Low-calorie drinks makeover hangover tips

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Another Christmas has come and gone, but you can't start counting calories yet because New Year's Eve is next. With festive food and yummy cocktails, this event comes right on the heels of the many Christmas calories you didn't count. If you are like me and gain several pounds each holiday season, you may want to head to that New Year's celebration with a calorie-conscious drink order in mind. I decided that this year I would think before I drink and find out which cocktails have the lowest calorie count.

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Since many of us also make New Years Day plans, I decided to learn a few makeover-the-hangover beauty tips to boot. Another plus is that my morning-after beauty plan is a fast fix with minimal makeup and quick hair.

As I did my research, I found a few surprises when it came to adding up liquid calories. See if there is something on my low-calorie cocktail list that makes you thirsty.

Low Calorie Alcohol Drinks #1 Martini: Go Green or Think Pink?

Oh, how I love a good martini, but I don't like them dirty or straight up. Nope, not sugar-craved me! I always order the kind that is made with all of the sweet stuff. Any martini glass that sports a lot of colorful flavors always gets my attention. But, do they all have to get my waistline, too?!

In doing my research, my favorite report comes from a Glamour Magazine's online article called "Best & Worst Drinks" which gives us a gals a guide of cocktail calories. It may be pretty-in-pink, but that Cosmo comes in at 251 calories when made with 3 oz. citrus vodka and 5 oz. each of Triple Sec and Lime juice with a splash of cranberry juice. Glamorous green is the better choice with the Sour Apple Martini containing only 160 calories for a 2.5 oz. sour mix and .75 oz. each of vodka and sour apple liqueur. How do you like them apples? Sour sounds good to me, so I think I'll go green for this round.

Low Calorie Alcohol Drinks #2 Cool Cocktail Choices

Say so long to a Long Island Ice Tea which averages about 780 calories a serving and yes to bubbly bliss because the average glass of champagne has only 100 calories to think about .. or should I say not think about! After dinner drinks are always tempting, but stay away from White Russians that pack a punch of over 400 calories and move away from the Mudslide which easily slides close to 900 calories into your drink! If you love Bailey's like I do, then simply order a cup of coffee with a small serving of Baileys minus any whipped cream because creamy dreamy Bailey's is sweet enough on its own. A cup of coffee with Baileys comes in around a tasty 120 calories. Consider decaf so you will sleep better post-party.

Red wine is divine because vino contains healthy antioxidants (in moderation of course) and one small glass of red averages about 100 calories per glass.

White wine sports a similar calorie count, but since reds have the flavnoids and antioxidants that may beheart-healthy in moderate amounts, I'll toast to red.

Remember, stick to one or two glasses max for optimal health benefits minus the dreaded red wine hangover!

If you are looking to mix, not nix, a tasty treat on New Year's, check out the book Hungry Girl by Lisa Lillien or her website at www.hungry-girl.com.

This book dedicates an entire chapter to calorie-conscious cocktails that taste great without going straight to your waist. My personal favorite is her 104-calorie Mojito Madness recipe found in Chapter 12.

Last but not least, I left out beer simply because most bottles come with calorie-counting labels, so if you prefer a good brew, go for lite beers and don't forget to check the back of the bottle if you are keeping track of your liquid calorie intake.

Next Day Hangover Makeover Tips: Must We Pay the Next Day?!

Like so many other things that are changing in my 40s, my tolerance for multiple mojitos or oversized wine glasses filled to the rim is not what it used to be. Not only do I wake with heartburn or an upset tummy, but the sleepless night and swelling from the alcohol show up in my morning mirror. So, I have put together a few makeover-the-hangover tricks to get your looks through the dreaded next day.

First and foremost, drink water before you drink, with your drinks and all day the next day. H20 will help to flush out those tasty, but testy, toxins that leave many gals feeling bloated and swollen. Next trick is to put a pony in your hair. Ponytails give the face an elevated look that pulls droopy, tired eyes up. My favorite under eye pick-me-up is DDF's Eye Erase Gel. Born with bags, I have tried just about every under eye concealer out there in all price ranges, shapes and sizes. Some left me looking like a tired raccoon, others gave me dry patches while some brands eliminated my cash, but not my circles. DDF goes on smooth and works fast. Ulta Beauty Stores sells the line or visit www.ddfskincare.com to order online.

Another trick that I discovered quite by accident is to mix my blush colors. I regularly combine my pink shade with a bronze one. I only tried this because my compact had them stored side-by-side so my big blush brush accidentally picked up both colors. To my surprise, I liked the look. I was even more surprised to read a Good Housekeeping beauty article that says that CBS early-morning anchor Hannah Storm does the same thing for a pick-me-up that makes her look more alive. Who knew?

Last but not least, open up your eyes with a bit of mascara and look fresh with a clear lip gloss. These makeover-the-hangover tips are fast and easy with a quick pony tail and minimal makeup which is my favorite part, especially the morning after too many martinis.

So, raise your glass filled with that low-calorie cocktail and toast to a fun night, a quick-fix morning and a happy and healthy new year! Cheers to you....and to your beauty and life on a budget in 2009!