We are programmed (DIY or via inheritance) with insecurities about flaws that don't exist or with the innate ability to amplify the magnitude of a "so called" flaw. Every woman I have ever known, possesses the same program. There are exceptions who operate on nano technology, having accepted themselves and even more admirably embraced their "so called" flaws. 

We all have those bloated tummies, dark under eye circles, jeans don't fit, what the hec is happening to my skin, scarecrow hair, need a pedicure like 2yrs ago kind of days. Most of us experience this once a month, for some of us it's more chronic, and others may describe it as their life.

I've written this, with a 1cm dark spot from a mosquito bite on my face. My brothers wedding is coming up and I find it rather funny that I have it on my normally clear skin just in time to make its debut. What to do...s#it happens! not to mention recently I went to a garden wedding wearing a bb cream that looked grey in natural light because I refused to don foundation (heat, melting etc). My only regret is that I allowed it to make me feel miserable...I chucked that bb cream ofcourse. Point is we can choose happiness, but instead, we place our flaws under our internal microscopes.

Here are your underestimated miracles! 10 Things to banish that "I feel ugly!" rut:

Thing 1: Rewire!
(Lame? Psyching yourself works! Your mind is a bloody powerful tool, Harness it! ...Think! Question! Research! Test!)

*We have to rewire, how we see ourselves, others and the comparisons we draw. We need to think for ourselves and not simply accept what we are told. 

What is perfection anyway?
Caucasian people want to be tanned, Indians want to be Caucasian, Africans sport weaves, few are ever happy with what they have! Media and the Beauty Industries spin billions on our insecurities...promising the impossible! (those regret purchases...Ouch!)...and not to mention the endless stream of Kim K wannabes going from contouring their face to contouring other unmentionables.

Who knows perfection better than Allah (SWT)? how boring this world would be if we all looked the same. We are told repeatedly the oval face is the perfect face shape! As a makeup artist I was taught to change face shapes to oval using contouring and highlighting techniques, I put up a huge fuss about that! I have an oval face...I love it because my Creator gave it to me..but I also marvel at the face shapes others have been given, it suits them amazingly and I praise Allah! Be Your Personal Best! 

*Know the difference between being your best and conforming to "a standard" of what the best is!

Imperfections?.. they are a gift often disguised as a curse, that push you in directions you would not otherwise have gone. Swop "imperfect" for "outstanding"...Standing Out always drives people nuts..but they can't be ignored. People who are outstanding are intriguing! (without being loud attention seekers)

Thing 2: Makeup Fast!

Does your confidence go down the drain as you wash off your makeup? Then you need to put those strobing, contouring and infinite eyeshadow products down and back away from those beauty blenders or anything you put on will be held against you in your thoughts and feelings!

I know how you feel, I have felt the same! I always feel great when I'm put together. You can love yourself without the makeup, and remember that the most amazing people have loved you before you learnt the art! Makeup emphasises the beauty you already possess...it does not create it!

*Go on a Makeup fast! its great for your skin. Have days where you do not wear a stitch of makeup. This sort of vulnerability that you expose yourself to changes you and will also teach you alot about how people react to you without all that product. You will be pleasantly surprised!
*You can look great with less makeup, none, or just applying the basic of a moisturiser, combing and shading brows (check out my next blog post), curling the lashes, under eye concealer and lip balm. Remember celebs have an entourage (cuz celebs are....yes....NOT PERFECT!) to ensure they look great on the red carpet, in movies etc...the fact that you can do that without one, speaks volumes! I'm not saying don't wear makeup...what I am saying is don't have confidence that only lasts as long as your makeup does, don't wash away your confidence when you take it off.

click on this link: Actresses without makeup

Remember! confident, kind and happy women will always be the prettiest in any room!

Thing 3: Watch your Mouth!

*Eat healthy! Be conscious of what you put into your mouth. Junk food has the effect of weighing you down physically and emotionally and is closely linked to depression not to mention it accelerates the ageing process.  Please oh please drink more water woman! it is your natural anti ageing, miracle hydrator, detox therapy, happy mood maker and energy booster! 
Eating healthy is now easier than ever and best of all, it tastes Fantastic!
Here are a few links to help get started:
* Control your mouth ....Control your life! The words that come out of your mouth have an impact on your wellbeing. Saying negative things about yourself or others has the same impact of junk food. It will leave you feeling ugly on the inside and this will clearly show on the outside. It creates unnecessary drama...the next time you receive bad service, harsh criticism or you are snobbed or ignored just walk away with a smile. 

Thing 4: Move your body!

Moving has the ability to make you feel productive and happy...which in turn makes you feel great about yourself...take that!... You ugly rut!
* You were created to move! so move! swing your arms, throw air punches, walk, run, skip, chase the kids, lift them up, spin around, laugh, rejoice and most of all show Gratitude to Allah(SWT) for giving you a body that allows you to do all this and more! (Salaah even has movement!) Never be afraid of movement! it is freedom! Don't be lazy to bend your legs  and squat when you pick something up, you are defining those leg muscles. Don't tell your kids to do things you can very well do yourself...you are selling yourself short! Every bit of movement that your body allows is beneficial to you and should be cherished!
* Commit to a workout. Don't give up because you couldn't do it at a certain time...find the time, make the time. I have done my best workouts on days when I just didn't feel like working out...all I needed to do was just start. There isn't a perfect time!
* Follow workout videos! mimicking movements has the effect of making you feel like the person you mimic! The same goes for confidence...Fake it to make it Baby!
*subscribe to a health mag or just buy one like Women's Health from time to time to renew your motivation

A few of my favourite effective workout videos: great for beginners and intermediate
Trust me you will see leaner, stronger thighs, defined abs, chiseled shoulders and more.....

Cardio Barre Dancers body workout (so hooked on cardio barre!)
30 min fat burning workout by Bipasha Basu (do not underestimate this video!)
Crunchless abs workout by Fitness blender (Total fan of fitness blender workouts)

Thing 5: Smile more!

*smiling has been scientifically proven to elevate your mood...so when you get up on the wrong side of the bed...smile like a minion with a banana. You don't need to look in the mirror to feel the effect:)

Thing 6: Beauty ritual!

* Every girl should have one...like mani and pedi Sundays (DIY), facemask Mondays, monthly or bimonthly waxing, facials. Sometimes just a cleanse and moisturise every evening will help make your mornings feel better. Set up your beauty ritual and set aside a few minutes to take care of yourself everyday. 
* Dry body brush for smoother skin. 
* Use scents to uplift your spirits, Citrus, musk and oud scents always make me happy, what makes you happy?...
* Soak your ugly feeling in a tub of Chamomile tea infused bathwater and let it literally go down the drain once you are done and make use of happy essential oils. Go learn more:)

Click below for Face mask recipes: ooh yeah!

Click on the link below:

Thing 7: Sleep it off

* If you are bogged down or sleepy, how dare you feel ugly too! go get some shut eye, tiredness has obvious negative effects on your mood and the weary look isn't a good one on anyone. Personally speaking, for someone who loves to sleep...you'd think I'd go to sleep earlier! Sleep deprived women generally feel ugly....so tell you honey, you need your beauty sleep.
* Rotate or flip your mattress and invest in good pillows for a better nights rest
Try Chamdor Faktry sales for great memory foam pillows, phone your nearest store before you visit for stock.

Thing 8: Explore!

New experiences have the effect of reviving you, changing your perspective of life and kick you out of that ugly rut! 
* Be bold and explore new things, places and ideas... it could be as simple as taking up a new hobby, shopping somewhere new, changing your hijab style (wink wink!) or trying out something for the first time like sudoku, crosswords, adult colouring books, painting, archery, rock climbing etc.
* Up your ante! develop your weaknesses into your strengths by dedicating time to it. If you hate that you are bad at baking, sewing, or drawing go for a class!

Thing 9: Hug and hug often!

There are very few things a good hug can't make better! hug your loved ones, their smile will make you smile!

Thing 10: which should always be your Thing 1...because it maybe the only thing you really "need";)

* Zikr! it uplifts the spirits, calms you down and makes your heart whole! indulge in it! 

Time for me to sign out now...All the best and remember You are Beautiful!!!

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