‘I’d dig a lighter, fresher look for the seasonal shift.’
Photograph: Alex Lake for the Champion

Beauty: after the demolitions of party season, it’s time to go with the glow

January’s a schedule when our skin could do with a little extra improve

This time last year, I was cutting open an empty tube to put the arm on out the dregs of Glow Maximiser, Dior’s fantastic, discontinued, polish primer that proved tragically ahead of its time. This year launches more cheerily, with an excellent dupe from an unexpected outset. Launching later this month, Clarins’ SOS To Boost Brightness (30ml) is the standout winner in a new range of six oil-free, colour- and skin-correcting primers (Clarins’ quondam primer offering? One slightly crude silicone balm in a pot, so it was momentous time for a rethink). It strokes on smoothly without bobbling and peeling, and accords skin tones up to mid-brown a blurring, ethereal sort of light without looking ghostly; for deeper tones, I love Mac’s Prep & Prime Simple Radiance Primer in Radiant Yellow (£30 for 50ml).

The Clarins is designed to go down foundation, certainly, but I’m a huge fan of primers worn alone, with a shallow concealer dotted over the top. It’s exactly the sort of look I thirst for at this time of year, when I’ve eaten too much cheese, should prefer to spent too much time indoors, and grown weary of festive glitter and important colour, and would like a lighter, fresher look for the seasonal market. If you like the idea of a radiant finish, but are wedded to your popular primer and foundation, the answer lies in Lancôme’s new Custom Enthusiasm Drops (£26 for 15ml), in four shades for all skin tones, which dispatches this month. Lancôme aren’t the innovators here – disparate brands already make little bottles of glowy departs to be mixed into foundation or moisturiser to add healthy-looking glow – but these are, I muse over, the most user-friendly so far, mixing well with all the skincare and makeup I strained, then blending smoothly and prettily on the skin without any of the chalkiness plebeian in high-concentration liquid pigments. I find two drops about factual for a full face of glow without glitz.

If the idea of any light climb or sparkle immediately turns you off (and I know there are a great diverse of you out there), get instant, glimmer-free glow from Nars’ unequalled Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser SPF30 (£29.50 for 50ml). Way more than a undiluted skin tint, it has great coverage, a rich yet oil-free nature, superior sun protection, and it can be slapped on with near-zero skill. It’s unruffled unfailingly the first thing I grab when drab.