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Meredith haberfeld Woman's Day

Look More Beautiful Instantly!

Increase your allure with these 10 surprising beauty tricks

By Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

September 08, 2008

Ways to Look More Beautiful Instantly!

We’ve all had one of those days where we just feel blah about our appearance maybe your hair isn’t falling the right way and those dark circles under your eyes just seem a little, well, darker. Luckily, we’ve found news that will help break the funk next time you’re having an ugly day. Studies show that beauty isn’t about the perfect body, long blonde curls or the latest designer fashions; in fact, your outward appeal is largely influenced by surprising factors such as how you treat others, spatial clutter and even the company you keep. We’ve researched 10 unexpected ways to enhance your looks naturally. Read on for the beauty secrets!

Remember the Golden Rule

Being dishonest or disrespectful changes your appearance for the worse. According to character coach Susanne Alexander, acting ungraciously makes you more likely to frown or raise your eyebrows in arrogance, causing forehead lines, while lying causes tightness around the mouth and lines around the eyes. Even prolonged resentment or unforgivingness can cause unhappy facial lines, such as a downturned mouth. To enhance your natural beauty, act graciously whenever possible. Practice acceptance, gentleness and patience all of which reduce facial tension and can increase your natural beauty.

Stay engaged

People are flattered when you find them appealing and they naturally reciprocate, says Ann Demarais, PhD, psychologist and coauthor of First Impressions: What You Don’t Know About How Others See You. One of the easiest ways to increase your natural beauty is to accept and be interested in other people. Showing interest in others is a component of confidence, says Dr. Demarais. And when you’re confident, you appear more attractive. To feel more confident and appear that way to others, make an effort to smile often, make frequent eye contact and maintain a positive aura.

Do work you love

Debra Condren, PhD, business psychologist and author of Ambition Is Not a Dirty Word, says, Loving your work and unapologetically following your dreams is the secret beauty elixir women never hear about. Doing meaningful, challenging work will make you glow with an inner and outer beauty that no cosmetic or surgery or makeup can imitate. Dr. Condren advises checking in with yourself daily to stay in touch with your ambitions and desires. The more tuned in you are to what you really want out of work and life, the more beautiful you’ll be inside and out.

Focus on your personality

Feel bloated, blotchy and blah? Don’t fret. As it turns out, Mom was right: Your personality counts more than your looks. Research shows that if you’re cooperative, dependable, hardworking or intelligent, people will think positively of you and perceive you as beautiful. On the flip side, in a study conducted by evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson, rude or unfair people were rated less attractive than those who were kind and cooperative no matter their appearance. Next time you feel like you’re having a bad hair day, just remember: Minding your p’s and q’s will keep you looking lovely.

Surround yourself with supportive people

One recent study revealed that if you’re worried about rejection because of how you look, you’ll feel anxious, neurotic and insecure making you appear less attractive to others. [In our study], a reminder of one’s strengths or close relationships was enough to reduce the damaging effects of thinking about negative aspects of one’s appearance, says Lora Park, PhD, assistant professor at the University of Buffalo. These findings emphasize the power of close relationships to help people cope with insecurities regarding their appearance. Surround yourself with the people who know and love you best to instantly feel more beautiful.

Free your inner Iman

Have you ever daydreamed about striking a pose, Heidi Klum style? As it turns out, a modeling session with a professional photographer can be liberating, enlightening and just plain fun! I see women transform and step into their natural beauty on a daily basis, says photographer Lone Mørch, whose sessions help women express their sensuality. One of her plus-size clients shared this about the effects of her recent photo shoot: I recently attended two big parties, and I was on the dance floor the whole time. It was fantastic, and there’s no doubt the photo experience put an extra sway in my gait and a glint in my eye.

Embrace your wrinkles and sunscreen

Research shows that skin tone influences beauty more than wrinkles, laugh lines or crow’s-feet. An even skin tone can give visual cues about a person’s health and reproductive capability, so it’s considered desirable, says Bernhard Fink, PhD. His research shows that uneven or blotchy skin tone, caused by cumulative sun damage and natural aging, can add 10 to 12 years to a woman’s appearance. Luckily, skin tone can be improved! Your skin reflects your overall health, so make sure you’re exercising regularly, eating right and drinking plenty of water.

Reveal your weaknesses and warts

According to life coach Meredith Haberfeld, not being yourself is a common theme for women, and it decreases natural beauty. [One of my clients] tried for two decades to be someone she thought a man would want, but each time the relationship fizzled. After she turned 40, she stopped shaping herself into what she thought others wanted, says Haberfeld. She risked being herself and losing her new boyfriend and now she’s happily married. Despite all your fears, letting your true personality shine through flaws, weaknesses and all will only increase your appeal.

Give yourself breathing room

If you live in a cluttered environment, you tend to feel overwhelmed, stressed and exhausted, says life coach Dana Korey. How you feel affects your appearance: If you’re tired, depressed or anxious common reactions to disorganization then you’re also not happy or approachable. Once you organize your home and workspace, you may be surprised by just how much more beautiful you look and feel. Says Korey, The feeling of nirvana that overtakes organized women creates radiance and inner peace and that’s something no cosmetic could duplicate.


Establish your personal definition of beauty

What do you think makes a woman beautiful? If you don’t establish your own definition of beauty, you’re more likely to waste precious time, money and energy chasing other people’s ideas of beauty. Instead, focus on the activities, thoughts and behaviors that make you feel good about yourself. If you love a day at the spa, then book it into your monthly schedule. If you feel smart and energized after making a speech or accepting new work challenges, then pursue those opportunities. Doing things that make you feel good about yourself will make you happy and a happy woman is a beautiful woman, indeed.