“Glow up” has become a popular trend for gurus and influencers. So I wanted to jump on board to see what the hype was all about. And after my own glow up, I am a total believer!
Glow ups are about way more than just a physical makeover. Any influencers claiming that a glow up is designed to solely “make you prettier” is definitely missing the point.
A “glow” comes from the inside out. Being “prettier” is just a consequence of taking better care of your physical and mental health, feeling more confident, and doing more good in the world.
A glow up is about living a glowing, beautiful life!
In this article, I’m giving you super-specific tips that you can implement in your life to have an incredible 2020 glow up for yourself.
So let’s get glowing!
Why Glow Up?
What’s the purpose of a glow up?
- Feel healthier and stronger
- Learn more about yourself and your health
- Develop good habits (and minimize bad ones)
- Feel and look happier (a smile always glows!)
- Be more focused on giving
- Grow more confident
The most important part of a glow up is an increased sense of confidence! Confidence can come in a lot of forms, and each of our tips and tidbits in this guide help you fall even more in love with yourself
One Glow Per Week
A quick (but important) tip about your glow up process.
A lot of women are Googling “glow up overnight” or “glow up in a week”—but permanent change can NOT happen overnight. The goal here isn’t speed. You want this glow up to be a lifelong transformation that will have lasting impacts on your health and happiness. So don’t rush it!
I recommend making one change per week, or even one every other week. Focus 7 days on one specific change and see what it does for you.
It’s going to take time to see results, but don’t get discouraged. It will happen in due time when it’s meant to for you.
I’m so proud of you for taking the first step towards a renewed sense of life!
Glow Up… Your Emotions
Your emotions are the basis of your experience of life. Stress, overwhelm, anxiety, and exhaustion will instantly shrink your glow. Happiness, excitement, optimism, and joy will revitalize the glow on your face.
So every glow up has to start with mastering your emotions.
Learn about emotions.
High emotional intelligence can completely transform your life. Recognizing that we are in complete control of our emotions can give us a new and higher level of confidence and happiness. When you can control your emotional responses, you control your. life.
Some resources to get you started on your emotional journey:
- The 6 steps to emotional mastery with Tony Robbins
- How to master your emotions with Lisa Feldman Barrett
- Try these two smart techniques to help you master your emotions (Ted ideas)
Surround yourself with positive people.
You are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. Spend time with negative, gossipy, or critical people and you’ll start to act the same way. We are much happier when we’re surrounded by people who light us up, support us, and love us on a deep level.
How do you know if you’re spending time with the right people? There’s one simple question to answer:
Do you feel drained or invigorated after hanging out with this person?
If you’re not feeling energized and happier after being with someone, they might be detracting from your personal glow. You have permission to change your circle to lift you up.
Meditate (in your own way).
Meditation is about quieting your mind, removing negative thoughts, and getting into a more centered headspace. It has incredible benefits for physical, mental, and emotional health—from reducing stress to slowing the aging process to boosting your immune system.
Meditation doesn’t have to be daunting. There are a lot of different types of meditating that can work for you. It’s not all sitting quietly trying to think of nothing, if that’s not what you want to do. Find the meditation style that works for you!
Repeat your daily affirmations.
Meditation is a great way to slow down, but sometimes you also need a little hype up, right? Daily affirmations literally reprogram your unconscious mind to believe whatever it is you’re saying.
What we think is what we are.
So if you say, “I am beautiful,” you’ll start to feel more beautiful. Or if you get really specific, it’s more likely to true. For example, if you say “I will. live where there are palm trees,” you’re likely to end up on a palm
So this might be the most important part of your glow up! Whatever you want to work on—whether it’s making more money, giving more to others, or feeling happier in your clothes—an affirmation can help you reach your goals.
Learn more about daily affirmations—and how to create them for yourself.
Avoid decision fatigue.
“Decision fatigue” is a real thing! You can actually wear yourself out by making too many decisions. That’s why so many successful CEOs wear the same outfit every day. It’s not that they hate fashion. They’re just trying to minimize their wardrobe selection, so they can save their “decision energy” for other areas of their life. I definitely don’t recommend wearing the same thing every day, of course. Dressing up in new, exciting outfits is the fun of fashion (and of life)!
But I do recommend minimizing the amount of items in your closet. Cut it down to those pieces that you’re absolutely in love with, so you can never go “wrong” with your decision.
When it’s easier to choose what to wear, you’ll feel great in your clothes and you’ll have a clearer mental space to focus on other areas of your life as well.
Glow Up… Your Skin
Taking care of your skin is a great way to glow more on the outside—but it also gives you time to focus on self-care, which is so important for your mental and emotional health.
Give yourself a weekly facial.
Once a week, take 20-30 minutes out of your day to focus solely on skincare. This is the perfect time to relax and rejuvenate, taking time out of your day just for you.
- Start by cleansing your skin with warm water (to help open your pores).
- Exfoliate with a gentle exfoliator. (Exfoliating off your dead skin once or twice a week will give you an instant glow.)
- Apply a face mask made with fresh, natural ingredients.
- Use a cotton pad to gently apply a toner to your skin.
- Use a serum to give your face a gentle massage.
- End with a moisturizer that will lock in all the goodness from your facial.
Make sure all of your products are chemical-free to avoid doing damage to your skin. Check out your products on EWG’s Skin Deep database to see your
Use a daily SPF.
The sun gives you that gorgeous tan—but the UV rays can also do serious damage (in the short- and long-term) to your skin. Even if you’re not spending the day
So you should be wearing SPF every day to protect your skin from harmful rays. We recommend using a morning moisturizer with SPF15/30 in it. There are a lot of light, non-greasy moisturizers out there that won’t weigh your skin down while they protect you from the harsh rays.
Glow up… Your Makeup and Hair.
This is the part most people focus on with a glow up. Because it’s super fun!
But you don’t need to completely change everything and go from natural to totally done up. I’m all about enhancing and upgrading your current go-to routine. Just take it to the next level with a few easy shifts.
Have fun with a makeup makeover.
Go to a makeup counter and get a mini makeover! Sephora workers love applying makeup on customers who are interested in a glow up. They’ll be able to give you specific tips about what looks best for your face and style, and you can have a fun experience
Be really specific with them about what you want to try. You want products that are without chemicals and/or cruelty-free, for example. You’ll also want to let them know which features you want to accentuate—like eyes, lips, or cheekbones.
Also be honest about how much makeup you use now. Remember that you don’t want to make a lot of huge changes, because they probably won’t stick! So if you take 10 minutes to do your makeup now, you probably don’t want an hour long routine.
Add white eyeliner to your repertoire.
This is one of my favorite tips, and I think you’ll love it too. Line the corner of your eye (the corner close to your nose) with white eyeliner. Draw along the waterline of your eyes, so it’s not very visible. The white actually lightens and brightens the look of your eyes, which makes you look more awake and vibrant!
Remove makeup with microfiber cloths.
Make sure you always remove your makeup before going to sleep! Waking up with mascara raccoon eyes or cakey foundation is super bad for your skin. It clogs pores that can cause breakouts and wrinkles.
To take even better care of your skin, remove makeup with microfiber cloths as opposed to harsh makeup remover wipes or alcohol. Just use a light cleanser, like micellar water, and swipe a microfiber cloth over your face to easily remove makeup. This ensures you’re not using chemicals on your skin, and the microfiber towel helps reduce micro-tearing of your skin that can lead to fine lines and wrinkles.
Try out new hairstyles.
Do you measure phases of your life based on the hairstyle you wore the most… or is that just me? “That was my side ponytail phase.” or “Oh, that’s when I had bangs.”
It’s fun to have a go-to hairstyle, but a little bit of novelty every once in a while can have a huge impact on our appearance. So don’t be afraid to try out different hairstyles to what looks and feels best on you! Even going from a high ponytail to a high bun can change your mood and your style.
I find that even just switching up where I part my hair can make a difference! (Changing your part every once in a while also helps keep volume in the roots of your hair.)
Rinse your hair with cold water.
Hot water strips your skin and hair of its moisture. If you tend to take hot showers, it could be doing damage to your hair. But you don’t have to stop the luxury of the hot shower.
Shower as normal. At the very end of your shower, turn the water to cold (or at least lukewarm, if you can’t stand the cold). The cold water will help lock in moisture and restore the strength of your hair strands, so it’s less likely to break off or dry out during the day.
Tip: Use a microfiber towel to dry your hair and minimize damage even more.
Know how to shampoo and condition.
Shampoo should focus on the scalp. This helps remove oil and dirt that accumulate on your scalp throughout the day. A clarifying shampoo once a week can especially help cleanse your hair and restore its natural pH.
Focus your conditioner on the ends of your hair. This helps prevent split ends and maintain the strength of your hair. Avoid putting conditioner on the scalp, as this can cause the scalp to be oily and weigh down the roots (so you’ll have flatter, finer hair).
Glow Up… Your Health
Glowing up isn’t just about how your body looks. It’s about living a healthier life so you look and
Drink more water.
Staying hydrated is the best way to improve your health. It’s good for your skin, hair, nails, and your organs! Dehydration is the primary reason people look and feel fatigued!
You should be drinking at least half your weight (in ounces) of water. So if you weigh 140lbs, you should aim for at least 70oz of water per day.
Tip: Invest in a pretty BPA-free water bottle. This will encourage you to drink more water, and it will minimize negative impact on the environment too!
Exercise every day.
Just 15 mins of movement every day can change your life—and make you absolutely glow. Exercise is great for your skin, your health, your physical appearance, your mood, your hormones, and your confidence.
Do any sort of exercise that makes you happy! Whether it’s going to the gym, dancing, or taking the dog for a walk, it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you’re moving and having fun with it on a
Minimize exposure to chemicals.
There are chemicals and toxins everywhere around us—affecting us all the time. These chemicals are actually worsening our health, and they’re killing the environment around us. So it’s best to avoid exposure whenever possible.
Where should you especially be on the lookout for hidden chemicals?
- Fast fashion (fast fashion is made with a lot of chemicals that can seep into your skin; but high quality fashion is made with fewer chemicals and toxins that won’t harm you or the environment)
- Personal care products (especially avoid parabens, dyes, and fragrances)
- Foods (opt for organic, without pesticides, and
- Household cleaning products (choose natural solutions or DIY your own with essential oils)
Trust me. The fewer chemicals in your life, the better you’ll feel and the healthier you’ll be!
Not sure where to start? Check out our resource with the 7 best eco-friendly and healthy fabrics and the 3 to avoid.
Try a sugar cleanse.
Try not eating sugar for a week or two and see what it does to your skin, energy, and health. You’ll be feeling way better, I guarantee it!
If you eat a lot of sugar, a cleanse will be hard at first. Your body will crave it, thinking it needs it for energy. But if you stick to the cleanse, you’ll start to crave sugar less and less. Suddenly, you won’t crave it at
Talk to a doctor before making any changes in your diet, especially if you have an insulin-related condition.
Brush your teeth with a whitening toothpaste.
A bright, white smile is an easy fix that can make your entire face glow. And when you feel good about your teeth, you’ll be encouraged to open your mouth and SMILE.
So a simple glow-up technique is just to implement a whitening toothpaste or whitening strips to remove years of coffee and tea from your enamel.
Focus on your posture.
Standing up straight can instantly change your appearance and your mood. There are so many incredible benefits to good posture—including less pain, a flatter stomach, and a happier mood.
Learn how to correct your posture with the American Chiropractic Association. (Youtube videos are helpful too!)
Glow Up… Your Wardrobe
What you wear affects how you think and feel. There’s scientific proof that our clothing impacts our psychology. So just a little wardrobe upgrade can do wonders for your glow up!
P.S. Check out this ULTIMATE personal style
Find what accentuates your features.
There’s no one “right” way to dress. Everyone has a different body type with unique features, so you want to dress in a way that accentuates the uniqueness that is YOU. That doesn’t mean showing more or less skin; it simply means dressing in a way that brings out your best and makes you feel great.
Learn more about how to accentuate your features with this piece by Whowhatwear.
Own clothes that you love.
You want to look in your closet and get excited. You don’t want to dread the process of getting dressed in the morning—because that can put a damper on the rest of your day. If you only own clothes that you love, you’ll wear confidence-boosting outfits every single day. Over time, that can have a huge impact on how you feel about yourself and your body!
If you put on an article of clothing that makes you cringe in the mirror, sell it or donate it. Don’t keep things that don’t bring you joy, like Marie Kondo preaches.
Invest in designer pieces.
Designer pieces are designer for a reason. They’re high quality and made with timeless—yet trendy—fashion in mind. Quality clothes fit better, look better, and feel better!
Quality clothes are made for a quality woman. Find out more about why this is so important for your physical and mental glow up here… It really is the key to the whole process!
You don’t have to hurt your wallet if you want to incorporate more quality designer items into your closet. That’s one of the reasons preloved fashion is the hottest craze right now! Buy designer clothes on consignment for an incredible deal!
Plus… if you buy designer clothing, you might be able to resell it on consignment one day and make a good chunk of your money back! You can’t do that with fast fashion.
Wear clothes that fit.
Dress for today. Too many people make the mistake of keeping jeans that are too small or dresses that are too big. Clothes that fit well can make all the difference in going from drab to fab!
Note: If you’re in the process of losing weight, it’s okay to have some jeans that are a few sizes smaller to keep you motivated. But you still want jeans that fit today, otherwise you risk damaging your confidence in the process.
You can even make sweatpants look fashionable with the right accessories! You could wear a little black dress every single day, and it can look completely different based on the jewelry, scarves, glasses, hats, and shoes you wear!
Glow Up… Your Impact
We always feel better when we’re giving more than when we’re taking. There’s something magical about the connection we can create with other people and with the environment when we focus on others, rather than on
When you glow up, you want to make sure you’re adding even more beauty and love to the world! It will create a more authentic, lasting, and stunning glow!
Buy sustainable clothing.
One of the simplest and most effective ways you can minimize your negative impact on the environment is to buy sustainable clothing. When you invest in circular fashion, you reduce expended resources and waste, you minimize the use of chemicals (that contribute to pollution), and you encourage healthy social practices for laborers. Plus, it’s better for your health too!
You’ll LOVE this article— Save the Earth, Save your closet: How sustainable fashion is changing the world
Give your clothing new life.
Another way to help the environment is by not throwing out your clothing. There’s a huge textile waste problem worldwide, especially in America. Rather than ditching your clothing, consider selling them to Current Boutique or donating them to a local homeless shelter. You’ll reduce the textiles ending up in landfills, and you can make some extra cash in the process!
Do a random act of kindness.
Has a stranger ever made your day just by doing something nice, like holding the door or giving you a compliment? Be that light in someone else’s day! With just one or two acts of kindness, you never know whose life you might change!
Get some good ideas for acts of kindness here.
Getting involved with the community is a great way to get out of your own bubble and really become a part of something “bigger” than yourself. There are so many options for volunteering out there, from spending time at a local animal shelter to feeding the homeless at a soup kitchen to mentoring people in your area. A quick Google search can help you come up with some good ideas.
Find a cause that speaks to you and dedicate yourself to it!
Glow Up… Your Skills
Growth is the key to life. Like a flower, if we’re not growing, we’re dying. So focus on glowing up your “growth,” and you’re guaranteed to feel more confident and bright in response!
Learn something new.
Take a class at your local community college. Join Masterclass. Check Groupon for local classes. Even watch YouTube videos and Ted talks!
Take some personality quizzes.
I love taking legitimate personality quizzes to learn more about my natural strengths, how to emphasize those strengths, and how to grow further in areas where I’m not as strong. The more you know yourself, the more you can follow your life’s path.
Check out Huffpost’s list of the 7 online personality quizzes worth taking.
Note: These can tell you a lot about yourself, but take them with a grain of salt. They’re just a starting point to help you learn more about the beauty that is you!
Set glow up goals.
What is the purpose of your
Learn how to set SMART goals for your life here.
Glow Up… Your Confidence
If you even implement three or four of the items on this list, you are guaranteed to feel more confident, beautiful, and brilliant than ever before.
And that’s what a glow up is all about! It’s about taking your life to the next level in a well-rounded (and exciting) way!
How do YOU glow up? Tag us on social media with your glow up ideas and pics! We want your input on what makes you feel gorgeous and glowing!