by Amy Waterman, host of "How to Be Irresistible to Men"
Quick … find the closest mirror to you and take a quick glance. What do you see?
Did you see the blemishes in your beauty routine? Did your makeup need freshening up? Was your hair out of sorts?
Were you smiling?
All of us have a habitual expression. It's the expression our face falls into when we are absorbed in a task. When you are washing dishes, watching television, or even reading your computer screen, your face is composed in a particular expression that is unique to you.
It is very hard for us to actually see that expression. When we look at ourselves in the mirror, we tend to focus on particular parts of our face, usually the lips, eyes, general skin condition, and hair. I don't know many women who won't glance in a mirror on a trip to the bathroom to check that their lipstick, eyemakeup, powder, and hair is in order.
What we don't realize is that the most important aspect of our face isn't our makeup. It's our expression.
When you are tired, no amount of makeup can make your eyes look bright and lively.
When you are sad, no amount of lipgloss can make your lips turn up in a happy picture-perfect bow.
When you are stressed, no amount of foundation can keep the worried wrinkles from showing through.
The powers of makeup are extraordinary, but they can't make us look happy, well-rested, and relaxed if we're tired, stressed, and unhappy.
So take a look in the mirror again. This time, ask yourself…
Do you look happy?
Looking happy will make you more beautiful than all the beauty routines in the world.
The times when a woman is most radiant, such as on her wedding day, or when she is about to become a mother, are those times when she is most blissfully happy.
When I think back on the times that men have told me that I am beautiful, it is often when I least expect it, in those moments that we have shared some intimacy and I am completely content and happy to be with him.
When you're happy, you glow. It's a glow that can't be replicated by makeup, facials, or a summer tan.
To look for evidence of how our inner state affects our facial expressions, look no further than your fellow commuters as you travel to work in the morning. As I walk through the inner city, I often am amused at how easily I can tell who is looking forward to a good day and who is not. Those who are in a hurry, with heads down and faces grim, don't invite a second glance. It is those women sashaying to work, as though on a fantasy catwalk, who draw the eye. When I see a woman with her head up and a smile on her face, I smile back at her involuntarily and take a second look, trying to guess the reason for her good spirits.
So before you invest in that next beauty treatment, try something new: a beauty treatment for the soul. Spend some time doing something that makes you feel more peaceful, happier, and more fulfilled. A walk in a park, a few moments spent sitting quietly in a church, a good deed done for someone, a message read in an inspiring book … there are so many ways that we can beautify the spirit.
Because ultimately your face will change into a wrinkled version of itself, and age will wipe clear those beautiful features that you so carefully drew attention to. But the beauty that comes from a soul-level peace and joy with life will continue to radiate.
And the next time you look in the mirror, don't feel too fussed about the state of your hair or makeup. Instead, ask yourself if you look happy, rested, peaceful and content.
I hope your answer will usually be yes.
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