Dressing up, putting on makeup, adornment and the like, can feel like a cage for some people. And, choosing not to wear makeup or be adorned or fashionable is beautifully powerful.
For others, beauty (for the lack of a better term) is an incredible source of self-care and empowerment.
Viewing ourselves as a blank canvas provides limitless opportunities for some. Being creative with makeup, fashion or jewelry can be a way that we set our intention every day. Therefore, the process of beautification becomes a way of choosing and manifesting who you want to be.
For example, say you are feeling edgy and creative — you opt for wildly colorful eye makeup. At another time, you go for a professional front with a neutral palette with a touch of color on your lips and cheeks. Or when you’re feeling hot you use fashion to lean into and explore yourself as a sexual being. Consequently, war paint can be a superbly adaptive tool.
But not all acts of self-care through beauty rituals are so visible.
You know what I mean… Those private beauty acts that are like tiny deeds of self-kindness and self-nourishment. Rituals that express to yourself that you are, in fact, worth your own time and effort. Painting your toenails in winter. Exfoliating your skin in the absence of a date lined up. Or even mastering an updo’ at 9 o’clock on a Tuesday night.
Those things you do just for you are actually so much more impactful than they may seem. These beauty rituals contribute to a practice of self-love and self-creation. In the process, they tap into a little mindfulness, creativity, and play.
Mindfulness, creativity, and play can activate parts of the brain that can improve our wellness. These processes help us regulate our emotions. Our capacity for memory, attention, and making clearer decisions can also increase.
Meditation, journaling, or playing ultimate frisbee can help engage these processes. And, so can choosing how and when we feel most beautiful. Isn’t that awesome?!
Sometimes, too, acts of beauty are an excuse to be with our loved ones. This could be mani-pedis with the pals. Teaching each other how to apply eyeliner. Or going to your auntie’s house to get your hair done. These activities can serve to build social capital.
And, guess what? Social capital is one of the most powerful forms of resilience that we can cultivate.
Finally, if you feel like beautifying yourself is an empowering form of self-care for you – here are some resources to get you on your way.
A Beautiful Mess – 32 Favorite Hair Tutorials
Howcast – Video Tutorials – How to Do Black Hair Styles
The Small Things Blog – Hair Tutorial Videos
June’s Journal – Natural Hair Playlists
Locks of Elegance – Tutorials of Hair Styles of the Past
E.L.F. – Eyes, Lips, Face – Really affordable makeup
Shirley B. Eniang – Makeup Video Tutorials
Jen Reviews – Makeup Tutorials
The Small Things Blog – Basic (and thorough) Nail Tutorial
Eco-Friendly & DIY Beauty
Eluxe Magazine – 15 Cult Organic Beauty Bloggers
Don’t Mess With Mama – 100 DIY Beauty Recipes (Makeup, Skin, Dental, Body, Hair Care)
Wellness Mama – 7 Ingredients – 20+ DIY Natural Beauty Recipes (Skincare, Hair Care, Sunscreen, Bug-off, Feminine Hygiene)
Hello Glow – Homemade Beauty Recipes (Mostly skincare)