Your beauty goal: healthy and gorgeous. Here’s how to make it happen.
This article originally appeared in the January/February 2016 issue of SELF.
The “new year, new you” idea pops up every January, but when it comes to beauty, we’re more into the idea of “new year, even better you.” Think tweak, not overhaul. While a big-picture resolution takes time and patience, a small change in your beauty routine can produce results right away. Glowing skin, shiny hair, smooth lips, a dazzling smile and strong nails can be yours—without the wait. Because while it’s always admirable to work toward long-term goals, there’s something to be said for instant gratification.
1. Get whiter teeth in as little as 48 hours. Brilliant!
Your teeth can brighten your entire face, and it no longer takes weeks to get them gleaming. The new Go Smile on the Go Sonic Blue Teeth Whitening System ($89) whitens in just two days. Use it with a combination of the included whitening gel and your favorite toothpaste—the blue light in the brush accelerates the process. Then try cosmetic dentist Michael Apa’s chic (yes, really!) line of maintenance products, which includes the Apa White Duo five-day home whitening system ($150) and a peppermint-oil-infused Blue Lip Shine ($25). They’ll make your smile look even whiter—and perfectly primed for your close-up.
2. Try a polish cleanse for stronger, even-toned, and natural-looking nails.
To brighten bare nails, try Zoya Naked Manicure in Nude Perfector, $10.
The holiday season’s dark polishes can notoriously stain nails yellow, but new brightening and conditioning products will get them back in the clear quickly. Take a short sabbatical from colorful lacquers and try Deborah Lippmann Genie in a Bottle Illuminating Nail Tone Perfector ($20), which contains mica and sheer violet pigments to combat dullness, plus biotin to fortify. If you want to make your nails long and strong this year, consider Julep Brighter Is Better Oxygen Brightening Nail Treatment ($18). It delivers oxygen to the nail beds to stimulate growth, lemon extract to whiten over time and optical brighteners to hide discoloration in the meantime.