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The Summer Before College Glow Up Guide

Mental Health & Self Love

June 29, 2023

You may have been a certain type of person in high school, but stepping off to university means that you are finally ready for 'the real world'. If you aren’t sure what it means to “glow up,” here’s the real deal: a glow up is essentially a transformation for the better.

A glow up can refer to your appearance (like starting a new makeup look and getting a new haircut) or can refer to your mindset (like becoming a more optimistic, positive person). The best glow ups are the ones that combine both, physical and mental, an inside and an outside change for the better.

How to Glow Up Physically

When we think of a “glow up,” the first thing that often comes to mind is someone’s physical appearance: makeup, hair, outfits, body, etc.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve yourself and your appearance, as long as it’s for the right purposes – meaning, do it for yourself and not for the pleasure of anyone else! You should never feel pressure to change how you look for anyone else. A glow up is about becoming a better you, for you. Here are some ideas to get you started!

Glow Up Your Hair and Beauty

Because who doesn’t want clear skin, healthy hair, and a hydrated body? Try incorporating these tips and you’ll start feeling like “that girl” (you know, the aspirational TikTok aesthetic).

Skincare Routine

Creating a skincare routine that you stick to is not only going to improve how your skin looks and feels, but is also a form of self-care.You can’t help but feel soothed when you put on a face mask or under-eye patches, and your skin is going to transform with proper care. You’ll need a cleanser, daily moisturizer, and daily sunscreen to start, and you can add products like serums and masks in from there. The products you choose should be based on your skin type and your skin’s concerns, like clearing up acne or improving dark spots.

You can even strive for glowing, dewy glasslike skin, for a real glow up! These products below are fan-favorites, and essential to transforming your skin and hair!

1. Caudalie Pore Minimizing Instant Detox Mask

Picture Credits: Sephora

Caudalie's Instant Detox Mask has taken over social media, with its pore cleansing and glow-giving dewy look afterwards. Formulated with several clean ingredients, the clay formula helps to cleanse the dirt and sebum from the skin, tightening the pores in the process. As well as being infused with caffeine, it is great for 'waking up' your skin and giving your face a more fresh look. The current price retails for $39, which is more on the pricey side, but the reviewers are raving about this mask, which makes up for the hefty price.

2. Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum

Picture Credits: Sephora

Korean skincare has started to take over skincare lovers' hearts, and Peach and Lily is a brand that is soaring to the top. Made with an impressive list of skin-friendly ingredients, this Peach and Lily serum is perfect to achieve that glowy, glass skin look. Retailing for $39, this serum has worked its way to the top of many influencers' lists, and continues to be a strong staple for the clean-girl makeup look.

3. Briogeo Deep Conditioning Hair Mask

Picture Credits: Sephora

This hair mask does it all: deep conditioning, cleansing the scalp, and helps to remove product buildup. This mask is one of the best ways to improve your hair's health, and helps to strengthen and hydrate your hair. You can incorporate this hair mask into your shower routine weekly, or use it in place of a conditioner. This mask retails for $39, but includes great ingredients such as rosehip oil and B vitamins to help hydrate your hair.

Move Your Body!

It is not a secret that staying active is important for good health in the long run. Physical activity, such as weightlifting, sports, etc., have so many lifelong benefits for the body, as well for the brain. Regular physical activity can drastically improve the quality of your sleep, lessen anxiety, and factor towards your brain’s long-term health.

1. Working Out

Picture Credits: UnSplash

Try out a new workout class, going to the gym with a gym buddy, or even just walking outside in nature. 'Hot Girl Walks' have become very popular, which is walking outside and listening to our favorite music and podcasts. So pull out the running shoes, put on a cute matching active set, and start walking around your neighborhood.

2. Staying Hydrated

Picture Credits: Walmart

Are you drinking enough water on a daily basis? You’ll want to, considering it is crucial to good health and even has beauty benefits, like clearing acne and making your skin glow. Getting a water bottle with time stamps is great, as you can drink all your water for the day in one bottle, instead of having to get 8 different cups throughout the day. This bottle can motivate you to stay more hydrated, especially during the blazing summer!

How to Glow Up Mentally

Sky is the limit of self-growth, so glowing up mentally is an amazing idea that never goes out of fashion. This includes improving your mindset so that you feel, act, and think like the best version of yourself.

Imagine what kind of person you’d ideally like to be. Are they happier, more confident, have their life together? Visualize them, and become them.

There are so many resources available to help you work towards and achieve the mindset you want, and always make sure to dedicate time within your weekly schedule, no matter how hectic, for self-growth. Remember, consistency is key, so don't give up, or you will never see internal results! Here are some more ideas on how to glow up mentally:


Journaling is an extraordinary way to get in touch with your thoughts and feelings. It can help you work through your emotions in a healthy way, and realize things about yourself that you never discovered until now. If you don’t know where to start or want some guidance, consider a guided journal with prompts to get you going.

1. The Five Minute Journal

Picture Credits: Amazon

The Five Minute Journal is one of the most popular guided journals out there, and for many good reasons. It requires only five minutes of your time, making this a small commitment that you can easily incorporate into your daily life. It starts your day by filling out a gratitude list, a daily affirmation, and a reflection on what you can do to make your day great. Then, before you go to bed, list out a few highlights from your day and something you learned.

2. Do it For Yourself Journal

Picture Credits: Amazon

Cool, vibrant, and helpful: this journal does it all. It isn't just a cute little journal, it includes 75 different prompts that encourage you to accomplish a hard, yet tangible, goal you want to set for yourself. Filled with inspiring quotes and bright graphics, this journal is a great tool to motivate you as you glow up.

These products are great to start your glow up before college, and can really help you to transform into your cooler, confident self! Remeber, only change because you want it for you, and never for anyone else!

Megha Nadagouda
1,000+ pageviews

Writer since Mar, 2023 · 2 published articles

Megha Nadagouda is a sophomore in high school, and plays golf and lacrosse for her school in her free time. She loves to read and write, and her favorite book is Where the Crawdads Sing. She is also an editor for The Trailblazer Review.