How To

The Ultimate How To Glow Up Challenge

Woman wearing a bathrobe fresh out of the shower, applying under-eye patches.

The “how to glow up” trend has been all over the internet. Since the rise of beauty gurus and social media influencers, we have also seen a growth in the popularity of glow up challenges. But what is a glow up, exactly? While some may think it’s just about improving your physical appearance, that’s not the case. 

What Does It Mean To Glow Up

Some may say that the how to glow up challenge is all about learning how to become beautiful, in terms of physical appearance. And that in order to know how to be pretty, you need the perfect hairstyle, glamorous makeup, and stylish clothing. Admittedly, having all of these are nice, but they are the root of beauty or of a glow up.

According to Urban Dictionary, a glow up is “mental, physical, and an emotional transformation for the better.” With that said, the meaning of glow up is all about embodying the best version of yourself. To truly glow up, you need to focus on your emotional and mental mindset, too. By doing so, you are ultimately building a happier life and cultivating a healthy lifestyle.

From how to get glowing skin to how to improve your self-esteem, here’s everything you need to know about how to have a glow-up transformation.

How to Glow Up Physically

Sweat It Out

Woman in athleisure following a workout video on a flatscreen television screen, part of her glow up routine.
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Working out regularly is essential to any glow-up challenge. We all know that exercise is important for both our bodies and minds. Unfortunately, finding the right motivation to push yourself can be difficult. Therefore, it’s crucial that you find the right type of workout, as well as the right kind of intensity, that you can commit to. Whether it may be dance routines, cardio exercises, or even just a walk around your neighborhood, you need an exercise routine that you enjoy doing. And even if you’re not the biggest fan of hitting the gym, there are still plenty of home workout videos you can follow. Even including a simple 10-minute workout into your morning routine, three to five times a week can make a difference. 

Besides weight loss, regular exercise can also impact our skin. Have you ever noticed that your skin has a certain glow after a workout session? No, it’s not just due to sweat. That’s the post-workout glow. The increased blood flow that occurs during intense workouts promotes circulation. This, in turn, contributes to our skin’s overall glow. Plus, the endorphins released when exercising can be beneficial to our skin cells.

Maintain a Balanced Diet

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Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is another crucial element of any glow up routine. Your body needs fuel to keep it active and function at its best. You can’t just feed it anything you want, though. What you put into your body can significantly affect your overall health and the appearance of your skin. 

If you want healthy, glowing skin, you need to start from the inside. You have to give it the right foods in the right amounts. Start by incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your daily meals. You can do so by following a clean eating meal plan or simply by using vegetables as soup bases and adding fruits into your morning smoothies.

Stay Away From Unhealthy Junk Foods

Close-up shot of a woman refusing to eat doughnuts, while holding an apple, as part of the 30 day glow up challenge.
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Besides eating more fruits and veggies, you need to cut down your intake of foods with empty calories, as well. Now, you don’t have to completely forgo chips and sweets. You can still indulge yourself every once in a while. However, overeating them can hinder your glow up transformation. Too much junk can contribute to weight gain and acne breakout. In addition, the high amounts of sodium found in them can cause bloating and inflammation. If you want to glow up in a month, cut off your intake of any foods with preservatives, additives, unnecessary sugars, and empty calories. This includes fast foods, processed foods, and sugary drinks. By doing this as part of your 30 day glow up challenge, you’ll not only see a difference in your appearance but in your overall health, as well.

Keep Yourself Hydrated 

Woman in athleisure clothing drinking water after a home workout, one of the many ways on how to glow up.
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We know you’ve probably already heard this before but, you need to drink water! And lots of it! Upping your water intake offers plenty of benefits to your body. Drinking at least two liters of water each day will keep you hydrated, flush out waste from your body, and improve the overall appearance of your skin. Remember, the skin is an organ, and just like your other organs, it needs plenty of hydration to function at its best.

Admittedly, some people find it difficult to drink two liters of water daily. This can be due to all sorts of reasons, from busy schedules to simply not liking the taste of it. However, there are plenty of simple and effective ways to boost your water intake. Just putting a water jug beside you works as a visual reminder to drink water. Adding fresh fruits and herbs to flavor the water’s bland taste could encourage you to drink more. Not only do they provide flavor to your water, but extra minerals and vitamins as well. Consuming water-rich foods, like fruits and soups, is another great way to keep yourself hydrated.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Woman sleeping in a bed with white bed sheets, one of the effective ways on how to glow up.
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It should go without saying that you need your beauty sleep if you want to glow up. Getting enough sleep is crucial if you want to wake up refreshed and rested the next day. According to the CDC, adults should get at least seven hours of sleep each night. Although, you shouldn’t just focus on the duration of sleep. The quality of sleep you’re getting is equally as important. When you get a good night’s sleep, you are alert and energetic. Good quality sleep helps lift your mood. If you’re interested in tracking both the duration and quality of your sleep, you can invest in a sleep tracker like the Oura Ring, Motiv Ring, or an Apple Watch.

Meanwhile, if you’re having a hard time falling asleep, try reading a book before bed. For some, putting on calming music or a white noise machine can help them relax. Meditating and taking a hot bath are other relaxation techniques that can help you fall asleep. If all of these fail, it’s best to consult with your physician to rule out any possible sleep disorders.

Start Dry Brushing

Close-up shot of a woman in black underwear dry brushing her upper thigh with a wooden brush, as part of her glow up routine.
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For those unfamiliar, dry brushing is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an exfoliating technique that uses a stiff-bristled brush on dry skin to remove dead skin cells. Besides gently removing dry and dead skin, this exfoliating method also offers several other benefits that will help you glow up. It can help reduce the appearance of cellulite and encourage cell renewal. Just note that dry brushing isn’t for everyone, especially people prone to skin irritations and suffer from psoriasis or eczema. Moreover, you should avoid dry brushing skin with visible wounds. The easiest way to incorporate this into your beauty routine is before hopping into the shower. That way, you can easily wash off dead skin cells from your body. 

Establish a Shower Routine

Close-up shot of a woman taking shower, holding a luffa sponge to her sudsy shoulder, part of her glow up routine.
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Showering is a must when it comes to basic hygiene. However, there’s so much more to it than just soap and water. Establishing a shower routine and proper technique will help you achieve radiant-looking skin. Before getting into the shower, make sure that the water temperature isn’t too warm or cold. Scalding hot water can dry out your skin by stripping it of its natural oils. On the other hand, a cold shower, while refreshing and energizing, especially in the morning, can actually lead to health risks. Because of these, it’s best to opt for tepid temperatures when showering.

Furthermore, you should also consider the soap or body wash you use to cleanse your body. Not all shower products are created equal. Choose one that suits your skin type with moisturizing ingredients and is free of unwanted chemicals like sulfate. After showering, make sure to moisturize with a body lotion while your skin is still damp. This will seal in moisture and keep your skin hydrated for longer.

Build Solid Skin Care Routine

Perspective shot of a woman in a bathroom mirror applying a face mask, one of the ways on how to glow up instantly.
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Want to learn how to make yourself prettier without makeup? If that’s the case, you need to establish a skincare routine. Daily use of the right skincare products results in healthy and glowing skin that may not even need makeup at all. Starting out with skincare and are unsure where to start? We got you covered! If you want to learn how to glow up in a month, it’s important that you follow a daily skin care routine with a cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and serum. 

Meanwhile, it’s important to remove dead skin cells by exfoliating once or twice a week with a gentle exfoliator. Doing so will give you an instant glow, as well as remove flaky or dry skin. Don’t forget to give some TLC to your lips. A good lip scrub and lip balm will leave your lips looking and feeling smooth and luscious. While not necessary, a sheet or face mask once a week can aid in improving your skin’s overall health. Moreover, spending a night with your favorite book and wine with a sheet mask on is surely one of the self-care activities that provides a quick escape to relax. By setting up a consistent skincare regimen, you’ll notice a vast difference in the quality of your skin in just a month!

Never Forget SPF

Young woman wearing a sun hat with a bottle of sunscreen outside on a summer day.
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Don’t forget to top your skincare routine with SPF. Skipping sunscreen can actually undo all the efforts you put into your skin. Too much exposure to the sun without any proper protection can cause damage to your skin, which can lead to skin cancer and premature aging.

That’s why it’s important to apply sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30. Sunscreen with high SPF is especially important if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, since people with these types of skin are often more susceptible to UV light and sun damage.

Find the Right Makeup Look For You 

Three eye shadow palettes and three lipsticks laid out on a table.
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Truthfully, there’s no step-by-step guide on how to glow up overnight. It’s a process that will take time. In the meantime, though, you can fake it till you make it by giving yourself a makeover. Establishing a makeup and beauty routine is one of the first steps in learning how to be prettier and more confident. There are plenty of videos about the makeup you can find online that range from simple everyday looks to extravagant glam looks. Experiment with different glow up makeup looks until you find one that makes you feel good, beautiful, and confident. You don’t need to do a full face of makeup every day. Putting on a little bit of concealer, lip tint, and blush that compliments your skin tone is the fastest way to get a summer glow no matter the season! 

If you are looking on expanding your makeup collection, here are some items you need:

  • Makeup primer 
  • Foundation
  • Setting powder
  • Eye shadow palette
  • Mascara and eyeliner
  • Eyebrow products
  • Lipstick

Find Your Signature Scent

Woman spraying perfume on her neck.
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Have you ever got a whiff of a certain aroma and it instantly reminded you of someone? That’s what a signature scent is. It can be a subconscious way to leave an impression on others. Your signature fragrance is an extension of your personality and is a great way for others to remember you, even in the subtlest of ways. There are a plethora of fragrances to choose from. Do you like the fresh floral scents of body mists? A fan of the cool and sophisticated aromas of woodsy Eau de parfums? Or maybe you prefer the sultry colognes with notes of smoke and leather? Whatever scent you choose, make sure it represents who you are and who you want to be. 

Establish a Hair Care Routine

Close-up shot of a woman applying a hair care product on the ends of her hair, part of her glow up transformation
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Establishing a hair care routine should be part of your glow up checklist. After all, our hair is our crowning glory. If you want a healthy and voluminous mane, wash your hair regularly and use the right products. Not all hair is the same, so the tools and products needed to style and care for yours will depend on your hair type.

Hair types are categorized into four: straight, wavy, curly, and coily. Straight hair can often look limp and lifeless. If you want to add natural-looking volume to your hair, invest in volumizing products such as shampoo, conditioner, and mousse. A good texturizing spray to add texture and volume to your locks. Meanwhile, for people with wavy, curly, and coily hair, knowing how to plop hair can make a world of a difference to your look.

Regardless of which hair type you have, it’s important to keep it healthy by getting rid of split ends. Using a hair mask with coconut oil or other natural hair oils will help you achieve healthy hair.

Experiment with Your Hair 

Woman in long white sleeves blow drying hair of another woman sitting in a salon.
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Getting a new hairstyle is certainly one of the ways on how to glow up in a day. Contrary to popular belief, a new haircut isn’t just part of post-breakup makeovers. Although, it’s certainly one of the ways how to glow up after a breakup. Rather, changing your hair is a great way to enhance your look and confidence.

Ever thought of getting bangs? Want to experiment with your hair color? Or maybe chopping off your long locks for a sleek bob cut? Well, whatever haircut and style you’re thinking about, this is your sign to get it! Visit your trusted hairstylist and discuss with them what you want. Ask them for their opinion of what could look good on you or simply talk about the latest hairstyles trending right now. If you’re feeling adventurous, learn how to cut your own hair at home! 

Update Your Wardrobe 

Woman reviewing pieces of clothing laid out on a bed in a vintage-inspired room.
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Updating your wardrobe is a surefire way on how to glow up in a week. Take time to review your closet and define what new style you want. There are plenty of style aesthetics to take inspiration from if you’re looking to change up your outfits. From the cute pastels of the soft girl style to the rustic yet whimsical aesthetics of cottagecore, pick a style that reflects your mood, personality, and individuality. You can also take inspiration from the seasons. Want to have a hot girl summer? Step out of your comfort zone and experiment with risqué style choices. Meanwhile, the sad girl autumn aesthetic is all about loose and comfortable clothing in warm muted colors, like orangey reds and golden browns.

You don’t have to cull your entire closet in one day. Start small by purchasing a few new outfits and accessories. Experiment with different outfits until you find the style you love and feel comfortable in. At the end of the day, what’s most important is that you feel good wearing the clothes you wear. 

How to Glow Up Mentally and Emotionally 

Practice Using Positive Affirmations

Top shot of bullet journaling materials with words of positive affirmations written in calligraphy on pieces of paper.
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Now you know the steps on how to glow up your physical appearance, you need to work on changing your mindset for the better. What better way to do so than with daily affirmations. For those unfamiliar, affirmations are positive statements you repeat to yourself to overcome negative thoughts. Starting off each day with positive affirmations can cultivate positive thoughts and build your confidence over time. You can either say them out loud or write them down if you’re looking for some bullet journal ideas.

Here are some positive affirmations you can begin with:

  • I can achieve all of my goals
  • My beauty is unique to me
  • My charisma and confidence makes me look even more stunning
  • I radiate beauty
  • I look exquisite in my clothes
  • Every part of me radiates beauty.
  • I am worthy of life
  • I can be anything I want

Practice Self Love

Creative shot of a long exposure heart with a woman sitting on a beach near a bonfire. 
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Self-love is one of the top forms of love. While this may seem like a narcissistic belief, but how can you be happy and confident if you don’t love yourself? If you are your own worst critic? Of course, this isn’t to say you shouldn’t be critical of yourself. Rather you should appreciate yourself and all your accomplishments.

Want to feel better about yourself? Then, pour love unto yourself. Be kind and forgive yourself for past mistakes. Take a moment to slow down, appreciate the little things, and marvel at the present moment. Be grateful for what you are and all you have. Learning how to love yourself is one of the best glow up tips out there. After all, when we truly love ourselves, what does it matter what other people think? 

Build Your Self Esteem 

Blonde woman in a white towel drawing a heart on a mirror with red lipstick.
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If no amount of achievement or prestige can make you feel accomplished, then you may have low self-esteem. Not only can it hinder your glow up transformation but negatively affect other aspects of your life, as well. Having poor self-esteem can cause devastating consequences to your relationships, job performance, and physical and mental health.

But what is self-esteem, anyway? Self-esteem is the confidence you have in your own worth and abilities. People with poor self-esteem typically feel like no matter what they do, they are never good enough. This belief can lead you to seclude yourself from social situations and stop you from trying out new things. Living with longer-term poor self-esteem can likewise lead to depression and anxiety.

In order to build sound levels of self-esteem, you need to identify the negative thoughts and challenge them. Rebut each overly critical thought you have with positive thoughts. Instead of thinking, “My presentation didn’t go well,” try telling yourself, “My presentation wasn’t perfect, but my colleagues remained engaged and asked questions.” Instead of saying, “I always make mistakes,” try telling yourself, “Mistakes are great learning opportunities.”

We can be our own worst enemy, yet at the end of the day, it’s still up to us to make ourselves feel better and more hopeful. However, don’t be shy to talk about it with someone you trust. This can be a friend, family member, or therapist, or counselor.

Meditate Every Day

Serene looking woman meditating on a rooftop garden, one of the ways on how to glow up mentally and emotionally. 
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Daily affirmations and positive reinforcements build confidence and hype you up. Sometimes, though, you truly just need to slow down and find your inner peace. One of the best ways to do so is through meditation. Knowing how to meditate can help you with personal growth by detaching yourself from thoughts about the future and past, and just focusing on the present moment. Meditation can reduce the stress and anxiety you may experience from busy schedules and demanding lives. Furthermore, it can also encourage a more balanced emotional state and a sense of empathy and compassion. All of which can help you learn how to become a better person inside and out.

Now, there are various meditation techniques you can follow, each one requiring different skills and mindsets. With that in mind, it may take trial and error for you to find the one that works for you. After all, meditation is a practice — you have to keep at it in order to get better. Start small, even if it’s just five minutes of meditation each day.

Do the Things You Love

Top shot of a woman holding a cup of copy while reading a book.
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Spending time doing what you love is a gateway to happiness, which will help you know how to glow up naturally. Admittedly, it can be hard finding time to do so, especially if you have rather grueling schedules. However, it’s crucial that you make time for fun recreational activities. This allows you to take your mind off the stress and demands of your daily life. Love reading fantasy books like Twilight? Do you enjoy crocheting? Love immortalizing precious memories through journaling and scrapbooking? Or maybe you love simply watching the best Netflix movies and shows? Regardless of which hobby you have, the most important thing is that it makes you feel good.

Surround Yourself With People That Support You

Four friends hugging each other and smiling. 
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Getting rid of toxic people from your life is among the best ways to glow up. Let’s face it, no matter how much we try, the attitude of the people around us can influence our moods greatly. As such, it’s best to distance yourself from people who make you feel less than or perpetually uncomfortable. Anyone that doesn’t treat you well should not be in your inner circle. Instead, seek the company of those who share the same positive attitude. Surround yourself with supportive people who make you happy, allow you to realize your best traits, applaud you with every victory no matter how small, which all can have an effect on your glow up transformation.

If you’re having trouble finding these types of people, try joining a club for your interest, like a book club or garden club. You can also try meeting new people online by joining forums dedicated to your passions. There are a bunch of ways on how to make friends as an adult, even if you consider yourself an introvert. Don’t be afraid to take the first step in reaching out to people. 

Set Goals that Challenge Yourself 

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The spark in your eyes after achieving your goals can make you feel like the prettiest version of yourself. The feeling of success and happiness is hard to beat. Thus, it’s important to set goals and challenge yourself to accomplish them. After all, the essence of the glow up definition is all about transforming yourself for the better. It can be as simple as smiling more and losing that extra weight to starting your own business. Even the littlest goals can be stepping-stones to a happier life.

The road to the manifestation of your goals begins by deciding on something you want to do or work towards. From here, start planning on how you are going to execute them. Once that’s established, take the first step towards them. Keep working on them until you begin to see the fruits of your labor. When you reach your goals, don’t forget to celebrate and enjoy your victories, no matter how little.

Glowing Up From the Inside Out

The art glowing up is not just about knowing how to become prettier. Glow ups are all about balancing your physical, mental, and emotional conditions. At its core, a true glow up is all about learning how to become a better person inside and out. If you want to learn how to get a glow up, you need to take care of your body, cultivate personal growth, and develop sound levels of self-love and confidence.