It is impossible to describe exactly what beauty means to everyone, although as a society, we seem surprisingly in agreement. Society extols physical attractiveness; people with the “right look” gain advantages in the workplace, relationships, and politics. Unfortunately, those who fall short of trending beauty standards are vulnerable to bullying, viral shaming, and worse. On some level, we all know the impact of beauty is internal, too. The Journal of Happiness Studies reports that attractiveness affects psychological well-being and other outcomes in life. All of us have some questionable beauty routines that could be doing more harm than good.
Using the Wrong Foundation
Foundation serves various purposes. Many companies formulate different options for specific skin types. If you have oily or combination skin, a matte foundation will help absorb excess oil and make your look last longer. A foundation with a satin finish works better on dry skin. Your foundation should feel comfortable and allow your skin to breathe. It should look as close to your natural skin tone as possible. The product should not irritate your skin, either. If you see rashes or breakouts after switching to a new brand, try something else.
Wearing the Wrong Concealers
Concealers are not one-type-fits-all, either. Most major makeup brands have formulated color-correcting concealers that focus on certain areas of the face. You’ll need to research and experiment with how color-correcting can enhance or highlight your favorite features. Certain colors address specific concerns:
- Purple – yellow undertones,
- Green – redness,
- Pink – bags on fair skin, and
- Yellow – bags on tanned skin.
Coloring Brows to Match Hair
Some fortunate people have hair and brows that match perfectly. Others attempt to match their brows and hair color, but the resulting look is not natural. If your brows are naturally dark, but your hair is a significantly lighter shade, consider filling in your brows with a shade closer to their natural color. Ultimately, genetics usually knows what it’s doing; plus, dyeing your brows may damage them and increases the risk of hurting your eyes.
Overdrawing the Brows
Although big brows have been popular, it is easy to go overboard with filling them in. Drawing the shape of your brows and coloring them in results in a caricature look. Check out online tutorials or consult an in-store makeup expert to help you strike the right, natural-looking balance every time. On the other hand — you do you. Highlight your face however you see fit, beauty.
Not Caring for Your Lips
Your lips need special attention that goes beyond a dab of lip balm, and we’re not talking about the right color of lipstick. This feature is one of the first things many people notice, and they tend to dry out, especially if you wear lipstick regularly. Chapped lips do not feel or look great, so invest in a lip scrub or make your own with one part honey and two parts sugar. Don’t overdo this treatment — once a week is usually plenty.
Sebaceous oils are natural hair moisturizers. Some of us produce more of it than others, depending largely on skin type and hair texture. Dermatologists caution that washing your hair too often can dry out your scalp and cause it to produce more oil in response. Your hair may lose body and become dry and brittle, too. Columbia University suggests most people do not need to wash their hair every day. Generally, cleansing the hair once weekly is sufficient. Some experts suggest using a dry shampoo to alleviate excess oil buildup between washes.
Overlooking Liquid Calories
When it comes to counting calories, you’ve heard it all. But one thing many of us need to be reminded of from time to time is that calories don’t just live in donuts and hamburgers. Many beverages that come with boastful health claims are laden with added sugars and extra calories, too. Too much of these items in your diet can sabotage your weight management. Studies link weight gain and excess sugary beverages, and fruit juices have as much sugar and calories as sweetened soft drinks. To avoid these sources of unwanted calories, check labels for sugar and caloric loads, and aim to drink more water throughout the day. A squeeze of citrus fruit or a sprig of mint can make each sip more interesting and refreshing. Water benefits your body by hydrating cells and flushing out toxins, helping you feel and look healthier.
Using Synthetic Fragrances
Many commercial perfumes, detergents, and body care products contain untold amounts of chemicals that are known allergens, carcinogens, and neurotoxins. Manufacturers invoke the benign label “fragrance” to camouflage the inclusion of thousands of substances into their products. Unfortunately, these harmful chemicals are everywhere: in shampoos, lotions, household cleaners, and more. The long-term effects of constant exposure to them are quite ugly. The Environmental Working Group and other organizations have compiled lists of beauty products with varying amounts of dangerous chemicals. You can also check labels to seek out items that enhance your well-being and the environment in the short- and long-term. Making your own products with natural ingredients is another way to reduce your exposure to toxic substances.
Jumping on Unsafe Internet Trends
Dermatologists concur that many DIY beauty ideas floating around the Web may produce more harm than good, to both your physical appearance and internal wellbeing. Exfoliating with lemon juice or baking soda changes the skin’s pH level and can make you vulnerable to breakouts, irritation, and infection. Applying glue as a facial mask is not wise by any means. Research is key to finding viable methods of maintaining and enhancing your beauty. It’s always best to chat with a dermatologist or do diligent research before trying out a method featured on Pinterest.
The ability to investigate what is going on in our heads, to get introspective, is an incredible power we possess as humans. All too often, we criticize and limit ourselves with our inner dialogue. Negative talk inside inevitably surfaces externally, affecting relationships with ourselves and the people around us, not to mention our mental and physical health. According to University of Michigan researchers, one way to turn your suppressive inner critic into a supportive coach is to speak to yourself as a friend. Replace “I” with your name, and be your own cheerleader. Their studies demonstrate that dealing with yourself from an “outside” perspective makes it easier to be kind to yourself.