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What brings out our inner beauty? Our bathroom drawers and cabinets are filled with what we hoped was the answer to this question.  

Both usable and forgotten remedies that may or may not have worked; beauty tips ripped out of magazines, secret formulas from exotic regions we could never pronounce, potions from the herbal health store, processes we followed exactly according to instructions, exfoliating agents until we're down to our last couple of layers of skin, scrubs, soaps, non-soaps, creams, compounds, and on and on.  

And then, this is just the prep work before we get to the make-up with all the lip liners, bronzing powders, and I won't even mention what we do to our hair!

Perfectly applied make-up, a hundred dollar hair-cut and fashion designer clothes won't even touch this beauty tip that is available to everyone, every day, every minute. And it doesn't cost a dime.

Now, it's true that common sense, balanced wellness routines are an important factor: plenty of rest (I know, I'm a mom, too, but we function better with plenty of rest and there's no dark circles under our eyes). Regular exercise – again, time is always a factor, but if we exercise, we have better energy and will direct that energy better. Good nutrition: fresh veggies at lunch and dinner, fresh fruit in the morning, high quality meats, nuts, whole grains, and of course, minimizing the sugar, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and salt.

So, with that being said, and acknowledging that I’ve once again deviated a bit off the astrological topic - but, I’d like to say it’s primarily because I see tons of hits online for beauty secrets and, as with many things in life, we already have the answer -  here it is. The number one, without a doubt, never-fails-to-make-us-beautiful tip for every woman (and man) on the planet.

No, not dimmed lighting.

Smile. Breathe. Laugh.

You're a woman because nature made you one.  Not your husband, boyfriend, mother or child. Being a woman means you're powerful and beautiful just by showing up, and when you smile the world is yours. Any world; whether it's your kitchen, your office, your car, or the grocery store.  

Nothing on this planet is more beautiful than a woman smiling. Well, okay, babies, puppies, I know. But, being a woman is fun. Being a woman is powerful. And when we smile, relax, breathe, and laugh those around us are elevated by our inner beauty being expressed outward.

And when we smile, we feel beautiful from the inside out. Try it right now. Go look in the mirror and smile. Beautiful, right?

A male friend of mine said, "If God made anything better than a woman He saved it for himself." Now, I don't know if that was an original quote, but it was sweet.

Now, men. You guys are men because nature made you one. Not your wife, girlfriend, father or child. Being a man means you're powerful and necessary just by showing up, and when you smile the world responds. Any world; whether it's your garage, office, car, or a sporting event.

You guys are so handsome and attractive when you smile. Being a man is powerful.

And when men smile those around you respond like a magnet and smile, too. That's a lot of power.

Sometimes, I think we just get so caught up in the moments of our busy lives that even though we may be happy we forget or neglect to show it. Or, we simply don’t realize the power of smiling.

Research indicates that confidence is the sexiest quality a person can exude. Confidence wears a smile because power is happy.

This report from Psychology states:

In psychology, there is a theory entitled the “facial feedback” hypothesis. This hypothesis states that “involuntary facial movements provide sufficient peripheral information to drive emotional experience” (Bernstein, et al., 2000). Davis and Palladino explain that “feedback from facial expression affects emotional expression and behavior” (2000).

In simple terms, you may actually be able to improve your mood by simply smiling!

A number of research projects support this hypothesis. One study, conducted by Levenson and Friesen, found that involuntary biological changes similar to those caused by emotions were experienced by participants who were instructed to make certain faces.  

That is, a person told to make an angry face experienced increased blood flow to the hands and feet, which is also seen in those who are experiencing anger. Participants from another study involving posed faces reported more favorable impressions of other people when they were asked to smile.

Research has also found that when you mimic the face of someone else, it may cause you to feel empathy for the other person (Berstein, et al., 2000).  

In another research setting, participants were either prevented or encouraged to smile by being instructed how to hold a pencil in their mouths. Those who held a pencil in their teeth and thus were able to smile rated cartoons as funnier than did those who held the pencil in their lips and thus could not smile (Davis & Palladino, 2000).

So what does all of this mean?  The next time you are down - the next time you are feeling blue or just plain old blah—SMILE!!  An action as simple as that just may improve your spirits. It is most certainly not a cure-all, but in the struggle with the gloomies, every thing that helps in even a small measure is worth a try!

A smile is the simplest beauty tip all of the zodiac signs will ever possess.

P.S.  Smile when you pray and meditate, too.  Check out this link for a “laughing meditation.”

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