Beauty

8 Holiday Beauty Tips Every Woman Should Know

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‘Tis the season to fret about looking fit and fabulous in front of family and friends. That’s why we found DIY remedies that target your biggest body bothers (diet and exercise-free!), taking you from bah-humbug to beautiful. Find the fix that’s on your wish list below!

Holiday Wish: Flawless legs

Granted…with a cranberry ‘lotion’

No need to shy away from leg-showcasing dresses and skirts due to those pesky blue and purple spider veins, says aesthetician Danné Montague-King, who’s worked with stars like Oprah Winfrey and Cindy Crawford. His recipe to gorgeous-looking gams just in time for party season? A DIY lotion made of cranberry, cinnamon and coconut oil. Cranberries have diuretic properties that relax veins to increase healthy blood flow and antioxidants that reinforce vein walls, says Montague-King. This makes blood less likely to pool and leak, reducing web-like clusters and preventing new ones from forming. Plus, cinnamon is a vasodilator, which means it widens blood vessels to promote better blood circulation. And coconut oil hydrates so legs look silky-smooth.

To do: Combine 2 Tbs. of mashed 1/4 cup of coconut cranberries, 3 tsp. of ground cinnamon and nut oil. Massage onto legs, then let sit 5 minutes before rinsing. Repeat two to three times a week for more even toned skin in four weeks.

Holiday Wish: Firm arms

Granted…with a minty seaweed wrap

If upper-arm jiggles have you nixing potential party frocks one by one— No sleeves? No thank you!—you can raise arm-baring confidence with a seaweed-and mint-infused wrap, says New York City dermatologist Marnie Nussbaum, M.D. The reason: Seaweed’s iodine speeds the production of fat-burning enzymes, mint’s menthol boosts circulation to promote collagen and elastin production and the plastic wrap creates heat that helps the body sweat out excess toxins and fluids.

To do: In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup of seaweed powder (like Micro Ingredients Organic Kelp Powder, Amazon), 3 drops of peppermint essential oil and 3 Tbs. of water until it forms a paste. Apply to upper arms, then loosely wrap plastic wrap around it. Let sit 15 minutes; remove plastic wrap and rinse. Use twice a week for slimmer, firmer arms in three weeks.

Holiday Wish: A boosted bosom

Granted…with a cucumber ‘cream’

Plan to wear a low-cut top, or the gown you chose lacks ample bust support? Give “the ladies” a lift with a DIY chest cream infused with egg yolks, yogurt and cucumber. “Egg yolks are rich in protein and minerals that tighten and lift skin to correct droopiness,” explains dermatologist Marnie Nussbaum, M.D. What’s more, cucumber’s vitamins A and C encourage skin-firming collagen and elastin output, and yogurt’s lactic acid gently exfoliates. The result? Chest skin looks taut and smooth even faster.

To do: Puree half of a cucumber, then mix with 1 egg yolk and 1 Tbs. of plain yogurt. Apply to breasts and let sit for 30 minutes; rinse with cool water. Use three times a week for a perkier looking chest in 30 days.

Holiday Wish: A slim jawline

Granted… with this technique

A sluggish lymph system is likely to blame for the neck bloat that creates the illusion of a double chin. Gua sha can help. This ancient Chinese technique involves “scraping” neck skin with a massage tool to stimulate the lymph, encouraging it to pick up (and drain) any excess fluids in the area.

To do: Rub a drop of grapeseed oil onto the neck (it helps the tool glide easily, and its linoleic acid tightens skin), then place a tool (like Daily Concepts Gua Sha Facial Jade Tool, ULTA) under the chin and gently drag it out to the right until it’s even with the ear. Repeat 10 times. Move down 2 inches and repeat, each time going lower on the neck until you reach the collarbone. Repeat on the left side. Finish by dragging it outward along the collarbone (again, right side, then left) 10 times to flush built-up fluids. Results are almost instant!

Holiday Wish: A smooth back

Granted…with citrus-infused dry-brushing

It never fails that we find a dress that fits so well in front, but surprise: It squeezes together any loose, saggy skin, leaving lumps and bumps that are visible from behind. Dr. Nussbaum’s smart solution: dry-brushing. “The bristles gently exfoliate skin, and the brushing increases circulation to promote blood flow so skin cells can turn over and renew, resulting in smoother, firmer skin over time,” she explains. To boost benefits so you can wow from all angles even faster, brush with lemon essential oil. Its astringent properties help tighten and tone skin.

To do: Apply a mix of 3 drops of lemon essential oil and 3 tsp. of olive oil onto the bristles of a dry brush (like EcoTools Bristle Bath Brush, Amazon). Start at the lower back and use long strokes that go up toward the neck for 3 minutes. Repeat daily for results in three weeks.

Holiday Wish: A perky bottom

Granted…with a fanny ‘facial’

A droopy backside can easily drag any holiday joy right down with it. But you can lift it—and your spirits—with a rear-boosting mix of coffee grounds, olive oil and rosehip seed oil, says dermatologist Sheel Desai Solomon, M.D. Coffees caffeine draws water out of cells so skin appears tighter, olive oil hydrates, squalene plumps skin to nix sag, and rosehip oils boosts collagen production to firm skin. When combined, the ingredients work together to leave behind a more youthful-looking derriere in a flash.

To do: Mix 1/4 cup of coffee grounds, 2 Tbs. of olive oil and 6 drops of rosehip seed oil. Massage onto the backside and rinse after 5 minutes. Use three times a week for a perkier tush in three weeks.

Holiday Wish: A flat belly

Granted…with a clay mask

Forget crunches, planks or sit-ups! Shaving inches from the midsection can be as easy as treating it with a detoxifying mix of bentonite clay and grapefruit oil, according to medical aesthetician Holly Cutler. How the combination helps: Bentonite clay’s negative charge acts like a magnet to pull out the positively charged toxins that build up over time and make the belly appear bigger. And grapefruit essential oil is a diuretic that encourages lymph flow to flush out the water retention that contributes to a puffy-looking belly.

To do: Combine 1/2 cup of bentonite clay (like Ancient Earth Secrets Indian Bentonite Clay, Amazon), 5 drops of grapefruit essential oil and 1/2 cup of water. Rub onto the stomach in circular motions (this increases circulation) for one minute. Let sit for 15 minutes; rinse. Use twice a week to see a noticeable difference within 30 days.

Holiday Wish: Trim thighs

Granted…with a spicy leg scrub

A miniskirt, festive shorts or fitted pants can put a spotlight on thicker thighs. Dr. Solomon’s hot ‘n’ spicy remedy? A scrub made from cayenne pepper, Epsom salts and avocado oil. When used topically, cayenne’s warming sensation, along with its capsaicin, increases circulation to stimulate the production of fat-burning mechanisms in the body and flush out the trapped toxins that can cause thighs to look bigger. Pairing it with Epsom salts (their minerals further detoxify) and avocado (its fatty acids moisturize) will leave thighs smooth, supple and slim.

To do: Mix 2 tsp. of cayenne pepper, 1/4 cup of Epsom salts and 1/4 cup of avocado oil. Rub onto thighs and let sit 5 minutes; rinse. Use twice a week for results in three weeks. 

TIP: Cayenne can be irritating for some, so test on a small patch of skin before using on legs.

This story originally appeared in our print magazine. 

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