20 Mood-Beauty Boosting Moves
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|Tue, 01-17-2006 - 11:13am|
If crappy weather and the postholiday letdown have left you blue, try these spirit-lifting suggestions. They'll have you feeling great...and looking gorgeous as all get-out.
Even the most cheerful chick might be bummed right now: According to research, January is the most depressing month.
"The holidays are over, and it's often cold and gray outside," explains Cliff Arnall, Ph.D., a health psychologist at Cardiff University. "Plus, the pressure to keep up your resolutions and recover from holiday expenses can be stressful," he says. So while you probably don't have Seasonal Affective Disorder, you may need something to feel sunny about. Well, we came across some studies proving that primping can improve your mood. Her
1. Swipe on a Flavored Lip Gloss
Head to the drugstore and pick out a new pout polish. "Choose a flavor you love. An enjoyable taste will make you feel more positive," says Rachel Herz, Ph.D., a cognitive psychologist specializing in scent at Brown University. We love Bonne Bell VitaGloss 2O, $3.50.
2. Ravish in Red
"Red lipstick is associated with parties and nights out, which can evoke memories of fun times," says Elaine Garrod, Psy.D., a psychologist and life coach in West Orange, New Jersey. Plus it's just so sexy, and the reaction you get from others will put a grin on your face.
3. Fake a Tan
It's no secret why you feel most sizzling in the summer: With a bronzed bod, you literally look hot. "Not only does a faux glow brighten your overall appearance but it also makes you feel casual, carefree and summery, even in the dead of winter," explains Garrod. Treat yourself to a pro spray tan or do a DIY self-tanner job at home.
4. Wash with Zest
"Through orange juice and cleaning-product commercials, we've learned to correlate the smell of citrus with refreshing and uplifting feelings," says Herz. Use a citrus body cleanser or face wash, like Grassroots See Your Way Clear Extremely Thorough Cleansing Gel, $12, in the a.m. to start your day smiling.
5. Soak Up the Sun
"Sunlight releases mood-enhancing chemicals and evokes positive memories of summer," says Richard Fried, M.D., Ph.D., a dermatologist and psychologist in Yardley, Pennsylvania. Bundle up and take a walk around the block. Just remember your sunscreen. It may be winter, but the sun's rays still pack a punch.
e, we have a little (okay, a lot of) fun with that research and show you how.
6. Get Gorgeous for Cheap
Hit your favorite beauty counter and let them lift your spirits with a mini-makeover. "A bright, pretty change in the way you look is instantly gratifying when you're in the doldrums," says Garrod. "Also, since you learn tricks from the pro, you can utilize them yourself whenever you're feeling glum." Bonus: These makeup sessions are usually free, with minimal purchase.
7. Swap Head Massages with Your Man
A couples head rub is a heavenly treat that makes you feel great outside and in. To do: "First, place hands on the top of the head," instructs Pirkko Vaisanen, hair and scalp repair director at Paul Labrecque Salon and Spa in New York City. "Then, with light pressure, stroke from front to back, then side to side. After repeating a few times, finish by massaging both the temples and the neck in circular motions."
8. Take a Decadent Dip
Bubble baths are bona fide stress busters. "When kicking back in the tub, it's easy to empty your mind and stop thinking about the fact that the weather is crappy," says Garrod. A yummy smelling find? H20 Plus Natural Spring Foaming Bath, $15.
9. Give Yourself a Glow
If your skin is looking lackluster, stress could be to blame. "When you're overwhelmed, your body restricts blood flow to the skin, making it appear washed out and blah," says Dr. Fried. For a quick fix, slough off dull, dry surface cells from your face and body with a scrub. "You'll look radiant and feel like a million bucks, which can improve your mood and decrease anxiety," he says. Try St. Ives Apricot Scrub, $2.89 (for your face), and Bliss Super Slough Scrub, $32 (for your body).
10. Do Something Crazy
Don't dye your hair magenta, but consider trying a new beauty move like eyelash extensions or clip-in hair pieces. Or nix nude nails and lacquer on a loud, pink hue, like Chanel Nail Colour in English Rose, $18. "It can be boring to do the same thing over and over again. Introducing a fun and thrilling element into your routine will make you feel great," says Garrod.
11. Be Pampered by a Pro
There is almost nothing more mood-enhancing than a trip to the spa ‑- especially if you're bored or blue. "After a facial or massage, you can't help but feel good. You've been exfoliated, moisturized and rubbed, and all you had to do was sit back and let someone else do all the work to beautify you," says Colleen Stiers, spa director at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachusetts.
12. Get a Bikini Wax
True, below-the-belt grooming doesn't sound especially pleasant, but waxing your bikini area will actually make you feel clean and sexy, says Cindy Barshop, founder of Completely Bare in NYC. You get extra points for sculpting in a sassy shape like a heart or a star. You (and your guy) will love the way it looks.
13. Head to the Tropics
Stash an exotic scented body lotion in your desk drawer or at home. Bust it out when the weather is lousy or when your social calendar is less than full. "Tropical scents can provide an instant boost because they are associated with summertime and vacations," says Garrod. We like Pure Hapa Sweet Pineapple Sugar Lotion, $23.
14. Primp in the P.M.
If you know you may have trouble facing the gray day ahead, why not prep yourself the night before by blowing out your hair, using a radiance-boosting face mask or painting your nails? "Rather than working up your confidence in the morning, you'll wake up feeling fresh and ready to go," says Garrod. And you can always spend the time saved on a pick-me-up hot-chocolate pit stop before work.
15. Go on a Beauty Binge
Every girl knows that shopping is the ultimate cure-all. (Duh!) Treat yourself to a pretty new makeup palette, a sparkly lip gloss or what ever primping potion you've been lusting after lately. Our pick? Live Jennifer Lopez, $50.
16. Slather Chocolate All Over
Some experts believe that a cocoa aroma can make you feel lovestruck. "The smell of chocolate releases seratonin in the brain and acts as a natural antidepressant. A whiff of it can bliss you out," says Alan Hirsch, M.D., director of the smell and taste research and treatment foundation in Chicago. Rub on a choco potion like Dessert Deliciously Kissable Body Shake in Dreamy, $36, or Origins Cocoa Therapy Body Butter, $27.50.
17. Prettify a Pal
"Helping someone else look and feel fab can be rewarding and uplifting," explains Garrod. Pick a dreary day to gussy up one of your gal pals and vice versa. Give each other manis or do each other's makeup. Use fun hues like Maybelline New York Color Delights Cream Shadow in Celestial Skies, $6.50.
18. Sport a Foxy Flush
If it's gloomy out, use that as an excuse to experiment with color. Swipe on a vibrant pink blush. "Brighten up by using a big powder brush to apply 50 percent ‑- yes, 50 ‑- more than you normally would to the apples of your cheeks," says Jean Ford, cocreator of Benefit Cosmetics.
19. Say Bye-Bye to Breakouts
We all know what it's like when your face decides to rage out on you during a stressful period. "Negative responses from others or feelings of shame can hurt your self-esteem," explains Dr. Fried. Use a blemish-busting face mask to look and feel much better. We love Benefit Hi Neighbor!, $22.
20. Tweak Your Tresses
"Try a few face-brightening highlights," suggests Marie Robinson, a colorist at Sally Hershberger Downtown in New York City. "Some strategically placed streaks can brighten your appearance...and your outlook." Or spring for a salon blowout. "You'll get compliments on your smooth, sleek strands all day," says Edward Tricomi, co-owner of Warren-Tricomi Salon in New York City. Always great for your mental state!