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‘Tis the season to look your best when you’re tired and stressed

Decking the halls and making merry means putting in more hours and if we’re not careful, looking like a holiday hag.

Woman drinking water

So how do you look bright and cheery when you were up all night cleaning for your mother-in-law’s visit? Try these quick fixes…

Holiday H2O

Drinking water gives you a healthy appearance because dehydrated skin looks sallow, dry and wrinkled. Water flushes toxins out of your system, also contributing to your skin’s glow. Puffy eyes are a red flag to the world that we are not properly rested, and water can keep your eyes from swelling.


If you aren’t drinking enough water and getting enough sleep, your eyes will rebel. You’ll get puffy bags under your eyes and dark circles, neither of which is terribly attractive. What’s a puffy-eyed dragon to do? Many beauty advisors will tell you to avoid alcohol and salt, both known contributors. We’re not going to do that because it is the holidays, you’re stressed and asking you to avoid alcohol and salt is like asking you to not get annoyed when you have to wait in long lines. You can, however, try to minimize the look of puffy eyes with cold compresses or cold cucumber. Despite the urban legend surrounding Preparation H, it doesn’t work on puffy eyes. For dark circles, incorporate concealer and an under eye highlighter.

Cat naps

It would be patronizing if we told you to sleep more in an effort to look better rested. But, when you are burning the holiday candles at both ends, remember the value of a 20-minute nap in the afternoon. Don’t roll your puffy eyes! It works, and it can be done if you are properly motivated. During your lunch break at work, hop in your car, drive somewhere where no one will bug/see you and huddle up for 20 minutes. If you have full-time Mommy duty, plop your little Who-people in front of a Christmas movie and nod off on the couch. Drastic times call for drastic measures, and while 20 minutes may not sound like a lot, it is the recommended rest time so as not to disturb nighttime sleep patterns.

Quick walks

Exercise is the last thing we want to do during busy times! But after that noon-snooze, take another 15 minutes to go for a quick but brisk walk. It will help wake you up, restore color to your cheeks and give you more energy. You still have 25 minutes of your lunch hour left to eat! Stay-at-home mommies can bundle up their tots and take them for a brief stroll. Don’t be afraid of the cold air. As long as you and the chicks are dressed properly and don’t stay out too long, it is actually good for everyone!

bronzerHair and makeup shortcuts

You may have to deviate from your normal makeup routine during this ridiculously busy time. Use dry shampoo or baby powder in your hair instead of washing it every day. Use a little bronzer to counteract the pale tone your skin may take on when you are tired. Use peach colored blushes and wear lip color, but take it easy on heavy eye makeup that can contribute to a sleep-deprived look. Above all, remember that all your hard work will be worth it when your family is grinning from ear-to-ear on Christmas.

More holiday beauty tips

Holly jolly hair: 3 Hair ideas for holiday parties
Celeb skin care expert Joanna Vargas offers holiday skin tips
Beauty detox: Post-party skin saving tips

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