How To Glow Up Physically & Mentally: 15 Glow Up Tips

how to glow up

Wondering how to get a glow up?

It begins with a feeling of wanting to be more confident with every step and every social interaction.

You want to feel more secure about yourself, but aren’t sure where to start.

Our guide on How To Look Prettier Fast is a good place to start!

Let us guess.

Quarantine got you in a funk, so your recent Internet search is something like, “how to glow up fast” or “how to glow up fast easily.”

We’ve got you covered.

Here is our comprehensive guide on how to improve as a pretty woman so you can wake up feeling like your authentic self every single day.

From solidifying your skincare routine to exploring different types of clothing styles, we’ll review everything you need to finally transform from caterpillar to butterfly.

And if your nails need a touch up, we have an ultimate guide to nude nails and short nail designs!

Without further ado, let’s look at our how to glow up handbook in detail.

What is a glow up?

A glow up can be a bit of a complex process. You might know it as the caption your peers use when they post a picture of themselves from five years ago next to another picture of themselves from today.

Generally, they look better and more confident in the second photo. It can be an incredible transformation from being an awkward high school freshman to an outgoing high school senior with impeccable posture and maturity.

It might be an unbelievable change from an unstylish young professional to someone who looks fresh in any outfit.

In other cases, it can be a rebirth of a person who’s ashamed of their skin to someone who’s proud of their scars and beauty marks.

The different types of glow ups are infinite (yes, you don’t need to abide by the definition in urban dictionary).

For the lucky few, glowing up just means letting genetics do the work.

They might come out of puberty looking like a whole different person. Nevertheless, this physical glow can happen over months or across a span of several years.

How to have a glow up

To be frank, this glow-up challenge focuses on not just a change in physical appearance.

It’s also an internal process of small changes where you gain the courage to be yourself. In the end, you’re standing proudly in front of the world.

If you want to focus mainly on the external factors of glowing up first, we recommend that you look into fashion, easy makeup looks, and moderate exercise.

Even trying out some black nails designs or coffin nails can do the trick, too.

However, if you want to tackle some internal elements like mental health and nutrition, consider drinking more water and penciling in time for relaxation.

Popular good ideas for improving mental health, reducing stress, and boosting confidence are meditation, exercise, and regular self-care.

The benefits not only include better overall health and higher self-esteem, but an unmistakable, vibrant aura or glow around you.

For high school teens with fungal acne, a glow up is usually both physical and mental.

But it’s important to note the difference between fungal acne vs closed comedones first.

If you’ve ever been that kid who finally found the right skincare routine that dramatically improved their skin, then you’ll know what we mean.

The right cleanser or spot treatment can lead to a huge difference both on your skin and in your self-esteem.

So let’s begin with something most of us are concerned with — healthy skin.

How to glow up physically

This is *exactly* how to glow up physically.

How to glow up #1: Adopt a solid skincare routine

Skin loves routine in order to glow.

This is even more important for sensitive skin and/or acne-prone skin.

Granted, appearance isn’t everything. But when we feel good about what we see in the mirror, it typically shows in how we act outside.

A good intro to skincare would be our top 20 tips for how to get clear skin.

The first step to building a good beauty routine is determining your skin type.

When it comes to skin types, the basic categories are dry, sensitive, oily, combination, and normal.

Once you dive deeper into the skincare world, you’ll find that you might have normal-to-dry skin or another combo.

Skin conditions like acne or eczema can also affect your skin type and therefore, your ideal routine.

Figuring out the difference between fungal acne vs closed comedones and blind pimples will determine what products to use.

If you have concerns about skincare products, reach out to skincare groups or a dermatologist.

We especially recommend seeking out professionals if you’re a high school student or have current conditions that affect your skin.

Skincare essentials

If you’re just starting out with products, here are some specific tips you’ll need to partition into the elite trio: cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen.

Cleansers from Cerave or Cetaphil are the best thing to clean all the grime off your face and pores from a long day. And don’t forget to clean all around your ears too, to avoid ear pimples.

They also have moisturizers that keep your skin elastic rather than dry and drab.

Note that broad protection sunscreen with at least 30 SPF is best for all skin types.

It protects you from both types of uv rays(UVA and UVB).Sunscreen not only prevents early symptoms of aging like wrinkles/fine lines, but more harmful uv rays effects like skin cancer.

Wearing hats and other head gear cna help you show less skin and in turn, reduce sun damage.

Then, you’ll slowly add in more specialized products like toners, serums, creams, or oils, depending on your skin’s preferences.

Also, adding in treatments such as exfoliating and oil-cleansing over time can lead to a top notch skincare routine.

But what if you have sensitive skin?

Most skincare gurus recommend waiting two to three weeks between adding new products in your routine.This allows you to see whether or not certain ingredients irritate your skin.

How do you know what’s worth purchasing?

Many companies and brands offer product samples, which is a great way to test out creams, cleansers, and oils on small patches of your skin before committing to a whole container.

You might get a beauty routine pat down on your first try, or you might need to shop around for different brands for a while.

Hang in there — the resulting glow on your skin will be worth it!

P.S. Don’t forget about the skin on your lips! Keep them moisturized with quality products to avoid conditions such as lip eczema.

How to glow up #2: Drink more water

While drinking enough water is a typical sign of good health, it can also help you reach your skin goals.

According to Harvard Health Publishing, most of us need at least four cups and up to six cups of water a day (1).

This number might seem low considering most people swear by eight cups a day.

But the truth is, your body also extracts water from other things you drink and eat.

Caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea are also decent sources of fluid, but experts recommend drinking these in moderation.

Moreover, your body will function best if you drink extra cold water on hot days or when you work out.

Upping your water intake is a good habit that can even reduce acne.It’s no secret that water is life.

It has many responsibilities including flushing out waste and bacteria, helping organs (like our skin) function properly, and maintaining optimal energy levels (2).

Water also keeps us energized by making sure nutrients reach our cells and ensuring that waste gets expelled.

In other words, you can kick fatigue to the curb by staying hydrated.

Overall, drinking more water means you’ll feel better and have more energy, i.e. on track to a full-time natural glow.

So, grab a glass of cold water and keep reading!

How to glow up #3: Make time for yourself

Have you ever found yourself overwhelmed by life, whether it’s from studying nonstop for finals, working overtime to meet a deadline, or just getting your room tidied up?

To really glow, you must practice self-care habits that help you become a better person.

Besides, we’re all dealing with a little quarantine PTSD.

While outward appearances influence self-image, a complete glow up also happens from the inside out. Millennials and Zoomers know all too well the importance of self-care activities, and its benefits are definitely rooted in fact.

Bottom line is, quiet time to yourself helps you reset, which keeps your stress levels down and your internal glow high.

This happens in multiple ways.

Making time for yourself frees you up to mind-nurturing activities.

These include practicing meditation, booking a salon, reflecting on your emotions, revisiting your life goals, and reciting affirmations.

Making time for yourself isn’t about avoiding other people or responsibilities.

It’s about being more self-aware. Taking a moment to breathe and think helps you become more mindful of your thoughts, feelings, and reactions.

And of course, making time for beauty sleep.

Being in tune with your inner self helps you model positive behaviors for others, too.

Because, let’s face it, when your friends are with you on this glow up journey, you’ll feel more motivated to keep going.

So throw on a face mask and some nose strips and keep on reading.

How to glow up #4: Exercise!

Another great way to speed up your glow journey?

Regular exercise!

We know that starting a workout program can feel intimidating, especially if you feel particularly self-conscious in gyms or fitness classes.

But get this: there are lots of workout challenges online in the form of videos or write-ups that can spark a big change.

Moreover, there are workout programs like 30-day challenges or 365-day muscle building challenges which will have a stronger effect on keeping you motivated.

The best way to choose one is to set a goal like “run a mile under 15 minutes” or “build leg muscles.”

Then, determine the appropriate workout routine for this goal.

A study by Sharma et. al found that regular exercise improves mood by hyping up our confidence and boosting brain function.

For folks with anxiety, negative mood episodes, or depression, exercising for three days a week for 30 minutes each can help spark a healthy change in hormones.

What’s more, you don’t have to complete the 30 minutes all at once!

You might take a 10-minute walk in the morning, follow a 10-minute, medium-intensity YouTube workout video in the afternoon, then take another quick, 10-minute walk at night.

Set aside time every day (or at least three days a week) for exercise, and try to follow this schedule.

This regularity might be the best way to help you stick to a routine on your way to improving your body shape.

Before you know it, you’ll glow before your very eyes.

Healthy diet

The other huge impact on your glow up will be to include more healthy food into your diet.

Try picking up a healthy cookbook for some inspiration or a meal delivery servince that ships a consignment of meals to your doorstep.

Additionally, don’t forget to snack on some energy-packed snacks like avocado shakes or protein bars and avoid trigger foods.

Add olive oil to your meals for some healthy fats, double down on the veggies such as broccolli and portobello mushroom, and stay away from the junk food (so long, burgers).

These boost your exercise performance, so you can get more out of every workout.

Be sure to include enough healthy fats and avoid trans/saturated fats.

Healthy fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat which can be found in olive oil, avocado, chia seeds, flax seeds, etc.

While it’s obvious junk food includes more saturated or trans fats, beware of other sources that can sound seemingly healthy such as coconut oil or coconut milk.

Having these in moderation can be fine, but too much coconut oil can lead to too much saturated fat intake… so stick to the avocados.

Also be sure the get enough B vitamins as these are essential to our health in many different ways.

This can typically be found in meats or nutritional yeast for you plant-based eaters out there.

How to glow up #5: Smile more

When you’re having a less than great day, smiling might be the last thing on your mind.

However, this simple action can lead you to feeling better — and boosting your physical appearance, too!In fact, there is scientific proof that smiling makes you more attractive (4).

In other words, a good lasting impression on others is a beaming smile.

So no matter how you feel on the inside during a particular moment, smile and carry on.

Beyond appearances, smiling makes you and others around you feel good.

Wellness hack: Even if you just force yourself to crack a smile when you feel sad, you might instantly feel happier.

That’s because the brain releases chemicals and peptides that lift our moods when we smile.

Similarly, when others see us smiling, their brains also inform them of these pleasant feelings.

Consequently, they instinctively feel the need to smile back.It’s like a positive cycle that only ends in good vibes.

The best part about smiling? It’s free!

So smiles all around for a quick, instant glow!

P. S. Try a mint whitening toothpaste to ensure that smile is shiny white and smells amazing!

Taking care of your teeth daily with a whitening toothpaste will help to brush off the grime and reveal those pearly whites!

How to glow up #6: Up your fashion style

Once you’ve got skincare, me-time, exercise, and the infectious, happy grin mastered, you might start tinkering with your clothes.

After all, fashion is just another form of expression that impacts our sense of self.

Even though quarantine got us used to walking around in our jammies all day…think about it: your clothes say many things about you even before you open your mouth in front of strangers.

We aren’t saying you have to break the piggybank and buy some designer clothes.

Just finding some quality clothes and styles that fit your personality and individual style will go a long way.

Speding a few extra dollars on quality clothes is typically worth it so that the material lasts longer.

You can even mix and match your own clothes with new pieces to create entire new looks!

But what if you feel like you don’t have a fashion sense?

To that, we say, nonsense!

Fashion is a form of art, so there’s never really a wrong way to dress.

Just be sure to partition different looks for different occasions.

Wardrobe glow up

However, you can elevate your looks by figuring out what matches with what and by keeping up-to-date on clothing trends.

Finding clothes that fit properly can drastically improve your overall aesthetic, for starters.

Moreover, you might learn the basics of style like how to mix patterns correctly, what colors clash with each other, and what silhouettes work for you.

To kick things off, look for ideas in fashion icons and current events.

No matter your choice of social media platform (Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, etc.) you can find groups, influencers, or forums to draw inspiration from.

Next, you can pick out staples like a casual jean, a semi-casual blazer, and a type of boot.

Before you know it, you’ll have a whole wardrobe of carefully chosen quality clothes that embody your sense of fashion.

One last tip: don’t be afraid to experiment! There are endless supposed “dos” and “don’ts” in fashion, but these rules are ever-changing.One thing to remember is that you wear the clothes, not the other way around.

Moreover, a respectable posture with your back straight and shoulders back is an affirmation to yourself that says, “I look good, and I feel good.”

Stay true to your vision, and you’re one step closer to a fully realized you.

How to glow up #7: Find the perfect natural makeup look

If you enjoy painting your face before you start the day, an established makeup routine can save you time, effort, and money.

Why do we say this?

Well, knowing what you like and don’t like can help keep you from splurging impulsively on new beauty products (Don’t worry, we’re guilty of this, too!).

Thankfully, there are makeup dupes that can save you a ton of cash.

But that’s not all.

If you’re pressed on time in your busy schedule, then mastering a makeup routine can help you cut down on minutes spent getting ready.

Check out our top 10 makeup looks for summer 2021 to stay up to date with the trends!

You can even schedule an appointment with a salon to get your eyebrows and cuticles done.

Lastly, a good makeup routine frees up your mind for other things.

Instead of worrying about what eyeshadow colors to use for the day or whether or not you should put on cream foundation instead of mineral powder, you can focus on important dates or projects.

Specific tips for a new makeup routine

Fortunately, most makeup brands sell face palettes complete with everything you need to get ready.

These essentials include face primer, blush, bronzer, and eyeshadow.

Sets might also include white eyeliner or highlighters in different shades.

Who doesn’t love a dewy highlighter that makes you glow in the sun?

More exhaustive palettes also include lightweight mattifying powders and more eye shadow pigments. Beyond powders, concealer, lip gloss, mascara, and eyebrow pencil are also crucial.

But perhaps the most important makeup product of all?

A reliable makeup remover so your skin stays fresh and clear.

Bonus tip: try a face mask at least once a week! Also, be sure to remove makeup with a microfiber cloth/microfiber towel rather than harsh makeup removers.

What if this is your first time doing makeup and you have no idea where to start?

Look into YouTube videos that help you choose the right colors and shades for your skin tone and skin type to enhance your outer appearance.

Denitslava makeup is the first YouTube star we came across who has great content.

She’s a YouTube personality that can really get you on track for your makeup journey!

You can even experiment with a new fragrance or self-tanner products such as Giovanni to experience tans without enduring the skin damage.

Like clothing, makeup is another form of self-expression, so trial and error is key.

You might find that a bare-faced, natural look suits your lifestyle or that a classic bold lip and dark eye brings out your best features.

You’ll never know until you try, so seek out makeup samples to start, and get to painting.

How to glow up #8: New hair, new you

It’s high time we start giving our scalp the love it deserves.

No more waiting till’ next season to deal with split ends and frizzy hair.

Let’s address this here and now with a new haircut to reveal the new bombshell you.

A good haircare routine is not just playing with hair dyes and new hairstyles.

We even have a comprehensive guide to purple hair dye for dark hair and the oh so popular Pop Smoke braids!

It’s also about using quality shampoos, conditioners, and really treating your scalp.

Adding in a DIY hair mask or leave-in conditioner once a week are the best ways to osstrengthen your strands and optimize your hair growth process.

You can also set up an appointment with your hair stylist and play with a new length.

Lady rules 101: Don’t forget to take care of your facial hair with a razor often!

Mental glow up of your life

Glowing up externally is indeed an important thing when it comes to to getting your glow on.

But it’s only half the equation.

Leveling up your mental and emotional health will put you ahead of the pack when it comes to maturity and overall personal growth.

How to glow up #9: Daily affirmations

A perfect way to ease into a permanent change for your mindset is to start with daily affirmations.

Starting off the day with these positive affirmations can put your mind into positive thoughts which will carryout throughout the day.

Finding time throughout the day or before bed to repeat these affirmations will give your subconscious positive reinforcement that will build up over time and transform your current self-beliefs.

Here are some of our favorite daily affirmations:

  • You are fully capable of doing anything you set your mind to.
  • You are enough.
  • You are loved.
  • You are an intelligent, beautiful, and strong human being.

How to glow up #10: Take a break from social media

Even though social media has consumed so many people, it doesn’t need to consume you too.

While influencers and peers are out there trying to showcase how glamourous their lives are, it can seriosuly harm your emotional health — especailly if you’re in the process of getting your ish together.

While the first few days of your social media detox might be excruciatingy tempting to click that Instagram button, it will get easier as time goes on.

Plus, this cleanse will make it that much easier to stay focused on your work and yourself — which is an essential part of your glow up.

While you might get a lil’ case of FOMO when you’re away, just think about how improved you’ll come out on the other side of it — and that should be enough motivation for you to give it a try.

A social media cleanse every so often on a regular basis is a healthy habit that can easily become an important part of your glow up journey!

How to glow up #11: Practice gratitude

No matter what you’re going through, it’s important to take a look around and realize the good things that you have.

In this day and age, we’re given a lot of things and it’s easy to overlook them and be entitled millennials.

But in reality, this does nothing other than have a negative impact on our own conscious because we’ll no longer be appreciative of the positive people and things we have going for us!

Here’s a quick exercise to practice everyday before bed:

  1. Dim the lights
  2. Get in a comfortable position and take deep breaths (in through your nose and out through your mouth)
  3. After each breath, name one thing you are grateful for
  4. Repeat these steps every night to practice gratitude and remind yourself what you have!

Although this may seem simple, you’d be surprised at the huge impact this whole process will make on your emotional health.

How to glow up #12: Surround yourself with the right people people

If you’re ready to take your glow up to the next level, it’s time to evaluate the people you spend the most time with and if they will help you in your life-goals or hold you back.

Being around positive people will make a major difference in helping propel you to the next level because they are likely on the same path and want to see you do well!

Having a solid environment to grow can reap incredible benefits by keeping your motivation high and keeping you accountable.

On the other hand, spending too much time with toxic people who aren’t trying to be the best versions of themselves can have a serious negative impact on your personal growth.

This is one of the life lessons you don’t want to learn the hard way, trust us.

Yes, it’s possible your friends from senior year aren’t the ones for the new you.

If your social circle gives you push back or only has toxic people that have negative comments towards you trying to better yourself, it’s probably about time to explore some new horizons.

Put yourself out there and find other individuals on the same wavelength as you! Never let toxic people hold you down.

And if you’re on the introvert side of things, try not to self-isolate for too long. Having quality social interactions on a regular basis are important for your well-being!

Advanced level glow up

So you’re feeling good physically and mentally now, huh? Let’s get into the good stuff.

How to glow up #13: Manifestation

We know, we know.

Manifestation sounds like some woo-woo law of attraction baloney.

But we aren’t talking about that.

When it comes to manifestation, it comes down to putting your inner world out there to create your own luck.

The scary part about this is that you’re making yourself vulnerable to rejection and failure. But on the other hand, you’re also opening possible doors of opportunity and success.

No great athlete, business person, political figure, or any other type of successful person has ever gotten success without failure.

Failure is 100% okay.

You know why?

Because failure is what teaches you lessons and makes your stronger and wiser.

So in order to manifest your dreams, you will have to put yourself out there fully understanding that failure could happen.

But don’t let that deter you.

Don’t think, “omg im gonna fail.”

Instead, think about the opportunities that await!

If you have an idea for a business, tell people about it. If you want to be an influencer, start putting out content. If you want to make a blog, start writing articles.

Whatever, it is, even if it’s something random like wanting a house with a palm tree in the future, think it and believe it everyday.

Manifestation comes from action, so start today as a big part of your glow up!

P.S. There’s no losing, just learning.

How to glow up #14: Set goals

Setting new goals is crucial. Like, really crucial.

Not only does it hold your actions accountable, but it also gives you a map of exactly what actions to take to tackle your long term goals.

Decision fatigue is real.

Having to wake up and decide what you need to do throughout the day is consitently draining your energy more than you even realize.

That’s why you should start setting daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals.

While it may seem farfetched to look into the future past a month or a year, those big goals are typically just the accumulation of crushing your daily goals each and every single day.

Start with a planner and make a list of things you need to complete tomorrow.

Your goal is to complete those things.

Slowly work your way out to what you want to be completed by the end of the week, then month, then year.

One of the incredible benefits of checking off these goals one by one, is that you’ll start gaining momentum and self-belief.

Nothing feels better than saying you’ll do something, and actually carrying through and doing it.

This increases the strength of your self belief because you continue to do the things you say you will.

Now my friend, you are on your way to making a killin’.

How to glow up #15: Be curious

In order to continue to grow your inner world, it’s essential to be curious.

It’s key to remember that you don’t know everything, even in things that you may be an expert at.

This will open the door for new information to make it’s way into your brain and result as a more intelligent self.

One way to keep improving your mental glow is to set aside time each day to read books.

Start with some of the best personal development books such as atomic habits and how to win friends and influence people.

Disclaimer: Just because you post the cover of the book on your IG story, doesn’t mean you’ve read it. Be sure to take in the information and fully understand it yourself so you can apply the principles to your own life!

All in all

A glow up is a process (and it can be a long process!) that turns you into a newer and better version of yourself.

Both your inner world and outer appearance.

And it doesn’t need to take a long time.

In truth, you might already be in the throes of growing into a new person.

Nevertheless, you can start today with some simple habits.

  • Start a new skincare routine
  • Stay hydrated
  • Reconnect with yourself
  • Make time for regular exercise
  • Show off your beautiful smile
  • Sharpen your fashion sense
  • Discover the best makeup look (and products) for you

The perfect time to reveal your inner glow goddess is today (not next season), but don’t feel the need to start everything all at once.

One honorable mention in our glowing up guide is finding the right hairstyle (plus the right shampoo and conditioner to take care of your scalp) that suits your wardrobe, aesthetic, and face.

Another is eating healthy foods like veggies, healthy fats like avocado, and lean protein.

Keep in mind that learning how to glow is continuous.

You might even find yourself at a point of disbelief, wondering how much you’ve changed in just a few months.

More so, you might find yourself metamorphosing from these good habits every few years.

Don’t wait till next season, get your glow on today!


  1. Brolley, Brittany. “Why We Find Smiles So Attractive.” TheList.com, The List, 4 Jan. 2019, https://www.thelist.com/142010/why-we-find-smiles-so-attractive/.
  2. “Fight Fatigue with Fluids.” Harvard Health, 17 June 2020, www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/fight-fatigue-with-fluids.
  3. “How Much Water Should You Drink?” Harvard Health, 1 Dec. 2020, www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-much-water-should-you-drink.
  4. “The Real Health Benefits of Smiling and Laughing.” The Real Health Benefits of Smiling and Laughing | SCL Health, www.sclhealth.org/blog/2019/06/the-real-health-benefits-of-smiling-and-laughing/#:~:text=Release%20the%20Endorphins!,the%20serotonin%20is%20an%20antidepressant.
  5. Sharma, Ashish, et al. “Exercise for Mental Health.” Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc., 2006, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470658/.

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