We are often told the secret to beauty is in that box, that jar, that tube that costs money. Guess what? It’s not. At 35, I know these very simple, completely free beauty tips absolutely work every time.
1. Don’t Wear Makeup
Makeup is bad for your skin! I don’t care what any company trying to sell you their enormously expensive product says. Makeup prevents your skin from breathing, it clogs your pores, it has chemicals in it that cause cancer, it has chemicals in it that no one knows what they do.
But more importantly, when you put makeup on, you’re putting on a mask. You’re saying to the world and yourself that “I am not good enough the way I am.”
Guess what? You are, in fact, good enough the way you are.
I live in the real world. I realize that women are put at an economical disadvantage if they don’t play by the rules, and one of those rules is face paint. Full disclosure, I wear lipstick to work. So if you feel you need to wear makeup to work, by all means, but try wearing less. Skip the foundation or the eyeliner. While looking in the mirror, think about how beautiful and unique your face is, how no one will ever have a face like yours and that it would be a travesty to cover over such an original.
2. Don’t Eat Junk Food, Ever
What is junk food? Anything that comes is in foil wrap, plastic wrap, aluminum cans, or wax covered cardboard. Anything that is packaged with more than 5 ingredients. Anything with high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, sodium benzoate, potassium benzoate, sodium nitrates, or palm oil.
Why? Because it’s bad for you. It’s really, really bad for you. You are what you eat. Junk food is junk. Eating it causes depression, stress, and anxiety. In short, it makes you unhappy.
Suffering from skin problems? That’s probably due to a hormonal imbalance that the ingredients in junk food are making worse and likely caused in the first place. Or, your breakouts might be related to stress. Eating foods oversaturated with sugar stresses your body.
Would you like to lose weight for health reasons? Cutting out junk food will get you most of the way there.
Finally, junk food is horrible for the environment. The packaging alone is a disaster. Additionally, the production of palm oil, the type of oil used in almost every type of junk food is a major cause of deforestation.
Why do we want to be beautiful? Because we think that being beautiful will make us happy. But the opposite is true: Being happy makes us beautiful.
3. Get Toxic People Out of Your Life, Now
Toxic people are those who say you’re not good enough. It’s the partner who criticizes your sense of style or manner of speaking. It’s the friend who has to have the last word every single time or can never find a positive thing to say about anything. It’s the coworker who finds no ends to your errors while doing very little of anything himself. It’s the boss who is only committed to his success and not at all to yours.
If you find yourself reading the above and thinking, “my partner, friend, coworker, boss do much worse than that” than they are definitely toxic. The above is a description of low level toxicity, which is also not acceptable.
How do we “get rid” of these people? It would be foolish and privileged to think this is easy. You may rely on your partner economically. Not being around one friend may mean exiling yourself from your entire network of friends. Getting a new job is a herculean task and we cannot always choose where we work. The below are some suggested first steps.
If your partner hurts your feelings, don’t just tell him/her/they that it hurts your feelings. Tell them that if they love you, they should recognize your inherent infinite value, and ask them why they are not acting accordingly. Reject the premise of their criticism. This is step one of many. Just start here.
If you’re with a group of friends and one is constantly negative, don’t engage with the negativity. Start a conversation with someone else. Don’t hang out with the toxic person one on one.
Bosses and coworkers. What to do? First, set your limits. You can have accurate work, or fast work. If you feel your boss is giving you too much work, then complaining about the results tell her you are excited to deliver more accurate results and work together to find a way to manage your workload in a way that will enable you to do so. If she can’t even meet you there, start looking for other jobs. You cannot reason with unreasonable people.
As for me, I prefer the slash and burn technique. If you’re toxic, you’re out. Whatever it takes, I’ll do it. I’ve been surrounded by toxic people in my life. I had an emotionally abusive partner and an absolutely hellish work environment. And you know what? The very moment I said NO, I will not be treated like this, things started to change for the better. It was a very long and very hard road and fairytales are not always at the end. But I can tell you, I am married to the most wonderful man I have ever met with whom I am deeply in love, I have a handful of truly amazing friends, and I have a job where I am valued and treated with dignity. In order to get this, I had to insist to myself and everyone else on my worth and my value.
4. Love Yourself
I used to wake up every morning and criticize myself until I cried with self-hatred.
Instead of telling myself I hated myself, I started intentionally telling myself “I love myself” every morning. “I love myself” was the ONLY thought I would allow in my mind for HOURS.
People often believe what they are told, especially if they are told it over and over again. This is how brainwashing works and this is why women often think they are not good enough. We are told we are not good enough by the endless products marketed to us, by our economic system that undervalues our labor, by our political system that still restricts our freedom. We are told this constantly from birth.
To love yourself, you have to change the narrative. You have to change how you think about yourself. You have to reprogram your thought process. Yes, it is mechanical and cold as that. But I promise, it works.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the only person who really needs to think that you are beautiful – is you.