50 Things That Make You More Beautiful Than Makeup Ever Will

Flickr / ileohidalgo
Flickr / ileohidalgo

1. A true, genuine smile, that you wear as often as you can.

2. The warm glow you get from being generous and helping people around you.

3. Drinking water, constantly. All day. Every day.

4. Treating yourself with care, love, and respect. Whatever that means to you.

5. Putting good food in your body (at least, for the majority of the time.)

6. Getting enough sleep every night. Not because people are telling you how much sleep to get, but because you know that you deserve it.

7. Spending time with the right people. People who care about you. People who make you feel good about yourself. People who make you remember what’s really important. People who challenge you to be better. People who love you no matter what.

8. A good book that ignites something within you. Something that awakens you and opens your eyes and makes you think.

9. A nice, lengthy, hot shower after a long day’s work.

10. When you bare your soul to someone you really care about.

11. The happiness you feel from treating yourself to something you’ve worked hard for, whether that’s a bottle of wine after work or a weeklong vacation to a beautiful location.

12. Putting your phone away when you’re having a conversation with someone.

13. The natural glow or freckles or tan you get from spending a beautiful day out in the sun.

14. When you make the effort to tell yourself you’re beautiful every day, even when you don’t believe it.

15. Leaving the house without makeup on and refusing to apologize for it.

16. Spending your time on things that truly make you happy, instead of things that you think you’re expected to do.

17. Giving an unexpected compliment to a stranger.

18. Putting the window down when you’re driving in the car and allowing your hair to get messed up.

19. Dressing in what makes you feel comfortable, instead of what you feel obligated to wear.

20. Laughing so hard that you cry.

21. Wearing a Snuggie because it feels awesome… this is (probably) not sarcasm.

22. Believing that you have just as much of a right to voice your opinion as everyone else does.

23. A night spent out without worrying about how you look in the pictures.

24. Smiling at someone who looks like they’re having a bad day.

25. Being genuinely happy for friends when good things happen to them.

26. Exercising. Not in an attempt to punish yourself or reach an unrealistic size. But to keep you healthy and make you feel good.

27. Treating yourself to delicious food when you want it, instead of permanently swearing off all things fattening.

28. Looking at someone in the eye when they speak to you.

29. Dressing warmly when you go out in the winter, instead of feeling pressured to wear a tiny dress to the bar.

30. Standing up for yourself when you know someone is treating you unfairly.

31. Giving unexpected gifts to people you care about. Something as small as a sweet note or as big as a surprise birthday party.

32. Making a consistent effort to be as honest as you possibly can.

33. Really, actually paying attention to the world around you.

34. Admitting when you’re wrong, and apologizing for it.

35. Taking the time to appreciate the small things, like the pretty tree outside your window or the cup of coffee you drink while chatting with a funny coworker.

36. Listening to a song that truly makes you happy.

37. Throwing your hair up in the messiest bun you can make and not giving a f*ck how it looks.

38. Refusing to ask for anyone’s permission to feel good about yourself.

39. Learning how to differentiate between good, loyal friends versus those that don’t add any positivity to your life.

40. …and having the strength to choose between the two.

41. Sticking by someone’s side even during periods where things are tough and difficult.

42. Being open to those giving constructive criticism, and closed to people who are just trying to tear you down.

43. Accepting that some people are set on being miserable and you can’t change them.

44. Cultivating a style that’s truly unique to you, and presenting yourself in a way that makes you feel comfortable, proud, and excited.

45. Making a sincere effort to not compare yourself to others.

46. Telling people when you admire something about them.

47. Putting as much good out into the world that you can, without asking for anything in return.

48. Remembering to say thank you, even for the smallest things.

49. Forcing yourself to remember that everyone has a backstory you don’t know about, and avoiding the temptation of judging someone the instant that you meet them.

50. Loving yourself for who you are, while still challenging yourself to get better every day. TC mark

Kim Quindlen

I'm a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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