A superficial understanding of beauty is easy to subscribe to. It’s easy to believe that if you look good, everything is going to be okay.  A tinted lip balm or two, a waterline-friendly eyeliner pencil, some volumizing mascara, bright and bold contour palettes – these are all fun makeup items a person can get creative with. Using them can even bring out your best features! But if you don’t feel good inside, it can be hard for a real smile to reach the outside.

While there’s no problem investing in beauty techniques, skin care, and your fashion and style, focusing on the superficial might not be quite enough. You should be able to feel as good as you look. This requires investing in yourself deeper, looking after your health, and doing things that make you feel good. Skip staring in the mirror to check for imperfections – your beauty can be found under the surface and in great abundance. If you need help seeing it yourself, here are a few important reminders.

1. Always Value Your Personality

Don’t underestimate the power of your personality! Personality can be very attractive, so much so that personality often ranks as the second biggest factor in attraction. And for some people it’s the most important part. Letting your personality shine through can bring more positive attention your way which is beneficial for those of us who struggle with self-esteem.  Even if that’s not you, it’s good to remind yourself that physical appearance isn’t the only thing people take note of! 

2. Dress Comfortably

Fashion is one thing, but being comfortable in your clothes is another. You should dress according to what makes you feel good in your own skin. When you’re comfortable, you’re going to come across a lot more confident, and you’re actually going to like seeing yourself in the mirror.  After all, we all stand a little taller when we feel at home in what we’re wearing. That’s why this sense of physical expression should be a priority for you. The more you can align the style in your head with the way you dress in the real world, the easier it’s going to be to feel beautiful. 

3. Practice Good Oral Health

A real smile that reaches the eyes and brings a sense of warmth to your cheeks should be possible for everyone. If you want to feel good on the inside while looking good on the outside, you shouldn’t shy away from showing off your genuine smile. However, a lot of people struggle to smile, and many people struggle to like their smile. If you’re insecure about your smile, reflect on what’s causing the insecurity. Oftentimes improving your smile is as simple as investing in your oral health.

If you’ve unintentionally neglected your oral health for a few years, now’s the time to find a dentist, buy some quality dental products, and remind yourself that healthy teeth come in all shapes and colors. You don’t need perfectly white and straight teeth to have a nice smile. Smiles are uniquely beautiful and you should never compare yours to someone else’s. 

4. Moisturize Your Skin

Taking care of your skin is not a superficial thing. Skin is the largest organ in the body, so it deserves as much attention as the rest of you. Moisturizing doesn’t just prevent wrinkles, it reduces the chance of skincare problems such as dryness, inflammation and irritation. When your skin looks and feels good, you’re going to have a much more healthy glow about you. Invest in skincare to maintain that healthy foundation. 

5. Cut Out the Noise

No one else should influence your self image – you should always have the final say. This is why social media can be so harmful. When you post a genuine candid image of yourself, anyone can find it, and that means it could open yourself up to getting a few negative comments. 

But if you don’t know the person, their opinion should mean nothing to you. Even when a friend has something to say about your appearance, make sure it’s a constructive comment. If it doesn’t come from a well meaning place, you shouldn’t take it to heart. When you learn to approach external pressure like this, it becomes much easier to feel beautiful. You won’t be applying makeup to try and ‘cover up’ – you’ll be using it to express yourself and have fun.

Superficial beauty standards are everywhere. It’s hard to ignore them, but if they don’t make you happy, it’s more than okay to unsubscribe from them. Your beauty isn’t just what you look like; it’s your personality, your values, and your commitment to yourself.  So do what makes you happy and be kind to yourself, and don’t let anyone else’s opinion define the way you see yourself.

Photo by Nicolas Postiglioni

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