The holidays have come and gone, and for us Cebuanos it all culminates in the most awesome festival this country hosts every year—the Sinulog! I have always been the type of person that wants to be where the action is at (isn’t that what ‘living life to the fullest’ is all about?), so I hit the streets with my friends every year, either having a blast someplace watching the floats and contingents pass by, or actually joining the parade, dancing all the way from the Ayala access road to Abellana Sports Complex and back. These are the moments I wouldn’t trade for anything, when you feel vibrant and alive, with colors and drumbeats and laughter surrounding your world.
Now all this living large comes with a price, and that’s mainly stress and physical exhaustion! Tsk tsk tsk…we definitely can’t have that. For every crazy weekend you have, there needs to be corresponding parts of serious, hard work, and also sufficient rest and recuperation. Plus you need to be able to revitalize your looks too—after all nobody wants to look totally washed out and drained, not to mention age prematurely! Lucky for me a thoughtful person gave me a book called ‘The World’s Best Kept Beauty Secrets’ for Christmas, and I’m happy to share with you bombshells some of the best highlights I picked up from it:
- It’s all about attitude-From making extra time for yourself to be settled and focused, to cleaning out your closet, standing straight, wearing classic styles that best suit you, staying current with what’s fashionable and youthful, keeping a journal, setting realistic goals, watching your energy level, and learning to forgive and accept your own shortcomings with the desire to keep getting better, all of these tips are pointing towards a healthy self-esteem before even getting started on anything external. If you’re feeling run down from stress and exhaustion, make the effort to pamper yourself. It never helps to keep running on empty, so whatever makes you bounce back when you’re feeling depleted—like a massage, a weekend getaway, curling up with a good book—by all means, indulge!
- Skin therapy– The best beauty treatment for the skin is still 8-10 glasses of water a day to keep you hydrated. Then cleanse with a mild cleanser and end with a splash of milk or juices of citrus fruits (like lemon) for natural toning. Moisturize with a little sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, or primrose oil and make sure you wear sunscreen every day no matter what. There is no excuse for skipping any step of your skincare regimen, no matter how tired or partied out you may be! Once a week, use an exfoliator—instead of having to buy expensive products you can use a little sugar and olive oil for this, or oatmeal for both face and body. You can also use cold cucumber slices to relieve sore, puffy eyes, or raw potato to help banish dark circles. Or wear sunglasses!
- Keep your tresses healthy. Always use the right shampoo for your particular type of hair (fine, dry, colored/treated, oily) and use a conditioner most especially on the tips. Deep condition with a hair masque once a week. If you want shine, mix about ¼ cup of lemon juice or vinegar with ½ cup water and use this as your final rinse. You can also use vitamin E capsules or aloe vera gel to rid yourself of dandruff.
- Wear makeup. You may feel like you’ve been run over by a truck, but that’s no excuse to walk around looking like carnage. You can finish an entire makeup routine in under 5 minutes by just quickly applying a BB cream or SPF foundation, filling in your brows with light pencil strokes or brow powder, adding a light neutral eyeshadow, sweeping on some blush and finally tinted lipgloss or a light coat of lipstick. For fast fixes, use Visine to take out the redness from a pimple, and hemorrhoid/cellulite cream to decompress puffy eyes, jaw line or cheeks.
- Detox. Put a little lemon juice in warm water and add a dash of cayenne pepper for a quick detox. You can also do a real juice cleanse for a few days to rid yourself of all accumulated impurities. Stay away from anything alcoholic or anything with caffeine or lots of oils and fat, plus the sun and cigarette smoke for a week and get back in fighting form first before attempting to follow up with more partying or bingeing. Remember, be kind to your body if you want it to be kind to you!
- Tend to your nails. Normally the first sign of an overstressed, agitated/disorganized person is the state of their fingernails. Whether ragged from biting or badly chipped nail polish, or dried up cuticles, never show your hands in a less than pristine state. Do emergency touch ups by using your own manicure set to trim hangnails and haywire cuticles, use the exact same variety of shades for your regular manicures (red, nude, baby pink, or French tip) and keep your own bottles plus a top coat handy in your bag. Also, you could try out the new gel polish at Body and Butter in SM Northwing, it lasts up to 3-4 weeks and you won’t have any chipping at all! Paraffin treatments are nice but you can also use mashed up papaya or banana with refrigerated cold cream or almond oil to keep your hands supple and healthy. And brush those cuticles with a bit of squalene oil or vitamin E to prevent them from drying.
- Marry comfort and style. If you’ve spent all week in high heels at work or at parties, give your poor feet some much needed rest by switching to flats or comfy wedges from time to time. There are lots of stylish ones out there, and you can still look polished even if these are generally regarded as more relaxed. Also, from time to time, switch from your bondage dresses and miniskirts to slacks and polos to give to some yourself room to breathe. Just amp it up with great accessories and makeup and you’ll look just as glam.
Here’s to a week (or two) of quiet, balanced living to restore your energy till the next wave of events! Cheers.