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Beauty as Self-Care Personal Essay

Yes, Beauty Is Self-Care, but Don't Confuse That With Pampering

Mental health and wellbeing is very close to our hearts, and while we truly aim to have an always-on approach to covering all aspects of mental health, we have chosen to shine an extra bright light on #WorldMentalHealth today, and for the rest of October.

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The dictionary definition of self-care is "the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health" — and this extends to beauty, too. Most recently, people have connected it with using a face mask or taking a bath. However, the importance of self-care should not be confused with pampering, because those two words can take on many meanings, are totally dependent on the person, and can be practised in a number of ways. For some, it comes in the form of a beauty regimen (myself included), but for others, self-care is the very basic principle of taking care of oneself, which could be ordering prescriptions, doing laundry, or remembering to wash.

I use my beauty regimen as a form of self-care and believe it's important to my overall well-being.

My personal self-care routine changes depending on whether I'm feeling fit and healthy or suffering with endometriosis, or anything else life throws at me. Sometimes my self-care includes indulging in a face mask and shaving my legs, other times it's making sure I eat a healthy dinner and not just cereal. Whichever category you fall into, I do believe self-care and beauty are intertwined. Beauty is so personal, and everyone has a beauty routine of some kind (even if you just wash your face in the shower).

I use my beauty regimen as a form of self-care and believe it's important to my overall well-being. When I feel out of control and a little overwhelmed, skin care — as in washing my face or moisturising — is one thing I can control, and it's something I enjoy doing. It allows me to take 10 minutes in the day to actually stop and think, at a very basic level, about how I'm feeling, and how my skin is feeling. If I feel positive and productive, you'll find me doing 10 steps of skin care for fun; if I can't think of anything worse than moving off my sofa for skin care, I know I need to slow down and assess my fatigue.

Nothing can boost my mood throughout the day more than wearing sparkly copper eye makeup.

The same applies to makeup. It allows me to slow down first thing in the morning totally uninterrupted by technology, music, or other people. It's when I can quietly reflect on my day ahead and what I'd like to accomplish without being totally bombarded with information. Of course, beyond that, I absolutely love experimenting with makeup and truly enjoy the experience of using colours and textures, but to me it's also a form of self-care as it makes me reflect and improve my well-being. Plus, nothing can boost my mood throughout the day more than wearing sparkly copper eye makeup.

Next time you're doubting whether beauty is really a form of self-care for you, remember what Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness said: "Do it for yourself," hunny.

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