Holiday season parties and get-togethers are already underway with save-the dates magnetized to the fridge. My married and single friends have been reading Skinny Bitch, the Secret, and The Power of Now in an effort to prime themselves for the season.
Lots of women I know are doing volunteer work at shelters, retirement homes, hospices and children’s hospitals during hours they used to spend shopping (so there is an upside to this bad economy!). Doing good for others encourages an optimistic attitude and confidence in your own future.
This is the time to network, socialize, and get back in the game. Whether you’re job hunting or seeking your soul mate, looking your best is essential.
Right now, the only splurging going on is at dermatologists’ offices, where new injectable fillers and fat treatments recently approved by the FDA are experiencing a pre-holiday surge. They do work, they are pricey (check with your dermatologist as prices vary around the country and from doctor to doctor), but I’ve included affordable alternatives too.
Here are the top three beauty peeves, with medical pro and at-home solutions for each.
Gripe 1: Expression Lines Make You Look Tired & Angry
• What a dermatologist can do: You know that Botox, a muscle-relaxing toxin, is the best solution for deep forehead furrows and vertical lines between the brows. Two new fillers work magic for the naso-labial fold (those annoying lines from nose to mouth). The first is Evolence, a porcine-based collagen that’s cross-linked with sugar molecules. It binds naturally with your own collagen and amazingly lasts a year! Results are immediate and there’s no pre-test. Prevelle Silk is the newest hyaluronic acid filler (similar to Restylane and Perlane) but contains lidocaine, a local anesthetic which reduces the pain (yes fillers sting during the process!) of the injection. It’s the perfect entry-level filler for first-time users and lasts three to four months.
• What you can do: Take two weeks off from your usual night cream and use a peptide relaxer like Olay Regenerist 14 Day Skin Intervention ($24.99) and layer a primer like Smashbox Photo Finish ($36) under foundation to it from creasing and emphasizing furrows.
Gripe 2: Muffin Tops & Tummy Bulge Making You Miserable
• What a dermatologist can do: When diet and exercise aren’t working, there’s a body contouring treatment cleared by the FDA that does. VelaShape, a non-surgical device, uses a combo of radiofrequency, infrared light, and suction to shrink fat cells to contract and tighten collagen. Treatments take about a half hour per area and you’ll need around four sessions for results to show (so plan to be svelte by Christmas if you start now).
• What you can do: Get your hands on a Miraclesuit Wonderful Edge Long Leg Bodybriefer ($57) with a built-in molded bra and double layer power panel up front or the Miraclesuit Inches Off Waist Cincher ($31) which, when worn in black with your usual thong and bra, just looks like a sexy Madonna-ish item and not like the heavy-duty corset it is.
Gripe 3: You Wear Turtlenecks Daily to Hide Your Neck
• What a dermatologist can do: SmartLipo is an alternative to liposuction that uses laser light to permanently zap away fat and tighten your skin. In small areas like the neck and just under the chin, fat can be quickly liquefied and removed. It requires a local but there are no stitches, the procedure takes 45 minutes and you can be back at work in 24 to 48 hours.
• What you can do: Ditch the turtles. Elongate your neck and divert attention with a soft draped neckline or a V neck. Check out the Old Navy sexy retro cardigan with sequins in cyclamen or black($29.50) the Jaclyn Smith for Kmart cowl neck top in sand or black ($19.99 ) and the J. Crew merino Lea cardigan with rhinestone buttons in bright fuchsia ( $59.50 ) And in holiday photos, use this model trick: lift your chin parallel to the floor and press the top of your tongue to the roof of your mouth-its firms up the dangly bits under your chin.