Any woman can be pretty with health, good clothes, the right makeup. But the greatest natural enemy to a woman’s beauty is insecurity.
It’s a feeling we all experience yet tend to think is unique to ourselves. Most women present a facade to the world and keep their insecurity locked inside.
Watch an elegant woman at a party. Every hair is in place and her clothes are perfect. She seems confident and relaxed, cool and unflappable. There, you think, is a woman who feels secure.
But what that woman has learned is to channel her insecurities and fears, how to feel relaxed in spite of the pressures of life, how to feel in control of herself.
Begin with an honest evaluation. Study yourself in a mirror. Pick out the good points and the bad points, then decide how you can make improvements.
But don’t be too hard on yourself. That’s self-defeating and demoralizing.
Choosing The Right Style
The problem of dressing can be confusing because of fashion trends. The fashionable woman is one who conforms to the latest styles. But that goes against the whole idea of being yourself, not an imitation of someone else.
It is more important to be pretty as a woman than to be fashionable. A good way around the changing style problem is to adapt styles to your own personality.
Spend a lot of time studying yourself in the mirror when you try on clothes and when you wear them. Then you’ll learn what’s best and most attractive for you.
Make sure your clothes fit well and train your eye to see proportion.
Proportion may have to do with scale, the size of a print or a stripe. If you’re tall, you’re lucky because you can wear almost anything, large prints, bold patterns and all the lengths.
A smaller woman usually looks better in a scaled-down print and she shouldn’t wear extremely high heels. But she doesn’t have to be dainty and all-feminine. We don’t like the word “feminine” because it always sounds like ruffles and lace and that’s too fussy – not the way you want to look today.
Proportion is also length; not trendy lengths but the length of a skirt that makes your legs look good. Sleeve lengths are important, too.
Women with heavy arms can wear a short sleeve, women with thin arms can wear a shorter sleeve, but you have to make certain that it covers an unattractive bulge or a bony elbow.
The same holds good with tops. Longer tunics, cardigans and smock tops cover nippiness.
Anything that calls too much attention to what you’re wearing or how you’re wearing it is wrong. You can’t let your clothes take over or overpower you. People shouldn’t comment on the beautiful color of a dress. They should notice that the color and style look wonderful on you.
The same is true for figure faults. If your legs are bad and you wear your skirts long in order to hide them, you’re just calling attention to them.
Instead wear something that attracts the eye to the top to your good features.
Accessories are fun but they should never be self-conscious or too studied. They should add something fresh to an outfit and create a good mood.
What’s important is to find a style which is attractive and which you feel good in. Then stick with it. When you don’t know what to buy, you should always have in mind whom you dress for… you might be surprised to discover that person is really you – not your husband or boyfriend.
A Priceless Beauty Aid
The most important asset in life to us is good health. Without good health you cannot be beautiful.
Nutrition is perhaps the single most important contribution you make to good health. And in eating to be healthy you may have to unlearn a taste for things like chocolate and ice-cream.
Keep in mind that you cannot go against the nature of your body and you shouldn’t try. We all have different body types. We all have different metabolisms that control the way our food is turned into energy or into excess fat.
Even if you consider all the charts and the so-called “ideal” you must make a personal adjustment to find your ideal. Trying to be excessively thin if it’s not your type will only leave you without vitality, without the glow of good health that makes you beautiful.
Rules for being pretty with health
Here are some general rules for maintenance of a healthy body with good nutrition.
- Eat enough of the right foods to maintain your energy, your body shape, a feeling of well-being.
- Don’t abuse your body. All the good nutrition in the world won’t hold up if you are excessive in your smoking habits and alcohol consumption, if you don’t get enough sleep or if you allow stress to take over your mind and body.
- Develop good habits. Try to eat three meals a day and don’t eat between meals. When you’re eating out you can always find something healthy on the menu.
- Don’t let any of your good habits get boring. Vary your menu, your foods. Prepare and serve your food attractively. Try to eat in a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere.
- Make everything as simple as possible. The more simply you cook, the more simply you eat, the better off you are. There’s a false pretension about serving complicated dishes.
- Far more important is to have good quality, the best you can find. The freshest vegetables, the freshest eggs, the best grade of meat.
- Steaming vegetables helps to keep more of the vitamins and cooking the way the Chinese do is wonderful. They just quick-fry in a little light vegetable oil and seal in all the flavor and food value.
- Fresh fruits and vegetables are more nutritious raw. There’s so much food value in the skins and peels that it’s a shame to scrape or stew or boil away that goodness. Eat your fruits and vegetables just scrubbed clean.
- If you have trouble digesting some raw fruits and vegetables, drink the juices. If you can’t digest celery or carrots and all the wonderful leafy greens, you may be able to drink them from the blender.
- Learn to like the foods that you know are good for you.
Proteins are builders, repairing and replenishing cell tissues. Most of your hair is protein as are your skin and nails. Muscles have the heaviest concentration of protein.
For good health and longer life your body requires 20 or so amino acids which are found in protein. Your body can manufacture 12 of these, but you have to bring in the other eight through proteins you eat, otherwise the body-manufactured ones don’t work.
That’s exactly why you should never put yourself on an “all” or an “only” diet of any kind.
Fortunately, all first-rate high protein foods also contain the 10 essential amino acids and you don’t have to think about it too much if you’re eating well.
The proteins and therefore the essential amino acids are abundant in milk, in lean meat, chicken, turkey, cottage and cream cheese, canned salmon and tuna, and eggs; the dry pulses peas, lentils, soy beans also rank high in protein content.
Fats are invaluable for beauty because they help to lubricate the skin and scalp. They generate heat in the body and produce essential fatty acids which then help to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins.
But you must eat fats with care because they contribute mightily to overweight and are enemies to anyone with cholesterol problems. You cannot do without some fats in your diet, but remember that a little goes a long way.
Animal foods are particularly high in fat. For example, fat meats, butter and cream, whole milk. But don’t forget natural vegetable oils, peanut butter and avocados also have a high fat content.
Carbohydrates provide your body with energy. Too many unused carbohydrates will stay in your body, stored in cells or turned to fat. Carbohydrates are worth counting if you’re trying to lose weight. Sugar, sweets, pastries and pastas are high in carbohydrates. So are the grain foods: rice, oats, corn, wheat and all the breads.
Vitamins and minerals
Vitamins and minerals are absolutely essential to good health and beauty.
Vitamin A keeps your skin soft and smooth by helping to slough off dry cells, aiding in preventing dryness and roughness. It’s found in cantaloupe, carrots, apricots, spinach, turnip and beet tops; all the yellow and green vegetables that contain carotene, an element which helps your bods convert the foods to helpful vitamin A.
There is no single Vitamin B but a complex family of B vitamins. They are important to skin texture and help you to sleep well. They are also anti-stress.
If you sunbathe or take a drink, have an extra helping of B that day. You find it in milk, liver and other organ meats, the whole grains and wheat germ, and in beans.
Vitamin C has a reputation as a fighter against infection. It’s found in citrus fruits. You’ll also get plenty of vitamin C from even small amounts of broccoli or kale, red and green capsicums, spinach, cantaloupe and fresh strawberries.
Vitamin D helps you relax and sleep. It also aids bone structure and makes good teeth for a pretty smile. You can take vitamin D in fish oils and from vitamin D-enriched milk, which may well be why we’re often told to drink a glass of milk before retiring.
It has been established that vitamin E contributes to a healthy heart because it helps to prevent a build-up of blood cholesterol. Corn oil, wheat germ, leafy green lettuce and avocados are excellent sources of vitamin E.
Minerals come from the earth and from the sea and are important to the development of a sound, strong body and to your nerves.
Calcium and magnesium are two of the minerals your body needs to keep you feeling relaxed. Calcium is also a bone builder and important for strong teeth. Calcium and magnesium are well represented in milk, salmon and sardines, and in dark green leafy vegetables.
Iron helps to keep the blood strong as it carries oxygen to all the cells in your body. If you’re lacking in iron you may find yourself short of breath, tiring easily, even anemic. Shellfish and the dark green vegetables are high in iron.
Caring for Your Hair
Take time, lots of time, to evaluate the quality of your hair. When you really know what the texture of your hair is, you’re sure to find a style to suit your face and lifestyle.
Fashions in hairdos change but seldom drastically. When you know who you are and what your best look is you may wear your hair the same way for 20 to 50 years while blunt cuts and layered looks come and go.
The right cut is fundamental to any hairdo. A good stylist knows how to shape your hair so that it keeps its shape as it grows.
Keep your hair and scalp clean. Always use lukewarm, not hot water when you shampoo. Shampooing in the shower is easy and most effective.
Massage your scalp at home. Press your finger pads against your forehead and work them in strong circles slowly all along the hairline. Then knead from the hairline all the way back and down the nape of your neck.
Massage stimulates the circulation but it also brings the oils to the surface of the scalp, so then you do your brushing, maybe 20 or 30 times, to work the oils through.
Invest in a good hairbrush that will last a long time with minimal care. Remember to keep it clean. Work a little of your shampoo through it each time you wash your hair and after you brush.
These days there are many professional products available for quick-setting and quick touch-ups – curling irons, steam curling wands, heated rollers and roller combs as well as dryers. You can be ready to face the world in minutes.
Skin Care and Makeup
Some people say we start aging the day we are born. Certainly the difference is evident between a baby’s skin and the skin of a 14-year-old.
Every skin needs regular cleansing, moisturizing and lubricating. Moisturizing is terribly important for an oily skin, too. Oily skins can be just as dehydrated as dry skins.
Apply moisturizer all over your face, around your ears, on the ear lobes. Tap moisturizer on chin and jaw line and don’t forget the V of your chest which may be completely exposed to the elements in an open-necked shirt. Moisturizer applied to your mouth gives a lovely smooth look and feel and it’s marvelous as a base for lip color.
Avoid too much sun. Don’t smoke to excess. Avoid excessive alcohol. Treasure your skin. The benefits of constant moisturizing and care will grow along with your skin.
And as you get older, add a nourishing cream to lubricate the skin while you sleep. Most women prefer to use nourishing cream at night but there are no rules about it.
To get the best from cosmetics:
- Use light, sheer products. If you start sheer and light, then you can add more foundation for more cover if you need it and intensify cheek or shadow color when you want to.
- Use brushes whenever possible. They give more control of fine lines and you can brush out color to soften and smudge hard edges. Use the tip of your finger for smooth blending of larger areas of the face.
- Always apply makeup in clear, bright light and then check it in another light. Choose your makeup according to the light you will be seen in – what looks good in a candlelit restaurant or in natural sunlight could look disastrous in a neon-lit office.
- Work with a magnifying mirror then check in a regular mirror.
- Makeup is an illusion. The most important thing you have to learn is the principle of light and dark, shiny and matte. Whenever you apply a light color or a shiny texture you bring the area forward. When you apply a dark color or a matte finish the area recedes. So highlight your good features with light colors and with products that glisten and shine. Play down your less attractive features by using darker colors and matte finishing.
- Apply foundation and cheek color downwards. Makeup is the exact opposite of your cleansing routine. When you clean your face you want to get into the pores. When you apply makeup you want a smooth finish. Makeup should stay on the surface of your skin, permitting the moisturizer and protectors to do their work.
- Experiment with various cosmetics. Don’t always stick with the same look. Try out new colors to suit your different moods and clothes.
Splash On The Scent
Smelling good should not be an extravagance.
The choice of a fragrance is highly personal, very individual. Use one you like and use it freely. Dab it, spray it, splash it all over. Use it for yourself, because it makes you feel good, because you enjoy it.
Perfume doesn’t make you sexy. The sexiness, the mystery, the glamour is in you. But more than anything else, perfume reminds you that you’re a woman.