Give me your glow ups
October 22, 2019 9:52 AM   Subscribe

Work has been super stressful (forever), and I'm slowly getting over a really long and stupid sinus infection, and as a result, I kind of look and feel like something they dragged out of the Chicago River. What are your favorite (relatively) quick-result ways to perk your whole deal up? Looks and spirits alike.

Things I have covered:
- I exercise regularly, lots of cardio.
- I get a fair bit of sleep (although I haven't been sleeping super-great lately, because of the sinus problems. But, as those improve, I can feel my sleep improving).
- I just had my hair color touched up.

I'm open to whatever! Homemade, professional, goods and/or services, throw em at me!
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (29 answers total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
Make-up/beauty-centric tips - obviously disregard if that is not your thing.

A nice manicure?

I feel like this tinted moisturiser makes a big difference to my face in terms of evening out skin tone but not at all looking like I am wearing actual make up. I didn't wear it today for the first time in ages, and I can really tell the difference in my face.

I find that ensuring my eyebrows are groomed and shaped also offers major bang for my buck in terms of waking my face up and making me look put together, without it being hugely obvious I've done something to my face.


Can you just take a few days off from eeeverything? Work but also social commitments? I find that helps to recharge me - not that I get to do it often.
posted by unicorn chaser at 9:57 AM on October 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

Beginner stuff:
- Keep a nice face mist at your desk - the Mario Badescu ones are great and readily available.
- If you're into it, finding the right red lipstick can brighten up just about anything (I have been super into these lately, a little spendy but high-quality, long-lasting, and wears down to a nice stain; if out of your price range, or looking for something different, these Maybelline Made for All colors are fantastic - I swear that Spice For Me looks good on *everyone*, but the red, ruby, and plum are also great).
- A dry hair styler cream to help tame frizziest and flyaways - there is a decent one by Living Proof, but I have really been enjoying this Tigi/Bed Head one which seems to work just as well for the price point.
- Leaving your desk (and the building if possible) during your lunch break.

Level-up stuff:
- Going to Sephora and asking for a mini makeover.
- Taking 20 minutes to do a sheet mask.
- Taking 20 minutes to meditate.
- Breath-Right strips for your sleeping issues - the clear ones don't cause skin problems and seem to stick better to my nose. But they do really seem to help my allergy-related stuffy nose, can't-breathe-in-the-middle-of-the-night symptoms.
posted by honeybee413 at 10:07 AM on October 22, 2019 [3 favorites]

If I need a refresh, I'll put a mask in my hair (I like Roots from Lush), a mask on my face (the Too Cool for School Egg Cream mask is soothing and moisturizing), and then follow up with a long shower where I exfoliate, shave, use a deep conditioner, and all the other things I normally ignore. Afterwards, I'll take the afternoon to go sit in my favorite coffee shop and read, so I'm out in the world but not necessarily people-ing.
posted by angelchrys at 10:08 AM on October 22, 2019 [9 favorites]

I prefer simple skincare with solid science and recently bought The Ordinary's Squalane Oil. My skin is in love with itself.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:09 AM on October 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

Oh! And for the sinus problems, I've started doing a spray of flonase or saline spray before bed (depending on how stuffed up I am) and then using nasal vents, which are these little bits of silicone that you stick in your nose and they help hold it open. They work kind of like breathe right strips do, but from the inside.
posted by angelchrys at 10:11 AM on October 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

I got a sample of Vitamin C serum on a whim and used it a few times over the course of two weeks on my okay but never great skin. I thought that I saw a difference myself, but two different people asked me unprompted if I did something new with make-up (I do not and was not wearing make up) because, as one of them put it, I looked "glowy." I'm not sure if it would work for you, but something small like that might make a difference. (I used the Paula's Choice C15, which is relatively inexpensive as these things go, for what its worth.)
posted by Caz721 at 10:12 AM on October 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

I just bought some lavender pillow spray when I was having a bad brain day and it feels really glorious and self-care-y to use it before bed.
posted by diffuse at 10:16 AM on October 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

How's your diet? Can you throw some money at eating really nourishing food for a week or two? Ready-made (so that it's easy and quick) fresh stuff with lots of veggies, or whatever else "nourishing food" means to you.

Agreed on the vitamin C suggestion above. I like the Timeless one myself.

Another skincare thing that makes my face look perked up almost immediately is hyaluronic acid. Hado Labo's version is a fave of many people (me included!).
posted by aka burlap at 10:52 AM on October 22, 2019 [3 favorites]

If you don't have super-sensitive teeth, do a round of Crest whitestrips.
posted by superfluousm at 10:53 AM on October 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Drink more water

Stretching: a simple stretch routine feels great and is low effort, or go to a yoga class

Hot yoga: this is not something I've ever done, but several people at a recent WW class mentioned that they did this and how "amazing" they felt afterwards

Dry skin brushing

Lymphatic facial massage

Chakra-clearing meditation

A beach vacation somewhere warm. My friend who gets a cold/sinus infection every year that often drags on, went to Mexico last year looking like death and came back looking well-rested, healthy and golden. She said her secret was drinking plenty of alcohol to kill the infection and baking herself in the sun. Not sure if that is medically sound advice but she had a good time.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 10:57 AM on October 22, 2019 [5 favorites]

Quickie, subtle makeup help:
Darken your eyebrows (tint them if they're blond) and use more concealer under your eyes. Feather the concealer a little further down your cheeks than you usually would- it brightens the centre of the face nicely (Kardashian contour).
Then curl lashes & apply mascara. Lipgloss.
Lots of blush, in a colour close to the shade your fingertip turns when you squeeze your finger with the other hand.
All of this will look like not-much makeup, but it will make you look healthy and perky.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 11:03 AM on October 22, 2019 [7 favorites]

I took a leisurely bath the other week and it did wonders for my stress.
posted by charcoals at 11:08 AM on October 22, 2019 [4 favorites]

I have found that adding an oil to my skin routine is hugely helpful in making my skin look and feel happier. Who knew? I have dryish skin. I now use Peter Thomas Roth Green Releaf Calming Face Oil at night or during the day, whatever, just as an additive to my moisturizer, and I have also liked the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery is nice as well, and for daytime I really like the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Skin Booster.

Bonus applying oil directly to my skin feels somehow decadent and like I'm doing something I should not be doing. YMMV. My skin is happier.
posted by Medieval Maven at 11:16 AM on October 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

Exfoliate before you put any of that stuff on your face.
posted by matildaben at 11:26 AM on October 22, 2019

+1 to professional manicure. Getting your cuticles trimmed and your nails all smooth and shiny and, if it’s your thing, sparkly or colorful, makes your hands feel so...polished (haha) and clean.
posted by zinful at 11:33 AM on October 22, 2019

Do you have a Clarisonic? I like using that at night with plenty of moisturizer afterward.
posted by pinochiette at 11:35 AM on October 22, 2019

Full body massage--at least 60 minutes.

Mani/pedi--gel so that it doesn't chip for a while.

A new perfume or a fancy scented candle (Jo Malone or Diptique), if you don't have fragrance sensitivities. Obviously, if this will irritate your sinuses, skip this.

Is there a Korean bathhouse near you? Spend a day in the various pools and saunas and drink a ton of water and eat lots of veggies for lunch. Maybe splurge on a treatment while you're there.
posted by Fuego at 11:48 AM on October 22, 2019

Full body swedish massage.

Three products from The Ordinary: copper peptide serum, matrixyl, and niacinamide.

Maelove's Vitamin C serum (also with Ferulic and Vit E).
posted by ClaireBear at 1:13 PM on October 22, 2019

1) Magnesium! It's nature's xanax, apparently. I like to take magnesium supplements but have also heard great things about the somewhat woo-woo sounding "float therapy" mineral baths.
2) I started sleeping in a silk-lined cap and it made a big difference extending the life of a good blowout. Speaking of blowouts, I love getting a fancy blowout when I need a pick me up, and the Blo bar near my house has a discount on Mondays/Tuesdays. There are a few national chains in the US and Canada, maybe there is one near you?
3) I got this $60 hair styler thing and it has done wonders for my own at-home blow outs. Would highly recommend.
posted by dotparker at 1:21 PM on October 22, 2019

Are you in Chicago? Red Square Spa on Division is not too spendy for a long afternoon of hot tub, sauna, super hot russian style sauna, and eating borscht in a bathrobe.
posted by velebita at 1:49 PM on October 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Have orgasms. Lots and lots of orgasms.
posted by HandfulOfDust at 2:45 PM on October 22, 2019 [11 favorites]

Bright light, the more the better.
Standing in the wind.
posted by evilmonk at 3:21 PM on October 22, 2019

If it is heading toward winter where you are: Is there a botanic garden near you that has a greenhouse? Go inside for a tiny tropical vacation.
posted by sciencegeek at 3:22 PM on October 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

I asked this question a few years back. The timeframe is a little longer but some of the answers might be useful.
posted by rpfields at 5:20 PM on October 22, 2019

Go all out, you fucking deserve that shit. Sweat it out at the gym, go hard. Then book a massage and soak somewhere beautiful, get your hair trimmed, your nails done, get eeeeveerything waxed. Then buy yourself a new something to wear that really speaks to you... Dope coat, amazing boots, new dress. Go to a psychic and get a reading done. Buy a crystal to charge under the moon. Get some kava or some cbd and make yourself a relaxing tea, or get some indica tea and drift off to sleep on a relaxed refreshed shiny new cloud.
posted by moons in june at 7:20 PM on October 22, 2019 [4 favorites]

Massage and a manicure. Oh, man, if I could afford a massage and a manicure right now, I'd be dancing down the street.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:25 PM on October 22, 2019

New underwear! Bonus if you throw out any old ones that are ragged.
posted by yawper at 12:52 PM on October 23, 2019 [4 favorites]

Here is something I discovered and have been wanting to share. I have zinc oxide cream on hand because I have a little one. One day I couldn't find moisturizer and put it on my face instead. Well, holy moly what a revelation! It conceals my redness before I put concealer on top, seems to kind fill in some wrinkles, and best of all seems to control my oily skin problem. I look way more glowy and healthy! Miraculous. Plus it's cheap and a natural sunscreen.
posted by kitcat at 6:00 AM on October 26, 2019

This might just be me, but there is something about getting all the dead skin scrubbed off you at a Korean spa or Turkish hammam that is existential as well as physical. You come out red and fresh like a newborn baby and all that dull grey crap hiding your shine goes right down the drain.
posted by athirstforsalt at 9:37 AM on October 28, 2019

« Older writers really making money there?   |   Where did I stand for the Times Square NYE ball... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.