Beauty is a tricky topic - when done right, it can empower women and embrace femininity. However, when beauty standards become unattainable, women can feel powerless, as if they are battling against an undefeatable war. As women, we must redefine what beauty means to us, remain the authority of beauty standards that are achievable and empowering to all. Our normal upkeep may also have been interrupted during social isolation as nail and hair salons are closed not allowing for fresh manicures and pedicures, plucked eyebrows, removal of body hair, and other luxuries we indulge in to maintain our appearance, and therefore, confidence. Since beauty is so intrinsically tied to our mental health, we must reclaim what beauty means during a time when our upkeep has become minimal. So, let’s go over how beauty can boost our mental health.
Having a morning and nighttime skincare routine can help set the tone for your day and help you unwind at night.
Waking up can already be difficult for some. However, waking up and neglecting your skincare routine can cause you to harbor the buildup of bacteria on your face overnight. Who wants last night’s baggage into the new day? It will also help you feel fresh and clean, which has a strange way of boosting your energy. Ending your night by completing your skincare also helps you to unwind and let your body sleep with a clean slate. We all know the pain of having even one pimple on our face - knowing that we are doing our part in keeping our skin clean will make us feel even more confident, plus it will provide us with comfort knowing that we are taking action to prevent premature aging. Our skin is our largest organ, so if we can keep it healthy and flawless, it will help boost our confidence and a smile will form the next time you look in the mirror.
Embrace your mane as the MAIN.
Without all these social events and with limited access to salons, our hair can use a much-needed break from products, heat, and dyes. It might also be useful to hold off on cutting your hair or impulsively ordering dye. What might be worthwhile is tending to your hair with some natural products that you probably already have in your home. Hair is a huge part of our mental health and well-being, and healthy hair symbolizes health. We all know stories of women losing their hair and how detrimental it was to their image and confidence. Take some time to gently detangle your ends, moisturize your curls, clean out your hairbrushes and combs - when your hair starts thriving, you Queen, have just been crowned.
Continue putting on your signature makeup look.
There's many reasons to wear makeup, make-up is for the woman what the paintbrush is for the artist. With such creative looks coming out by the day, makeup can serve as a bottomless form of experimenting and creating. We all have that one signature look we resort to when we are in a hurry or don’t want to spend too much time in front of the mirror. Whether it is a quick touch of lip gloss, a light pat of blush on the cheeks, or a slight run of the mascara over the lashes, continue to do the natural, yet bold look – remember the saying “a little goes a long way.” When we feel good about how we look, we worry less about our appearance and what others might think of us. We can then utilize more mental energy on our tasks and responsibilities for the day instead of being consumed by not looking our best.
Treat yourself to a new beauty product, article of clothing, pair of shoes, or piece of jewelry.
While maintaining our upkeep does have its long-lasting benefits for our appearance and health, treating ourselves occasionally brings a surprise element in our lives. Who doesn’t love a good surprise? The anticipation of the package itself makes us feel good that something new and better is on the way. Even if we know what we ordered, it always brings us joy to open that package from Sephora and try on that new face cream. Trying something new and exploring novel options is always good for the mind. Whether it be hiking somewhere new or trying that new leave-in conditioner, we always want to know we are trying new things and gaining new experiences. Even if the new product isn’t what we dreamed it to be, we can at least be reassured that we still have not given up and know we are always looking for something better.
A nice change, no matter how small, is enough to transform your mood. Also, knowing that we are treating ourselves in ways that represent us, lets us feel more grounded in who we are. Yes, it might just be a new pair of shoes but if I love them and my friends can reaffirm my choice in footwear, then I feel more confident in my ability to put myself together, which goes a long way. We all want to be in control of our lives and want to make good choices - sometimes treating yourself is an easy, yet effective, way to show that you are a decisive and capable person!
When you look good, you feel good!
We all know how wearing that sexy short dress makes us feel. Before leaving the house, we admire our curves and might even post a preview on our Instagram to warn the world that we are about to cause chaos tonight with our fierce looks. With social isolation, the gloss of dressing up may have faded a bit. However, continue to pull out your best outfits and acknowledge how good you look in them. Get dressed for work meetings and put on your favorite shade of lipstick. When you look good, you feel good, and others around you also notice, even if it is through that Zoom meeting. Let’s not forget how good compliments make us feel. Post that selfie on Instagram and remind people that you still got it. For work, we played a small game and all my colleagues voted that I am the person who is lipstick ready for our morning meetings. It feels good to know that my effort is still the same and that I get ready for myself, even if no one else is going to see me. And if anyone else does see me, I can say I will always be found in my best state.
Even if you don’t want to dress up as if you are going out, you can still wear nice nightwear sets. Wearing a nice silk night robe or slipping into a clean and sexy pajama set enhances how you feel about yourself. We all are guilty of showing off our nightwear as much as we show off our outfits to the club. Sometimes coming fresh out of the shower and wearing a nice lingerie set or nightgown is enough to make us feel really good about ourselves.
Create a beautiful environment, even if it is a small corner of your apartment or house.
We all know the transformative effects a clean and ambient environment has for clarity of mind. Fresh scents, clean floors, orderly spaces, and a made bed have a way of making us feel calm, relaxed, and clear-headed. It is also easier to relax in a nice set of nightwear or clothes when your environment is clean. Also, when you post that selfie on Instagram, it helps when your background is neat. It only enhances your image and focuses on yourself. Even a few sunflowers on your dining table will help you appreciate eating breakfast or drinking a cup of tea in the presence of those yellow mini suns. Taking some time to clean up your place will make all the other aspects of your beauty regimen that much more rewarding. The sensation and peace that comes with a cozy and clean environment can be so seductive that we may even cancel our plans of going out.