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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Food Guide > September 2019 > BACK TO beauty school

BACK TO beauty school

It may be years since you skipped back to school with a shiny new pencil case, but the cusp of the new season is the perfect time for a fresh start. Leah Hardy explains how rethinking your look can rejuvenate your spirits

WE ALL FEEL BETTER when we know we look our best, but being busy, adopting bad habits, and even suffering a drop in confidence can mean we don’t feel able to make positive changes. Perhaps you feel too old for a bright lipstick or think your role as a mother means you shouldn’t take extra time to care for your skin. Yes, we’ve all been stuck in that familiar beauty rut. Psychologist Dr Meg Arroll, author of The Shrinkology Solution, a psychological guide to healthy eating, weight loss and wellbeing, explains that it can be a vicious circle. ‘If you don’t practise a minimum of self-care, this will affect your confidence,’ she says. ‘And if you don’t feel confident, you’re likely to practise less self-care.’

We should start, she says, by looking at any negative thoughts that are holding us back from making the most of our lives. ‘If you hear a voice in your head saying things like, “My family will laugh if I go blonde”, challenge these thoughts,’ she says. ‘Even if people don’t notice small changes in your appearance, they will notice how confident you feel.’ As for taking the time to make the changes, that can only be a good thing. ‘It’s important to value yourself enough to prioritise yourself,’ Meg says.

Ready to head back to beauty school? Use our cribs and browse our favourite shortcuts for an easy way to realise your full potential – and learn a few new tricks.

TAKE A LONG (NOT SO HARD) LOOK AT YOURSELF

‘Studies using eye-tracking technology have shown that people who are unhappy with their appearance zero in on their perceived flaws when they look in the mirror,’ says Nancy Etcoff, director of the Program in Aesthetics and Well Being at Massachusetts General Hospital, USA. Instead, turn your gaze on a feature you like. ‘When your eyes take in something that pleases you, your brain’s reward system is activated, lifting your whole mood,’ says Nancy.

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About Healthy Food Guide

The Best of Health Award winners, how probiotics can feed your brain as well as your gut and the scientific facts about CBD – could it help you beat stress and pain or help you sleep? Plus, in this month’s special section: the low-carb diet that’s been seeing off type 2 diabetes!