YES YOU CAN! Tips for Feeling + Looking Awesome
I recently wrote something about body image and I was surprised at how well it was received. It's not that I thought it was piece of crap, or that people wouldn't respond, but the overwhelming sense of gratitude I heard from other women was so appreciated. In short, they thanked me. Which was not what I saw coming.
It's funny how the universe works. I spill a few beans about my personal struggle with body image, women reach out and say, "Yeah, man, me too!" and all of a sudden, I feel even more motivation to hit the gym? Yeah, that's what happened. Why? Because the minute I felt connected to all the women who read my essay, the more at peace I felt about our daily struggles, and the more I was able to relax into my routine. There is power in solidarity.
So I thought I'd share a few of my beauty and fitness favorites--the things that get me motivated to tackle the day and help me be my best, most beautiful self--even when (especially when) I'm not feeling good enough, or when life's got me down.
Here's how I get back up.
GO ON A SKIN BENDER
I am dangerously obsessed with skin care. Dewy, hydrated, glowing skin (from head to toe!) makes me feel beautiful no matter what.
Brush if off. Seriously. Get a Dry Skin Brush. That may seem a little hippy dippy, but I love this exfoliating trick. Start at your feet and brush upward on dry skin (towards the heart) before showering to remove dead skin (opening up the pores!) and increasing circulation (which could potentially decrease cellulite over time).
Scrub it in. I make my own homemade coffee body scrub with ground coffee, coconut or almond oil, sugar, cinnamon, and a fragrant essential oil. But if you're not vibing the DIY thing, try Tata Harper Smoothing Body Scrub or Elemis Devils Mint Body Scrub for a refreshing pick-me-up.
Get HEALTHY skin. Immunocologie makes their products from 100% organic, natural ingredients that have been sustainably sourced and cold pressed for maximum efficiency. Because of the delivery system in which these ingredients have been formulated (called Vital Oligo Science), they generate a negative ionic charge to help combat damage done to our skin via technology, pollution, and natural forces. I use the Super 7 Elixir Face in the morning and the Oxygen Treatment Creme at night and both give my skin an instant lift so good it requires a double-take. (Bourbon & Gloss readers get 15% off their purchases when you enter BourbonandGloss15 at checkout.)
Spray it, don't say it. It may not seem like much, but a good mist can instantly revive and hydrate skin. I love Caudalie Beauty Elixir for a post-toner spirtz or even a mid-day energizer. It keeps my skin hydrated, especially during chilly winters.
CHECK YOUR STYLE PROFILE
Few things make me feel better about myself than a hot, sweaty workout in gear that looks good on my body.
Layer Up. No matter if it's before or after the workout, I love the super-duper stylish layers from Alala. From bomber jackets to chic running leggings, they make the kind of styles you could wear without even stepping foot inside a gym.
Carry On. Sometimes the issue with working out is just getting to and from the gym. But if you've got a sweet bag to carry your load, like this Ban.do gym bag, then I'd say you've already won half the battle.
Hot (Downward) Dog. I love a good tight legging, I really do. But sometimes I just don't want to feel restricted. Occasionally I want to work out in something soft and flowing and easy, like these pants from Sweaty Betty.
Kick it. I don't need all my gym clothes to match, but I wouldn't be upset about it if they did. Sweet kicks complete a look inside and out of the gym.
Be Mist-ified. Misting during a morning cleanse isn't the only time I keep a spritz on hand. This Glossier Soothing Face Mist with rose and aloe is just one of the many mists that will help hydrate skin after a workout and give you that double glow. (Also, it's great to have on hand when you're flying).
DRESS FOR SUCCESS
I believe in the saying that women dress for other women. But we also dress for ourselves. Sometimes it's the small sartorial choices I make that make me feel like a new woman, and that informs my entire attitude.
Back to basics. Sometimes it's the fashion essentials that make me feel my very best. A basic cotton tee, like this one from Everlane, and a great-fitting pair of jeans (Madewell's High-Riser Skinny Skinny is my jam) can do wonders for a girl. Plus, donning the basics allows for gobs of eccentric layering.
Don't forget the itty bitty pretties. I don't do it for anyone but me. When I'm need of an added confidence boost, I slip into delicate underpinnings like this pretty little bra from Journelle. Sometimes it's fun to have your own secrets.
Go bare. Ish. It's a minor touch, something so subtle you'd miss it if you blinked. But I swear--shaving your legs can change your attitude. I don't mean to say that women "should" shave their legs in some kind of anti-feminism revolt. By all means, let it grow if that's your thing. But personally, shaving my legs at the start of the day makes me feel like a million bucks, even if I'm wearing jeans. I use EOS Shave Cream for an ultra-moisturized finish.
Fashion: Bring it. Try as I may to be a minimalist, I just can't escape a deep, deep seated obsession for all things shiny, glittery, furry, textured, colorful and outrageously printed. For me, piling on a layer like the Shrimps Vivien Crochet Coat is all the jazz I need. (Read: I am writhing with lust over this coat.) And sure, you could pare it down with a classic neutral flat, but personally, I like to get my swag on with something more like these Gucci loafers in Purple Eel.