Get Holiday Picture Ready In Under An Hour

Wendy Rodewald
Get picture-ready!

Photo: Luca Cannonieri/

Whether you’ve got a calendar packed with ugly sweater parties or your mom just learned how to tag you in Facebook photos, you’re guaranteed to end up in pictures this holiday season. Here are three ways to make sure you look your best (though unfortunately we can’t help with that sweater).

If you want smooth, glowing skin…try an enzyme peel.

See a pro: Before a big event, opt for an enzyme peel such as the antioxidant-rich pumpkin peel offered by aesthetician Brooke Wilensky at Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York. This type of peel is way gentler than a chemical peel and won’t leave skin inflamed, which means there’s no red-faced downtime. “You’ll notice an immediate brightening, and if your skin was dull it will look a lot better, cleaner,” Wilensky explains. Since the treatment unclogs pores, “You’ll notice a change right away” and can expect that glow to stick around for about two weeks, she says. Schedule an appointment a couple days before a big night, just in case you have any residual flaking.

DIY at home: Can’t make it to the derm? Try Caudalie Vinoperfect Enzymatic Peel Mask ($40,, a 10-minute mask that combines papaya enzymes with glycolic acid to exfoliate dead skin cells and leave your complexion radiant while extracts from grapevine sap help fight dark spots. Use it the night before your event.

If you want your shiniest hair ever…get a gloss.

See a pro: Clear gloss treatments add a layer of shine to your hair without changing the color. Since they don’t contain ammonia, these formulas have none of the telltale hair color odor, so you can gloss up right before your event. Natural-minded salon brand Original & Mineral offers a Liquid CCT Clear Gloss which features macadamia and argan oils to nourish hair (visit for salons).

DIY at home: It’s pretty much impossible to make a mistake when applying clear hair color, which makes it easy to tackle on your own. Apply a formula such as John Frieda Clear Shine Luminous Glaze ($9.99, in the shower; step out with shinier hair.

If you want nails that last through the New Year…try a gel manicure.

See a pro: Salon gel manicures, such as OPI Gelcolor or CND Shellac, are cured with UV lights to last for up to two weeks. The services can cost anywhere between $30 and $50, but the extra cost is worthy it — gel polish resists chips and tends to look shinier longer than a run-of-the-mill manicure does.

DIY at home: The new Sally Hansen Insta Gel Starter Kit ($27.99, comes with everything you need to create a gel manicure, including an LED lamp, gel polish strips, topcoat and removal supplies. And the easy-to-use polish strips make doing your nails super quick and almost foolproof.

What’s your pre-photo beauty routine?