Maybe it’s ‘coz I’ve finally grown up and matured (if i can say so myself!) but I’ve realised that I’m truly happy in my own skin and the way I look. Sure I wish my skin wasn’t slightly scarred by hormonal acne, my hair could be softer and shinier and my teeth more perfect, but this is me! I’ve realised that there will always be someone prettier than you, and that’s okay, embracing yourself and appreciating your natural beauty and flaws, and working it with confidence - that’s what makes you beautiful!
No, I didn’t just wake up one day in this state of self-enlightenment and contentedness, it’s been a process with so many lessons I’ve picked up on the way. From learning to love myself to the awesome ways our Indian beauty standards have progressed this past year, there are so many noteworthy beauty tips and lessons that I felt should be shared with all of you. Here are some awesome things I learnt in 2016:
1. Get Out Of That Makeup Rut
This year I opened up to experimenting with different kinds of makeup and textures. Thanks to this, I now have a fabulous BB cream that makes my skin look pretty flawless, a creamy blush that really lights up my cheeks and TWO kinds of highlighters that leave me feeling so glowy and fabulous! It still surprises me that so many girls still don’t use highlighters. Ladies, this one product will change up your makeup routine and make you feel so radiant!
2. It’s OK To Hate Your Hair Sometimes
Take it from someone with thick, frizzy unmanageable locks, it’s taken me 27 years to finally love my hair the way it is. I always envied other girls with shinier, sleeker locks but I’ve realised that the right cut for your hair type and the right products (namely a good leave-in cream) can really do wonders.
3. When It Comes To Skincare, Pick Quality Over Quantity
As someone who’s battled with teenage acne and then hormonal zits well into my adult years, I have tried it all in my bid to clear, radiant skin. I’ve realised that there are some products that are your Holy Grail but finding them is a journey of trial and error. Don’t keep spending on numerous drug store products and confusing your skin. Splurging on a good quality night serum/ cream really does help you wake up to a fresher complexion, a great cleanser that isn’t harsh on your skin and a moisturizer that doesn’t leave you feeling super greasy are the essentials.
4. Exercise Helps You Look and Feel Great
From one lazy sister to another, I never thought I would be saying this but working out really can do wonders for your health, skin and body. This year, I made an effort to change my lazy ways and tried everything from yoga and pilates to zumba and jogging in the park. Not that I’ve transformed into a fitness addict - I’m far from it actually, but exercising, even if it is just twice a week, can help your skin look better and do wonders for your health. And of course, who doesn’t love all those compliments about how thin and toned you look - that really makes all that sweat and pain so worth it!
5. The #UnfairAndLovely Movement To Make You Proud Of Your Indian Skin
Just last week I visited my nani and she took one look at me and told me I’ve tanned, she said it like it was such a bad thing. I was pretty unfazed by this because I tan pretty easily and it’s never really bothered me too much. And it shouldn’t bother you either! #UnfairAndLovely was a movement started this year that is all about appreciating dusky, desi complexions and I couldn’t agree with them more. Just follow them on Instagram to be amazed by pictures of stunning beauties with darker skin tones. Be proud of it girls!
6. Being Slender And Petite Aren’t The Only Norms For Being Feminine
Image: Bani J on Instagram2016 saw awesome women like VJ Bani slam body shamers who claimed that muscular women aren’t beautiful and feminine. Aren’t you so glad that this woman stood up to these haters? No matter what your shape and size, you’re still beautiful.
7. Cutting Off Your Hair Can Be SO Liberating
In spite of my love-hate relationship with my locks, I always took pride in my lush, super long length. Well 10 years of having long hair drove me to absolute boredom and I told my hairstylist to cut it off on a whim. My cute little lob looked fab, made me look so much younger and was so much easier to manage than my long, thick locks. I would seriously recommend all you ladies doing it at least once. It’s not the end of the world, your hair will grow back again!So these are the biggest beauty lessons that I’m taking away from 2016. I hope these made you feel beautiful! <3