Cleanse—has there ever been a word that brings up so many conflicting emotions? On one hand, we like the idea of one—a reset, a detox to flush our systems of all the late-night Seamless orders. On the other hand, why does it have to be so hard? Anyone who’s ever attempted a cleanse—juice, raw food, vegan, organic, anything Gwyneth Paltrow–approved—can attest that by the start of day two, visions of cheeseburgers and fried anything start dancing through your head like demonic sugarplum fairies. Cleanses do have benefits, but being easy to incorporate and endure are not among them. That’s why we took it upon ourselves to put together this handy cheat sheet specifically for the detox-averse. Because you, too, can achieve the flushed, rosy cheeks, glowing skin, and slimmer physique of your cleanse-obsessed counterparts. You, too, can bask in the praise and questions of “Did you lose weight/get a facial/go on a juice cleanse?” from the lips of your awe-stricken co-workers. (The best response is to smile shyly—then Instagram the salad you’re having for lunch so everyone can see.)
Ready to fake your detox? Keep scrolling for the necessary steps.
So your diet has mainly consisted of MSG for the past few weeks—no judgment. Swapping your stir-fry order for salads will help you feel less like a walking, talking bloated mass, but dry-brushing will also speed up that process. For the uninformed, dry-brushing involves taking a body brush (preferably made with natural bristles) and gently brushing your body from the outside in. Models like Miranda Kerr and Molly Sims swear by it, citing glowing, soft skin and a more toned-looking physique. Why? Brushing your skin with a dry brush boosts circulation and lymphatic drainage, according to experts. In other words, it’ll give you the post-cleanse glow you so desire. You can read more about how to dry brush here.
The next step to detox-worthy skin? Exfoliation. To give your skin a healthy glow, ignore everything you’ve been told and exfoliate first thing in the morning after you wake up. Consider it an instant pick-me-up for your tired, dull-looking skin, and expect a glowier visage afterward. We like Nude Skincare’s Gentle Brightening Fizzy Powder Wash ($42) and Dr. Goldfaden’s Doctor’s Scrub Advanced ($98)—just make sure to follow up with sunscreen. For your body, try a body mask, like The Body Shop’s Himalayan Charcoal Body Clay ($24)—slather it on; bask in your nightmare-worthy, charcoal-covered reflection; then hop in the shower and rinse off. The charcoal draws out impurities, lightly exfoliates, and leaves your skin feeling baby soft.
You don’t have to do a V-steam to channel your inner Gwyneth. No, we prefer to steam a more visible aspect of ourselves: our faces. A DIY steam done in the comfort of your own bathroom can give your skin that flushed, hydrated post–juice cleanse glow, sans the starvation and hanger. Here’s a simple tutorial (with pictures!). If you finish your steam and aren’t satisfied (“MORE GLOW!”, you snarl into the mirror), literally force your skin to glow with a delicate facial massage. Done best with your favorite moisturizer, one of these four facial yoga moves (yes, it’s a thing) will help with lymphatic drainage and give you that lean I’ve only had kale for four days look.
The final step in a cleanse-worthy exterior? Makeup, obviously. A smoothing, hydrating primer, like Too Faced’s Hangover Primer ($32), will give you a dewy flush. Then go to town with a creamy highlighter, like W3ll People’s Bio Brightener Stick ($29) or Luma Cosmetics’ Illuminating Highlighter ($25). Swipe with abandon above your cheekbones, down the bridge of your nose, below your brows, and above your Cupid’s bow for an ethereal, envy-inducing glow.
No one is going to believe you went on a detox if you don’t shout it from the proverbial mountaintops (i.e., on social media). So Instagram your roommate’s green juice with the hashtag #detox while guzzling an iced latte, Snapchat a sad-looking salad (which you’ll eat, but only as a precursor to your meatball sandwich), and tilt your head toward the window as to better show off your (faux) post-cleanse glow—we won’t tell.
Okay, we admit it—faking a vibrant visage only goes so far. To really reset your body (without hating your life), try this easy-to-follow three-day detox.