When we've got something major—like a hot date or a make-it-or-break-it meeting at the office—coming at us faster than anyone can say "hold up," we want to look and feel our best. (Leaning more towards the former, let's be honest.) Yep, in a perfect world, we'd be planning days, even weeks in advance of the big event—sleeping 12 hours a night, using serums on an hourly schedule and powering through green smoothies like we're Popeye.
But reality is a life (and skin) ruiner, and often you'll find yourself freaking out the day before, often with a pimple popping up and those under-eye bags looking as soft as pillows. And sure, we could sit here and wax on forever about how you should be taking care of yourself, that the inside reflects on the outside, that health is of the utmost importance...but you got 24-hours, and we're not monsters. Here are the workarounds you need to know to shape up, fast!
1. Down those fluids, stat. When it comes to skin, we have a "you are what you sip" mentality. That means drinking a ton of water, as well as super drinks with antioxidants like green tea or green juice to clear up your complexion and get that oh-I-just-woke-up-like-this dewy glow. But right now, ain't nobody got time for that. Here, we've already crafted our own 24-hour drink menu for getting gorgeous skin in a cinch. You're welcome.
2. Ditch the booze and salt. Blame it on the alcohol—no seriously, blame that zit on the booze. It dries out your skin and to top it off, you get to deal with a hang over—not cute, and damn near impossible to conceal. And salt? That traitor will make you bloat. Ditch them, at least for the time being. They're your true frenemies.
3. Remember the three-step process. Make sure to wash, exfoliate, and moisturize before you go to sleep. Don't even think of letting your head touch that pillow otherwise. Need motivation? Think of all the grime, oil, bacteria and makeup on your face. Gross, right? Wash, use a gentle scrub, and don't forget to moisturize your neck. If you want to take it a step further, try Glossier's new face masks. You only need 20 minutes for each and we know first hand that, much like a juice cleanse, they make up for skin sins from the days prior. (Forgive us, Father...)
4. Blemishes be gone. Whether you're the treat 'em and leave 'em type or can't resist the urge to pop, you need to address the situation at hand. If it's newly sprouted, your best bet is to apply a spot treatment with salicylic acid that will dry it up and minimize it. If there's a visible whitehead, you're in the clear to pop it, but do so ever so carefully.
5. Bye-bye puffy eyes. We always look to one of two methods to ditch the puff. The first is brewing two caffeinated green tea bags, waiting for them to cool, then laying down and placing them over the eyes for 15 minutes. The caffeine reduces puffiness, while the antioxidants, like tannin, tighten and smooth skin. (YASSS.)
The other is a trick we learned from celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau: Step 1: Fill your bathroom sink with cold water and toss in 15 ice cubes. Step 2: Pour 1/3 of a cup of natural witch hazel into the water. Try to use one that is alcohol-free. Step 3: Dunk your face (don't just splash) in and out 10 times. Remember: cold temperatures shrink capillaries and stimulate drainage while witch hazel has natural anti-inflammatory, puffiness-reducing properties. In other words: it'll work. Fast.
6. Whiten your teeth. It's all about the baking soda, baby. You can use the kitchen essential to create an at-home teeth whitener that yields speedy results. Our tried-and-true method is adding two tablespoons of baking soda to our toothpaste, placing the mixture in tray-like pieces of tin foil, applying it to the top/bottom rows of teeth, and leaving the elixir on for 30 minutes.
7. Don't wash your hair—it's your secret weapon. If you've gone more days without washing your hair than you'd like to admit, don't just hop in the shower and wash it. By pairing it with a healthy dose of dry shampoo, your dirty little secret will give you more of that volume and texture we all crave on a big day. #HaironFleek
8. If you do wash your hair, use a deep-conditioning mask. After you've shampooed to your heart's content, look to a deep-conditioning mask like Leonor Greyl Masque Quintessence Deep Repairing Mask, or mix one together yourself using fresh avocado, coconut oil, and olive oil. These treatments will leave your hair with all the shine.
9. Try an overnight lip treatment. Got chapped lips? We used Bite Beauty's 5 Night Fix for Lips and after just one night, our lips were smoother and nearly flake-free. If you're in a bind, you also can't go wrong with a heavy-handed pat of Vaseline before bed. It's a tried-and-true favorite of many for a reason.
10. Get plenty of shut-eye... the correct way. Beauty sleep is an art. It begins with getting enough of it—we say a minimum of 8 hours—and ends with positioning yourself strategically. The best way to sleep is on your back to prevent pillow creases on the face and with your head propped up, which allows the fluid to drain from your face for less puffiness. Allow Rouleau to demonstrate:
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