Avoid salt, drink lots of water throughout the day, get eight hours of sleep in a really dark room -- these are standard, can't-beat-them practices that help you look good in the morning. Some days, though, you need a beauty boost. Today, on behalf of The Kit, I popped by The Marilyn Denis Show to discuss how to wake up beautiful. And if you do some or all the things on the following top-to-toe list on, say, Sunday night, then your Monday could be the most gorgeous day of the week.
1) Apply an overnight leave-in hair-conditioning treatment
An overnight conditioning hair treatment will give you soft, more manageable, shiny hair come morning. Work it into dry hair and comb through thoroughly. In the AM, shampoo, condition, rinse, and style as usual. If you have really dry hair, you can do this twice a week. Otherwise, once a week or every other week could be enough for you.
LaCoupe Overnight Repair Miracle Masque, $7.99
Nexxus Split End Binding Overnight Treatment Creme, $14.99
2) Cleanse skin thoroughly
Try a cleansing brush, which gets a good exfoliation in as well. Best to use a cleansing brush just once per day; at night it preps skin to absorb your skincare as you sleep. Be gentle -- go over your skin in gentle, circular moments, allowing the brush to do the work (don't add pressure as you hold it against your skin).
Olay Professional Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System, $34.99 (it's in the current issue of The Kit!)
3) Apply a moisturizing face masque on clean skin
Skin should just drink this in after your cleansing-brush session. Apply a layer of hydrating gel or cream over the skin, wait 15 or 20 minutes, then rinse off. If you have really dry skin, you can do this twice per week.
Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque, $47.50
DIY moisturizing face masque (posted by Vivian in a comment in January):
1 tbsp plain dried oatmeal, ground up in the food processor
1 heaping tbsp plain greek or balkan style yogurt
1 tsp honey
Mix and slather all over the face, let it sit for 15 to 20 mins, wipe off then rinse skin.
4) Apply hydrating or anti-aging serum on damp skin
Again, while you sleep is the best time for potent serum ingredients to go to work. Lightly rub a few drops in your hands and smooth onto your face.
Neostrata Intense All-In-One Night Serum, $84
5) Apply night cream
Night cream is typically more hydrating than day creams; extra moisture at night means glowier skin in the morning. Keep the jar on the night table so you can massage it in before you drift off to sleep.
Marcelle Revival Intense Anti-Aging Night Care, $34.95
Weleda Pomegranate Firming Night Cream, $29
Bare Minerals Pure Transformation Night Treatment, $63 (mineral makeup you wear overnight as a skin treatment)
6) Buff and moisturize lips
I've mentioned this tip before as an effective yet more gentle alternative to brushing poor lips with an ouchy toothbrush. Soak the corner of a washcloth in hot water, squeeze it out, and gently rub over lips until they're smooth. Apply a gelÃ©e-consistancy lip balm immediately. (Gel-type balms tend to be more moisturizing than waxy sticks.)
Kiehl's Lip Balm #1, $10.99
7) Slather body in body oil
Okay, so I'm obsessed with oil as a body moisturizer. It leaves skin so silky -- and really dry skin likes it mixed in with your body lotion, or applied as a layer before lotion. Great after a shower, on damp skin.
Palmer's Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy Oil, $9.99
Yves Rocher Culture Bio Night Time Body Oil, $22 (it's in a handy spray format)
8) Use foot cream with AHAs to soften while you sleep
This one's especially important because flip-flop season is (hopefully) just around the corner. Massage cream into feet, then put on a pair of socks, if you like -- my favourites are Airplus Aloe Infused Ultra Moisturizing Socks, $6.99. Regular use of a foot cream with AHA will keep sand-paper heels away.
Vichy Podexine Callus Corrector, $18.95 (contains salicylic acid to help keep skin smooth)
Now you don't have to do all of these steps in one evening, not unless you have a special day ahead. Do you already do any of these night-time beauty steps? Are there any you're tempted to add to your before-sleep routine?