Your 4-Step Labor Day Guide to Staying Hydrated While Partying

Okay, okay: Drinking is really bad for your skin. Not only does it dehydrate you in the short run, but it can lead to puffiness, sagging, broken capillaries, and red-veined eyes in the long run. Don't believe me? Just check out this terrifying app. Despite the fact that drinking is pretty much all-around awful, we're going to do it anyway. There are too many Labor Day BBQs, late-night dance parties, and epic birthdays (21! 25! 29! 30!!!) to keep us on the bandwagon — at least for now.

So if you're going to drink like a fool, you might as well do it like an educated fool. Here's how I've learned to stay hydrated — and keep my skin from morphing into lizard-like scales — while drinking champagne from the bottle and demanding that the DJ play Jesse McCartney "ironically."

1. Stock up before you head out.

Look at you, doing your eyeliner in front of the mirror and bopping around to Jimi Hendrix! While the night may seem young and endless now, we both know that in about six hours, you'll be stumbling back here in the dark and trying to make the quickest nosedive of all time into bed. Now is the time to artfully position things like electrolytes and carbs around your room, where your sloshed self will inevitably run into them.

Buy yourself a huge bottle of coconut water, your favorite cereal, a jug of milk, and a really easy makeup remover. (Electrolytes, liquids, carbs, and a little bit of fat are your insides' best friends right now.) Put a large glass of water right by your bedside table and a makeup-removing wipe right beside it. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of morning-after crusty eye makeup and the possibility of eye infections.

2. Hydrate at home.

You really should be drinking a glass of water in between every cocktail. But after one cocktail leads to two or three, you are going to forget that. So start yourself off on the right foot by chugging water during the day and chugging even more right before you go out. Try not to begin the night as shriveled as a raisin.

3. Double-fist.

Every time you order a new drink, as for a glass of water. Alternate between sips of each. Again, you might forget to do this. But when you're partying, every drop of water counts.

4. Drink water before bed by any means necessary.

I don't care what you have to do — get that H2O down your throat, lady! Write a huge note and leave it on your pillow. Set a million reminders to drink water on your phone. Leave water bottles positioned around your apartment. The biggest factor in your potentially skin-tightening, eye-reddening hangover is how much water you chugged the night before. (Well that, and whether or not you succumbed to the lure of bad karaoke.)

Happy Labor Day! Drink safe.

Image: Robert S. Donovan on flickr