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14 tips to look better naked

Elizabeth Cullen is a freelance writer based in New York.

Totally practical ways to feel sexier and look better naked

You've heard it a hundred times before — the person you are the most critical of is yourself. And as true as this may be, it doesn't make it any easier to push away the nerves and get those butterflies out of your stomach when you're getting naked with someone new for the first (or even fifth) time.

You've probably also heard that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and while we believe that the only person whose opinion matters is yourself, there's something to be said for making a few strategic changes to your appearance for the purpose of feeling better in your own skin. If you're obsessing about your bacne, your body hair or a so-called "problem area," one of these tricks might be the confidence-booster you need to feel comfy in your birthday suit.

1. Get a tan

Colored sheets can give you the appearance of a warmer skin tone, even without a tan.

If you are self-conscious about your curves, tanning is a great way to look thinner without actually having to diet. For a chiseled face, sweep bronzer across the apples of your cheeks, or for Bar Rafaeli-like legs, use a darker bronzer on the outside of the leg and blend with a lighter shade on the inside. A tan can also hide other imperfections like spider veins and stretch marks.

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2. Exfoliate!

Exfoliate, exfoliate: especially in the wintertime, skin tends to be dry and flaky, so it's important to scrub off dead skin cells in order to look radiant in the buff. Make sure that what he touches is perfectly soft so that he'll want to do it more... and more! After exfoliating, try substituting your regular moisturizer for one with a sexy sheen or, better yet, for baby oil.

3. Catch the wave

Try not to wash your hair, if possible. Styling is easier to do on day-old hair -- and tousled, wavy hair can be sexy. Leave it down so it falls at your shoulders for a natural look, which will also give him something to run his fingers through. Skip the product and extra hairspray too -- if his fingers get stuck, your scalp may get an unexpected (and not-so-sexy) yank!

4. Find a sensuous shimmer

Makeup may make you feel sexier; however, you don't want it to smear all over your sheets. Instead of using a heavy foundation or cream, opt for an oil-free tinted moisturizer to even out your skin tone.

5. Touch up flaws

Make your eyes extra bright with some anti-redness eye drops!

Some Hollywood make-up artists swear by Preparation H to camouflage any bruises. (It's also been suggested that it can also minimize under-eye bags and fine wrinkles -- with the original formulation now found only in the Canadian version of Preparation H to be the most effective.)

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6. Squeeze in a quick workout

Don't go all out with a full-body workout which can leave you fatigued, sweaty and in need of another shower, but a few wall push ups and squats will get the blood pumping in your muscles and leave them appearing more toned.

7. Limit your food & drink

While it might seem like a good idea to calm your nerves by having a nice large meal or downing a couple of glasses of wine for that extra "liquid" courage, eat and drink only lightly before stripping down to the nude. (Otherwise you will risk looking bloated... like you're pregnant with a food baby.)

Next Up: Opt for a warm fragrance

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