I feel like I write about serious topics a lot...marriage, homemaking, Christian life. Those can be fun too, of course, but I think I'm overdue for a less intense topic!
I believe that inner beauty is more important than outer, or physical, beauty, but I also believe that it's very good for us to take care of our bodies, which are temples of the Holy Spirit. After all, our physical bodies are gifts from God, and we should treat them as such!
My "beauty routine" is very simple, but perhaps some suggestions will be helpful for you. These things are (in my opinion) the most important things to do for a healthy, beautiful body:
1) Drink water. I definitely don't do this enough, but I feel so much better when I do! Being properly hydrated keeps your skin soft and smooth, helps freshen your breath, and keeps your whole body running properly. When you feel good on the inside you'll look better on the outside!
2) Get enough rest. I know, these are no-brainers. But if you're tired your eyes won't be as bright and you might get dark circles under them (like me...although I kind of have permanent little bags under my eyes!). If you're well-rested you'll be more energized, happier and more cheerful, and a smile is the prettiest thing you can put on your face!
3) Eat just enough and eat food that is really good for you. There's nothing wrong with some ice cream, potato chips, or a hamburger and fries on occasion. Just make sure that the majority of what you consume is going to be beneficial for your body! Healthy fats (like those that come from nuts, avocado, and dairy products) will keep your skin soft and your hair shiny. Calcium (from dairy, fish, and dark green veggies) will keep your teeth and nails healthy, and your bones as well, which will help with your posture. You can do more research to find out what foods contain nutrients that you personally need.
4) Exercise. Yes, another "duh" one, but I forget how good exercising makes me feel! You don't have to do it much-- a half-hour walk four times a week is enough for most healthy people. If you're trying to lose weight, of course, more exercise might be necessary, and if you're trying to tone and strengthen your muscles (like me!), some weight-lifting two or three times a week would be really good for you. Exercise gets your heart pumping and lungs working, which improves your circulation and gives you a healthy glow, plus it will keep your body working well and feeling good. When I work out my core muscles it helps a lot with my posture, and good posture is much prettier than a slouch!
5) Spend some time each day with your clothes, hair, and makeup.
I actually don't wear makeup every day. I don't own much. Some people would say that I should at least own foundation and concealer...I don't. My facial skin is even and mostly clear (please don't hate me), and I really don't need foundation. I wear blush, eye shadow, lip gloss, and sometimes mascara and eye liner. That's about it, and it takes me maybe five minutes to put all of that on! At the very least, here's what I do (mostly) every day:
-Shower (every other day unless I get particularly sweaty; my skin dries out if I shower daily)
-Wash my face, in the shower or sink (preferably twice a day, morning and night)
-Brush my teeth, twice a day (clean teeth and fresh breath are big confidence boosters for me!)
-Brush and "style" hair (usually a ponytail or half-up. If I'm feeling fancy, a pretty bun or braid.)
-Put on some jewelry: a necklace, earrings and bracelet makes me feel more "put together."
-Get dressed, for real. Those days I spend the morning in my bathrobe I get less done and I'm a lot less motivated for anything. I love wearing skirts and dresses, especially in the summer, and wearing a dress means I don't have to coordinate a top and a skirt or pants!
6) Use coconut oil. I'm not kidding. This is my favorite "beauty product." It's an incredible moisturizer, and it works all over your body! I use it for shaving to get a close, smooth shave and silky legs, it's in my homemade deodorant, I use it on my hands and arms for lotion and then rub my face with the oil on my hands, and it makes an amazing super-conditioner for your hair. (To do that, apply about 1/4 cup of coconut oil evenly throughout your hair, put it in a bun for a few hours or overnight, and then shampoo as usual.)
I realize that every person is unique, so maybe these suggestions won't work with you or your routine. Maybe you really like wearing makeup or need it. (My sister is SO good at makeup application...I wish I knew as much about it as she does!) Maybe you work a physical job and a shower every day is necessary. Maybe your job requires a uniform and "getting dressed" can't involve jewelry or a dress. Maybe health issues prevent you from exercising as much as you'd like. Maybe you're a young mom and five hours of sleep is a good night. Maybe you can't stand the smell of coconut oil--I don't know, the point is, I know we're all different. So take what you can from this (and remember, it's just my advice, ask an expert [like a doctor, nutritionist, cosmetologist, or personal trainer] if you're having any particular issues or problems).
And then--talk to me! What's your best beauty advice? What is the most essential part of your beauty routine?