Cosmopolitan (UK)

MIND­FUL MAKE-UP “Self-care is es­sen­tial for good men­tal health”

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The idea that it might not nec­es­sar­ily just be the pop of rosy blush or the glowy bronzer across my cheeks that’s bright­en­ing my mood,

but, in fact, the act of applying the make-up as well – tak­ing that time out for my self-care rou­tine ev­ery morn­ing – is in­trigu­ing to me. Could the ri­tual of art­fully applying a red lip­stick ev­ery day ac­tu­ally bring me more joy than the cherry-red shade it­self?

Mac­Gre­gor de­scribes self-care as “an ex­pres­sion of self-love that’s es­sen­tial for good men­tal health”. She ex­plains that feel­ing pos­i­tive about our­selves can be highly ben­e­fi­cial to both our bod­ies and our minds. “There is a wealth of sci­en­tific ev­i­dence that feel­ing hap­pier about who you are leads to bet­ter phys­i­cal and men­tal health.”

For psy­chol­o­gist Dr Martina Paglia, from The In­ter­na­tional Psy­chol­ogy Clinic, it’s all about do­ing some­thing en­joy­able to soothe your mind. “Some­times we get so ab­sorbed in work and chores that we com­pletely for­get to spare some time for leisure ‘me’ time. En­gag­ing in en­joy­able ac­tiv­i­ties like a skin­care rou­tine or applying make-up can have a sooth­ing im­pact on both your mind and body.” Those mo­ments away from the stress of the out­side world are the key to giv­ing our minds a break.

“Tak­ing the time on a daily ba­sis to fo­cus on make-up and skin­care can ben­e­fit you in the long term, as it brings a sense of ful­fil­ment,” says Dr Paglia. “Es­pe­cially if you com­bine the prac­tice of mindfulnes­s while en­gag­ing in such plea­sur­able and

com­fort­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.” Which makes sense when you think about it. Tak­ing some “me time”, drink­ing a cup of tea, soak­ing in a laven­der­scented bath, sweep­ing on your favourite eye­shadow ev­ery morn­ing… sure it may sound a lit­tle clichéd, but if it ain’t broke…

So while it’s fair to say that the act of applying make-up can bring us com­fort, most ex­perts seem to be­lieve that our joy is sparked by a com­bi­na­tion of things – tak­ing the time out to fo­cus on self-care, the fa­mil­iar­ity of our morn­ing rou­tine, and, of course, the end re­sult, that we want to look and feel our best.

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