How to look fresh and stress-free this season

Christmas and New Year are two of the most stressful holidays of the year. It’s even worse because they’re just a week apart! We need to buy gifts and food for the festivities, squeezing between throngs of people to get things done. Then we have to attend parties with a healthy dose of crazy traffic in between - and by crazy I mean spending hours on the road when it used to take only minutes. 

It’s no surprise that our skin looks dull, puffy, and dark around the eyes. That’s because of the stress and over-eating. You may have also probably observed some dryness around the mouth, nose, and eyebrows too, which is usually caused by the cooler December weather. 

So, given all that, how do we look fresh during the holidays? Short of going on a long beach vacation, that is. I’ve got tips!

Adjust your skincare routine. Retire your heavy duty anti-oil, mattifying products in favor of gentler, creamier ones that do not strip your skin of moisture. When my skin is feeling dry, I like using the Sebamed Liquid Face & Body Wash and the Clinique Derma White moisturizer. I also use serum more regularly. More affordable gentle alternatives can be found from Cetaphil, Myra, and Neutrogena.

Exfoliate. Once skin is peeling, there’s nothing you can do to revive it. Just slough it off! Use a holey sea sponge with your facial wash for a natural exfoliation routine (Beauty Bar has those). You can also try using microfiber cloth with warm water; it works wonders! I like the Jane Iredale Magic Mitt but I am sure that normal microfiber will do.

If you must use a product, try the newly-released White Result Exfoliating Gel (available from Tupperware sellers). It does the job but it’s probably the gentlest of them all.

Illuminate and highlight. Banish dull, sallow skin with the right illuminators and highlighters. Choose those that have no visible glitters/sparkles since they look the most natural, as if you just have amazing skin. For an overall illuminator/moisturizer, try the Estee Lauder Even Skintone Illuminator. For good measure, use the Estee Lauder Idealist Cooling Eye Illuminator for your eye bags. I also love the Benefit Watt’s Up cream-to-powder highlighter - it gives a gorgeous champagne glow on my cheekbones!

Cheaper alternatives are: Ellana Super Sparkle Finishing Powder in Yellow Submarine and E.L.F. Healthy Glow Bronzing Powder in Luminance.


Here’s a useful tutorial on how to use illuminators and highlighters from Lisa Eldridge:

Conceal and lift. Use a moisturizing, brightening concealer such as the Clinique Airbrush Concealer on your eyebags. You can also use your normal matte concealer mixed with a bit of illuminator/highlighter to fake firm, naturally glowy skin. As for lifting, groom and shade your brows to bring up the rest of your features. I love the Benefit Brow Zings because it includes a wax, tweezer, and useful applicators in the compact. 


Fool with color. If you feel your face looks hopeless, fret not! Colors can save the day. Choose cheerful shades that will brighten up your skin in a jiffy. Hot pink, true red, and peach/pink lipsticks can help banish dullness in your face. Blush and jewel-toned dresses can show off your Pinay complexion to good advantage.

You don’t just have to look fresh, you also have to smell like it! Play Jedi mind games by spraying on citrusy, bright floral scents. Let go of woodsy, musky fragrances for now since they can be too heavy and dramatic if fresh is what you’re going for. Scents can alter your mood; with the right one you can appear less stressed and more bubbly instantly. I LOVE the Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca, DKNY Golden Delicious, and Nina Ricci L’Elixir for this purpose.

And that's it. I hope this helps! Let me know if you have more tips!