Putting your best face forward: 5 holiday beauty tips

(BPT) – Now that the holiday season is here, you’ll likely be attending more parties, gatherings and social events than normal. After all, this is the season for celebrating with friends and family, while also meeting fun new people.

As you relax and socialize, you’ll also want the confidence that comes with looking your best. Recent research suggests we make first impressions in one-tenth of a second, and often faces are the first thing we notice.

“Our eyes settle on features that are directly in line with our gaze,” explains psychologist Vivian Diller in Psychology Today. “Facial features are more often remembered following initial interactions than people’s bodies or even their personality traits.”

The good news? There are several easy and effective steps you can take to make your face look brighter and more vibrant-looking for this festive season. Need some suggestions? Consider the following tips for optimizing your party-going appearance regardless of your age or gender.

* Exfoliate your skin several times weekly. Multiple facial products and tools on the market can slough off the dead skin cells that tend to cause discoloration and dullness. Be sure to choose one that’s intended for your skin type, and avoid irritating your skin through overuse. For more dramatic effects, you might also talk to your dermatologist about chemical peels or laser treatments.

* Use a simple product that will whiten your smile. You may be surprised at the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of today’s products; some can brighten your smile by turning your teeth dazzlingly white even if they’ve been discolored by time and/or the frequent consumption of coffee, tea and red wine. Actress Debra Messing attributes her signature smile to Colgate Optic White(R) High Impact White(TM) Toothpaste, which contains hydrogen peroxide — the key ingredient that goes beyond the tooth surface to deeply whiten. “I don’t mess around with anything that doesn’t work — who has time for that?” she notes. “As a busy working mom, I look for products that give me results.”

* Tame those wayward eyebrows. These days, women and men are both paying more attention to the definition, shape and overall neatness of their brows. Do yourself a favor and groom yours into a shape that looks neat and clean and is flattering to your other features.

* Eat well and stay hydrated. When you cut out junk food, eat nourishing foods and drink plenty of water, your skin tends to reward you by looking clearer and healthier right away. You may even notice that your eyes look brighter. “To maintain my very busy lifestyle, I am really committed to eating clean,” Messing notes. “I’ve cut out sugar, dairy, coffee, alcohol and gluten to name a few, and really feel much more energized.”

* Use face-brightening cosmetics. A slew of products on the market can keep your skin looking rejuvenated, refreshed and maybe even younger. For example, skin-oxygenating serums contain plant extracts, vitamins and other anti-aging compounds that encourage new skin cells and enhance skin color. Women might opt for foundations with light-reflecting particles that can give the skin an extra glow, or may choose red lipstick that has underlying blue tones to make teeth look pearly white.

Looking your best over the holidays doesn’t need to be expensive, complicated or time-consuming. Taking a few minutes each day to brighten your countenance can help you make an excellent first impression anywhere, anytime.

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