How to be beautiful: Glow of happiness


However you chose to see in 2012, the mirror is rarely kind on New Year's Day. Cold weather, low light and the drip-drip effect of a month of elevated indulgence gleefully conspire to make sure we look most jaded on this symbolic day of renewal.

Lacklustre winter skin is likely to be the primary cause of our discomfort at this time of year. Even the effects of that kilo of Quality Street can be overlooked if your face glows with health.

Regrettably, here comes the double bind: truly radiant skin is best achieved by the same means with which the old Quality Street is offset – good diet and exercise. But no one wants to hear that right now, do they?

Be grateful, then, that skin is more co-operative than bathroom scales when it comes to quick fixes. A micro-exfoliator, good-quality face mask and the addition of a serum under your moisturiser are short cuts to smoother skin that looks more luminous. None is a solution in itself, but they'll help bridge the gap as you steel yourself for the longer-term approaches.