Beauty Prep for Your Prettiest Holiday Ever

By Camille Styles
how to get a natural glow with bronzer

If you’re anything like me, holiday madness is already in full swing, and let’s just say that “updating my beauty routine” is pretty far down the ‘ole to-do list. But one glance at my calendar reminds me that I’ve got a few highly anticipated occasions on the horizon (our annual holiday dinner party, nights out with friends, and *gasp* New Years!) and I’ve realized that it’s time to step up my beauty game if I want to look my best for said festivities. We teamed up with our friends at Go Smile to share our easiest and most effective ways to look and feel your prettiest just in time for the holidays. These work, and I swear you can accomplish them all before the weekend kicks off. Keep scrolling for my top tips, and I’d love to hear in the comments how you tweak your beauty routine at this time of year!

*photos by kristen kilpatrick

Step #1: Get your whitest teeth ever.

The impact of your teeth on your overall appearance really can’t be overstated. Beautiful white teeth convey health and vitality, and unlike makeup, they’re the beauty accessory that you never take off and carry with you everywhere. But for those of us who indulge in the daily occasional glass of red wine and cup of coffee, it takes a little extra effort to keep them looking their very whitest.

I started using the Go Smile toothbrush and whitening gel a couple years ago, and I noticed such an improvement in my teeth’s whiteness that I was instantly hooked. It’s pretty cool how it works: you apply the teeth whitening gel along with your toothpaste, and then the brush’s blue wavelength light activates the gel to remove even deeper stains. Then the sonic vibration of the toothbrush thoroughly cleans and prevents cavities. Plus, Go Smile whitens four times faster than whitening trays or strips!

Step #2: Exfoliate, then get glowing.

Winter skin typically equals dry skin. And dry skin is never a good foundation for applying sunless tanner, unless you’re going for a scaly, patchy look (gross.) While you’re in the shower, use a high-quality body exfoliator that contains salt or sugar crystals for natural but effective sloughing. Use hands or a bath mitt to rub all over damp skin in a circular motion, then rinse well. Once you’re out of the shower, moisturize from head to toe with a lightweight lotion, then let it soak into skin for 5 – 10 minutes before applying sunless tanner. Right now I’m hooked on L’oréal Sublime Bronze Serum: its lightweight texture glides over skin without any greasiness, and even when I’m not that careful with application, I never get streaks. After applying it all over, I wash hands well with soap and water, then go back over dry spots with an additional dose of regular lotion (elbows, knees, ankles, backs of hands) to prevent streaks.

Step #3: Start the day with hydrating foods.

Everyone knows you should drink lots of water, but it’s also important to eat hydrating foods for healthy skin and a toned bod. Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of hydration, so try to incorporate as many as possible at breakfast to start the day on a beautifying foot. A few of my favorite super hydrating breakfasts:

Classic Shakshuka

Tropical Paradise Overnight Oats

Mediterranean Breakfast Salad

Passion Fruit Chia Pudding

A note on chia seeds: their fiber is hydrophilic, which means that it absorbs 10-12 times its own weight in water. When chia seeds combine with liquid, they turn into a pudding like consistency. The result is that the seeds promote hydration, endurance, and recovery in tired muscles.


Tip #4: Give skin some extra TLC.

Most of us are already feeling the effects of dryer winter air, and if you’re prone to breakouts (like me), flaking skin can actually clog pores and cause acne flare-ups (horrors!) That’s why it’s crucial to properly exfoliate and moisturize, and to give your skin some extra TLC, apply a hydrating mask in the shower that will penetrate skin even more deeply than a typical lotion or cream can. I love this one, which combines honey (a natural humectant used since ancient times), propolis (antiseptic found in beehives), and amino acid-rich royal jelly which come together for the most glowing complexion.

Tip #5: Get your bronze on.

Nothing wakes up skin like a big fluffy brush and a light dusting of bronzer. Note that I say light, since no one needs to look like a golden goddess in the dead of winter — the purpose here is to just get that natural looking flush that makes you look like you’re glowing with good health. I dust it across tops of cheekbones, on forehead, a little on the bridge of my nose, and on my chest — basically, all the places the sun naturally hits. And boom! Your skin (and décolletage) instantly looks 10x better.  I love this one from Stila for natural color and a streak-proof application.

Tip #6: Find the right red.

Though I’m usually a nude lip girl, the holidays are the one time of year that I love to bust out a bold red. Luckily, it’s been shown that the right shade of red can actually bring out the whiteness of your teeth — perfect to show off those newly brightened pearly whites from your Go Smile regimen. Look for a red with blue undertones — we like MAC’s Ruby Woo and Dior Rouge Dior in 999 — and feel free to experiment with a matte lipstick, shiny gloss, or one of the new moisturizing lip oils.


This post is in partnership with Go Smile. Be sure to use code CAMILLE for a $30 discount.