There's nothing more suss than the festive season call to the boss wagging work with a 'cold' or 'gastro attack'. You aren't sick, you're just hungover, and chances are you look it too.
We on Man Scape are yet to discover the secret elixir that will restore your considerably dampened spirits to their former glory, but we can give a few hints on ways to eradicate ''the appearance'' of a hangover.
What you will probably do is not give a stuff. Or resort to the hair of the dog strategy. But it's my job to illuminate you on the cosmetic options for facing the working day when a little the worse for wear.
And yes, you ARE going in.
HAIR No one thinks hair gets sick but it does. Take a look: after a big night out or an intense one in, chances are your hair's looking a little limp. In need of a Berocca. Strange but true. Check the mirror next time. And the only solution is to wash it and go that extra step and apply conditioner. Voila: fresh hair. Now for the face beneath.
EYES The eyes have it, so they say, but they really have had it after too many drinks. Sunglasses help but unless you're in real estate or work outside doors at night, sunnies are unsustainable. This is the time to delve into the makeup bag, whether yours or someone's you're close to. Seek, first and foremost, the eye roller thingo to reduce puffy eyes. There are lots on the market for both men and women (Clinique's is good I'm told, L'Oreal's can be slipped into the trolley and wielded like a Biro) and most contain caffeine. A good idea, generally (keep reading).
FACE Next is moisturiser. We all do this now. But it may be a day to skip the SPF because its ghostly effect will have you looking paler than you need. You actually need the opposite - fake tan (known in some cynical circles as ''man makeup"). There's a reason girls are so into it: it hides a hundred sins. In our case not cellulite or squiggly veins but deathly alco face. There is a self-tan variety for the face (ie not too dark and/or orange) and another variety that is truly instant. Get both varieties in one and you're done (tip: Clarins does one and it's non-gender specific and while fake, not fake-looking, if you get my drift). This is not an area in which to exercise thrift.
BREATH There is of course death breath which might as well be visible. Chew all the mints, gargle all the alcohol-based mouthwash you want but there truly is but one answer: espresso. We're talking masking because nothing will get rid of the toxins from the blood (and therefore the saliva) except time - and time is what you haven't got the next morning, is it? Garlic will also probably do the job and keep people at a distance that enables no scrutiny, but possibly difficult to stomach for breakfast.
DRESS Lastly and importantly are the clothes. This is the day to opt for the crisp, clean, sharp and laundered fashion choices. It doesn't even have to be fashion - just fresh. Fashion is so the night before. Yesterday's clothes or anything remotely trakkie-dakkie will be a dead giveaway. Because after all that's what working through a hangover is all about - denial.
And what about you - how are going to cope with that rotten wretched morning after a big night out?