patches. They contain cornflower extract, arnica, and chamomile, which are all anti-inflammatory powerhouses that help soothe and soften the skin while reducing the appearance of puffiness. Wear them around the house before bed, and prepare to wake looking refreshed and ready to crush your Monday.
These hydrogel patches instantly cool and calm the eye area with caffeine and hydrolyzed collagen. The individual packaging makes them super easy to travel with, so you can carry out this Sunday ritual anywhere.
I've never been to Iceland, but I can honestly say that I've personally experienced the magic of Icelandic Glacial Water thanks to these eye gels. They help to plump up fine lines around the eye area and improve blood flow to combat puffiness.
Deep condition my hair
Deep conditioning on a Sunday ensures that I'll enter the new week with healthy, manageable hair. One of my favorite tricks for deep conditioning is to place a shower cap over my strands while my product sits to trap in extra heat from my shower and allow the nutrients to penetrate my hair even further. This handy Briogeo conditioner packet comes with an essence-infused hair cap for max hydration.
I've trusted this thick, luxurious conditioner for longer than I remember. It's a mainstay in my shower because it leaves my hair feeling soft, hydrated, and loved. It's basically impossible not to have a good hair day after use.
While a little pricey, this mask is unreal. It's infused with cocoa butter and keratin to intensely moisturize and strengthen every strand. While it's super hydrating, it doesn't leave the hair feeling weighed down.
Do an at-home manicure
I feel unstoppable when I have freshly painted nails. I've been on a break from gel manicures for a few months now, and taking my nail game into my own hands has been so easy and fun with this kit by Olive & June. It comes with everything you need for a flawless manicure, including the Poppy, which is a silicone ball that helps to stabilize your hand while applying nail polish. It's truly genius.
Drink all the water
This one might feel like a no-brainer, but it has to be said that without adequate water intake, all other beauty efforts are futile. I used to be a lot better about drinking copious amounts of water every day, but I've been slipping for a while now and the negative effects show up in every aspect of my physical and mental well-being. It's an indisputable fact that water makes everything better, from skin to hair and even mood. A hydrated Sunday is the first step toward an excellent Monday.
Wear a modeling mask
I'm just going to come out and say it: Modeling masks are a skincare game-changer. The congealed goo may look a little strange (as evidenced above), but there's no doubting the instant plumping effect from its ability to push nutrients into your skin. Just wow. My current favorite it the soothing hyaluronic marine gel mask by Dr. Dennis Gross, and it's a Sunday staple in my house.
I've not yet tried this particular modeling mask for myself, but I've read countless reviews and even watched a video from one of my favorite beauty editors ever (hi, Faith!), who was completely floored by how glowy her skin was after using it. I'd definitely be willing to veer from my current masking obsession to give this one a shot.
If you're not in the mood to spread vitamin-infused goop all over your face, here's an alternative that's a little less laborious. It's a rubber sheet mask that mimics the effect of a modeling mask. You simply spread the included serum ampoule onto your face, place the rubber overlay on top of it, and wait for your skin to drink it all the nutrients.
Up next, I always get compliments on my eyebrows—these are the products I swear by.
This article was originally published at an earlier date and has been updated.
Courtney Higgs is a Cancer sun, Libra rising beauty enthusiast with about six years of experience in the editorial space. She was previously Who What Wear's associate beauty editor after spending many years working on the West Coast edit team at InStyle Magazine. She graduated from California State University, Northridge, with a BA in communication studies and pivoted to editorial after spending her college years working in the legal field. Her beauty philosophy is simple: She believes there are no wrong answers and that discovering our favorite beauty products and rituals is a journey, not a sprint. When she's not geeking out over products, she can be found adventuring around L.A. with her fiancé; watching reality TV with their French bulldog, Bernie Mac; or relating way too hard to astrology memes.
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