I had a few hours to spare today. Instead of choosing my normal escape, like exercise, reading or cooking, I decided to finally clean out our bathroom drawers.

It’s a job I hate that needed to get done. I spent about two hours emptying each drawer and cabinet, wiping things down and washing storage containers. As I completed my project, feeling invigorated and a bit lighter, I realized I could probably throw away half the items in my makeup and skin product drawers. The number of products in my drawers that go unused was a bit ridiculous.

And then, like they always do at the most random times, an epiphany sparked in my brain. This phrase kept moving through my brain… “How much makeup does a woman need when she is glowing from the inside?”

Smile. Pause. Be Grateful.

I immediately had memories of my former life. Memories of splurges at the makeup counter in Nordstrom’s, buying too many cosmetics that promised to “erase the fine lines”, “make my skin glow” and “hide the dark circles”. I remember the brief feelings of hope and excitement that perhaps these products would make me look and feel better.

And I remembered the consistency with which the shiny new cosmetic would become dusty and sit in its drawer, after failing to accomplish what I was hoping from it! Beauty does NOT come in a bottle!

Most of us want to be beautiful. It’s human nature. We want strong, thick hair, glowing skin and a strong physique. Feeling attractive is an innate human condition. Getting there is another story. It was the realization of a simple truth. Our beauty cannot be purchased – it must be LIVED.

You can layer as much makeup on as you want, but without tending to your mind body and spirit it will be like putting lipstick on a pig.

Finally, I learned that the secret to true beauty is living a beautiful life!

Fast forward to today. My makeup routine is brief and sparse. I start with almond oil to moisturize, a light foundation if needed, eyeliner, mascara and lipstick. Period. Don’t get me wrong, I love my makeup! It makes me feel beautiful at times and helps to brighten my face on those days where I need me some brightening!! But the relationship is different, I no longer need makeup as much.

After years of trying to follow a more balanced life, I find that my skin reflects my level of balance. If I am eating well, moving my body with gentle exercise, sleeping well, maintaining healthy relationships, devoting enough time to spirituality and getting out in nature, I GLOW. My eyes light up and my face naturally smiles. At that point, the makeup is icing on the cake.

If you want to be beautiful, be beautiful to yourself. Eat well, rest, exercise, experience love and friendships, share, and take time for your spirituality. Give it a try and watch the glow emerge.

Here are six ways to start glowing from within today:

  1. One step at a time. I tell my patients that a personal transformation is a marathon not a race. If you want true lasting beauty, give yourself the time to make the following changes slowly and gently.
  2. Use your food as fuel. The standard American diet (SAD) is a recipe for disaster. Highly processed foods, refined sugars, unhealthy fats, artificial ingredients and pure over eating have led to an obesity epidemic that’s killing our country. Educate yourself on how to eat healthy. Think “eat food, not too much, mostly plants” my favorite quote by Michael Pollan.
  3. Daily movement is a must. Set a goal for healthy movement most days of the week. Think beyond exercise and focus on doing activities you enjoy. Dance, cycle, snowshoe, hike. Combining your movement and passions makes it fun and sustainable.
  4. Sleeping Beauty is more than a fairy tale! You can eat clean and exercise daily, but if you’re failing to get quality sleep, you’re missing the mark. Set sleep routines, aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep nightly and get medical attention if you are suffering from insomnia. A good integrative medicine physician can help you.
  5. Tame your tension. I always giggle when I get a glimpse of myself in the mirror when I am stressed or angry. My family and my husband especially would agree that it’s not pretty! The way you feel on the inside and the thoughts you allow to cycle through your mind will be written all over how you look and carry yourself. Don’t sweat the little things, there are no big things and get help if you are in a constant state of inner turmoil.
  6. Just give it a try. I often deal with people who say they are too far-gone or that they cannot imagine a clean lifestyle. I can guarantee you that given a few months of clean living, you will be addicted. When I am off track, I crave the routines that bring me back to healthy balance and I can guarantee you will too!!Leave me a note in the comments and let me know what steps you can take today to start glowing from within!

Leave me a note in the comments and let me know what steps you can take today to start glowing from within!