We’re all for instant makeup cheats, and contouring is right up there. How great that you can swipe a bronzing brush over your face and—hey, presto!—you’ve faked defined cheekbones. But here’s the thing about the Kardashians’ go-to super-sculpted look: It’s time-consuming and pretty much the antithesis of that off-duty model glow we crave.
So, we’re setting the shortcuts aside for the moment and aiming to contour from the inside out. Because isn’t that where all the best, most natural-looking beauty looks begin? Turns out, by regularly chowing down on certain foods—that are probably in your fridge right now—you can define, tighten, plump and de-puff your facial features. Keep scrolling to find out which foods can help carve out your contours from the inside out…
You can build cheekbones over breakfast by cooking up some eggs, which Lorraine Perretta, nutritional therapist from the Advanced Nutrition Programme, says are rich in nutrients that boost collagen—the ‘scaffolding’ that supports your skin and gives your features shape.
“Eggs contain vitamin A, which is key for plumping up the skin, as it promotes collagen production and compacts elastin, which are the top factors for defined contours,” Lorraine explains.
She also recommends sipping green or white tea while enjoying your morning eggs, because they’re antioxidants which prevent free radicals from damaging your collagen stores. As Lorraine says: “There’s no point in boosting collagen if you’re not going to protect it!”
A stroke of highlighter can work wonders at propelling your cheekbones forward, but it’s the natural glow of healthy, hydrated skin that really radiates. Skip strobing—or give your complexion a helping hand—by snacking on walnuts daily. Dr. Howard Murad, board certified dermatologist and founder of Murad skincare, tells Byrdie UK: “They’re packed with cell-hydrating omega-3 fatty acids, which help to attract water to dehydrated cells for brighter skin.”
Stronger skin is firmer skin, and firmer skin is more sculpted skin, so keep things nice and tight around the jawline by consuming foods laden in essential fatty acids.
Dr. Murad recommends regularly eating cold water fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel, which are all rich in omegas that help to build up and strengthen cell membranes. And they’re delicious. Vegetarian or vegan? Add chia and flaxseed into your diet.
When your face is bloated, the definition of your cheekbones, jawline, and even the shape of your eyes get lost. So, how do you whip puffy features back into shape? Lorraine says it's more about what you need to reduce your intake of, as "too much salt, alcohol and food intolerances can cause the body and face to retain water and swell".
If you're certain that salt and alcohol can't be the fiends behind your bloating, go for a food intolerance test and cut out the offender for at least three months. "You should notice a difference in your skin within two weeks," says Lorraine.
Tipper Lewis, herbal naturopath for Neal's Yard Remedies, also recommends a juice of diuretic eats, including cucumber, celery and greens like spinach, kale and nettles (which are all in season). "Diuretics help to flush out excess fluid from the body, while a daily facial massage—with light movements always working towards the jawline by the ear—will help to support de-puffing."
Byrdie UK loves the Sarah Chapman Skinesis Facialift (£25) massage tool.
It's not just the (many!) afternoon naps that make your eyes look revived and rested at Christmas.
Lorraine says that all that turkey is good for beating dark circles, too. Sluggish circulation can cause those bluish, tired tones, but ingesting the vitamin B3 in turkey (or chicken and tuna) will give stagnant blood flow a nudge.
It's the key ingredient in many a lip-plumping gloss and for good reason: cinnamon contains capsaicin, a mild irritant that rushes blood to the surface of skin. As well as ingesting it (consumed, it gives your metabolism a boost), mix a pinch of cinnamon powder with a drop of honey, and smother it over lips as a mask that offers instant fullness. Dry lips? Mix in a little sugar to turn the mix into a scrub.
Shop food-inspired skincare products below to support your skin from the outside in too!
What foods make your skin look better? Share your skin food tips in the comment box below.