A lifestyle blog by Bars + Crafts founder Alissa KRG
Lately people have been telling me I have a glow. I'm not preggo, I haven't had Vitamin D in awhile, and it's been 3 months since my wedding so I have no bride-to-be excuse.
So I started thinking: what's making people say that? And how do I keep it that way for all of time? I came up with 5 reasons, but you may not be thrilled.
The reasons are not fancy or groundbreaking — well except for one pricey habit — and they involve a lot of work and lifestyle changes. Oh, and it really has nothing to do with the mud-mask photo above — although masks definitely can give a temporary cleansed look.
So go ahead and read on for my glowy secrets...and then tell no one.
1) Working Out Like a Mad Woman...No, Really, I Look Insane
My workouts plateaued big time for awhile. I would jog for 20-25 minutes, stretch, pat myself on the back — that counts as a stretch, right? — and head home.
As I've mentioned, I started exercising with an app called Aaptiv, which talks you through your workout as if you're in a class. It pushes me harder than I ever used to push myself and I now go completely balls to the walls with my workouts.
I am that girl running Phoebe Buffay-style on the treadmill, sprinting at an 8 incline and 9 speed. Thank you, imaginary trainers I’ve never actually met in person! I owe it all to you!
That same intensity has carried over in spin, yoga, and any other classes I take. I stopped coasting through exercising and started doing what you're supposed to do — push it until you're ugly crying on the machines, questioning if you’ll ever feel normal again.
What I'm trying to say is, make your workouts your bitch each and every time. To look even more energized, also switch up the time of day you typically exercise.
I can guarantee if you surprise your system with a morning or mid-afternoon workout instead of end-of-day, you'll get even more of a physical and mental boost. The post-exercise endorphin party will radiate through your body and then glow out of your face.
2) Eating Clean and Drinking Cleaner
The thing is, all those after-workout feel-goods cancel right out if you immediately put garbage into your body. At least for me.
If I have a solid sweat and follow it up with a giant kale salad or green juice or acai bowl — basic on basic on basic — my skin looks refreshed and I maintain a noticeable feeling of well-being for hours.
But when I pair my workouts with mimosas and burrata flatbreads and chips and salsa and champagne and cranberry cocktails with orange zest and mac 'n cheese (all of the above = me a few Saturdays ago), it's like I never even worked out.
The mind and body buzz is gone, aside from the short-lived champagne one. And what's the point of looking like a complete psycho at a workout class if it's not going to make me feel like a warrior princess for hours to come?
Speaking of being a warrior princess, here I am on the left looking the exact opposite of that the morning after a Friendsgiving this year. On the right is me at the end of a clean-eating/workout day. Can you spot the difference?
If not, we have bigger fish to fry — well, grill.
While I clearly have off days — and off selfies — the cleaner I eat, the more naturally buzzed I feel. The same way a processed food/drink hangover reads all over my face, so does a buzz from healthy eating and working out. I don't think it's a coincidence that I stopped eating refined sugar over a month ago and my skin has been more clear than ever.
If you weren't convinced with the above photo, check out this before and after from the 3 day juice cleanse I did in the spring.
What we eat directly affects our skin and how we look. I am certain of this because I am a certified dermatologist with years of experience popping anyone and everyone’s pimples — and at least part of that sentence is true.
3) The Magic of La Mer
If you haven’t been judging me already for going on and on about glowiness, then prepare to judge in this section. I use $300 moisturizer at night. There, I said it, now let me live!
In my defense, it was given to me as a gift and now I’m addicted. Within a week of starting this hydrating line of face crack, it’s as if my skin pressed reset.
All those years of tanning in college...poof!
That one time in high school I rubbed baby oil all over myself in Florida and got second degree burns all over my face and body...poof!
So I don’t know if this product actually took away any sun damage, but my point is, my face felt like a glittery baby unicorn right away.
Plus, Jennifer Lopez apparently uses it and her skin is off the freakin’ charts.
What I’ll do when the products eventually run out and I’m back to — dare I say — pharmacy lotion? I don’t know, but maybe I’ll blog about it when I get there...
Since I know this one isn't the most reasonable, I will say this: if you've been using the same moisturizer/face wash forever, switch it up now. Your skin gets accustomed to the same products and then stops responding to them. This affordable Aveeno moisturizer is what I use during the day when I'm not being a La Mer snob and it's great.
4) The Best Bronzer Ever
Another much more affordable skin routine I’m just as passionate about is my Mineral Sheer Bronzer in Rio De Janeiro. It’s $15 and the product description uses the words “natural radiance” and “youthful glow.” Need I say more?
OK, fine, I will. Above is a pic of me before and after using the bronzer. It won’t prevent a puffy/dehydrated look if you eat and drink like shit, but it will sure help.
5) Thinking Happy Thoughts
Roald Dahl said this one best, so I won’t try and compete:
“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
I think this can be a challenge for us all at times. But it’s something I try to practice and get stronger at every day. The happier we think, the happier we feel. And the best way to help that along is...
Working out like a mad woman and eating clean! And I guess buying La Mer and that fantastic bronzer...but mostly the first two.
Share your radiant thoughts in the comments and be sure to check out our crafting events for your next party!