Published September 16, 2013
By finding the tactile and sensual pleasure in daily beauty routines, you can actually boost your body confidence! Some pointers:
1. Next-Level Exfoliation
Sure, silky skin feels glorious. But so can the mere act of getting rid of dead cells. . .if you buff right.
Think body brushing, baby! It may help increase circulation and eliminate dead skin cells—and that makes your skin look healthier and feel softer to the touch, says Emer Gillen, a U.K. and international trainer for Elemis. Before you shower, run a natural-bristle dry-skin brush from your feet up to your chest in continuous upward stroking motions toward the heart, all around the body from back to front. Try Elemis Spa@Home Body Brush ($45, timetospa.com).
Prefer the feel of a scrub? Try a self-heating formula like Dermelect Cosmoceuticals Thermaj Total Body Polish ($40, dermelect.com). The microbeads warm up as you rub them over skin, creating an intense sensation; the heat loosens dead cells, making it even easier to slough them away.
2. Mindful Moisturizing
Enhance the experience by applying moisturizer before leaving the shower, after lightly toweling off. Steam plumps the skin, and the water droplets left on your body will help seal in the hydration. Smooth on a lotion—it's slicker and silkier than a cream—from the feet up in long, rounded strokes, says Donna Shaffer, spa director at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn. "Short, quick movements feel like you're painting a picket fence, not applying cream, so don't rush!"
3. Scent-sual Healing
"Think of scented, goddess-like skin," says perfumer Sarah Horowitz. "It makes you feel beautiful naked."
Consider vanilla. "Most of us find a sheer, light vanilla scent sexy," she says.
Engage your sense of touch. "Dabbing on a perfumed oil is much more intimate than using a spray," says Horowitz. "You can be intentional about where you put it as you're touching yourself, and the scent lasts longer." Try Lavanila Forever Fragrance Oil in Pure Vanilla ($25, lavanila.com).
Tread lightly. Less is more when it comes to smelling great naked. Apply just to your neck, your heart (the warmest part of the body), and the small of your back.
4. Touchy-Feely Makeup
Even in mere minutes, makeup application can become one of the most gratifying activities of your day.
Soften Up. "Using brushes incorporates elements of facial massage and feels sensual," says Shel Pink, founder of SlowBeauty.com. Taklon bristles "feel soft on skin." Try Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman Blush Brush ($10, walgreens.com).
Go Around in Circles. Sweep the brush lightly over your face in a circular pattern to warm up the facial muscles (releasing tension and creating a calming moment). Then use the same motion to apply makeup. Make small circles to put on foundation, and larger circles with blush.
Tap Into Your Seductive Spots. "Use your fingers to tap concealer under lower lashes or lipstick onto lips and you'll hit key sensual areas that make you feel good," says Pink. This tapotement technique increases your skin's touch sensors.