Winter isn’t the most flattering season on anyone, so if your reflection has been looking a little drab lately, you’re not alone. The good news: It doesn’t require a lot of money or effort to perk up your look—or your mood. Here, 7 ways to feel pretty fast.
Be a Loud Mouth
Bring some life to your look with a pop of color on your lips. Instead of slicking on a gloss, keep the look winter-appropriate by going with a matte finish. Maybelline Lip Studio Color Blur ($8, amazon.com) goes on smoothly, comes in 10 poppy shades, plus has a smudger on the other end so you can soften the look to your liking.
Fake a Faux Glow
Add a drop of liquid bronzer to your moisturizer to warm up your skintone. Try Revlon PhotoReady Skinlights Face Illuminator ($10, amazon.com), or use a gradual self-tanner for the face, like Jergens Natural Glow Face Daily Moisturizer Sunscreen ($9, drugstore.com), which comes in three shades. Use this in place of your regular moisturizer, since it hydrates, contains sunscreen, and contains DHA, a sugar molecule that reacts with amino acids on the surface of your skin to produce a dark color. After a few days, you’ll build a believable bronze that’ll make you look alive and refreshed in the A.M., so you can at least pretend you just got back from a fabulous vacation.
Nail a Neon Mani
We typically reserve bright polish—hot pink, tangerine, and ocean blue—for summer, but some beauty rules were made to be broken... especially when they help you beat the winter blues. Give your neutral and dark shades the backseat and opt for a flashy color instead. Pair it with a black sweater or blazer for a fun, yet sophisticated combo. Every time you glance down at your hands, you'll feel a little happier. Check out some bright (and non-toxic) polish options here.
Mist on a Beach in a Bottle
Your feet are in the snow (not the sand) and you’re probably sipping on a latte (not a margarita), but with a few spritzes, you can transport yourself to an island state of mind by wearing a summery scent. Look for notes like sea spray, coconut, jasmine, or blood orange. A good one: Demeter Salt Air ($20, demeterfragrance.com).
Spruce Up Your Hairstyle
If you’ve been living in a ponytail or topknot lately, upgrade your stretched out elastic with a more polished and practical accessory: Meet Invisibobble The Traceless Hair Ring ($8, urbanoutfitters.com), which comes in shades to match hair colors, as well as colorful hues. Invented by a college student, this hair tie resembles a telephone cord and places uneven pressure on the hair, resulting in a tight grip without any kinks or headaches. Use it to easily create a half-up topknot.
Whiten Your Smile
During your next Netflix binge, slap on a whitening strip for a mini smile makeover. Crest 3D White 5 Minute Touch Up Teeth Whitening Strips ($25 for 56, jet.com) only require five minutes, yet help to remove coffee stains that cause your teeth to look dingy. On days before a big meeting or night out, you can use them in the shower.
Transform Your Desk Into a Spa
Treat yourself to a face mist (today’s version of a toner, they hydrate your skin without messing up your makeup). Keeping one on your desk and/or beside your computer will help prevent mini meltdowns and wake you up mid-afternoon slump. You can also use them after washing your face or post makeup application for a dewy, more lived in finish. A good one: Glossier Soothing Face Mist ($18, glossier.com), which smells like a rose garden and leaves skin soft and refreshed.