Your Guide to Perfect, Glowing Skin in 2 Weeks or Less

Just in time for New Year's Eve…

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You are gorgeous just the way you are, my dear. But if you wanted to amp up your natural radiance to get glowing skin, stat, we’re here to help. We’re always looking for tips to boost skin to its ultimate brilliance, whether you’ve got two weeks, a few days, or just one hour before a big event (say, January 31).

This desirable glow isn’t just from throwing on a highlighting primer and calling it a day though, we’re after the type of glow that’s long-term from naturally brilliant skin. “Healthy skin is glowing skin,” says Dr. Barbara Sturm. “When your skin is inflammation-free and hydrated… that’s when you get a radiant, healthy, beautiful glow.” Little imperfections like pigmentation, breakouts, redness, and irritation can lead you to search for quick fixes for instant results. Instead, these tips will address that, helping set you up for happy, glowing skin ASAP, but also way down the road, too.

If you have two weeks…

Two weeks out from a big event, hang in there—literally. “I recommend hanging the head upside down every night for three minutes, beginning two weeks before the event,” says celebrity esthetician and skincare expert Renée Rouleau. “You should notice that after three minutes, a slight redness will appear on the skin and in the long run it can make a big difference in getting and keeping an inner glow, to appear lit-from-within.”

Also, embark on an anti-inflammatory skin care regimen, says Dr. Sturm. That means calming and hydrating skin, but also gently exfoliating. She uses a hydrating cleanser (her Foam Cleanser) morning and night, followed by a hyaluronic acid serum, and rich, hydrating cream. Exfoliate twice a week, too, which helps remove dead skin cells and eliminate blackheads. Also, masking with hydrating ingredients can majorly help skin long-term. “I strongly recommend applying my hydrating Face Mask twice a week,” says Dr. Sturm.

If you have one week…

Before leading up to a big event, give your skin a smoothing and hydrating facial. Start with a gentle but effective peel, full of AHAs, BHAs, and enzymes. Rouleau makes a rockstar version called Triple Berry Smoothing Peel that clears blemishes and clogged pores. “Multiple skin smoothing acids gently dissolve dry, expired cells and create even skin tone for a smooth-as-glass finish,” says Rouleau.

Follow up with a detoxifying mask to prevent stress-related and hormonal breakouts. I don’t have enough words to describe how incredible Rouleau’s Rapid Response Detox Mask is at prevents and clearing up acne stat. You can do this every two to three days before a big event. Normally, once a week is great for this duo, but for a special occasion, you can amp up the usage to more. 

On the other nights, use the Dr. Sturm Face Mask or Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask to make sure skin stays plump and naturally glowing.

If you only have one night…

“In general it is good to have a thorough hydrating and healing daily skincare routine before a big event,” says Dr. Sturm. The night or hours before, use a moisturizing mask, then massage skin for lymphatic drainage with either a cooled jade roller or Georgia Louise Rose Quartz Butterfly tool.

Also, great news: You can do a ton of little switches that’ll make a huge difference in the quality of your skin the day before the event—and most of them are DIY and nearly free.

The night before, sleep with your head elevated on two pillows. This promotes drainage of fluids around the eyes. Speaking of sleep, get a good night’s sleep to avoid under-eye puffiness. Also, staying up late will naturally cause you to yawn more, which causes eyes to tear up, thus increases fluid around them, causing swelling and puffiness, especially in the morning. It’s called “beauty sleep” for a reason!

The day before and day of, drink a lot of cold water and avoid salty foods to control under-eye puffiness. Lack of water and eating foods high in sodium will cause retention of fluids around the eyes, which leads to swelling. In addition to cold water, drink warm peppermint tea the morning of the event to boost blood circulation. This gives the skin a vibrant glow and helps clear the mind. Speaking of glow, massage in Dr. Sturm Glow Drops as the final layer to the daily regimen, before makeup, for a radiant lit-from-within look.

Still have some undereye puffiness? Reduce dark circles and puffiness in the morning by performing a gentle massage in circular motions using the ring finger. This helps to stimulate stagnant blood flow that can contribute to darkness—especially from lack of sleep. This also helps to encourage proper drainage to help get rid of puffiness.

Got a zit? Don’t pick at any blemish on the skin or use a drying spot treatment (which can make the skin crusty and too dry for makeup). In order to achieve a flawless makeup application, you have to start with a smooth canvas. It’s best to leave blemishes completely alone so the bump can be properly concealed under makeup. If you do wake up with a pimple, use Daytime Blemish Gel, a non-drying spot treatment, throughout the day to reduce swelling—this works great under or over makeup.

This story was originally published on December 18, 2017, and has been updated with new information and tips. 

Kristin Limoges


Kristin can usually be found face, hair, and body masking simultaneously, while thinking-up clever DIYs for her small-space Chinatown apartment. She’s always on the search for the greatest and most life-changing beauty and wellness hacks (hello nootropics and adaptogens) and is happy to report she loves dogs and cats equally.