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December 4, 2012

The Holiday Game Plan

Here's how to get your hair, skin, and body primed for party season, with 30 days or just 24 hours to go.

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Photo Credit: Cultura/DUEL

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COUNTDOWN: 24 HOURS

FACE: Combat surprise breakouts with a de-swelling ice pack. A dermatologist can inject a steroid shot to shrink zits in a day, but at home, Wechsler recommends dabbing on 1 percent hydrocortisone with a Q-tip: "Push on the pimple like you're trying to inject it. If the head's ready to pop, take a Q-tip and apply gentle, even pressure on each side." If your complexion is already clear, just exfoliate gently and plump up skin with a hydrating mask, followed by a nongreasy moisturizer. Celebrity makeup artist Molly Stern suggests relaxing with eye-mask patches (Chanel and SK-II are her favorites) or wet chamomile tea bags. "Skin around the eyes can look tired and crepey. Cold chamomile is a great anti-inflammatory that helps calm puffy eyes," she explains.

HAIR: Treat hair to a moisturizing mask the night before for shine without weight. Dry shampoo or salt spray on the roots will give hair body, whether you're wearing it up or down. Wiepert also suggests clip-in hair extensions in colored ombré swatches that match your natural hair hue at the root then blend  to rich colors like royal blue, velvet purple, or cinnamon at the ends. "Don't try to be symmetrical with the clip-ins," she instructs. "If you part your hair, do two pieces on the heavier side and one on the other."

BODY: The night before the big bash, Snyder suggests drinking cranberry kombucha after dinner along with a detox tea made with hot water, lemon, cayenne pepper, and ginger before bed. "Cranberry helps clean out the kidneys. Ginger is warming, and cayenne pepper revs up metabolism while helping to break up the toxins and mucus in the body," she says.  For a final spike to your metabolism, try to fit in a 10-minute strengthening session before your party prep. "Do core exercises like planks or squats with arm exercises," Torres says. "Your body will be tighter and more toned for two to three hours after the workout, so your clothes will fit better."

MAKEUP: To give your face a festive glow, Stern suggests using bright blushes and highlighters to bring out features. "Use it in a C-shape around the outer corner of the eyes and on the cheekbones, on the tip of the nose, and right above the indentation of the chin," she suggests. Adding sparkle or a shock of unexpected color on the inner corner of the lids opens up the eyes — a red-carpet trick Stern learned from client Kate Beckinsale. For an extra special touch, Stern suggests strategic body highlighting, such as on the clavicle if you're wearing a strapless dress. Just make sure you choose a smudge-proof, long-wear formula — it could be a long night.


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