How To Glow Up: 22 Proven Ways To Achieve a Radiant You

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Tired of feeling stuck in a rut and lacking the confidence you know you should have?

If so, discovering how to become the best, most beautiful version of yourself should be at the top of your priority list. And luckily, we’re here to assist you every step of the way!

This is your ultimate guide on how to glow up, with a checklist of actionable steps that you can easily follow.

A young blonde woman taking a selfie in a hat.

From skincare to hair care, from fashion to hygiene, we’ll give you all the tips and tools you need to start your glow-up journey.

The Ultimate Glow Up Checklist: 22 Steps To Transform With Confidence

Bring out your pen and paper; this glow-up guide will get you through every aspect there is when it comes to self-transformation.

The ultimate glow up checklist infographic

Glow Up Your Face

Update Your Skincare Routine

A woman in a towel is looking at herself in the mirror while touching her face

Washing your face in the morning and before going to sleep is great. But if you want a full-on glow-up, upgrading your daytime and nighttime skincare routine is key. 

Start by using a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer first. Then you can incorporate products like essences to further hydrate your skin, eye creams to brighten dark circles, and spot treatments to address problem areas.  

Here’s a sample routine to give you an idea of how to elevate your current skincare routine and follow the right sequence of applying products. You can customize this to meet your skin’s unique needs!

DayNight
1. Cleanser1. Makeup remover/oil cleanser
2. Exfoliator2. Water-based cleanser
3. Toner3. Exfoliator
4. Essence4. Toner
5. Serum5. Essence
6. Eye cream6. Serum
7. Moisturizer7. Ampoule
8. Sunscreen8. Sheet mask
 9. Eye cream
 10. Moisturizer 
 11. Spot treatment

Be sure to apply the rule of thumb of lathering the products from thin to thick so one product doesn’t block the next product. 

Get Professional Beauty Treatments

Nothing beats an expert’s touch when it comes to getting the glow-up results you want! So if you’re willing to splurge on an indulgent treat that can improve your appearance and boost your confidence, professional beauty treatments are the way to go. 

Here are a few recommendations for facial treatments that can help you achieve your desired look:

  • Facial contouring. This is a non-surgical treatment that contours and defines your facial features.

    It can help slim down your face, enhance your cheekbones, and define your jawline. 
  • Chemical peels. These can help exfoliate dead skin cells, improving the texture and tone of your skin as a result.

    Different types of chemical peels can target specific skin concerns.
  • Microdermabrasion. This treatment uses a special device to exfoliate the outer layer of your skin and promote cell regeneration.

    With this, it can reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scars and leave your skin feeling smoother and looking brighter.

Try Facial Massage Tools

Facial massages with face rollers and gua sha have become incredibly popular — and for good reason.

These work wonders in improving blood flow to your face and relieving tension, which can reduce puffiness and even brighten your skin temporarily!

Not sure how to incorporate facial massages using these tools into your daily routine? Watch this video to find out:

Groom Facial Hair

Another simple yet super effective way to boost your glow-up game? Grooming excess facial hair, especially excess brow hair and peach fuzz!

You might not realize it, but these little tweaks can make a huge difference in how you look and feel.

Here are a few easy methods for getting rid of pesky peach fuzz:

  • Waxing. Waxing is a quick (although painful!) hair removal process. It’s an ideal choice for removing hair on your upper lip. 
  • Plucking. Grabbing a pair of tweezers to remove individual hairs from the skin is a slow process, but it’s effective for targeting tiny hairs in tight areas like the eyebrow area. 
  • Threading. This involves using a thread to twist and remove hair from the skin. 
  • Shaving. You can also use a razor to groom brow hair and peach fuzz, cutting hair at the surface of the skin. It’s a quick and easy method, but the results only last a few days.
  • Epilating. Like waxing, this is more for upper lip hair than brow hair, and it involves using an epilator that pulls hair out from the root. It can be painful, but the results last longer than shaving.

Up Your Brow Game

Full, defined brows instantly elevate your look. Aside from keeping them well-groomed, you can also try giving them a makeover with the following techniques:

Brow TreatmentTechnique InvolvedLongevity of ResultsBest For

Microblading

Uses a handheld tool to create small, hair-like strokes to fill in eyebrows

One to three years

Those who have sparse or uneven brows

Powder Brows

Uses a small machine to deposit pigments into the skin in a stippling motion to create soft, natural-looking brows

Two to three years

Those who want more defined brows without the harshness of traditional eyebrow tattoos 

Brow Lamination

Applies a chemical solution to the brows to straighten and set them in place

Four to six weeks

Those who have sparse or unruly brows who don’t want to commit to the lasting results of semi-permanent makeup techniques

Brow Tinting

Applies semi-permanent dye to the eyebrows to enhance their color and definition

Four to six weeks

Those who have lighter brows that are difficult to see



Enhance Your Lashes

a lash tech adding fake lashes to her client's natural eyelashes using her sanitized metal tools

Healthy, beautiful lashes make your eyes pop! So taking proper care of your lashes and indulging in a lash treatment every once in a while can help lengthen and volumize your eyes, allowing them to frame your eyes beautifully and add a youthful allure to your face. 

Here are some of the best ways to care for your lashes:

  • Apply castor oil or a lash serum to your lashes daily to condition them and promote growth. 
  • Get a lash lift for a subtle, natural-looking enhancement. 
  • Try lash extensions if you want a more dramatic lash makeover. 

Don’t Skip Lip Care

Chapped, flaky lips can downgrade your look instantly. The good news is getting softer, plumper lips is incredibly easy!

All you need to do is exfoliate and moisturize your lips using the following products:

  • Lip Balm — Keeps your lips hydrated 
  • Lip Mask — Soothes and softens your pout with nightly use
  • Lip Scrub — Restores your lips’ bright pink color by buffing away dry skin 

Follow this video tutorial to learn how to make a sugar lip scrub:

Look for Your Perfect Makeup Shades

Makeup gives you an easy, quick way to glam up your look and get a confidence boost, but even the most sophisticated makeup style can fall a bit flat if you don’t match your skin tone to the right shades and colors. 

Here’s a basic overview of the right foundation, blush, and lip color matches for different skin tones and undertones: 

Skin ToneUndertoneFoundation ShadesBlush ShadesLip Colors

Fair

Cool

Light beige, ivory

Soft pink

Light pink, coral

Fair

Warm

Light golden, warm beige

Peach, apricot

Peach, nude

Fair

Neutral

Light 

Soft rose

Pink, mauve

Medium

Cool

Medium beige

Cool pink

Berry, plum

Medium

Warm

Medium golden

Warm peach

Coral, terracotta

Medium

Neutral

Medium

Rose

Mauve

Deep

Cool

Deep beige

Berry

Plum, crimson

Deep

Warm

Deep golden

Warm coral

Deep red, brown

Deep

Neutral

Deep 

Deep rose

Burgundy, deep nude

Experiment With New Makeup Techniques

A woman in a white robe is applying makeup in front of a mirror.

When you get your basics down, you can play with different makeup looks for different occasions. 

Try techniques like the following:

  • Contouring and highlighting to sculpt and define facial features
  • Color correcting to neutralize undertones and conceal dark circles or blemishes
  • Eyeshadow blending for polished, professional eye looks
  • Applying winged eyeliner to elongate and lift the eyes

Glow Up Your Hair

Get the Right Haircut

Nothing upgrades your style quite like a new haircut, making you look and feel like a new, confident you! 

Whether you go for a trim or a major chop, consult with your stylist to determine the right cut for your features. They may consider the following factors:

  • Face shape. Certain styles may complement your face shape better than others.

    For example, a tousled pixie can help soften the angularity of a diamond-shaped face, while long layers with curtain bangs can help slim down a round face.
  • Hair texture. Your hair texture can also affect which hairstyle will look best on you.

    For example, if you have fine, straight hair, a blunt bob may work well for you. If you have thick, curly hair, a shaggy cut may help manage excess volume.
  • Current length. Additionally, your stylist may ask you whether you want to keep your current length or go for a drastic change.

    If you want to keep your hair long, for example, you can get face-framing bangs or subtle layers to spice things up. If you’re ready for a big change, a short bob may be a good option.

Switch Up Your Color

A woman getting her hair done in a salon.

Of course, a hair makeover wouldn’t be complete without a hair color change, which can completely and effortlessly refresh your look!

Not sure how to spice up your hair color? Try these recommendations:

  • Add highlights. Face-framing highlights around the hairline brighten up your complexion. Ask for balayage or babylights for a natural look.
  • Go darker. Try going a shade or two darker for contrast and dimension.
  • Experiment with temporary colors. Use temporary hair dyes to experiment with different colors. It’s a fun way to get a new look for special occasions.

Opt for Extensions

If you want to try different hair lengths and colors without making a huge, long-term commitment, try hair extensions!

There are plenty of options for extensions nowadays, including the table below:

Extension TypeDescriptionSuitable Hair Types

Tape-In Extensions

Involves applying wefts of hair to natural hair using adhesive tape.

Various hair types

Sew-In Extensions

Features extensions sewn onto braided natural hair

Thicker or coarser hair

Keratin Fusion Extensions

Fuses extensions to natural hair with a keratin adhesive using a hot tool

Various hair types

Cold Fusion or I-Tip Extensions

Attaches extensions to natural hair with metal beads or rings

Fine or fragile

Go for Natural Hair Care Products

If you think chemically formulated products are powerful, wait ’til you experience all-natural alternatives.

Natural ingredients and products can work wonders in moisturizing and strengthening your hair, helping you achieve strong, vibrant, and luscious locks. Talk about giving your hair a glow up!

Now let’s talk ingredients. Below are some of the natural hair care heroes you can incorporate into your hair regimen:

  • Coconut oil. This versatile oil can be used as a pre-shampoo treatment, leave-in conditioner, or styling product. It has potent moisturizing properties that leave your hair soft and shiny.
  • Argan oil. This oil is perfect for taming frizz and adding shine to your hair.
  • Aloe vera. When used in hair care products, aloe vera can help reduce dandruff, promote hair growth, and add moisture to your hair.
  • Shea butter. This natural butter is ideal for moisturizing and nourishing dry and damaged hair.

Try Heatless Styling Methods

If your hair’s been feeling drier and frizzier, your favorite heat-styling tools may be to blame. 

A good way to rehydrate and add shine to it is by going for heatless styling techniques, which can keep you looking fabulous while minimizing damage to your hair. 

Find out how to do heatless curls easily with this helpful tutorial:

Care for Your Scalp

Soft and shiny locks come from a healthy scalp, so you can give your mane the ultimate glow-up by targeting scalp health!

Here are more steps to add to your scalp care routine for that hair glow-up you’ve been dreaming of:

  • Keep your scalp clean by regularly washing your hair. Use a gentle shampoo that can remove dirt, oil, and product buildup from your scalp.
  • Try stronger shampoos if you’re dealing with dandruff or hair loss issues. Piroctone olamine or zinc pyrithione shampoos are good options for this, but you may need to follow them up with a deep conditioner after every use to prevent drying out your hair. 
  • Massage your scalp. Massaging your scalp can help increase blood flow and promote relaxation, which can ultimately lead to healthier hair growth.

Glow Up Your Body 

Keep Your Hands and Feet Looking Good

A manicurist doing the nails of a woman at the salon

Yes, caring for your hands and feet should also be a major part of your glow-up routine! 

While these are often the most neglected parts of our bodies beauty-wise, they’re also easily noticeable. So keeping them looking nice and neat can give you a sense of empowerment and make you feel put together!

Here are some tips for keeping your hands and feet looking their best:

  • Treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure regularly to ensure your nails stay trim and properly shaped and give them a pop of color.
  • Use cuticle oil once a day for softer cuticles and healthier, shinier nails.
  • Apply hand cream throughout the day to keep your hands silky smooth.
  • Smother your feet with cream before you go to bed to prevent dry, cracked heels, which can be especially visible when you’re wearing sandals.

Take a Relaxing Bath

Glowing up is all about self-care, and there’s no better self-care practice than a relaxing bath.

Adding this to your regular routine can improve your mental and emotional well-being. Not to mention it helps you maintain good hygiene!

Try these steps to make the most out of your next bath:

  • Add Epsom or Himalayan pink salts to soothe sore muscles.
  • Use essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, or chamomile for aromatherapy benefits.
  • Sip a glass of wine or tea and keep reading material on hand to fully unwind.

Exfoliate and Moisturize 

Head-to-toe clean, soft skin gives off an irresistible glow.

To achieve this, it’s crucial to moisturize daily after showering while your skin is still damp to lock in moisture. Use rich lotions and body butters containing shea or cocoa butter.

Exfoliating with a body scrub two to three times a week can also help slough off dead skin cells and reveal new, fresh ones. 

New to exfoliating? Discover helpful tips and tricks for successful exfoliation here:

Get Your Beauty Sleep

Yes, getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep seems impossible if you’re a hustling adult.

But keep this in your glow-up list, and you’ll thank yourself for it! Ample Zs can help improve your mood, and it even gives you brighter, younger-looking skin

If you’re having a hard time getting the sleep you need, here are a few easy tips to follow:

  • Turn screens off one hour before bed and do relaxing activities like reading, gentle yoga, or journaling.
  • Invest in luxe bedding with soft sheets, silk or satin pillowcases, and a comfortable mattress.
  • Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet. Use eye masks, earplugs, and blackout curtains as needed.

Make Small but Significant Lifestyle Changes

Your glow-up checklist should also involve a few lifestyle changes that can help you look and feel better from the inside out. Of course, it’s important to make sure you don’t make drastic changes and instead set realistic goals.

A young woman jogging in the park.

This way, you can maintain a healthy lifestyle that’s built around your schedule and preferences. 

Get started the right way by following these simple steps:

  • Try light workouts at least three times a week, such as short jogs or 30-minute workouts with your favorite YouTube fitness gurus. 
  • Incorporate light movements into your daily routine. These may include stretching frequently or doing quick yoga sessions, which can also help improve your posture.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking at least 2.7 liters of water a day to flush out toxins and boost skin health. Infuse your water with fruits and herbs if you’re having a hard time hitting your hydration goals. 
  • Take a daily multivitamin to cover nutritional gaps that diet alone can’t provide for hair and nail growth.

Build a Personalized Wardrobe

Having a personal style you feel confident and comfortable in adds an instant glow-up effect.

Haven’t found your unique aesthetic yet? Try these steps:

  • Look for inspiration images. Save photos of outfits or looks from Pinterest or Instagram that appeal to you. Notice patterns in shades, silhouettes, and pieces you gravitate toward.
  • Get wardrobe essentials. Invest in versatile, high-quality basics like well-fitting denim, silk blouses, blazers, sneakers, and nude heels. You can build a lot of outfits off of these.
  • Select statement pieces. Add interest with trend-proof accessories like a designer handbag or everyday jewelry that shows off your personality.

Find Your Signature Fragrance

A signature scent can affect how well you present yourself to the world and leave a lasting impression on others.

So finding the perfect unique perfume or fragrance is an easy and effective way to glow up. And here are some tips to help you do just that:

  • Try as many fragrances as possible. Get samples and wear them to see how they blend with your body chemistry over time.
  • Follow your instincts and personal essence when choosing a fragrance. Ignore trends and go for scents that align with your vibe for a genuine and satisfying experience.
  • Separate fragrances into seasons or weather types. Choose lighter, brighter scents for warm weather and heavier, earthier ones for cold weather to match your mood and surroundings.
  • Choose a fragrance as a souvenir from special experiences or trips. Scents can evoke memories, making the perfume a tangible reminder of cherished moments.

FAQs

A woman in a red dress looking at herself in the mirror while smiling.

How Do You Glow Up Mentally? 

Beauty comes from the inside out. So taking steps to improve your mental well-being is crucial when it comes to learning how to glow up. 

Here are some steps you can take to achieve this:

  • Surround yourself with positivity. Embrace a positive environment by surrounding yourself with supportive and uplifting people. Seek out friends, family, or mentors who encourage your growth. 
  • Practice mindfulness and meditation. Engage in mindfulness practices, such as meditation or yoga, to calm your mind and reduce stress. 
  • Pursue your passions. Whether it’s a hobby, art, music, or any creative pursuit, doing what you love not only provides a sense of accomplishment but also acts as a powerful stress reliever, boosting your overall happiness and inner glow.

How Long Does It Take To Glow Up?

Glowing up or transforming yourself means learning a new routine and unlearning past habits. The long-term and visible effects don’t happen overnight. 

Changes can be slow or fast-paced,  but it’s safe to say that at least three to six months of self-love and reprogramming yourself can result in incredible transformation.

Grow Up and Glow Up!

This glow-up checklist can help you get started on the journey toward a glowing transformation may not be swift, but it’s the commitment and dedication you invest in yourself that truly matters.

So embrace the adventure, be patient and persistent, cherish the growth, and revel in the newfound confidence that comes with your glow-up.

You’re not just transforming your appearance; you are sculpting a stronger, more radiant version of yourself, ready to conquer the world with a newfound sense of empowerment and beauty from within!

Discover More Ways To Upgrade Your Look!

Authors

  • Stephanie Martin

    Stephanie Martin blends her beauty industry background with expertise in communications to lead in the fashion and beauty world. As a fashion and beauty editor, she is known for engaging and informative articles. Her lifelong passion for fashion, makeup, and hair shines through her work, earning her widespread respect among readers and clients. Stephanie's style, a mix of classic and contemporary, makes her a dynamic and influential figure in the industry, inspiring others with her knowledgeable and approachable insights.

  • Kelly Goforth

    With ten years in the beauty industry, Kelly Goforth has mastered the art of hair and makeup. Trained at The Redken Exchange in NYC and mentored by industry legends like Sam Villa and Lauren Hagan, she's a sought-after bridal specialist in Colorado Springs. From managing a Denver salon to now offering bridal hair, makeup, and airbrush spray tans, Kelly's expertise shines.

One Comment

  1. I’m literally 13 years old and I already struggle with loving myself and not caring what anyone thinks, so I’m trying to glow up. But over time I have realized that I don’t want to glow up because of peer pressure and the feeling of wanting other peoples approval, but for myself. I want to feel good in my own skin. And weheartthis.com has really helped

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