Pretty much all my life, I’ve been obsessed with make-up, beauty and fitness. Right from my early teens (as young as 11 years old!) I began collecting my own products. Every outing was an excuse to buy more. It was crazy! I had boxes and boxes of products mounting on top of each other. But that didn’t last long.
A few years in and I seriously began to practise my deen. I became fiercely committed to Islam that I didn’t want anything else to distract me from this world. So out came the teenage magazines, makeup to family and friends and extra clothes to charity. That period of my life was about me + Allah. It was the most beautiful, uplifting experience ever but it wasn’t sustainable. Though my iman was so high, eventually that high came crushing down.
I’d gone from feeling that I was floating in the clouds to crying myself to sleep begging that this nightmare would end. When my depression set it, my iman was rock bottom. Over the next three years, I started from scratch. Firstly to overcome my depression and then to create a beautiful, inspiring and fabulous life. A life that would shield me from reaching that low again – never, never, never again inshaAllah.
So now you’re probably wondering how does this relate to beauty? Because when I started from scratch, so did my concept of beauty. I had to re-evaluate everything I knew about fashion, beauty and health. This time round I adopted a more holistic approach to beauty.
And guess what I discovered? As women, most of us do not give credit to the power of beauty. Beauty is apart of your femininity. It’s a part of who you are. EVERY woman on this earth, regardless of her age, status or wealth has an inbuilt need for beauty. It is a NEED.
When you shut off that need because your too ‘busy’ or your husband doesn’t mind, essentially you’ve shut down a part of your feminine self. You’ve dimmed your inner light and you can not show up in this world as the most beautiful version of you. If you’re trashing your body with junk food, neglecting your appearance, dressing in pyjamas all day – it will effect your self esteem and confidence. Make no mistake, the women who are happy and successful, appreciate and honour their need for beauty.
If I could go back in time, I’d tell my teenage age self that having a passion for beauty does not contradict with Islam. You can be righteous and beautiful. You can be pious and be a beauty fanatic 😉 Taking care of your body and appearance doesn’t make you less worldly or distract you from your purpose. If you have any doubt otherwise, listen to what the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him) says:
-Someone once approached the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him) and asked: “What if someone likes that his clothing and his shoes are beautiful?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: “Allah loves to see the affects of His grace upon His servant.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhī (2819)]
-The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him) said:
“Allah is beautiful and He loves beauty.” [Sahīh Muslim (911)]
So honour your beauty. Excessiveness and arrogance is what Islam forbids but not taking care of this perfect vessel that you’ve been gifted by Allah. A vessel that deserves your full love and affection.
When I realised the significance of beauty, I started to implement daily habits of self care. Simple things like flicking a bit of mascara every morning, getting out of my pyjamas (as I work from home) and wearing a pair of pretty earnings. Simple yet easy choices that make all the difference. Remember what’s easy to do is also easy not to do.
And that’s where the challenge lies. It’s easy to sit in your pyjamas all day, its easy to get carried away with life and forget about your appearance and health. It’s easy to mock at this and think ‘what difference is a flick of mascara going to make anyway?’ But it comes down to fulfilling that need within you. That need for beauty which you must give to yourself. Otherwise you’ll begin to resent women who fulfil their need of beauty and radiate that light to the world.
‘I used to be that girl, all ‘pious’ and ascetic on the outside yet secretly resenting women who displayed their passion for beauty. Deep within me I knew I wanted their confidence and appreciation to themselves.’
Whilst one half of this journey was discovering the significance and power of beauty, the other half was experimenting with the best natural alternatives to self care (that actually work!). I’ve been a product junkie since the age of 11 and right now, I’m working towards refining my beauty cabinet so that I keep the most effective, yet close to nature products possible. I’ve listed some of my best natural beauty secrets (that doesn’t cost the earth and work incredibly well too!!). Let’s dive in:
1. Apple Cider Vinegar – as a face toner it is AMAZING! It’s helped me with spots, scars and balancing my skin especially as I’ve used harsh products before. In an empty bottle, pour 1/3 apple cider vinegar and 2/3 distilled water. Mix the solution and pour on a cotton pad every night and swipe it across your face. As caution do not/avoid using apple cider vinegar on open/wounded skin. Trust me – I tried! And it didn’t go very well!
2. Organic Raw Coconut Oil – This stuff is amazing! I use it as a body & face moisturiser, deep hair treatment, to soften my hands and feet, to thicken and lengthen my lashes. I also use coconut oil to remove eye make-up – hands down the best and most natural make-up remover ever!
3. Lemon Juice – I use lemon juice to brighten and exfoliate my face. You can see the difference in a few days. It might be too acidic for some people, so consider diluting it in water. This is a pretty strong treatment so I use this less often.
4. Baking Soda – I LOVE this stuff. I’ve used it to thoroughly exfoliate my face but I love using it to exfoliate my body in the shower. It makes your skin baby soft and smooth afterwards 🙂
5. Konjac Sponge – It’s a cleansing sponge made out of vegetable fibres of Konjac root. I use it on a daily basis to gently cleanse my skin and lightly exfoliate it. I love that it’s not harsh (it was initially used for babies) but still does the job and leaves a flushed, light – radiant glow.
6. Body Brushing – I’ve talked about this before because it is a game changer. Everyday before you jump into the shower, take your body brush and stroke your body in long, upward strokes starting from the feet and moving towards your heart. The benefits include improving circulation, lymphatic drainage, removes dead skin, clogged pores and even prompting weight loss!
7. Siwaak – Whilst using the siwak should be solely for implementing the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon Him), it gives huge benefits that are reaped in this world too. There was a time where I would use the siwak rigorously – a few times a day. I had no problem with odour and would get complimented on having really white teeth – weird compliment, huh? 😉
There you have it – 7 natural beauty secrets that work and don’t cost the earth. As always, I want to hear from YOU, beautiful 🙂 What is the significance of beauty to you? And how will you be going about to fulfil that need? I really hope this inspires you to take care of your feminine self and honour that need for beauty within you xxx