The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Saving Face

Come rain or, well, rain, Jessica Cusack advises on how to combat the elements and survive the library long haul.

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So here we are. Another academic year is well under way. Yet while our brains have developed, our friendships blossomed, and our knowledge of the best time to shop at Sainsbury’s sharpened, Manchester’s climate appears to be stuck in a cold, wet, rut. Just what is a student to do in such a damp situation? How does one save face?

Let’s start at the top, or as it’s more commonly known, 8am when your alarm buzzes. A good facial wash, preferably with a scrub, is a must to wake up that face and sluice off the dirt and pollution of Manchester living – I love Garnier Pure 3 in 1 (£5.99), plus it triples as a face mask, perfect for a bit of mid-week pampering/a fun thing to scare your flatmates with. Follow up with a rich moisturiser to protect your skin from the brutality of the wind and rain – if you can’t quite stretch to Protect and Perfect Day Cream (£22) which is amazing, go for Simple Rich Moisturiser (£3.80). All you need for a busy day in and out of lectures is a lick of mascara, a creamy blush to give your face some colour, and a tinted lip balm. Cyclists may want to consider waterproof mascara to avoid being mistaken for a panda when frantically entering the lecture theatre drenched following an Oxford Road rain shower.

Once inside the either boiling heat or freezing cold of your given Uni location, the fun really starts. Do not be lulled into a false sense of security by thinking that away from the rain, wind, sleet, hail and snow you shall be your beautiful best – you shall not. The library central heating (colding) system will assure this fact. To combat this saddening fact of scholarly life I propose these two measures: 1. take a suitcase of extra clothes, varying in warmth, so you can shed or layer as your body temperature sees fit, and 2. take arms with miniature beauty prods to see you through the day.

Drastic it may seem but when you’re pulling 9 to 5 shifts in the Libz you’ll thank me. A mini pot of moisturiser (Nivea Soft, £3) will revive your skin from the drying effects of sudden temperature change and harsh central heating. A similarly small hand cream (Nivea Q10, £1.52) is also essential. Seeing as your hands cannot be covered indoors without looking like a vagrant typing away in fingerless gloves (trust me, I’ve been there), hand cream is vital to save your paws from withering away in the cold. Lip balm needs no explanation – we’ve all experienced that horrible sensation of a pout so dry it feels as if it will fall off your face. Not cool. Carmex (£2.69) is always a winner for me.

And so while we stumble through the mid Autumn mist, summer adventures being a distant memory and the Christmas hols a bloody mile off, comfort yourself in the fact that there is a way to survive. And in my opinion it’s through moisturiser.

And also lots of layers, hot water bottles and hats. And a sturdy brolly.

…Okay, and having the heating on even though it’s October. There, I said it.