Fall is coming our way faster than I expected. And even though I don’t have to worry about getting back to school or uni anymore, August will always be the month of “glow up” time for me.
I used to do it every summer before school, then – before uni, and it kind of turned every August into meditative time, filled with beauty routines and self-care. Call it a nice way to say goodbye to summer and get ready for busy autumn days 🥰
I think it’s super useful to have a month where you kind of dedicate a little more time to yourself, focus on improving your wellness, health and looks. And yes, I know that this month is also one of the busiest for many women… So it’s just another reason to do it.
“Yeah… Wait, what?”
That’s right. The more work or chores you have to do, the more you need your self care. Now that I’m working full-time in my office (and I mean waking up at 6 A.M. and getting back home at 21-22 P.M.), I can feel this very well. Skip your self care for a week or two and you’re starting to look tired, the stress-weight starts to add on + you’re on the way to burnout, which is way harder to recover from than just simple everyday tiredness.
“Ok, but I don’t have time for this. I don’t have time for anything!”
Trust me, you do. And I’m going to show you how! This challenge includes both the activities that require a little more time and also – quite a few that are quick and integrate seamlessly in your everyday life so it won’t take much of your busy schedule.
After doing this challenge, you will:
- Feel physically better, healthier & stronger;
- Probably shed a few pounds, in a 100% healthy way;
- Look better, prettier & glowier;
- Possibly develop new, healthy habits.
And please know that this is not only for your looks! Feeling pretty and “put together” definitely adds a good amount of joyful mood too.
I know that it’s sometimes hard to take care of yourself, especially if you are tired or struggling with bad mood, lack of motivation, anxiety… But sometimes doing a few things for yourself helps to push quite a chunk of these negative feelings away.
So… Are you ready to do this with me?
Glow Up Challenge: How To Become Prettier In One Month
PART 1: BODY GLOW UP
This part is about getting healthier, a little more fit, and prettier body-wise. I will not be talking about huge body makeovers here because let’s be realistic – those require way more time (if you’re committed for long-term body changes, I highly recommend you to go through my “Master The Weight Loss Mindset” class to prep your mindset). But for a fast body glow up (just fast enough to get you ready for fall), here’s what you can do now:
1. Start Upping Your Water Intake
The reason why I love drinking a lot of water is not just because it keeps you healthy and energetic. It also shows that you’ve been drinking it:
- Staying well hydrated helps your skin become clearer, prettier and healthier;
- It helps you flush out bloatedness that comes with eating too much salt and not drinking enough water;
- Also, say what you want, but it’s definitely easier to shed a few pounds when drinking enough of H2O.
So make it your step one and start drinking more water today (and this doesn’t take any extra time, ain’t it? 😊)
P. S. Hate plain water? Add some taste with fruits, mint or cucumber!
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2. Start Eating More Veggies & Fruits
Eating more veggies & fruits is beneficial for us all + it’s a perfect way to shed a few pounds without feeling like you’re dieting. Here’s how to do it:
- With every meal, opt for a big salad as a side or choose grilled veggies, veggie soups, and stews.
- If you can, make one of your daily meals a veggie-based one.
- Have a fruit smoothie every day (it’s perfect for breakfast!). To make it more filling and satisfying, add a little bit of healthy protein or fat like nuts, peanut butter, chia seeds.
- If it’s hard for you to keep up with this, try focusing more on healthy proteins, like beans, lentils, and chickpeas as they’re just as good for your body too.
Eating this way will boost your metabolism and help you become more fit, improve circulation and make your skin softer.
When I want to eat healthier, I also use this little mindset hack: imagine that every single veggie or fruit you eat is going to make you prettier and happier. And it’s not imaginary – every healthy food IS actually giving your body nutrients that are necessary for your skin, nails, hair and cognitive functions.
Other foods that will make you body “glow up”: berries, greek yogurt, lean meats, fish, seafood, various seeds, olive oil, turmeric, ginger, mushrooms, oats, honey.
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Saturday lunchtime was a chickpea soup with garlic, rosemary, turmeric, black pepper, lemon and a few of the leftover seitan patty thingies from yesterday; english mustard and cider vinegar dressing on the salad rounded it all off – enjoy your Saturday people! 👍 🌿 😄 😀 🌞 😘 😝 ♥️ 😎 ☯️ 🙃 #vegan #veganfoodshare#veganforlife #instavegan#veganfoodporn#vegancooking#plantbased#fitfood#plantbased #runningonplants #runnersuk #summerfood #instapic#eatyourgreens #twassoupysaturday
Just one thing to remember – all foods have calories. Some have more, some have less, but if you want to lose weight while glowing up, you have to make sure you are not overeating these healthy foods. It is a myth that simply eating healthy is enough to lose weight… It doesn’t work like that unless you’re an athlete.
It always comes down to the calories in and calories out. If you consume fewer calories than your body uses up, you will lose weight. Alternatively, if you consume more than you use up, you will gain weight, even if you’re just eating avocados and healthy energy bites.
If you want to find out the number of calories you need + keep track of your daily consumption, I recommend MyFitnessPal app – it’s very helpful and accurate!
3. Start Doing a Few Short Workouts Every Day
I know you don’t have time. Or energy. I don’t either (yet!).
But working out is an essential part of “glowing up”. So let’s be smart and make this work, even if you’re super busy. Here’s how:
- Instead of committing to a long workout once a day, commit to just a few 10-15 minute workouts that you can fit in your schedule whenever you have a small gap in it.
- I personally love doing a short 15-minute workout in the morning and one in the evening. It’s enough to make your body warm, make your heart beat faster and it totals in 30 minutes of exercising every day. On days when I have more spare time, I incorporate even more of these quickies (“that’s what she said” – Michael S.), so I can reap more benefits.
- This method is also great if you’re overweight and it’s hard for you to start with full workouts. Doing a little bit, a few times a day will help your body get gradually stronger and kind of prepare you for bigger workouts later.
- Use some weights! The faster you make your muscles stronger, the sooner you will start burning more calories and it will result in your body getting fitter.
4. Fancy Some Tan?
A healthy glow for me is one of the most important “glow up” tasks. It’s just something about bronzy skin that makes a person look healthier (and did I mention that drastically improves the way your makeup looks?).
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When I was a teenager, I used to spend my whole summer tanning on the beach just to get that dark tan before school. I know – unhealthy! I don’t do this anymore.
If you want to have a beautiful tan and stay healthy while doing that, you will have to choose self-tanner as an alternative. Yes, it requires quite some time to keep up with a good self-tanning routine (most tans need to be “built-up” and they don’t last more than a week), but here’s what you can do to outsmart this!
Recently, I fell in love with this – shall I say – revolutionary self-tanner by St. Tropez:
With this self-tanner, you can skip all those long self-tanner application – waiting – showering routines because this one is used in the shower, for three minutes, and washed off afterward.
Yes!! Now you can shower AND tan at the same time! I couldn’t believe it at first either.
It works just perfectly, the color is nice and natural, no sticky feeling, no streaks, no dreading that your self-tanner will stain your clothes and you can gradually build it up to the color you want. You will still get a little bit of self-tanner smell with it, but I noticed that it’s much less detectable than with other tans.
You can get this tanner in a lighter or darker shade on Amazon (click on the images accordingly):
More self-tanner tips: 5 Critical Self Tanner Tips For a Natural Tan All Year Round
PART 2: FACE GLOW UP
This part focuses on small beauty improvements that you can do for your face, especially your skin.
1. Let’s Get That Skin Glowing
I have great news for you here – if you’re already doing the Body part, your face is getting prettier just because of that. Now, to make your face really glow, here’s what you can do:
- Start using gentle exfoliators with acids to shed dead skin cells and reveal new, baby-like skin. My favorite pick here is the Glycolic Acid, which is super effective and gentle enough for any type of skin (just don’t overdo it, once a week is completely enough). You can read my whole Glycolic Acid guide here.
- Start doing face massage with oils every week. I love face massages! They definitely help you get that glowing, healthy, smooth skin. You can choose olive oil, coconut oil (this one is also antibacterial and good for acne skin), but my favorite one is Rose Hip Seed Oil. This oil has practically transformed my skin and I think it’s because it’s high in natural retinol. You can read my review here.
- Start using face masks every week. Sheet masks work wonders and are not expensive, so what I like to do is just pick a few at the drugstore, preferably the natural ones, and have them ready in case I find a few minutes to relax with a mask on. Masks are concentrated with hydrating and replenishing ingredients so it’s a perfect way to glowy, pretty skin.
“Okay, no time for all of this.”
That’s fine, here’s how to make this work on a busy schedule:
- Instead of doing this on separate days, pick one day where you can find 20 minutes for yourself. This is enough to do all these 3 steps together. Exfoliate > Oil Massage > Mask > You’re done in 20 minutes and leave everything else to a healthy diet and working out. Trust me, it’s more effective than you think.
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2. Other Face “Glow Ups”
- Do an eyebrow inspection. Are they even? Are they overplucked or too thin? In that case, consider regrowing them and reshaping into a more natural, fuller shape. Now, they take some time to grow back, but you can hide it pretty well with good makeup and rock that fuller brow until it actually grows back. Another thing I recommend to do is checking if the eyebrow pencil or shadow you’re using is not too dark for your face.
- Take care of facial hairs. Some people love waxing or epilating, but I can’t stand this excruciating pain and opt for a simple feminine facial blade, also called “derma planning razor”. This tool is a very sharp blade (gotta be extra careful with it!) and it removes facial hair just perfectly. You can use it on your upper lip, on your peach fuzz and it leaves your skin extremely smooth. I know what you want to ask… No – your hair does NOT grow back darker! I didn’t notice any change in hair thickness or color at all. You can get one on Amazon here.
- Lip care. Stop living with dry and flaky lips. You probably don’t even know how beautiful your lips are! Try a lip scrub (simple sugar + olive oil works great) and invest in a good, moisturizing lip balm. Just try it and you will be surprised how pretty your lips actually are and how much can they add to your look.
- Teeth. A brighter smile is always attractive, so if you want to glow up, don’t skip this one. You can use baking soda and even activated charcoal to gently remove any teeth stains there are or, if you want a stronger effect, opt for a few rounds of teeth whitening strips. Just as with everything – be gentle, don’t overdo this, you don’t want to sacrifice your teeth just for the whiter color of it.
PART 3: HAIR
Let’s admit, our hair plays a significant role in the way we look. Let’s glow it up too!
1. Trim The Split Ends.
Do you hate this sentence? 😊 Me too, but those dry ends really don’t make your hair prettier… Trim them. Just do it! Schedule that salon visit, do it and move on. (Asking your hairdresser to be careful with length also helps…)
2. Renew The Color.
If you are dyeing your hair, renewing the color can feel very refreshing and make a whole difference in the way your hair looks. You don’t have to change your color (unless you want some big changes in your appearance), simply coloring it the same color again will make your hair look healthier, shinier and the color more vibrant.
3. Explore New Hair Style Ideas
If it’s been a long time since you’ve changed your hairstyle overall, now is the perfect time to dive on the internet and see what’s new! There are so many new hairstyle ideas you can try, even without changing color or hair length if you don’t want to. If you trust your hairstylist, you can ask for his / her opinion of what could fit you and look stylish every day.
4. Heal Your Hair
Summer sun, hair dyes, cheap products are hard on your hair, so if you want to glow up, I highly recommend investing in a few quality products to heal whatever hair damage you have. Now here’s the secret – it doesn’t have to be expensive. I’ve completely healed my hair with natural remedies once, but this requires more time and patience. If you want to heal your hair fast and skip the whole searching-for-good-products part, try out Giovanni:
These products are extremely powerful and they can heal dry and damaged hair in one or two uses, making your hair EXTREMELY soft, shiny and healthy. This brand is my absolute favorite when it comes to hair and I haven’t found anything else so effective yet. In fact, this particular Brazilian Keratin line is always sold out where I live so it just shows how good these products are (and it’s also a little annoying to be honest!). You can get these on Amazon by clicking links above 😉
P. S. This is not a sponsored post and all the recommendations are based on my real experience. Here’s what I use for my hair right now (should I make a review?):
PART 4 : NAILS
I wish I could have long nails… I kind of go crazy for forms and colors like these:
But it’s impossible to rock these when I’m clapping on my keyboard 24/7. However, keeping nails pretty and tidy, even if they’re not long, is just a must – no matter what your work is. It’s a sign of good personal hygiene and also – a pretty important part of your glow up plan.
If you don’t like long nails, shorter ones can look just as good!
Now, this one is pretty simple. Decide on how you’re going to keep your hand and feet nails pretty – and make that happen! You can do it at home, or the salon, or maybe your friend is an aspiring nail artist (call her now!!) – just keep those nails, cuticles, and toenails tidy.
THE BOTTOM LINE
As with everything. there’s always an option to do more… I didn’t want this challenge to feel overwhelming so I focused on what’s most important. Feel free to add more ideas to your plan.
I hope this challenge will help you glow up before the next season, or whenever you want to boost your appearance! Let me know your thoughts at the bottom of this page.
Scroll down for more tips!