The (New) Beauty Resolutions

I love new beginnings, like the clean slate of January. I’m more about year-round solutions than new-year resolutions, but I do prioritize goal-setting at the top of each year. And yes, those goals always encompass beauty—not simply trying new makeup or skin care regimens (though they’re always on the list), but building beauty into my days as a form of self-care. Because that’s what it is. Which is why I never allow patients in my practice to use the word “vain”—to me, it’s a way that society has shamed us into thinking we might care a bit too much about how we look.

Let’s take a second to shatter that misconception. I’ve always believed that beauty is the outward-most expression of self-love and self-respect. And I think that attitude is beginning to take hold. Looking around, I see more signs of inclusivity, positivity. Less delineation between masculine and feminine. An increased focus on sustainability and streamlined minimalism. Even Sephora, which bets its business on beauty, has embraced a more nuanced take with its “manifesto” painted on store walls: “Sephora believes in championing all beauty, living with courage, and standing fearlessly together to celebrate our differences. We will never stop building a community where diversity is expected, self-expression is honored, all are welcomed, and you are included.” Powerful stuff.

So how can we translate these ideas into the hectic reality of our lives, prioritizing beauty as health? Here are some new beauty resolutions to help you embrace confidence and self-respect:

Set a positive intention.

To quiet negative self-talk, try the same loving tone you’d use with your best friend on yourself. Surround yourself deliberately with people who encourage you to love, cry, fail and grow. In beauty this means treating yourself, being positive when you look in the mirror and see changes, and learning about self-compassion and self-care. And aligning with brands that speak to those same goals. 

Find the fun.

Taking care of your skin and striving for your ultimate self-expression can be a joy. Embrace it: Take a makeup or skin care class. Switch up your routine and explore new, forward-thinking products and brands. Try those false eyelashes for a glam night with friends. If you prioritize skin care, makeup becomes something fun to play with, rather than something to take cover under. 

Build community.

The pursuit of beauty can be uniting—especially when we identify closely with the ethos and mission of a favorite brand. Build community by inviting friends to a beauty session or event, like a facial, massage, make-up class or spa event. Talk openly with friends about your aging fears and concerns (we all have them). And don’t be afraid to throw another woman—even someone you don’t know well—a compliment. That kind of positivity is always appreciated.

Cultivate confidence.

Confidence is like an exercise—you have to put it in action and it takes practice and repetition. Every time you get off the sidelines, you exercise your confidence. Even failure tones up that confidence muscle (I think even more so), as you gather lessons and develop the muscle memory for getting up and trying again. Showing up for yourself and others takes, and also builds, confidence. It doesn’t hurt to spend a little time putting on makeup or doing whatever it is in your beauty routine that will help you feel like the best version of yourself. I do this myself before every first date (because when else do you need a little confidence boost?).

Photo courtesy: @newyorkrealestate1