Up to now, you’ve heard lots of advice on how to care for yourself inside and out. If sifting out the essentials seems difficult, remember the important thing is to approach beauty as a holistic, or total, challenge. Makeup is only one facet, and no amount of sexy eye shadow or luscious lipstick can disguise a neglected body. Your emotions, your diet, physical fitness, and cleanliness are each as essential to beauty, and perhaps more so. This is true no matter whether you plan a head-to-toe makeover, spot improvements, or even if you love your appearance the way it is now keeping those looks takes work!
Below you will find the elements of beauty care condensed into a set of programs. Select from them throughout the week.
For a slow, but sure start in the morning: Lying in bed, inhale deeply and stretch every inch of your body, from the fingertips to the toes. Repeat three times.
Now that you’ve summoned your physical side, it’s time to get the mental side awake. Relax, and ponder the infinite possibilities ahead. What great events will happen to you- are you going to make happen-today and during the rest of this week? How about trying a new sport with a new friend? Sharing a favorite activity with an old buddy?
This week’s resolution: You will not let life get you down, no matter what. You ‘ll deal with the problems you can control, and you won ‘t dwell on the negative events that trip up everyone once in a while. Resolve to relish life to the fullest.
“Know your skin” program:
Skip the makeup today. You and your skin are going to get re-acquainted. You ‘ll need to study your skin, warts and all, so leave off the color and carefully note any changes throughout the day. Observe how the condition of your complexion varies from morning to noon, and at night. Note the effects of temperature, humidity, eating and drinking. Keep a notebook where you record the changes, and note at what time of day your skin looks its best. Also make a note of any problem areas (blemishes, flaky skin, new wrinkles) that you find.
Today, review your cleansing routine. Is it too harsh? Too slapdash? Do you always take care to rinse off all the soap or cleanser with lots of clean water? Take time to plan and practice a careful cleansing routine that you can memorize and do with your eyes closed from now on.
Before dinner, take a leisurely bath. Scrub off the old skin, using the Maeda Method described in Chapter Five. Try to recruit a partner to get at the difficult-to-reach places. Finish with the Three-Minute Shape-Up.
We need a degree of subcutaneous fat to regulate body temperature, and strengthen us against disease and injury. Without a fat layer, we’d wrinkle much more quickly. But too much fat is also a problem.
Are you overweight? Carrying too much fat is not only unattractive but unhealthy as well. Unless you are suffering from a hormone imbalance, kidney disease, high blood pressure, or other illness, there is no physical reason for you to weigh any more than what is normal for your size. But there are many psychological reasons that can lead to overeating; worry is one, stress is another. Just remember that “stressed-out” leads to “pigging-out”! Weight control is another reason to maintain a positive outlook and keep your mind as calm and free of worry as possible. Stress helps make you fat! When you’re under stress, the pancreas secretes insulin, which triggers a sensation of hunger. You eat, feel guilty, and set off still more cravings, eat more, and continue on a destructive merry-go-round.
Get off the merry-go-round of bingeing, and set a strict meal schedule.
Hard exercise often leads to frustration and quitting. We offer a 15-minute-a-day barebones program that concentrates on streamlining your figure and strengthening the abdominal muscles, back, and thighs. Relax, and make it an automatic part of your day. And try to get a friend to join you- friendly competition often makes the going easier.
Face. The massage should take about three minutes each evening, and can be done together with some other passive activity, like watching TV or taking a bath. A mirror isn ‘t necessary.
Body. About 10 to 20 minutes after bathing, with or without a partner, focus on the tsubo points, kneading and stretching the muscles from the head down to the toes.
After determining your skin type, you need to reconsider which cosmetics are best for you. This is a chance to review and revamp your makeup regime. Gather all your makeup together, sit down in front of a mirror, and consider… (be ruthless!)
—Is your foundation effective for your skin type, in terms of color and ingredients?
—How many colors for lips, eyes, and cheeks do you own? Do you actually use? Are there flattering shades that are missing from your palette? Throw out the colors that don ‘t work for you, and invest in ones that do.
—Are your eyebrows the right shape for your face? Scrutinize your eyebrow pencil. Does the shade match your coloring and your desired image? Is it easy to use, neither too hard nor too soft, but resistant to breaking, and not harmful to your brows?
—How about eyeglasses? Hair? Wardrobe? If you’re bored with your accessories or if they don ‘t make you feel smashing, change them. – And finally, if you have any old makeup that you don’t wear, throw it out NOW.