Finally, the post I am most excited to share with you and the one that is the inspiration for this entire blog. If you are on the internet in any capacity (which you clearly are if you are reading this article), you will have seen the “glow-ups” that are taking the world by storm. Whether it be celebrities, who have reinvented themselves or that girl you went to high school with who used to be average looking and is now stunning.
We have all wanted to glow up at some point in our lives. Be it after a breakup, before a big event, or just as a permanent way to make ourselves better. Well, I am here to tell you exactly how to glow up and give you the no-B.S. guide to transforming your look and your life.
So why should you listen to me? Well, because I did it. I went from being overweight, having zero confidence, and being borderline depressed to becoming a model, starting multiple businesses, meeting my incredible husband, improving my mental health, being more productive, and completely transforming my life. And I didn’t get a single surgery or injection.
In fact, I have become so passionate about this topic of “glowing up” that I also became a nutritionist and personal trainer. And I created this whole blog to help you achieve your goals and become the best version of yourself.
So how did I do it? And how can you do it too? Learn how to glow up by reading on.
Who This Guide is Not For
Before I get into the details of how to glow up, I want to clarify that this guide is not for everyone. This glow up guide is not a magical formula that will transform you overnight. In fact, as far as I am aware, these solutions do not exist. It’s not a surgery you can get or an item you can buy. Rather, it’s a series of lifestyle changes that you must be willing to make and commit to. Therefore, this guide is not for someone who is looking for the former options but for someone who is actually going to do what it takes to change their lives.
What Is a Glow Up?
A glow-up is a social-media-derived term that refers to a positive physical transformation, usually by means of surgery or cosmetic procedures. However, in this guide (and on the site in general), when I talk about a glow-up, I am referring to a physical transformation that doesn’t involve surgery, Botox, or filler. My definition of”glow up” also goes far beyond the physical transformation. Certainly you will learn how to glow up your appearance, but you will also learn how to glow up your life for the better.
What goes into the glow up:
I think I can categorize the main components of a glow up into the following categories:
Health and Wellness
How you take care of your body is probably the single most important thing when it comes to how to glow up. How you care for your body influences your physique, your skin, your energy, your mind, and more. Nutrition and exercise are the two primary considerations in the health and wellness consideration.
Of course, how your eat will have a huge impact on how your hair and skin looks, but there are things you can do topically to take care of your skin and your hair and enhance your natural beauty. How you do your makeup and style your hair also has a big impact on your overall appearance and thus, “glow up” transformation.
The next thing that goes into glowing us is style—making sure you present yourself in the best possible way. What you wear says a lot about you. Clothes can make you look better, feel more confident and change how others perceive you.
In order to achieve your goals, you must commit to a lifestyle change. Implement healthy choices and behaviors and most importantly, stay consistent.
How to Glow Up
Nw that I have explained who this guide is for (and not for) and what exactly a glow up is, we can get into the details. Now I will tell you how to do it yourself—how to glow up.
Change Who You Spend Your Time With
When determining how to glow up, the first step is to change who you spend your time with. Many of our behaviors are influenced by our social environment and who we hang around the most. It’s no secret that kids exhibit the behavior of their parents and friends engage in same sort of activities. This 2016 study found that food consumption and physical activity levels were highly correlated to that of one’s significant other. In other words, if your boyfriend or spouse eats poorly and doesn’t work out much, you are likely to do the same.
So, all of this is to say that you should surround yourself with people who you aspire to be like. If your goal is to become more athletic or fit, spend time with athletic people. If you want to improve your career, hang out with career-driven people. If you want to eat better, hang out with people who eat better. I realize that I am oversimplifying this and it is not that easy to reconstruct your social circle. But here are some suggestions for creating a social environment that breeds success:
- Join clubs or attend events with likeminded people—for instance, join a running club, go to a new gym, start taking boutique classes
- Join Facebook groups that relate to your goals—try to find ones local to your area, many of them will facilitate meetups
- Communicate your goals with your family or partner and ask them to work towards them with you
- If there are one or two people who continuously influence you to make poorer decisions or do unhealthy things, perhaps try distancing yourself from them
Change Your Mindset
The next thing you must do to glow up is change your mindset. You’ve heard the expression “mind over matter”, well when it comes to glowing up, it rings true.
Understand your “Why”
When it comes to anything in life, you must have a “why” that motivates you. Why did you decide to wake up in the morning? Why do you do what you do? Without a proper “why” it’s difficult to find the motivation to do something and to take the steps to do it consistently. If you want to glow up, you first must decide what that means to you. Maybe you want to improve your health. Maybe you want to set a good example for your kids or your spouse. Perhaps you want to extend your life, reduce your medical expenses, be perceived better, meet your future partner. The list goes on. Whatever your reasons for clicking on this post, or searching for “how to glow up,” let that reason be the driving force throughout this journey.
By the way, if you want to learn more about this concept of “why” I suggest you read Simon Sinek’s Start With Why.
Change the way you think about your body
As part of the way you change you mindset, you also must change the way you think about your body. You only get one body, and it’s the only place you will ever have to live. What you do with it now determines what it will be in the future.
Change the way you think about food
As I cover in my “glow up diet” post, the food you eat has the power to completely transform your body—for the better or for worse. One meal can help you make progress toward your goals, supply you with vitamins and nutrients and supercharge your body, or have the adverse effect. By looking at each meal as an opportunity to improve your wellbeing ( and by using your “why” as the reason for doing so) you will be more likely to make healthy choices.
Build Healthy Habits
I always say that consistency is the key to success in anything that you do. Consistency is persevering through the pitfalls and challenges and continuing to work at something even when it sometimes seems like it’s more effort than it’s worth. The key to being consistent is building healthy habits. By creating a habit out of something, it becomes second nature. When you make a habit of something, it will often become something you want and almost need to do to maintain your sanity. And this, my friends, is when your life will change.
If you’d like to read more on the topic, I suggest checking out Atomic Habits by James Clear.
Implement a Routine
This next step to glowing up is what helps you build healthy habits, as discussed in the prior step. Routines create repetition and repetition can turn something from a task to a habit. For this reason, I suggest implementing a powerful morning routine and including as many healthy things within it as possible. I have a healthy and productive morning routine checklist that you can download here.
Generally speaking, the earlier you can complete your healthy items, the more likely you are to do them. We all tend to have things that come up later in the day that can serve as excuses and hurdles to us doing what we need to do. By getting your healthiest items out of the way, you can enjoy the rest of the day and be that much closer to achieving your goals.
Change the Way You Eat
If I can encourage you to do one thing to better your health, wellness, and appearance, it’s changing what you eat. This topic obviously has lots of breadth to it so subscribe to the blog if you want to learn more 🙂 But nutrition is 80% of battle. What you put in your body is so influential on how it carries out all of its necessary functions. Here are some benefits that food can offer. For more details, be sure to check out my nutrition guide.
Above are some examples of the things food can do for your body, but the list goes far beyond this. Treat food as fuel for your body and eat healthy, nutrient-dense meals. I go through many more details on this topic in my nutrition guide.
Assess Your Hormones
Your hormones play an essential role in how you look. They influence how you metabolize food, how hungry you feel, how your skin and hair looks, and more. It’s very common to have hormonal imbalances that make it difficult to lose weight, get a clear complexion and achieve your ideal appearance. When your hormones are off, it can also influence how you feel, your energy and other aspects of your life.
Some things you can do to regulate your hormones include:
- Eating a well-balanced diet
- Reduce your dairy intake
- Take hormone regulating supplements
- Talking to a medical professional or hormone specialist
Cut Back on Alcohol
This one is a bit of a bummer for the younger crowd who likes to go out drinking or indulge in a glass….or three….of wine. But excess drinking can various negative effects on your health and wellbeing. The ethanol present in alcohol is absorbed quickly (and because it’s unlikely that you are running on the treadmill while drinking) is not used as quickly and therefore, stored as fat.
And the extra fat is not your only concern. Alcohol can cause issues with your gut flora, your mental health, productivity, sex life and can make you subject to disease and cancer. Additionally, alcohol consumption has been linked to higher food calorie consumption and poorer nutritional choices.
Drink More Water
We all know that we should hydrate but perhaps we don’t know why. Water can help transport nutrients from your (hopefully) healthy diet elsewhere in the body. It can improve bodily function, enhance the appearance and elasticity of the skin, reduce the signs of wrinkles, prevent headaches and bloating, and give you more energy. Especially if you’re exercising frequently, hydration is even that much more important. Below are some of the benefits of staying hydrated:
Rethink Your Wardrobe
When you think about how to glow up, you probably think that beauty and fitness are the primary components. However, in my opinion fashion and style are a huge part of glowing up. What you wear has a big impact on how you present yourself, how others perceive you, how confident you are, and your total “glow up” journey.
Style is personal but I suggest staying apprised with fashion trends, learning what complements your body shape, and wearing clothes that you feel confident in. Additionally, it’s important to learn what kind of clothes are appropriate for what situations and occasions. By showing up over or underdressed you will be self conscious and can also give off the wrong impression.
Do More with Less
Another, less expected piece of the “glow up” journey is to stop trying so hard! There is beauty in doing less, and I truly believe that less is more in almost all instances. This can mean wearing more basic, less over-the-top clothes, using makeup to enhance your features rather than covering them, and skipping the fake eyelashes and hair extensions. In a lot of ways simplicity is beautiful and more natural looks are trending right now.
You don’t need every skincare product under the sun, you don’t need to waste your money trying to keep up with the Kardashians. You don’t need plastic surgery, filler, or Botox. In fact, there is beauty in natural aging and by taking good care of yourself and your skin, you can prevent many of the physical effects that these treatments are meant to counteract.
Focus on Your Skin
The appearance of our skin has such a huge impact on our confidence, our appearance, and more. A healthy, radiant complexion can be achieved by following many of the steps I outlined above. For instance, getting your hormones in check and eating a balanced diet can drastically improve the appearance of the skin. However, there are topical products you should incorporate into your regiment, which I have listed below.
Vitamin C Serum
A solid vitamin C serum offers antioxidant properties to the skin that can help fight free radicals, which can prevent skin damage and visible signs of aging. Additionally, a vitamin C serum can help even out your skin tone and lighten dark spots.
My favorite Vitamin C Serum:
A sunscreen is a must when it comes to skincare, so much so that It even made it onto my list of Things I Wish I Knew in My Early Twenties. If I can recommend only one skincare product, it would be SPF. Sunscreen can not only prevent you from getting skin cancer but can also fight most visible signs of aging. My favorite sunscreen is the Elta MD one. I personally, like the tinted one.
A good retinol or retinoid is another great addition to your nighttime skincare routine. This can help fight acne, prevent fine lines and wrinkles, fade dark spots, reduces enlarged pores, and more. Retinol increases your skin turnover, fights free radicals, and helps boost collagen and elastin production so you get a youthful and radiant complexion.
Most retinoids are prescription grade, while retinols (a less-intense retinoid) can be purchased over the counter. There is one retinoid that you can purchase over the counter and that is Adapalene.
A moisturizer is another important part of a skincare regiment because it can help increase the efficacy of the other products used, it can also help reduce oil production and prevent skin dryness and irritation. It can also increase the elasticity and overall appearance of your skin. My favorite moisturizer is the Neutrogena Hydro Boost.
Wear Less Makeup
The next step in glowing up is to use makeup to enhance your features without “overdoing it.” By taking better care of your skin, you can hopefully feel more confident wearing less makeup and letting your natural beauty shine through. Not only can cutting back on the makeup help improve your skin but it can help improve your confidence outside of the situations where you have time to fully glam.
Start Taking Care of Your Hair
Finally, take care of your hair. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting your hormones in balance can help improve the appearance and strength of your hair. But I do recommend using oil to help nourish the hair, and keep it looking shiny and healthy. My favorite two hair oils are:
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