I decided to make my own little version of ‘how to glow up’. When I was around 15 I developed some awful version of Body Dysmorphic Disorder. I had to make excuses to keep going to the toilets to check or almost prove to myself that I looked okay, I couldn’t understand why I looked so wrong. I was desperately trying to maintain a state of decency because I could so easily slip in to looking horrendous.
I would annotate pictures, trying to find what was wrong with my face. I gradually came out of it as other awful anxieties took over and I was forced to surrender to whatever I looked like. In the end I only stopped trying to change myself because I was in such a state about other things.
A few years after I improved, about 2012, one of my favourite bloggers at that time created a mini ‘Project Perfect’ campaign that I thought was really cool.
I think it was Amy from Flaws and All. It invited any readers or bloggers to share their best features and ones they were most insecure about, and she published so many, it was so interesting to read about the parts of their appearance people weren’t happy with. Here are ten ways to glow up I would tell my past and present self.
1. You are so much more attractive and confident to others than you really think. You absolutely possess that ‘it girl’ power inside of you already.
All your features fit together, balance each other out, those features that you hate pave the way for beauty in your face. We have this tiny tunnel vision, critical version of ourselves. We see a certain, specific version of ourselves. We don’t see how our face moves, squints, a big part of how we appear to others.
We will never see ourselves like it’s the first time seeing ourselves, instead we look through a comparison tunnel. We pin point things we wish we could change.
I’ve come to feel that beauty is not perfect features, but the way everything, all the features together, fall in to place.
2. Write yourself little challenges. I write mine in a book ‘I want to be a girl who… bakes savoury muffins… uses public changing rooms… wears crop tops’ those kind of things. Visualise the kinds of things you would love to do, things that confident girls do or things you find admirable, and realise they are possible, imagine slowly becoming that girl and doing them.
Nothing is too small or strange or irrelevant to put down! Wear gorgeous eyelashes, tidy your bag, buy a camera… you name it! Instead of thinking ‘I wish I could be like/do that’, think ‘how can I get in to doing that?’
3. Set yourself in motion. Here are some challenges to start and you must do them. You must adopt the mantra ‘I cannot look unattractive’. You must wear your hair in a completely different style for a day, down if you’re used to it up or up from your face if you’re used to it down. Build up with little steps and reward yourself every time.
Believe that you can look pretty in ways you’ve never discovered yet. Fake it until you make it! Fake it til you are it and it becomes genuine for you.
4. Invest in your underwear – or some really cute pjs and nightwear! Never underestimate how powerful you can feel wearing cute and matching underwear haha, plus treating yourself to a new pretty set of underwear will never fail to give you a boost and act as a little thank you to yourself! PS pop these gorgeous, yet affordable wax melts in your drawers to scent everything inside them! You can get Lush’s The Comforter scented ones and their coveted Snow Fairy wax melts!
5. Craft a special little night or morning routine – this will make you feel super organised and put together. It can be a five or ten min routine, a lovely long pampering routine – or even take 30 seconds! Often the best routines can be finding little rituals you love doing in the morning or evening.
Invest in a few lovely products to apply every evening for super glowy skin or have a smoothie bowl for breakfast. Even break out the running shoes for a power walk to work!
6. Sweat it out. A great way to practise confidence is to find a sport you love doing, tennis, a fitness class, a space where you can relax in yourself.
This is perfect to practise being makeup free, take your hair back from your face and get in to believing that you can’t look unattractive. I remember doing this, once I fought to the point of not caring, it was liberating, even though I felt sorry for the instructors and fellow exercisers having to look upon the face that was mine haha.
7. Ways to look put together… experiment with different contrasting textures within your outfits, even your super casual ones, by adding a cosy borg jacket on top of a sweet lace dress, or try a satin slip dress and blazer combo.
Matchy matchy little parts of your outfit, to make it look sleek, streamlined and seriously chic. You could try out dressing all white out or all decked out in nude hues for a dreamy, luxe look.
Practise piecing together outfits/hair and make time for special beauty routines before an event/going out, not only will you get more skilled at dressing and applying, you will get to know what makes you feel good in yourself.
Try on clothes to find the perfect fit, make a little self date out of it, discover what clothes you love, or which pieces feel most flattering on your body type. When you find the right pieces they seem to sculpt your body, skyrocket your confidence and you feel like a different girl.
I always feel like the ‘cool me’ comes out when I wear certain clothes, they transform me completely, that is the power of clothes and fashion! To look put together, I always think start with the feelings you get from your favourite clothes!
Also keep your bag nice and organised and packed with lovely essentials… umbrella, tissues, gum, hair ties, maybe a rollerball of your favourite fragrance; covering all bases helps you feel ultra confident, wherever you go.
8. Use a hair mist or perfume – an amazing way to smell good as scent always seems to last much longer on the hair. You can get designated hair perfumes like this Dior one, there’s even a Sweet Like Candy one for Arianators or teens in adult form me, it sounds adorable.
Using beautiful smelling shower products or even a spritz of body mist on the hair is also a lovely tip and ensures you can distribute your signature scent with every hair flick!
9. Try a beauty treatment you would never have tried. Something out of your comfort zone, maybe faux eyelashes, fake tan, hair extensions, brow threading, hair growth treatment, seek and ye shall find your favourite beauty rituals and essentials.
Something scary is letting someone else do your makeup or make you over!
10. Follow a celebrity or a character with a similar look to you, or a super cool ambience. Ask those around you if there is a celebrity or someone that reminds them of you, it can inspire you to try different looks if you see them first on someone that looks similar to you.
11. For baby soft skin, treat yourself to a lovely big tub of exfoliating scrub and form a little routine around it using your favourite products.
For me the softest skin combo is the Soap and Glory Breakfast scrub with Soap and Glory Whipped Clean body butter to use straight after, I’ve never had soft skin like it. They smell seriously edible too!
12. Things to do to look instantly prettier… soften your face by pulling down strands of hair to frame it, especially with an up do, baby hairs are good! Use a touch of concealer on your face to create a lovely smooth complexion, or even use it to improve the symmetry of your face if you like.
Red is supposed to be the most eyecatching and attractive colour to wear, but we can have fun adding little pieces to our outfit here and there, a nail shade, lipstick, socks, a red velvet choker necklace can boost confidence.
Experiment with all kinds of beauty products… especially the ones you’ve never tried before, maybe bronzer, fake tan, highlight for an amazing little lift and take care of yourself, nourish, pamper and nurture your hair, skin, nails and body with good foods.
Body Dysmorphia is wild, there is no amount of Project Perfect/glowing up that can help or tame it. For the sufferer, it transforms you in to the thing you would hate to look like the most. I was desperate but I could never break the barrier in to looking ‘right’ or normal. To me then I would say, keep clinging to the idea that it is all a lie.
For a good time after I improved my confidence was low. It eventually came back here and there as I learned what I felt confident in, what felt good. Over the years I learned how my features came together in a way that I really loved, even my moon face ♡
All content is my own. My posts may contain affiliate links. For full disclosure, click HERE