The holiday season is in full swing, and I'm sorry to tell you that it is too late to get that little nip and tuck or shot of Restylane to help you look more fabulous for the holiday parties. Procedures attempted at this point may result in bruising or swelling that will be difficult to hide with makeup and possibly ruin your holiday party schedule.
Assembled here is a four-day holiday makeover plan to allow you to bring a little pizzazz to the festivities right up through New Year's Eve.
Clothing: Do you really need a new outfit? Try shopping in your closet for a "new" outfit that you've forgotten. Experiment with a new combination of the tried and true. Coco Chanel said, "Elegance does not consist of putting on a new dress." Just make sure that what you wear fits perfectly. I cannot stress enough the importance of an outfit that fits impeccably. If necessary, see if a local tailor or dry cleaner can do a quick fix. Have your outfits pressed professionally also. As for color, black is tried and true and always slimming, but if your favorite outfit is colorful, then go for it. If you actually do need a new outfit, you still have time to find something. Don't try an entirely new style but a variation on what you know looks good on you. Allow time for necessary alterations if needed. Remember, though, you will get a better bargain after the holidays!
Makeup: Try experimenting with new colors and textures. Visit your favorite makeup counter in the department store and seek advice from their makeup artists. Wear the new makeup look out to work or with friends before any big parties so you can be sure you like the look. Ask friends for advice. If you are already experienced using a self-tanner, then you could try a light application as early as possible before your event, especially on your legs if you're not planning to wear pantyhose. But never try a new product or you might show up looking streaked and orange. You can always go back to your regular makeup routine if you're not crazy about your experimentation. Schedule a professional eyebrow shaping, as this small touch can have a dramatic impact.
Hair: Allow yourself the luxury of a formal visit to the hairdresser. If you are feeling bodacious, try a new haircut. The change may be fabulous and dramatic, but do so only if you are fully prepared mentally for a change that may or may not work for you. It may be safer to just touch up your roots or get a trim. If feasible, book a professional hair blowout before a really big party, as it doesn't take long but you will look fresh and polished. It is a great tool to make you feel confident!
Diet and Exercise: While you have time to make some changes, think very short-term goals. Do not even consider going on any radical diets, such as juice fasts or "cleanses" or drastic calorie-cutting. These can disrupt your blood-sugar balance, making you tired and irritable. However, you can decrease salt, which often causes bloating; decrease sugar, which gives you a temporary energy burst followed by a deep crash (and cravings for more sugar); decrease caffeine consumption, which is a stimulant and can disrupt sleep; and if possible during a season of celebration, decrease alcohol consumption, which adds to junk calories while also disrupting sleep. Reducing these items, for even a few days, can make a big difference in your energy level and how you look. Eat sensibly, adding lots of fruits and vegetables to your diet if you don't eat them already. Try to do at least one or two light cardio workouts to relieve stress and get your blood flowing. Although you may not notice a dramatic change, you will feel a lot better.
Miscellaneous: Make a trip to the nail salon and get a manicure and pedicure or do it yourself at home if you have time. You don't want to be conscious of your nails during introductions and handshakes at a party.
Mindset/Ego Boost: Choose three positive recent memories that fit the situation or party you are preparing for, and then hit the mental rewind button so you can remind yourself of your ability to manage any new situation. Write down three wonderful holiday memories to keep in the back of your mind so you may draw upon them when the craziness of the season becomes stressful. Keep a flattering photo of yourself handy to remind you of how good you really look! This is a very hectic and trying time of year, do a few minutes of conscious breathing in a quiet space to clear your head at least once or twice a day.
I do realize that some of my recommendations cost money and this is a very expensive time of year! If funds are tight, many of my recommendations can be achieved with the help of friends, like someone to blow out your hair before a big party or help you with your makeup. Get together with several girlfriends and have a party before the party and help each other prepare. If you do find that fabulous outfit while shopping in your closet, you can use that saved money to pamper yourself. Most importantly, sit back, count your blessings, and realize just how wonderful you are! Have fun!
Follow Robert Tornambe, M.D. on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RobertMTornambe