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1. Whiten and brighten your teeth
If you’re shy about smiling because your pearly whites look dull, slip on some Crest 3D White Whitestrips Intensive Professional Effects ($70, 3dwhite.com). With these strips, there’s no need to worry about unsightly stains when you want to look your best.
If you think twice before cracking a smile because you’re worried about exacerbating fine lines around your eyes, look for a rich eye cream to smooth and plump this line-sensitive zone. Plumper skin means wrinkles are less noticeable, so you can keep smiling.
3. Wear a bright lipstick
Paint the town red – or coral or fuchsia. Wearing a bright lipstick, such as CoverGirl LipPerfection in Hot ($11, covergirl.ca), will brighten up your whole complexion and help you reel in all kinds of compliments.
4. Spritz on your favourite scent.
Whether it’s the one your mother used to wear or the one you wore during a happy occasion, those memories will come flooding back in a flash. That’s because scent is connected to memory more than any other sense. We love raspberry-loaded Marc Jacobs Oh Lola Sunsheer Edition (50 mL, $79, at department stores) for creating new memories.
5. Go for a walk
Dreading a potentially stressful meeting at work? Skip the Angry Birds marathon on your smartphone and head outside for a brisk 15-minute walk. A recent study published by the Public Library of Science found that adults performed much better on a creative test after spending four days outdoors and unplugged from their gadgets. And when you’re focused, you’ll feel much better about the ideas you’re pitching to your boss.
6. Even out your skintone
Are you plagued by frustration over your splotchy skin when you catch your reflection in the mirror? Try one of the latest beauty categories taking skin care by storm: CC creams. The new Olay Total Effects 7-in-One Tone Correcting Moisturizer with Sunscreen ($33, olay.ca) instantly smooths skin and covers unsightly splotches. Over time, it also gently fades pigmented areas of skin.
7. Read uplifting emails
Your inbox can be your best friend. Save a list of compliments for a rainy day. When you’re feeling low, you can reflect on the time your colleague told you she appreciated your encouragement or the time your sister told you how much she treasures your help with her energetic twins.
8. Focus on the things you can control, and come to terms with the ones you can’t
“The sooner you can accept those things, the more radically you can reduce anxiety,” says Karyn Gordon, relationship expert and founder of DK Leadership. Once you do this, you’ll boost your sense of power.
Pucker up, says Gordon. “Kissing is a tool that helps us feel connected. When we feel connected with people, we feel better about ourselves,” she says.
10. Toss your scale
“It’s not an accurate measure of your health," says Anna Griffith, a nutritional and wellness counsellor and personal trainer.
11. Have me-time
Maybe no one sees your unsightly toes except for you and your dogs, but that’s precisely why you should paint them – to make yourself happy. Whether it’s treating yourself to a berry-coloured pedicure, taking a knitting class or brushing up on your Spanish, book an hour of me-time whenever possible, suggests Griffith.
12. Change your hair colour
Take your blond hair to strawberry blond, or your dish-water brown to rich chocolate brown. “Freshly coloured hair makes any woman feel great about herself,” says Luis Pacheco, Clairol spokesperson and hair colourist at Hair on the Avenue in Toronto. “The grey is gone and the condition of the hair can look dramatically better.”
13. Talk positively about yourself
“Cut out the negative self-talk -- even if it’s just for an hour when you’re working out,” says Griffith. Instead, focus on how strong you are and how great you’ll feel after your exercise. Over time, you’ll find yourself trimming down the negative talk during other activities too.
14. Meet up with friends
Follow through with those “we should get together” requests from old friends. “One of the pillars of self-esteem is a sense of belonging, and part of that comes from relationships,” says Gordon. “When we have our relationships intact, we feel better about ourselves.”
Fake it till you make it, says Griffith. “Even if you’re not feeling very confident, put on a smile instead of a frown and pretend â€¨you feel better than you do,” she says. Eventually you’ll start to believe it and feel more confident.