5 Beauty Tips for the Soul
Women’s magazines and fashion blogs are great resources when you need a bit of health and beauty advice. While skimming some of my favourites, I’ve flicked past articles on which cosmetics to buy based on face shape, skin type, eye colour (they’re always out of my budget), or how to get the “smokey eye” look (though I can never bring myself to attempt it). I’ve never been one for foundation or blush; most days I don’t even make time for eye shadow and mascara. I only just learned that “thigh gap” is a thing.
I don’t like to admit it, but I do have a tendency to worry about my appearance more than I should. After many years, a lot of confusion and misplaced insecurities, I’m opting out. I’ve wasted too many minutes of my life battling with liquid eyeliner and the kinks in my hair that just won’t straighten. So what kind of beauty tips am I after? I want to practice feeling good about myself and where I am in life, as well as helping others do the same.
So I wrote myself a cheat sheet and thought it might be worth sharing.
I didn’t perceive myself to be a particularly grumpy child, but looking back now I have to assume that my mother’s catchphrase “You’re more beautiful when you smile” was tailored to me. As I got older, my flare for drama really blossomed; we all know how hard teenagers have it.
I used to roll my eyes at mum’s words, but now that I’m on my own out in the world, I finally get what she meant by “beautiful”. In all walks of life, a smile is the symbol of happiness. What’s more beautiful than that? It can often be used to portray a friendly, polite, and approachable demeanor. Sometimes it’s easy to forget it at home. These days, I often make the mistake of getting caught in a scroll-a-thon and neglecting the life that’s happening right in front of me. Luckily, I’m also often reminded that this small gesture between people can be very uplifting. We’ve all had times when we feel irrelevant; I am only 1 in 7 billion (and growing). It’s nice to feel noticed. Next time you’re out for a stroll, try offering up a few smiles. I guarantee you’ll get some in return; and you’ll probably make a difference in someone’s day.
Appreciate beauty in others
This one can be tricky, so look out. Competition comes naturally to humans, so is it any wonder we are always picking on each other’s looks/style? On many occasions, I’ve left the house feeling unstoppable in the outfit I’ve chosen, only to see something that I liked better; looking better on someone else. Insecurity is something else that plagues humans regularly, followed by jealousy and envy. Yucky stuff. I’ve noticed that I feel much better when I take the time to appreciate what I find beautiful about other people, instead of wishing I was beautiful in other ways. If you’re feeing bold, go the extra step and pay them a compliment!
Go to the beach!
I know everyone has their own happy place; whether it’s an actual place, or an imagined one. But, I chose the beach for the following reasons, and I think you should consider giving it a chance. Speaking from a skincare perspective, the sand will do wonders for your skin. Of course, getting out in the sun is already a win, since you’ll be soaking up that Vitamin D (please sunbathe responsibly). Also, have you ever walked a great distance in soft sand? It’ll get the calves aching. Even if you’re not into sand, the glimmering ocean waters, the smell of the air, and the crashing waves are sure to relax anyone. These are all pretty great perks, but the beach holds something much more valuable. I’m lucky enough to visit almost every day, and it’s always full of youth. The beauty of it is that you’ll find “kids” of all ages, because the beach brings out our playful side. When my bare feet touch sand, my childhood impulses take over and I burst into an excited run. You will almost always find something to pique your curiosity, like beach glass, seashells, and crabs. If you’re next to the ocean, you’re even likely to spot wild dolphins and whales. I’ve never experienced that kind of wonder anywhere else. And there’s no shortage of it, so get out there!
Put down the camera
We used to have to do this in between taking a photo and winding the film back to take another. That is until our personal devices made taking photos easier by providing cameras that are smaller and more portable with instant results. Now our phones come with front- and back-facing cameras; the dawn of the selfie. And then came the stick. We live in an amazing time; we can capture photo and video evidence of our accomplishments and cherished memories and store them in our pocket. Looking back at them brings us a nice warm feeling of nostalgia. But I can guarantee those memories aren’t as vivid as they could have been, because we forget how valuable it is to witness life and all its wonders first-hand. We plan what we are going to do based on the photos we want to post on our instagram accounts. We stop mid-face-to-face conversation to tweet something we just thought of that is sure to go viral. Life already goes by in the blink of an eye, and I can only imagine the wonders we are missing while fiddling with camera settings, trying to get that perfect shot. Just the other day, Josh and I were walking along the beach as we had been doing every day. I often don’t think to look down (unless I’m going through tall grass and keeping an eye out for snakes). I’m glad I did, because we found hundreds of tiny blue jellyfish that had been abandoned by the retreating tides. I marveled at them for ages, I was so excited. Experience life through your own lens instead of that of your camera.*
*That being said, here’s a photo of the blue bottle jellyfish. (Old habits are hard to break.)
Acknowledge your own accomplishments; big or small
There’s truth in the saying “you are your own worst critic”. Success is measured in many different ways, though we’ve been conditioned to believe otherwise. We are often told that success is measured by our salary, social status, level of education, or even BMI. I know it’s easy to look at yourself and think, “you’ve still got a long way to go before you measure up to everyone else.” Don’t sell yourself short. Each of us is dealt a different hand, and though some things come easily to others they may be a struggle to us. We all fear different things, from getting out of bed to face the day to launching ourselves out of airplanes. If you find yourself feeling a sense of accomplishment, trust it and celebrate! We need to stop comparing ourselves to others and putting ourselves down. Don’t forget what your dreams are and be proud of yourself for chasing them.