I’m an interesting (or weird) blend of someone who loves glitter and glam but also at a place where I just don’t care as much anymore. I have to give a big thanks to the ridiculous pressures for women and men to be perfect for starting to turn me around. I’ve talked about it before, and I know it’s not new, but I find it more extreme now. Makeup or hair always on point, couple goals, abs of steel, are just some of the things on social media that can make people feel like they’re not living up to expectations. I’m not immune, and I’m guilty of it too. I get sucked into always putting out the best photos I have of myself, my food or landscapes so they look as good as others. I was talking to my cousin about the pressures on Saturday at a birthday party. Both genders feel it for sure.
The quote “I’d rather lose a good earring than be caught without makeup” from Lana Turner was something that fit me to a T. I even used it in a book I wrote for my niece’s first birthday! I’m someone who loves makeup, clothes and doing my hair in big curls. Up until two years ago, I wouldn’t leave the house without makeup, ever. I’ve relaxed since then; probably since I started going to an actual gym and couldn’t be bothered to put on makeup to work out. It’s also because I got rid of my acne when I stopped eating dairy. Someone told me recently that I’m unique because I don’t dress to impress others. I wear what I like and don’t follow trends. I happen to love ball gowns, jumpsuits, and maxi dresses but I always have. I had worn maxi dresses and jumpsuits before they were trending because I find them comfortable.
I have started working on natural ways to look my best. It’s doing wonders for helping me not care as much about the “smoke and mirror” tricks to look great.
Here are some tips to feel and look your best, including some smoke and mirror tricks. These can work for both women and men.
Some health tips
Check your health. Find out if you are eating, wearing or using anything that is affecting your skin. Treat that first. Some things to look for are acne, dark circles under your eyes (one of the causes for this is a sinus problem), or a yellowish hue to your skin (kidney and liver issues are some organs that can cause this). Wrinkles can be caused by using products too harsh for your skin.
Manage your stress. Stress can ruin how you feel and look including your stomach, face, head, body and your sleep. Since life can be pretty stressful for many people, it’s important to minimize the impact it has on your health.
Sleep. Lack of sleep affects how you function and how you look including increasing your desire to eat. When you’re sleep deprived, your body produces more of the hormone that increases your desire to eat. It also can give you bags and dark circles under your eyes. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day if you can.
Workout. Stress produces chemicals that make you feel tense. Working out helps move these chemicals through your body. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. If you don’t work out, schedule it into your day to make it a priority.
Eat properly. Follow the recommended food guide. Enjoy yourself but try to avoid eating or drinking too much of anything. The excess food can leave you feeling lethargic as your body tries to digest it. Too much alcohol also dries out your skin.
Drink lots of water. Most people are chronically dehydrated. How much water is necessary depends on the study, but most experts believe you need to drink eight to 10 cups of water a day to replace the water lost through your regular metabolic processes. Dehydrated skin looks tired and dry.
Relax. Meditate, use deep breathing or visualization. They can help reduce your stress. If you feel stressed, or a headache is coming on, try to meditate, deep breathe or visualize for at least 10 minutes to help minimize some of the effects.
Some natural smoke and mirrors tricks
I recognize that sometimes additional support is needed to feel and look your best. I don’t like to spend more than 20-30 minutes getting ready (including my shower) even for an event. I’m what I call makeup lazy. When I wear it, I don’t spend more than 10 minutes applying a full face. But it still looks like I’ve spent a lot of time to pull myself together. One day I may do a video to show how I apply it so quickly.
Play up your assets. Like your eyes, arms or legs? Highlight them. Nothing makes you look better than showcasing your best features. If you’re having trouble nailing down your qualities, ask a friend to help. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to look your best. You Tube has tons of videos to teach you how to do your hair and how to dress for your body type. Pick a feature or two you’d like to highlight.
Be comfortable. You’ll never feel or look great if you’re not comfortable with what you’re wearing, clothing, accessories or makeup. I can’t get behind the notion that it hurts to look good. I had a back injury, so I’m much more comfortable in dresses than jeans. I only own a couple of jeans because they feel terrible on me.
Look confident. Stand up straight, hold your head up high, smile and walk like you’re confident, even if you don’t feel it. Acting like have confidence may help you start feeling it as well. Good posture also makes your body look better than when you slouch and smiling brightens up your face.
Dress for where you’re going. Don’t overdress if you’re going somewhere casual and don’t underdress if you’re going to an event. If you’re unsure of what to wear, ask someone to help. But always make sure you dress like you! You won’t be comfortable or confident if you feel out of place.
Moisturize daily. Think of moisturizer as food for your face. It helps maintain your skin’s ph balance and can contribute to reducing wrinkles. For men, it also reduces the risk of post-shave irritation.
Use an SPF when you go out. Get into the habit of applying sunscreen daily before stepping out of your house. It will help slow down your skin’s aging, and more importantly, reduce your risk of skin cancer.
Use natural products. You can use natural products on your skin to reduce acne, scars, puffiness and so much more. They are less harsh than some products out there and much cheaper. For tips on what products work for different skin conditions, check out my post Natural ways to boost your skin’s appearance for anyone – even teens!
Get or give yourself a facial. A facial is essentially a holistic rejuvenation of your face. The cleansing, massaging and creams are extremely beneficial for your skin. A facial once a month is recommended. They can be expensive, so you can try Groupon for a deal, or do one at home. Livestrong has directions.
I hope you find some of these ideas helpful. What are some of your tips to boost your magnificence?