The step-by-step guide to glowing up for your first night out under COVID-19 alert level 2

women getting ready in bathroom
Blow the cobwebs off your makeup and heels and get ready to celebrate level 2 in style. Photo credit: Getty.

It's the first Friday of the nationwide lift to COVID-19 alert level 2 which means many of us are planning on letting loose tonight - in a safe and hygienic way of course. 

If the girls are coming over, the BYO is booked and you've narrowed down your friends to 10 like comedian Chris Parker in this amazing video, you're probably realising right about now that your isolation look just isn't going to cut it. 

Face a pale, spotty mess? Hair greasy and lank? The only clothes you know how to wear are your partner's trackpants?

We've got you covered. Here's your step-by-step guide to glowing up for your first night out in weeks. 

Scrub iso off 

If we're going into this glow up like it's surgery, you'll need to sufficiently prep the area. Lock yourself in the bathroom, put on a banging playlist, get in the shower and exfoliate yourself from head to toe. You need to slough off the dead skin cells that have built up from weeks of lying in bed. Frank Original Body Scrub is made with coffee grains and will give you a bit of a pep up, while Dermologica Thermogoliant Body Scrub will leave your skin like silk. Shave or wax the body hair that's grown wild over lockdown, if that's your thing. Otherwise, just give it a loving condition.

Bronze up

If you're like me, two months spent mostly in the lounge has left my skin paler than a ghost. It's great for anti-wrinkle efforts but not so good for looking fresh and glowy, like I'm one of those people who got to isolate at their parents' bach in Northland rather than my Mount Albert flat. Fake tan your entire body to give your iso skin some sign of life. Bondi Sands Liquid Gold will moisturise your dry skin with oils while it tans, while Isle of Paradise drops mixed into moisturiser will give your face a healthy, virus-free glow.  

Get your glow back

Stress, exhaustion and anxiety over the last few weeks has probably left your skin looking... not exactly post spa-like. If your epidermis is dehydrated or freaking out, it needs a surge of moisture and antioxidants. Pop on a sheet mask: they're packed full of serums which will plump your skin and make it look like you've actually had a full nights sleep, instead of being kept awake from weird lockdown dreams. The Go-to Tranformzing mask is a great option - it contains Niacinamide (a concentrated form of Vitamin B-3) which will help make-up smooth on easily. 

Pop a face on 

After weeks of no make-up it might feel completely alien to crank out foundation, concealer and powder again. Go easy with this step - don't get too overexcited and slap on everything in your arsenal. If you've been focusing on skincare during lockdown, your skin has probably gotten used to breathing easily without layers of foundation, so you don't want it to suffocate and freak out again. Keep your base fresh and light, and have a little fun with bringing colour to your eyes and lips. And f**k it, treat yourself to a fake lash, like these Ardell ones. Even if you're just having drinks at home, you've earned the right to be a little extra this evening. 

Dress for success

There are no clubs open until May 22 (or "dance bars" as everyone's fave auntie Jacinda Ardern called them in her address on Monday) but that doesn't' mean you can't go all out - it's more fun to dress for your friends anyway. This is not the time to choose comfort over style - you've been doing that for six weeks mate. Ditch the loungewear and get into that dress you ordered spontaneously during an online shopping binge and those heels that have been gathering dust. The only thing I'd recommend you avoid is wearing jeans - if you're anything like me, two months of banana bead on repeat means they might be a little too snug, and nobody has time for that. 

Now spritz on some perfume (remember that stuff?) and pour yourself a big glass of bubbles to celebrate finally getting out of yours.