I'm A Joy Strategist & This Is How I Feel Most Beautiful (No Products Needed!)
Listen, I find beauty to be a joyful endeavor. I love trying new products, researching ingredients, recommending items to people, talking about trends and philosophies, and doing my rituals daily. But many parts of beauty aren't always so blithe: particularly, the journey of finding self-love, acceptance, and feeling good about yourself. Those are decidedly not joyful at times.
"What actually makes you most beautiful is embracing what feels good. I find that the more work you have to put into trying to be something, it sucks the joy out of what it is that you're doing," says Lasan, founder of JOYrney To Purpose.
Here, how a joy strategist feels most beautiful—no products needed:
Do what feels right.
A simple piece of advice but one we often forget to follow. "Embrace beauty practices that feel natural and organic to you," she says. Take it from me, someone who is encouraged to try every product, 20-step routine, and treatment under the sun: You don't need to succumb to the pressure to try every trendy, social-media-pushed ideology that makes a splash. Just do what speaks to you and serves you!
And homing in on those rituals is about being self-aware of your habits. Take stock of what you do daily. "You should also be cognizant of why you're doing it, the ways you're presenting yourself, your intentions, and motivations," she says, noting that this is true of all people—no matter whether you are someone who considers themselves a beauty minimalist or are someone who regularly does a full beat of makeup.
And this advice has a practical end to it: You're more likely to stick to a routine if you enjoy it and it makes you feel good about yourself. "If you are doing something that doesn't feel good to you, it's harder to keep up," she says.
Find your own standards.
This is not a shocking statement, but traditional beauty standards that the media regularly pushes out can be deeply harmful to self-confidence and acceptance. (Research shows this to be true time and again1!) While the media is more aware of this issue now—and hopefully making strides in the right direction—in the meantime, use yourself as your own inspiration.
"It's absolutely necessary that people [come up with their own] beauty standards and their personal ideals," she says, noting that she recommends even making a vision board of your beauty standards and goals as a reference point.
"One thing that I like to have people consider is the types of images that they're using. Because If you are ripping all of your images from magazines or the media, you're still feeding into what people and society thinks you should look like," she says. "I really love using images from my own life because my life is beautiful and your life is beautiful, too." For example, was there a day that you knew you looked amazing? A particularly stellar hair day? A moment captured at just the right moment of golden hour? Well, those can help you remind yourself that you are your own beauty goal.
Bring joy to others.
One part of this discussion that often gets missed is that when you start to feel more beautiful in your own skin, those around you feel the love too. Often this is brought up in the context of mothers and daughters: Kids see the adults in their lives talk negatively about themselves and then start mimicking that behavior by looking for faults in themselves. But even if you don't have kids, your friends, family, and those around you pick up on this too. (We're social creatures who are highly influenced by our peers—it's only natural that the way others see themselves influences the way we see ourselves!) "If I do what feels good for me, then that will help others feel good, too," Lasan says. "Spread joy to others: Because if you're frowning, then you're creating wrinkles."
Ultimately, your beauty routine should be an act of freedom: A way to show yourself to the world exactly how you'd like to be seen. "It's the best feeling to just be able to wake up, go as you are, and be confident in the skin and look that you've been given," she says. "It's like the most freeing feeling."
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.