Glow Up Challenge: How To Glow Up And Become Prettier In One Month
Updated on October 23, 2021 by Amber & The Team
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Next season is coming our way faster than I expected. And as long as I can remember, I have always loved having a month of “glow up” every season.
I used to do it every summer before school, in late autumn before holidays, and then – in late winter to get ready for spring (eventually – summer). Every time I started my glow up month, it kind of turned into a meditative time, filled with beauty routines and honest, loving self-care. It’s like a delightful way to say goodbye to summer or get ready for a busy winter. Yes, you can do this glow up challenge at any time of the year!
Glow Up Challenge For 2021: How To Glow Up In One Month Or Less!
Wait, What Does It Even Mean To Have a Glow Up?
For those unfamiliar with the term “glow up”, here’s how the Urban dictionary describes it:
A Glow Up is a mental, physical, and emotional transformation for the better. Glow Ups can be both natural or planned. As well as being gradual and permanent, or fast and temporary.
Natural glow ups can happen through puberty years, but I personally think that the best glow ups happen when you fall in love!
What Is the Glow Up Challenge?
The glow up challenge to me is a month that you dedicate to yourself, focus on improving your wellness, health, looks, and mental strength in order to look and feel your absolute best. And yes, I know that right now is one of the busiest months for many women… So, it’s just another reason to do this glow up challenge.
“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 start looking tired, the stress-weight instantly adds on + you’re on your way to burnout (which is way harder to heal from than simple everyday tiredness).
“Ok, but I don’t have time for this. I don’t have time for anything!”
Trust me, you do. This is why it’s so important to glow up without affecting your life – and I’m going to show you how! This glow up challenge includes activities that require a little more time, but it also includes quite a few that are quick and integrate seamlessly into your everyday life. Trust me, there are so many things you can do that won’t take much of your busy schedule! *claps eagerly*
And guess what – if you’re super dedicated, you can have a glow up in less than 30 days too – just make sure to always choose what’s good and healthy (we’ll touch this part later).
After doing this glow up challenge, you will:
- Feel physically better, healthier & stronger;
- Probably lose a few pounds, in a 100% healthy way;
- Look better, prettier & happier;
- 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 and filled with a bad mood, lack of motivation, anxiety… But sometimes doing a few things to yourself helps to push quite a chunk of these negative feelings away.
This printable planner is a super lovely tool for anyone who’s ready to BLOSSOM like never before! You can use it to set your glow up goals, create beauty routines, track your fitness, and most importantly – stay committed to your goal of a massive glow up! You’ll find it here
Okay, back to the topic! Are you ready?
Here’s how to have a glow up of your life – for beauty, health, and wellness!
PART 1: How To Glow Up Your BODY
This part of your glow up challenge is all about getting healthier, a little more fit, and achieving a healthier physical appearance overall. I will not be talking about huge body makeovers here… Let’s be realistic – those require way more time (if you’re committed to long-term body changes, I highly recommend you to go through my 100 Actions To Get Fit list to prep your mindset). But for a fast body glow up (just enough to get you ready, healthy, and more toned for the next season), 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 merely because it keeps you healthy and energetic. It also shows that you’ve been drinking it.
- Want to rock unbelievably clear skin? Staying well-hydrated helps your skin to get clearer, prettier, and healthier;
- Water helps you to flush out bloat that comes with eating too much salt or junk food and not drinking enough water;
- Also, say what you want, but it’s definitely easier to lose those unnecessary pounds when you’re drinking enough H2O.
So make it your glow up 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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If you keep forgetting to stay hydrated, here’s a small tip! Having a pretty water bottle can help you to build this healthy habit of drinking water, and it’s also a nice accessory to carry around.
2. Start Eating More Veggies & Fruits
Eating more veggies & fruits is beneficial for all of us + it’s a perfect way to lose a few pounds without feeling like you’re dieting. Here’s how to eat more vegetables on your glow up challenge!
- 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 like greek yogurt, or healthy fats like nuts, peanut butter, chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, or sesame seeds. All of these foods are chock-full of vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols that will feed your skin and hair so they can look absolutely gorgeous.
- If it’s hard for you to keep up with this, try focusing more on healthy proteins, like beans, lentils, almond milk, and chickpeas as they’re just as good for your body too.
Eating this way will boost your metabolism, give you a natural glow, boost your hair radiance, help you to become more fit, improve circulation, and make your skin softer. So many benefits and trust me – this is not a joke! The right diet is your straightway to becoming prettier in no time. Just try it and thank me later.
By the way! When I want to eat healthier, I also use this little mindset shift: 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. For example, flax seeds are especially beneficial for your mood (and can even help you to fight depression) thanks to their high amount of omega 3 acids and magnesium. Spinach is an absolute champ veggie that has so much zinc that your skin and hair will be looking amazing. Avocados can give you that nice glowing skin thanks to their abundant sources of Vitamin E and C.
Other foods that will make your 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 you glow 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 usually comes down to the calories in and calories out. Yes, there are occasions when weight loss can be hindered by hormonal imbalance or specific health problems, but generally speaking, if you consume fewer calories than your body can use 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. Keep in mind that skipping meals never works though – if you don’t give enough calories for your body, it will easily convert even zero calorie foods into those cute belly wrinkles. You gotta find that golden balance of keeping your body nourished, but not overnourished.
If you want to find out the number of calories you need + keep track of your daily food consumption, I recommend the MyFitnessPal app – it’s very helpful and accurate!
P. S. Avoid processed foods too – they’re chock-full of sodium and have lower nutritional value, leaving your skin, hair, nails, and everything else craving nutrients.
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 to have a non-overwhelming glow up routine for your beautiful body:
- 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 to get gradually stronger and kind of prepare you for harder 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.
- Watch your posture! Good posture is half of the work on your body glow up routine. Practice standing and walking straight. Not only will it help you look healthier, but it can literally make you feel better about yourself.
Do you absolutely hate working out? Here’s how to learn to enjoy it!
4. Fancy Some Tan?
A healthy golden glow, for me, is one of the most important “glow up” tasks. It’s just something about bronzy skin that makes a person look a lot healthier (and did I mention that it really 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 and I wish I had never done this (I have quite a few moles today).
So, how to glow up your skin with a nice shade of golden, rich, sun-kissed tan and keep your skin healthy while doing that? You will have to choose a 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 – innovative self-tanner by St. Tropez:
With this self-tanner, you can skip all those long self-tanner applications – 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, but yes – you don’t have to sleep covered in fake tan anymore.
It works just perfectly, the color is nice, subtle, and natural, with 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:
St. Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion Golden Glow Medium
ST. TROPEZ Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion Light
And here are some more of my self-tanner tips: 5 Critical Self Tanner Tips For a Natural Tan All Year Round
5. Get More Sleep
This one is simple! Just allow yourself to sleep more to help your body to rest, recover and recharge. It’s really way more important than watching another episode on Netflix. After all, any sleep is a beauty sleep!
PART 2: How To Glow Up Your FACE
This part of your glow up challenge focuses on small beauty improvements that you can do for your face, especially if you want to achieve a serious, radiant glow of 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. All that water and a healthy diet are feeding your skin to rebuild it, make more collagen, clear out pimples, acne, redness, and what not! Now, to make your face really glow, here’s what you can do:
- Start using gentle exfoliators with acids to 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, and if you have sensitive skin – make it once in two weeks). 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, which is very effective at reducing fine lines. You can read my review here.
- Start using face masks or face packs 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 get glowy, pretty, radiant skin (and yes, all skin types need a face mask once a week – dry skin, sensitive skin, combination skin, and acne skin).
- No money for face masks? No problem! Use what you have in the kitchen and don’t believe that those things don’t work. They do! You can never go wrong with DIY masks made with mashed banana, crushed oats, mango, honey, a little bit of oil, greek yogurt, avocado… Just mix and match to find which food your skin tends to love – and feed it! You will love it.
- Then – moisturize like crazy! Moisture is the main thing your skin needs in order to look great. So invest in a good, non-comedogenic moisturizer (and a serum, if possible!) and use it religiously, morning and night after you wash your face with warm water (or micellar solution) to keep your skin plump and healthy.
- Start using that sunscreen, please! If you’ve been skimping on this, it’s time to create a skincare habit of applying sunblock every morning and reapplying it throughout the day. I know, it’s a messy thing to do, but believe it or not, you will notice positive improvements in your skin as soon as a few days after starting (yes, sunscreen is that effective!).
- How to glow up and have a lasting glo up effect at the same time? Get generally better at skincare with this helpful list for good skin, of course!
- Don’t forget the makeup! Makeup is such an easy way to enhance your beauty, it would be an absolute shame to skip it! Learn about the newest makeup trends and tricks, practice makeup tutorials by watching Youtube videos, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different makeup looks.
“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.
One more thing – if you find your skin rather picky and don’t know which skincare line to choose, I recommend talking to your dermatologist. For several years, I’ve been struggling with breakouts on my chin that would never go away. “Fungal acne”. “Malassezia!”. “Acne-prone skin”. “Just closed comedones…” – the internet would tell me. I’ve tried everything under the sun until I finally went to a derm and found out that I simply had… Combination skin. That is correct, all I had to do was simply get an accurate skin type diagnosis, and choose skincare products accordingly. Not my proudest moment…
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2. Other Face “Glow Ups”
- Do an eyebrow inspection. Are they even? Are they overplucked or a bit thin? In that case, consider regrowing them and reshaping them 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 doing is checking if the eyebrow pencil or shadow you’re using is not too dark for your face.
- Take care of facial hair. Some people love waxing or epilating, but I can’t stand the 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 notably 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 (and frankly, the thickness of your facial hair is decided by your hormones, not your hair removal method). You can get your derma planning razor on Amazon here.
- Lip care. Stop living with dry and flaky lips. Seriously. You probably don’t even know how beautiful your lips are! Include a lip scrub into your skincare routine (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 they can add to your look.
- Teeth. A brighter smile is always attractive, so if you want to glow up, don’t skip this one and make it a priority in your beauty routine. 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. It hurts!
- Inspect your beauty products. A lot of skin care products are formulated with harsh ingredients that can be potentially damaging your skin. Inspect the bottles and try to replace anything that has paraben, synthetic fragrances, sodium laureth sulfate (this one especially!), and mineral oil in it. And hey, I hope I don’t need to remind you to get rid of anything that has expired too!
PART 3: How To Glow Up Your HAIR
Let’s admit, our hair plays a significant role in the way we look. What are the best ways to glow up your hair? It’s not that hard as well, when you know the best tips!
1. Trim The Split Ends.
Ah, that uncomfortable sentence! I don’t enjoy trimming my hair 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 coloring 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 whole length 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, and box dyes are hard on your hair, so if you want to glow up your beautiful tresses, 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-without -going-broke part, try out my favorite brand – Giovanni:
These products are very powerful and they can heal dry and damaged hair in just a few uses, making your hair remarkably soft, shiny, and healthy. This brand is my absolute drugstore 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!). There’s also a great hair mask from the Ultra Moist collection if you notice that your hair is really dry.
If you want to try out this hair care brand and are wondering if Giovanni Haircare has sent me these products for free… Nope, they didn’t. I have purchased all of these products by myself, multiple times in the past, and all of these recommendations are based on my real experience. Here’s what I use for my hair right now (should I make a review?).
P. P. S. Have you ever tried a scalp scrub? It’s a wonderful way to revive your hair, awaken those hair follicles and give your whole hairstyle more energy. It can also help you to fight hair loss!
PART 4 : How To Glow Up Your NAILS
I wish I could have long nails… I really adore forms and colors like these:
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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 in any glow up challenge – no matter what your job is. Healthy nails are 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. It will also play a huge part in your daily mood.
PART 5: How To Glow Up From THE INSIDE
Now, what’s a glow up challenge without a beautiful change in your mind and thoughts too, right? It’s not enough to improve the way you look! One of the biggest changes happens within! Sounds tricky? It’s not! Here’s how to have a glow up for your inner world, while you enjoy your outer appearance getting prettier and healthier every day.
1. Flush Out Negative Thoughts (And People!)
If you’ve been saying mean things to yourself up until now, with this glow up challenge, make a pact with yourself to never do it again. Let it all go! Flush those thoughts out. Instead, start thinking beautiful and encouraging things. Start taking care of yourself, and your body, and every single cell of yours because this is you – and you deserve love. Whenever you feel a negative thought coming up, change it to something more helpful, more encouraging, more supportive. It’s time to finally love yourself!
If you happen to have a lot of negative people in your life too, let them go, if possible! Any negativity now will only dampen your mood, which is completely unnecessary. Surround yourself with people who support you, love you, and lift you up instead of bringing you down.
Be the first line of support for yourself. For once, become your best friend, instead of being your own enemy. Practice gratitude. Smile at yourself! It’s not easy, but it can make you so, so much happier.
2. Start Practicing Self Love Acts
Once you said goodbye to negative self-talk and self-criticism, allow real self-love to pour into your life by actually doing acts of love! Enhance your glow up time with beautiful self-love and self-care activities that help you to calm down, slow down, appreciate the present moment, and be grateful for what you are and what you have now. Out of ideas? Here’s some help!
3. Get Empowered
How do you glow up from within, if you lack confidence? You do that by giving a boost to your motivation, mindset, and by creating a new, powerful girl attitude for yourself! I might be one of those few (almost extinct!) people who believe that it’s totally okay to be a girl with an attitude. I honestly think that the right attitude is important for your confidence because that’s how you protect yourself, and advance in life!
Now, one of the best ways to glow up your attitude is by reading inspiring quotes (yes, I know it sounds boring, but it works). I happen to have a gorgeous, huge collection of greatly empowering attitude quotes for girls, that can help you with this glow up step. Do check them out – I promise you won’t regret reading them!
4. Create a New Set Of Rules For Yourself
To completely glow up your inner world, go ahead and review your life goals and lady rules you’re living by. Create life rules that speak happiness, kindness, self-respect, and appreciation. Do you have no idea where to start? No problem! Here are a few articles that can help you to create high-class lady manners, build a positive, goal-oriented, helpful, and kind mindset + go through life with a glowing smile.
Here’s how to glow up your lifestyle!
5. Set Goals – The Ones That Make You Happy And Excited!
Achieving your dreams can make you see the prettiest version of yourself ever. The happiness and gratitude you feel once your dream comes true lights your eyes with fire – go for that spark! Don’t even wait – sit down and write 5 dreams you want to achieve in the next 5 years. No need to rush, but you have to know what you want before you start working on it. And don’t be afraid to dream big- the bigger your dreams, the stronger your ambitions. Reach high, lift yourself up! You have way more inner power, motivation, and strength than you imagine!
Frequently Asked Questions About How To Glow Up
How Can I Naturally Glow Up?
The most natural way to glow up inside out is to focus on your physical and mental health with good habits. Choose products that are clean, filled with natural ingredients, and not tested on animals. Spend time outside, breathe in oxygen, soak up the sun to produce lots of Vitamin D, and find a reason to smile every day. The whole harmony and newly found peace inside you will force glow up you might not even expect!
How Can I Glow In 7 Days?
If you’re in a hurry to look and feel your best in no more than a week, here’s what I recommend:
- Drink more water;
- Eat more vegetables, fiber-rich foods, and fruits;
- Get a face massage and, if possible – a body massage too;
- Visit your hairdresser or touch up your hair at home if you know how to do it. In cases of an upcoming event, I would stick with a hair salon though;
- Every day, tell yourself how much you love yourself, how proud you are of yourself, and how valuable you are.
- If possible, review your wardrobe and get a few new outfits or accessories that would match your current glow up mood and season.
How To Glow Up Overnight?
An overnight glow up is totally possible as well, but it might not be as obvious. To quickly glow up and enjoy a brighter view (and mood!) in the morning:
- Use a gentle AHA or BHA exfoliating product after you wash your face and remove makeup – this will clean your pores and allow them to shrink;
- Apply a deeply hydrating face mask (or sleeping mask), preferably the one filled with Hyaluronic Acid or Squalane. This will help you to hydrate your skin deep enough, so it will look beautifully glowing in the morning;
- Apply nourishing hair oil to your hair (Argan oil works wonders!) and leave it on through the night. Shampoo and condition in the morning.
How To Glow Up After a Breakup?
Breakups can be difficult, but they can also work as a motivation to get that glow up you’ve been dreaming of. If you want to glow up and impress your ex, make him/her miss you, or find a new person, a glow up can help with all of that. This whole “how to glow up list” that you’ve just read is perfect for your glow up goals – start with step 1!
Finally! THE BOTTOM LINE of How To Glow Up
As with everything, there’s always an option to do more… But I didn’t want this glow up challenge to feel overwhelming so I focused on what’s most important. It still turned out a lot, but some of those things are just natural things you’re doing daily anyway (like eating and drinking water). Feel free to add more ideas to your plan. Make it your own! Personalize until you’re happy with your plan. To make everything easy to follow and systemized, don’t forget to grab that glow up planner I mentioned at the beginning!
I hope this challenge will help you to glow up before the next season, or whenever you want to boost your appearance and the inner world. Let me know if you like this by sharing your vote a little below this post.
P. S. Get more beauty improvement tips and ideas on how to glow up right here!
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