Valentine's Day: Look, Feel Better (cont.)

Cover that gray, advises Victoria Moran, author of Fit From Within. "Some women look fabulous with silver hair," she says. "You'll know if you're one because you'll get compliments on it all the time. If not, find a fabulous colorist."

Moran also recommends getting a brow arch professionally done. "It's almost like a surgical eye lift," she says.

Teeth, too, can be a quick fix. Try whitening strips or gel for a week beforehand to banish a shade or two of yellowing.

No time for a facelift? How about gently pulling back some strands of hair from around your face and braiding them. "This can smooth a few millimeters of sag," Kunin says. "That's all you need." Many celebrities do this, she says.

Before you debut that new thong or lacy bra, try your outfit on over it. "Sometimes," Haver says with a laugh, "sexy lingerie does not work under clothes."

Have Great Sex

If you do have someone special you can celebrate the Day of Love the right way with a little foresight.

  • You will feel sexier if you're firm. Walk, lift weights, do some kind of exercise each day .
  • If you are in menopause and are having problems with vaginal dryness but don't want to take estrogen, buy a personal lubricant and use it liberally.
  • Eat plenty of zinc -- that means oysters or other shellfish, pecans, or even pumpkin seeds.
  • Smoking is out. It impedes blood flow.
  • Reduce stress and fantasize instead. And don't keep it a secret -- share your notions with your spouse. He or she may be intrigued or may not. You will never know until you lean over and whisper.
  • On Valentine's Day, get a babysitter, says Haver, who has a 4-year-old. Watch the wine and heavy sauces at dinner so as not to get drowsy.
  • Laugh together -- it can lead to a rush of endorphins and other feel-good brain chemicals and then to other good things.

Why, before you know it, you may be happy, optimistic, healthier, more beautiful, and possessed of a secret smile of satisfaction. Think of it as your valentine to yourself.

Star Lawrence is a medical journalist based in the Phoenix area.

Originally published Feb. 7, 2003.
Medically updated February 2006.

SOURCES: Audrey Kunin, MD, an assistant clinical instructor of dermatology, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, Kan. • Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, author, Healing Through Joy • Sharon Haver, beauty and fashion consultant • Victoria Moran, author, Fit From WithinLook Ten Years Younger in Ten Weeks by Gia Antonia.

© 2003 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.


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