Happy New You - 15 easy ways to feel good

Forget starting a new year with dull diets and gym visits, read our inspiring guide to making the most of what you've got

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  • 1. Get a natural glow

    “Give the blusher a miss and try a 10-minute walk in the fresh air,” suggests Shahena Ali, beauty expert and MD of The Powder Lounge (www.thepowderlounge.co.uk). “It’s a free way to give your cheeks colour, freshen your look and give you a dose of vitamin D.”

  • 2. Change passwords

    Think of a word or phrase that sums up a positive part of your body that you love, and change your email password to it. Try something like, ‘I love my legs’ or ‘pretty eyes,’ and when you log in, you’ll give yourself a secret boost.

  • 3. Attack those pores

    Facials leave your skin smoother and brighter and they don’t have to cost the earth. “To have a DIY one at home, start by thoroughly cleansing with your usual products,” says skin and facial specialist, Georgia Louise (www.georgiaskincare.co.uk). “Then massage your face for five to 10 minutes. Start by sliding the pads of both thumbs down either side of your nose to your jawline. After the massage, exfoliate and wipe off with a face cloth. Finally, put a towel in a bowl of hot water with fresh lemon or orange slices and lay over your face for a few minutes.”

  • 4. Keep smiling

    “I was proud to have a toned bum before Lucy was born, but now it’s a little wobbly. It bothered me at first, but then, whenever I looked at Lucy’s smiling face, I knew it was worth it. I now keep a picture of her stuck in the corner of my full-length mirror so every time I get down about my reflection, it perks me up.”

    Cass Burrows, 31, from Lincoln, mum to Lucy, 1.

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  • 5. Tighten your tum

    Slather on sweet-smelling Nip + Fab Tummy Fix, £19.35 from Boots, to give your baggy tum a helping hand. Use it every day for a few minutes of indulgent belly massage.

  • 6. Hide eye bags

    Sleep-deprived peepers can really bring you down. “Keep a couple of metal teaspoons in the fridge and apply the back of the chilled spoons against the under-eye area for 30 seconds to deflate any puffiness and send those under-eye bags packing,” says Shahena. Eye make-up can also help hide dark circles. “Apply a light pale pink, cream or lilac eye shadow, and then a smudged light or dark brown eyeliner to the upper eyelid to ‘lift’ the eyes,” says Shahena.

  • 7. Brighten a tired body

    “For tired, dull-looking skin, mix up brown sugar with olive oil and use it as a cheap exfoliator,” suggests Shahena. “It works wonders and adds a glow by revealing the fresher, newer skin underneath.”

    “Try and exfoliate twice a week,” advises Hasti Parangi, senior beautician at Neville Hair & Beauty salon (www.nevillehairandbeauty.net). “Concentrate on your elbows, knees and feet (which can all get quite dry) before rubbing in a body cream to soften skin.”

  • 8. Eat yourself beautiful

    While we’re not suggesting a complete diet overhaul, taking on board food and nutrients that will help your skin, hair and nails to shine will give you a huge boost. “Go for high-nutrient, high-water content foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables,” suggests nutritionist Fiona Kirk, author of So What The F*** Should I Eat? . “The essential fatty acids in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and oily fish are also necessary to nourish the skin and keep its texture and vitality strong.”

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  • 9. Get a properly fitted bra

    When your boobs are correctly positioned it can transform your figure. Anna Prince from Bravissimo (www.bravissimo.com) shares her secrets to a correctly fitted bra. If these three things aren’t happening south of your chin, get yourself fitted.

    • The strap around your body should be firm but comfortable and sit horizontally, without riding up as you move.
    • Your breasts should be enclosed in the cups and you should have a smooth line where the top of the cup meets your bust.
    • The wires at the front should lie flat against your rib cage and should not dig in, rub or poke out at the front.
  • 10. Highlight your complexion

    “Selecting the right colours for your complexion can make you look much younger and healthier,” explains colour and style expert Jules Standish (www.colourconsultancy.co.uk). “Yellow and gold-based skin tones, with blue or green eyes and blonde hair, look best in clear, bright colours like blues and greens. If you’ve got a bronze-based skin tone, with brown eyes and brown, dark blonde or auburn hair, you’ll look fab in earthy colours like olive green, burnt orange, deep red, and mustard yellow.”

  • 11. Invest in good denim

    Splash out on a pair of French Dressing Jeans from £99.50 (020 7436 2882), which have a secret panel over the tummy area to lift you up and hold you in. The fit can knock up to two dress sizes off your frame.

  • 12. Flatter your shape

    “Wearing clothes that work with your body shape can instantly make you look a dress size smaller,” says Jules. “It’s not all about dieting, but knowing how to highlight your good areas, and camouflage the negative.” Decide what your bod’s best bits are and go for clothes that show them off. “Understanding what works for you will give you the confidence to walk tall and turn heads.”

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  • 13. Have a clothes clearout

    “I used to hoard every item of clothing in my wardrobe, whether it fitted or was three sizes too small. It made me sad each time I saw something hanging there that I couldn’t fit into, and one day I snapped and took everything that was too small to a charity shop. Now I know I can actually wear everything I’ve got in my wardrobe.”

    Maria Jenkins, 32, from Cardiff, mum to Ryan, 5, and Thomas, 7 months

  • 14. Accept compliments

    Getting a compliment is the fast track to a happier you. But too many of us girls are uncomfortable at accepting them. “The key to enjoying compliments is to feel confident about the way you look when you step out,” explains Jules. “If you know that you’re looking the best you possibly can, you’ll radiate confidence from within.”

    Don’t always shy away from compliments by automatically shrugging them off with comments like, ‘Oh, this old thing, it’s a really cheap dress,’ or ‘No, my hair looks a mess today.’ Instead say ‘thank you’ and smile. Compliments will give you a real spring in your step, so just enjoy it!

  • 15. Wobbly bits

    Control undies that you’ll be happy to flaunt at bedtime? Step forward the Gok Wan Balconette Curve Controller, £55 from Simply Yours, which is stylish enough to wear in front of your man, keeps your tum, boobs and bum in check and has absolutely no hint of scary Bridget Jones-style pants about it!


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