Tuesday, February 26, 2013

tips to looking (and feeling) beautiful

One of my favorite things about being in a sorority is PR. And no, I'm not just talking about the t-shirts, although that's one of my favorite parts. I'm talking about looking good on campus and representing your sorority well. When people are walking across campus and see you, they're not going to judge you on your personality because they most likely don't know you. Instead, they're going to be judging you on how you look. I know the word "judge" has a negative connotation, but they are literally looking at you and making a generalization not just about you, but about your entire sorority.

The obvious answer is to wear cute clothes and do your hair and makeup for class. One rule of thumb I've always abided by is the two-thirds rule. You have three components of looking good - hair, makeup, and outfit. You need to spend time on at least two of the three of these things in order to look good enough to represent your sorority. So if you wanna toss your hair in a pony tail, do your make up and wear a cute outfit. If you wanna wear norts to class, do your hair and make up. See where I'm coming from? If at least two of the three things look good, you'll look good.

But beauty is not skin deep. It takes a lot more than some make up and a cute outfit to make a person look good. It takes a healthy body, good attitude, and amazing self-confidence to radiate beauty from the inside out. While good attitudes and self-confidence are personal choices you have to make, working on making yourself look good from the inside out is totally doable. Here are some tips on how to always look and feel your best.

1. Do makeup in bright, preferably natural, lighting

I think everyone has had a time or two where they got in their car on a sunny day, looked in the compact mirror, and said, "Holy crap, was I high when I did my makeup this morning?" Your concealer is not blended in, you're wearing too much eyeshadow, you have a foundation line on your jaw, whatever. It's not you, honey, it's your bathroom lighting. Make sure to do your makeup in bright lighting, or near a window if you can. Because nothing is more embarrassing than someone else noticing your makeup mishap before you do!

When I see myself in sunlight after doing my makeup in the dark.

2. Protect hair with heat protectant (and don't turn the heat up too high!)

I'm sure most of you have now seen the video of the poor girl who completely burned a strand of her hair off while doing a curling wand tutorial. That is why it is SO important to keep the temperatures on your styling tools reasonable - less that 400 degrees for straighteners and between 275 and 360 degrees for curling irons and wands. You should also be using a heat protectant when styling with these hot tools. Whether you prefer a serum or a spray, drugstore brand or salon brand, it is super important to protect hair so your ends don't fry and you can go longer between trims. Fried ends are ugly and the smell of burned hair sucks, so protect, protect, protect!

Don't let this happen to you!

3. Drink lots of water

This is one of my weaknesses - drinking water throughout the day. But it is so important to your body! Water helps maintain the balance of body fluids in the body, is good for your skin, helps regulate bowel  functions, and helps you not consume as many calories throughout the day. For me, drinking water helps with the dark circles under my eyes and makes me feel better by sufficiently quenching my thirst. In order to remember to drink water, carry around a cute water bottle and keep it in sight so you remember to drink it when you see it. Your body will thank you!

This water bottle holds about half of how much water you should be drinking a day!

4. Eat colorful foods!

A healthy eating tip when choosing foods is to eat things that are very colorful because they contain the most vitamins and help boost your immune system. Here are some "colors" you can eat and what these foods do for your body:

RED: Lycopene reduces the risk of prostate, stomach and lung cancer and heart disease.
EAT: Sour cherries, pink grapefruit, sweet red peppers, tomatoes, and watermelon

ORANGE: Alpha and Beta carotenes are converted into the active form of vitamin A, which helps keep your eyes, bones and immune system healthy. 
EAT: Apricots, cantaloupe, carrots, mangos, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin.

CITRUS: Vitamin C increases the immune system, reduces anemia, and reduces the risk of cancer. EAT: lemons, limes, pineapple, oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit

LEAFY GREEN: Lutein lowers the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. 
EAT: Avocados, collard/mustard/turnip greens, cucumbers, spinach, zucchini, and artichokes

CRUCIFEROUS GREEN: Indoles and isothiocyanates may help prevent cancer by amping up the production of enzymes that clear toxins from the body. 
EAT: Broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, green cabbage, and kale

BLUE/PURPLE: Anthocyanins and  proanthocyanins are antioxidants that promote circulatory function and cuts the risk of stroke by inhibiting clot formation. 
EAT: Plums, blackberries, blueberries, red cabbage, eggplant, purple grapes, cranberries, radishes, raspberries, and strawberries.

PINK: Omega-3 fatty acids help decrease risk of certain brain-related problems and increase cognitive thinking, as well as encourage production of collagen for healthy skin, hair, and nails.
EAT: Salmon, tuna, trout, catfish, anchovies, sardines, flounder, halibut, and mackerel.

BROWN: Fiber helps lower cholesterol and risk of diabetes and vitamin E helps prevent heart disease.
EAT: Almonds, beans, whole wheat breads/pastas, granola

WHITE: Calcium helps with bone strength and probiotics aid the digestive system.
EAT: Yogurt, kefir

5. Exercise

You've all heard it before. It's a dead and overly-beaten horse. But while exercise is mostly known to help people look good, it helps them feel good, too. Endorphins are released during exercise, which improves mood, reduces stress, and aids in sleep. Sounds like working out is good for more than just getting in shape for Spring Break.

Thanks, Elle.

6. Smile!

Even when it's difficult, smiling is actually really good for us! It lowers blood pressure, boots the immune system, changes mood, and makes the smiler look younger and more attractive. Now THAT'S something to smile about!

I know that I'll definitely be trying to exercise, drink more water, and eat colorful foods this week to improve my health. Little changes can make a big difference! But one thing's for sure - it's a whole lot easier to represent your sorority when you're looking good AND feeling good. So take care of your hair, your makeup, your body, and your mood this week and see the difference!

Much love,

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