How do you transform your appearance, mindset and overall wellbeing as a busy mum? Here are some ideas for a wholistic glow up.

“Glow up” is a term that has gained popularity in recent years, especially in the realm of social media and popular culture. The Netflix series Glow Up, a sort of Britain’s Got Talent beauty expert competition, has further popularised the term. Now instead of being told to “grow up”, you might be told to “glow up”.

It refers to a transformative process, typically associated with positive changes in one’s appearance. However, the concept of glowing up transcends just physical changes and encompasses personal growth, self-improvement and a newfound confidence that radiates from within.

So how does one actually glow up? How do you transform your appearance, mindset and overall wellbeing while being a busy mum? If you want some ideas for a wholistic glow up transformation, then keep reading.

1. How to glow up the way you look

While our value, meaning and purpose in life certainly don’t hinge on our physical appearance, it absolutely helps with our confidence levels when we take care of how we look. A little bit of effort can go a long way. That’s why we’re going to start here for our first step in our glow up journey.

When you’re having a bad skin day, feeling fat or can’t find anything to wear that looks good, your mood, energy levels and motivation usually bottom out. But when you wake up, look in the mirror and see fresh, vibrant skin, and find a comfortable, beautiful outfit to put on, you feel a spring-loaded energy that gives you poise and self-assurance. If you want to regularly experience this, then take a little time for yourself on the following tips.

Glowing up your skincare

Skincare doesn’t need to be time-consuming and confusing. You can actually implement little things into your day that are going to revolutionise your skin’s appearance and overall glow.

The top 3 things you can do to improve your skin are:

  1. Getting plenty of beauty sleep (minimum eight hours at night).
  2. Drinking a minimum of two litres of water a day (more if you’re physically active or it’s a hot day). Water intake will hydrate your skin like nothing else can.
  3. Consuming a highly nutritious diet, with plenty of healthy fats, protein and antioxidants. This will set your skin to glow more than any product ever can.

If you make some slight adjustments to your routine every day to include these healthy changes, you won’t believe the improvements you’ve made over the course of a year. We often overlook the little things, instead striving for a massive overhaul, which only leads to burnout. It’s the little things done every day that make for lasting change.

Make it simple:

  1. Go to bed as early as possible and avoid having digital devices and screens in your room.
  2. Always carry a water bottle with you. Sip it throughout the day and refill it.
  3. Make your meals as colourful as a rainbow, with healthy fats and protein always present.

Next, determine what your facial skin type is. Is it oily, dry, combination (oily and dry), sensitive or normal? Determining this will help ascertain which skincare products will be most suitable for your skin.

Once you’ve figured out your skin type, you really only need:

  • cleanser
  • moisturiser
  • SPF sunscreen

Relevant: A makeup artist reveals why pharmacy makeup are just as good as—if not better than—premium brands

While some factors vary depending on your skin type, a typical skincare routine will look something like this:

Morning routine

  • apply cleanser and wash face
  • pat dry skin and apply moisturiser
  • apply sunscreen

Evening routine

  • apply cleanser and wash face
  • pat dry skin and apply moisturiser

As you can see the whole routine would take less than five minutes for the entire day. That’s it. It’s just a little bit of self-care, not rocket science.

Of course, there are extras you can do to pamper yourself like:

  • high-quality face masks
  • facials
  • eye cream
  • vitamin C cream

However, following our top 3 tips and having the basic skincare products will still get you where you want to be.

If you have serious skin concerns such as cystic acne, eczema and rosacea, it is important to address underlying factors first. Seeing a clinical nutritionist for dietary support, allergy analysis and microbiome testing would be a great place to begin.

Makeup is really not a crucial part of glowing up, but here are some beauty tips for busy mums.

Haircare glow up

Looking after your hair will boost your levels of confidence just as much as having good skin. And I don’t mean styling your hair, I mean caring for it.

The easiest place to start is to have clean, brushed and trimmed hair. Wash your hair twice a week and if your scalp is very oily in-between washes, use a small amount of corn flour to make your own natural dry shampoo. Sprinkle it through the scalp and blend in to get rid of the excessive oiliness. Washing your hair every day encourages more oil production as the natural oils are stripped away in every wash.

Keep your hair knot-free by putting it in a bun or plaits while you sleep. Keeping knots out of your hair will help reduce split ends. Get a little trim every three months, or if you’re brave and want to save money, you can do it yourself.

Have 2–3 easy and attractive hairstyles that you like, and give yourself two minutes to do it in the morning. You don’t need to keep up with all the latest new hairstyles. Keeping things simple is the best way to feel great, as it’s easy to maintain in the long term.

Glow up your body

We all need a healthy diet and we all need to move our bodies. If you’re in a position where you can honestly take account of any unhealthy dietary and lifestyle habits, do it.

Write down everything that you would like to change about your diet and lifestyle habits. Be specific. Don’t just say, “I want to be fit”. Write down, “I want to increase my muscle tone.”

If you don’t have the mental capacity to go there, get a clinical nutritionist or personal trainer to support you. They are able to identify gaps and give you the support you need to get to optimal health.

A glowing style

So we’ve covered skincare, haircare and physical wellness. To finish this section off, we’re going to touch briefly on clothing. What you wear dramatically affects your mood, confidence, personality and weirdly enough, energy levels.

If you wake up every day and just put on clothes that look akin to pyjamas, you’re going to feel unattractive and ready for bed. This doesn’t mean getting dressed up to the nines or trying to be a fashion model. It’s just means having decent, clean clothes, without holes or missing buttons—outfits that you feel pretty and confident when you put them on.

Go through your wardrobe and donate or throw out clothes that don’t bring you any joy. Only keep and buy clothes that you absolutely love and that look good on you.

Everyone has their own personal style. Simply make sure your clothes reflect you, not the other way around. You deserve to wear clothes that make you feel happy and relaxed when you put them on.

2. How to glow up your mindset

Mental wellness is crucial in achieving a truly transformative glow up. If you’re genuinely open and ready to improve your mental wellness, you need to process and heal from trauma. This can be one of the most daunting tasks, but it is foundational to your wholistic transformation.

Trauma can be a very confusing word. A lot of us think trauma only relates to people who’ve had extreme stuff happen to them, such as war, rape or violence. But trauma is much more than that. Trauma is when we experience a very stressful, frightening or distressing event. They could also be events that are difficult to cope with, are outside of our control or we’ve felt powerless to change. This can be the death of a loved one, a divorce, growing up with a single parent, experiencing abuse, changing schools often as a child, having absent parents and more.

To work through trauma and unhelpful thinking patterns and behaviours, speak with a clinical psychologist who specialises in the area you want help with (such as addictions or abuse).

We all have had trauma in one form or another, in varying degrees. Don’t feel alone in this. There should not be stigma surrounding mental health issues any more than physical health problems. The important thing is to be healthy and mental wellness can contribute to that. And remember, trauma is not a “permission slip” to further pain on ourselves or others.

A simple way to find out if you need to improve your mental wellness is to see if any of the following applies to you:

  1. Are you everyone else’s “counsellor”?
  2. Do you expect everyone else to be your “counsellor”?
  3. Have you often said, “I don’t need mental wellness”?

Once you have started the process of healing, you can also start learning more about how the human brain, mind and body interact. Things such as self-sabotage, negative thoughts, growth mindset vs closed mindset, and reframing thoughts are all going to be powerful steps in your glow up journey.

3. How to glow up your relationships

The people you surround yourself with are the people you become. Positive people are not just more naturally open to positivity, they take active steps that influence their thinking patterns. One of those steps is choosing their social circles.

Your social circle includes your family, friends, colleagues and anyone you regularly see. What are they like? Where do the conversations naturally go? What are their interests and goals? What are their values and purpose for life? Would you like to be like them? Would you like your child to grow up to be like them?

If the answers are not in the affirmative, you need to adjust the amount of time and energy you invest in those relationships. Some relationships will need to be completely cut off, while others will need to be heavily reduced, perhaps to a once-a-year interaction. For the rest, you may want to increase the time you spend with them, because they are so healthy and inspiring you want to become more like them.

Setting boundaries in relationships may be a new skill you will have to learn. It will be extremely challenging at first, but it’s crucial to becoming the best version of yourself.

Relationships can affect your health and are pivotal in your passage to glow up.

You can do this

Little steps, intentionality in self-care, regularly showing up for yourself, incorporating those tiny but consistent lifestyle changes into your daily routine, will reinvent your life in ways you could never have dreamed possible. And you can do it all in under one hour a day.


  • Skincare routine: 5 minutes
  • Hair care: 5–10 minutes
  • Exercise: 30 minutes
  • Clothing preparation: 5 minutes

Total time: 50 minutes

(If you think this is a lot of time, it’s probably less than the time you spend on social media or on your phone each day.)


  • Meal planning: 1.5 hours
  • Shopping: 1 hour

Total time: 2.5 hours


  • Psychologist appointment: 2 hours per month
  • Nutritionist appointment: 2 hours per month
  • Personal trainer: 1 hour per month

Total time: 5 hours

Your natural glow is waiting to come out. Busyness, stress, junk food, toxic thinking patterns repeated over a long time may have made your glow fade, but you can get it back.

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