14 confidence boosters
1. Improve your skin.
"There are four secret concealer places that make your whole face look better," says makeup artist Mally Roncal. "The inner dark corners of the eyes, the outer corners of the eyes, either side of the nostrils, and either side of your mouth—dab concealer lightly on those areas."
Video: Radical skin makeovers>
2. Step away from the mirror.
When women spend more time on their appearance than on other things, they're less happy, according to a study at the University of California, Berkeley. We're not saying you can't care about your looks—just that going overboard can distract you from other facets of your life.
3. Straighten up.
Victoria's Secret models do it before they hit the runway in their undies, and no matter how hot their bodies, you know they need confidence there and then. "When I work with Victoria's Secret models, the first thing I tell them is to pull their navels toward their spines, roll their shoulders back, and stick their chests out," says Kacy Duke of Kacy Duke Fitness and author of The Show It Love Workout (McGraw-Hill). "It's not easy—those wings are heavy."
4. Give yourself some color.
Most people tend to feel healthier with a tan (even though a real tan is pretty much the opposite of healthy.) Roncal advises rubbing a few drops of self-tanner in with your moisturizer. "It makes you look like you're outdoorsy and vibrant even if you're not feeling that way," she says.
5. Brighten up.
One of the quickest ways to look and feel fresher is a peel. "You can go to a doctor for a 20 percent salicylic acid peel," says Wechsler. "Or at home, try a yogurt-and-honey mask—plain, full-fat yogurt is rich in lactic acid, and the honey is soothing and antibacterial. It exfoliates and makes the skin look dewier."
6. Change your hair color.
Women who dyed their hair were more confident at work, a study at the Nottingham Trent University in England found. "After coloring their hair, they were much more likely to ask for a raise, challenge their boss, or put their foot down when confronted by a coworker," according to the lead researcher.
7. Don't sweat it.
"You can treat sweaty palms or excessive perspiration in your armpits or on your scalp with a Botox injection," says Wechsler. "Once you don't have to live in fear of shaking someone's hand, you'll feel a thousand times better."
Video: Sweat proofing tips>
8. Clean out your wallet.
"Set a time every week to go through your wallet," says Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project (HarperCollins). "File receipts and business cards, and toss scraps of paper. Managing one small, critical thing will help you feel in control of your life."
9. Feel like you dropped a size.
Women who wear spicy, floral fragrances seem thinner than they actually are. "On average, men perceive women to be 12 pounds thinner when they're wearing these fragrances," explains Hirsch. So if worrying about your weight kills your confidence, remembering this could relieve some anxiety.
10. Make eye contact.
When you're talking to someone, look her in the eye. "It's a habit of really confident people," says Beck. "If the other person doesn't see your insecurities, you won't be as aware of them either."