It happens to all of us: waking up with dark circles, belly bloat or any number of beauty insults, and a mood to match the reflection in the mirror. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg scenario: does not looking our best create the negative frame of mind or does our mental state make us view ourselves with extra critical eyes? I’m a big believer in the power of thoughts and feelings, but also know well the deflating effects of a bad hair day, so here are some ways to make those ugly days a little prettier.
1) Move. Yes, when you feel this way the couch has almost supernatural powers of attraction, but you’ll feel (and look) better if you hit the gym or even go for a brisk walk.
2) Eat healthy(ish). Skip the chips or fries, they’ll only add to the bloat and make you feel guilty. Instead, get in some fresh fruits and veggies. But it’s also okay to give yourself a little treat to look forward to at the end of the day: say, a morsel of dark chocolate or a glass of wine.
3) Don’t compare. A crime perpetuated against women is the barrage of messages from popular culture that we don’t quite measure up. Most women I know tend to be hyper self-critical anyway (the reasons for which are enough to fill up a few posts), so this just adds to negative feelings. So today, if you see a magazine image, TV star or a girl on the bus that brings out the green monster, try to appreciate the beauty and realize it’s not taking away from your own attractiveness.
4) Pamper thyself. Even if you have a crazed workday or are running after the kids, on those ugly days grab some time to care for yourself: buy a lip gloss at the drug store or do an at-home facial.
5) Avoid negative people. No, it’s not always possible to dodge a critical coworker, but when you’re down, it’s okay to not call your dear, but depressive, friend.
6) Go for a blow-out. If you can afford the splurge and the time, why not get a blow-out at your local salon or at a blow-dry bar. Your hair (and mood) will thank you.
7) Hit the mat. It’s a rare yoga class that doesn’t lift my spirits. While there are yoga videos and web classes, there’s something powerful about the studio experience. If money is tight, most studios have try-out packages that let new students take unlimited classes for a week or so at a modest price.
8) Start blushing. You may be tempted to do the beauty minimum: a.k.a. concealer and mascara, but no product brightens up the face like a little blush, bronzer or cheek tint.
9) Add moisture. Even on the best days, a “made-up” face tends to lose some luster mid afternoon. The solution: midday, whether at the office or before hitting the grocery store, apply a little moisturizer to your cheeks and watch the glow return.
10) Keep it in perspective. Remember, it’s just one of those ugly days. I have a tendency to feel the weight of the world on my shoulders, but often if I break down what’s bothering me I realize that life (and hopefully my complexion) will likely look rosier tomorrow.