If there’s one day couples look forward to to celebrate their love, apart from their anniversaries, it’s Valentine’s Day! Come February, almost everything looks like it’s been adorned in something red or lacy – be it store windows or even websites you visit! As a couple with kids, you may not get much ‘we-time’ but V-Day makes for a good excuse to get some quiet time together to rekindle the romance between you and your partner. And we’re sure you want to look positively fabulous when the 14th of February rolls around. Well, start doing these things from today to make sure you’re glowing and ready for Valentine’s Day!
21 Things You Can Do to Look Drop-dead Gorgeous on Valentine’s Day
Flawless skin, shiny hair, and the body for your dream outfit – these are pretty much the only three things that you need to get in order. Why? Well, beautiful skin sets the foundation for your makeup; if your hair is cooperative, you can style it just the way you like it; and of course you want to show off that lovely outfit you’ve been dying to wear ever since you set eyes on it!
But there’s some work that needs to happen in the background to get these things in order! Follow these tips to look your best when you step out for a date night with your beloved!
1. Skin Health
It’s probably just a couple of days in a year where you might want to take the extra effort to doll up instead of sporting an ashen face, panda eyes, and cracked lips! Make V-day an occasion to deck up for your partner by caring for your skin a few days in advance.
- Start with hydration. If you don’t drink enough water in a day, your skin quality starts to decrease. It becomes dry, leads to more breakouts because toxins are not getting flushed out, and also is a cause for chapped lips.
- Drinking water isn’t the only thing you need to do to hydrate your skin – invest in a good moisturiser and use it twice a day to nourish your skin. The results of proper hydration start showing in very little time, so start immediately.
- Before leaving the house during the day, check off a few things – keys, your phone, your child’s things, and also, whether or not you’ve applied sunscreen! We know we don’t need to harp on the benefits of using sunscreen but here’s a note – makeup products with SPF don’t count as substitutes for the real thing! Also, use a scarf or a shawl to protect your skin (and hair) from harsh sunlight.
- Don’t try out any new makeup/skincare products on the days leading up to V-Day. While it may not be as big a risk as we’re making it out to be, there’s still a good chance that your skin may react to unfamiliar ingredients…and NOT very favourably!
- Cleansing and toning your skin should be a part of your daily skincare routine. Once in a few days, exfoliate your skin well with a gentle scrub (don’t over-exfoliate to the point that your skin feels too raw either!). Indulge in an at-home steam facial too, using a vapouriser available at any pharmacy; 5 sessions of 2 minutes each, with breaks in between for your skin to breathe, is perfect. Apply a homemade face mask afterwards, to seal the deal. Exfoliation clears your skin of dead skin cells, steam opens up your pores, and a good face mask hydrates the skin and gives it that rosy glow!
- Nourish your skin from within by paying attention to your diet. Certain foods can do wonders for your skin health, while some, not so much. Cut back (don’t quit instantly though!) on sugar and spicy foods for a couple of days. Fill your diet with almonds, broccoli, strawberries, citrus fruits, leafy greens, and even dark chocolate (less than 20 grams a day).
2. Hair Health
Lustrous locks call for daily care as well! Strengthen and nourish your hair in a short span with these handy tips.
- As much as you may find the need to constantly wash your hair, your hair would do better without it. Washing your hair every alternate day, as opposed to daily will give it a breather from drying out. And when you do wash your hair, never skip using the conditioner – a good conditioner helps detangle and smoothen your hair. Shampoo simply cleanses and removes impurities from your hair, while a conditioner locks in the moisture you need for healthy, shiny hair!
- Pull back your hair into a loose bun when you go to bed, such that it’s not flying about all over the place and getting entangled and knotted. The subsequent brushing process the next day will be nothing short of a battle – in which neither you or your hair will win!
- Also, before going to bed, massage your scalp gently with your fingertips for a little while. This promotes healthy blood circulation which will nourish the roots of your hair, making it healthier from within.
- Get your hair trimmed or try out a flattering haircut, so that by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around, your split ends will no longer will a woe to deal with, frizzy hair won’t bother you, and you’ll also feel amazing!
- Keep away from heat stylers till the 14th, whether it’s your handy hairdryer or straightener or curler. Instead, towel-dry your hair very gently with a microfibre towel, then leave it to dry naturally. You can use a leave-in conditioner if your hair is prone to too many flyaways.
- As with your skincare routine, depend on natural elements such as eggs, aloe vera, bananas, strawberries, yoghurt, argan or coconut oil, to pamper your hair. Use hair masks with these ingredients to give your hair the strength it deserves and the shine it’s capable of!
- Don’t just apply food items on your hair, include them in your diet too. Eggs, spinach, nuts and seeds, sweet potatoes, beans and so on can promote healthy hair growth.
3. Overall Health!
With your skin and your crowning glory in place, the only other thing left to take care of is your overall health. It’s not just about becoming slim enough to fit into a dress; it’s also about promoting your confidence that’s going to add to your glamour!
Now, losing weight in a few days can be achieved in a couple of ways – starvation or crash-dieting shouldn’t be one of them! Eat your fill to ensure that your body isn’t deprived of any nutrients and makes you feel all tired and haggard on the big day. The only thing you need to ensure is that you eat right!
- Cut back on carbs and sugar-laden foods. A low-carb diet typically includes sources of protein (meat, fish, etc.) and non-starchy vegetables. Grains, nuts and seeds, bread, sweets and so on are considered to be high-carb sources, which is what you’ll need to reduce in your diet in the days leading up to V-Day. Now, don’t stop eating all these all at once, because that won’t do your body any good either. Instead, phase them out slowly, and replace them with non-starchy vegetables and rich sources of protein. The results of cutting back on carb-heavy foods can be seen pretty quickly on the body.
- Watch your calorie intake. A lot of times, you may think you’re eating healthy but calories may be finding methods to work their way into your body. When you have a healthy green salad but dunk all those veggies in salad dressing, for example, that’s a way for your calorie count to increase. Also, watch out for liquid calories such as milk and sweetened beverages!
- Drink up! Chug down some water at least half an hour before every meal. This helps cut down your appetite and prevents you from reaching out for those second helpings.
- Stock up on soluble fibre sources such as oats, apples, figs, pears, carrots, strawberries, and so on. Most of these make for healthy snacks that will fill you up quickly and aid in digestion.
- Eat at home during all the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. Food served in restaurants, although yummy, will contain plenty of ingredients that you’re probably trying to avoid. At home, you can cook and eat consciously, as per your preference.
- Get active! Exercise is obviously important but one hour of aerobics or Zumba is not all that you need. Make conscious decisions such as using the staircase instead of the elevator or walking a couple of rounds around your building before you run up home. The best part is that these little things, if carried on for a while, will become an ingrained habit for you, benefitting your health in the long run as well!
- Another thing you can indulge in is facial exercises to get rid of facial fat. Simple things like head-and-neck rotations, sticking out a pout for at least 10 to 15 seconds, making the ‘smiling fish face’ expression (suck in your cheeks and lips while maintaining a normal posture with your head and shoulders, try to smile, and hold that pose for a couple of seconds), mimicking the act of blowing balloons, chewing gum and so on are great ways to get your facial muscles to move about. And the best exercise of them all? A constant smile!
- Get some shut-eye. Your body needs time to process everything that’s gone into it during the day, and lack of sleep can mess up the levels of your ‘hunger’ hormones, causing you to feel excessively hungry.
The above tips, if followed to the T, are sure to bring about a difference to the way you look and feel in just a couple of days. And come Valentine’s Day, with your glowing skin, healthy hair, and a spring in your step from feeling fit, you’re going to look like a delight!