There’s no way to get through holiday shopping/partying/traveling/not-sleeping-enough/up-all- night-wrapping-presents/dry, freezing weather—without the aptly-named Beauty Flash Balm ($45) by Clarins.

The iconic, fast-acting mask that can double as a moisturizer has been a Clarins top-seller for years. If you haven’t tried it before, now is definitely the time. The creamy but light brightening and tightening balm for all skin types is like drinking a Venti Latte and getting a foot rub and the same time—stimulating yet soothing. It gives instant radiance whether you use it as a 10- to15-minute mask before makeup and going out all night, or under makeup to enhance your skin’s luminosity and your makeup’s staying power.

Me, I love to use it a couple of times a week as a quick pick-me-up mask.
Here’s how:

Start with a gentle cleanser like Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple
to get a clean slate. Pat your face barely dry.

Apply a gentle but thorough exfoliator like Philosophy’s The Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash, and avoid your eye area. This important step allows the Beauty Flash Balm to penetrate into your skin.

If you’re lucky enough to own a Clarisonic, dampen the facial brush head slightly with lukewarm water and let the machine do its work. If you don’t own a Clarisonic, just massage The Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash into your skin with the pads of your fingers, using small, circular strokes. Rinse off completely with water and dry your face lightly.

• Spread a hazelnut-sized amount of Beauty Flash balm all over your face. Don’t rub it in, just smooth it across. Go do something relaxing and fun for 15 minutes, like reading my beauty stories on Mamiverse.

• Wet a clean, dry baby washcloth with warm water, wring it out, and lay it on your face to remove any excess balm your skin hasn’t absorbed. Again, don’t rub—there’s no need and it’s just going to make your face red if you do.

• Either follow up with your normal skin care routine and call it a day or a night, or, after your skin care, move on to makeup.

• Proceed with life looking positively radiant.