Beat Stress While You Get Beautiful

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You can relieve stress by tweaking something you already do every day. "By making your beauty routine multisensory, you'll mitigate stress and get the most out of your treatments," says Gabrielle Bernstein, a spiritual coach and author of the New York Times best seller May Cause Miracles. Take these beauty tips to heart and you'll be headed for a zen-like day.

 

 

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Mindful Tub Time: Massage
Shel Pink, founder of SlowBeauty.com and the eco-friendly SpaRitual nail-polish line, is a bath and Abhyanga massage junkie. (German researchers found that this ancient technique reduces stress levels and may lower blood pressure.) Work half a cup of warm sesame or almond oil from your feet up to your scalp using long, strong strokes and kneading tight spots. Short on time? Your feet are a great place to relieve overall stress.

 

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Mindful Tub Time: Play Deejay
"Listen to music you find comforting, whether it's a ballad, an instrumental, or electronica," says Bernstein. She swears by her "positive perception" Spotify playlist, which she has filled with soothing tunes from Sia, Peter Broderick, Marvin Gaye, Leona Lewis, and Helios.

 

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Mindful Tub Time: Set the Mood
Dim the lights and spark up a scented candle 10 minutes prior to bathing to get the aroma wafting through the air. "Research shows the scents we find most relaxing are often ones that evoke memories from childhood," says Alan Hirsch, M.D., founder and neurological director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago. Favorites include baby powder and baked goods (specifically vanilla).

 

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Exfoliate: Brush Up
A good scrub-down doesn't require soap and water. "Dry brushing could stimulate lymphatic flow and circulation, and may reduce cellulite and bloating," says dermatologist Francesca Fusco, M.D. On dry skin, brush using long, singular strokes toward the heart, moving from your feet to your chest. You can use a body brush or exfoliating gloves.

 

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Exfoliate: Slough with Love
If you prefer a scrub, pay attention to the product—literally: "Close your eyes, feel the granules in your hands, and breathe in the scent to make the process therapeutic," says Pink.

 

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Makeup: Zen Your Shades
The reason all gradations of blue and gray top the tranquility scale? "Because they appear in the sky, they are constant and familiar," says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. Other sedative hues include peach, yellow, and rose, she adds. Wear them as makeup shades more often. Try CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Gloss in Coral Silk ($5.49, at drugstores).

 

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Makeup: Create a Vision Board
There's a reason Pinterest is so addictive. It inspires creativity, and it's a great escape from reality (pics of Fiji, anyone?). Do the same in your real-life space: "Put up pictures of things you dream about or want to achieve," says Bernstein. At the very least, it could be just what you need to try a bold new makeup look or hairstyle.

 

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Makeup: Spell it Out
Scrawling confidence-boosting affirmations on your mirror in lipstick sounds hokey, but it does the trick. "I used to write 'I'm on Oprah,' and it eventually happened," says Bernstein. Once a week, jot down a self-compliment (a Post-it and pen will do!) or something you want to accomplish, do, or feel.

 

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