Beauty From the Inside Out

You might not think you’re so pretty, but you’re wrong! In fact, all girls are beautiful. But if you’re going around feeling and acting all negative, well, few people will be able to actually see the awesome bag of gorgeous you’re packing. It’s like having a foggy downer cloud hovering all around you that obscures your true beauty.

Luckily, if you know how to feel good in your own skin, you’ll put off an amazing energy that is incredibly attractive. Give these beauty tips a try:

Bare Your Teeth
As in, smile! Nothing radiates your inner beauty like a big, genuine grin on your face. Even if you have a mouth full of braces, spread your happy vibes all over the place. (Hey, that rhymes!)

Not feeling it so much? Smile anyway: Studies show that smiling releases your body’s feel-good chemicals, called endorphins and serotonin, which will in turn make you happy. So even if you’re feeling down, don’t frown (on a rhyming roll!). Um, can you say “Cheese”?

Stand up Straight
When you slouch, you send a message that warns, “Back off -- I don’t feel so great about myself.” But when you pull your shoulders back and straighten out your stance, you command a whole lotta positive attention. Simply strut some non-arrogant but rock-solid confidence, and you will turn heads.

Be Healthy
A healthy body is fit and well-nourished. So do not -- we repeat, do not -- cut out any meals or work out like crazy to be ridiculously thin. Instead, eat lots of good-for-you foods, such as fruits, veggies, whole grains and low-fat proteins. And do fun things for exercise, like sports and roller skating. Your body will be in its best form ... and as an added bonus, your skin will emit a very radiant glow. You go!

Love Yourself
Here’s the thing -- if you don’t think you’re fabulous, the world will reflect that right back at you. So first thing every morning when you’re getting ready for school, look in the mirror, give yourself a big smile, and say, “Hello, gorgeous!”

This does not mean that you can act like you’re all better than everyone else. You’re not -- but remember, every girl is pretty in her own unique way. And that goes for you, too! Don’t ever forget it, OK?

Foods to Boost Your Moods!

Scientists study some pretty cool stuff. Seriously -- they’ve even figured out what foods have the power to make you feel happier when you eat ’em. Read on to find out what packs the biggest mood-boosting punch -- along with yummy recipes to work more of them into your routine.

The Food: Walnuts
Whether homework overload or fights with your mom have been plucking your nerves, walnuts are your new BFF. When people snack on a few of these nuts each day, their bods actually get better at coping with stress.
The Fix: Sprinkle chopped walnuts on top of your cereal in the a.m., or use them to add crunch to ice cream or fro-yo.

The Food: Bell Peppers
These veggies are packed with vitamin C, which is shown to give a serious pick-me-up. Make sure to stick with the red and yellow ones, though -- green peppers don’t come with as much of the feel-good nutrient.
The Fix: Cut peppers into strips and dip them in your favorite hummus or yogurt dip.

The Food: Strawberries
These fruity kisses just happen to be loaded with a little something called folate, which helps your bod produce more of the blues-beating hormone serotonin.
The Fix: Treat yourself to a yummy smoothie by blending frozen strawberries with milk and a banana.

The Food: Toast
One whiff of this bad boy gets you feeling zen -- pronto. According to a recent study, the scent of toast makes people feel happy instantly!
The Fix: Skip dessert tonight. Instead, have a slice of toast with a chocolate-hazelnut spread.

The Food: Salmon
Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acid, a type of fat that’s actually good for you. Why? It boosts brain power and fights off depression.
The Fix: Make a salmon-salad wrap by mixing a can of drained salmon with some low-fat mayo and a bit of chopped celery, then roll it up in a flour tortilla.

The Food: Water
OK, so H2O isn’t technically a food -- but it can help perk up your day! Since dehydration causes fatigue and all-around crankiness, loading up on the clear liquid helps you avoid a case of the blahs.
The Fix: Throw a few fresh mint leaves in a glass of ice water and add a couple of squirts of lime juice for something you’ll love sipping all day long.

The Food: Chocolate
It’s true -- the sweet stuff really can reduce stress! The catch: It’s gotta be dark chocolate. Also, you probably want to stick to 1 ounce a day so you don’t overload on sugar.
The Fix: Melt down a bar in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Then dip pretzels, marshmallows -- whatever! -- and let them sit on wax paper until hardened.

Have a Model Summer

Flip-flops, bikinis, and sunglasses -- the summer can start! Remember, the key to being beautiful is to know you already are. This summer, take a cue from Germany’s Next Top Model, Alisar Ailabouni, and boost your confidence to look and feel your best all season long. 

While Ailabouni loves being on the runway and in front of the camera, she knows the life of a model can be hard. “Behind the stage during the catwalk is very stressful”, said the 21-year-old from Austria in a recent interview for Germany’s Next Top Model.

Being a model takes a lot of the same qualities as being confident in life: You have to work a lot, be ambitious and trust yourself. Never giving up will help you make your dreams come true!

Here’s how to feel like a model this summer:

  • Write messages encouraging yourself to stay confident and place them where you can see them every day (on the fridge, in your room and on the bathroom mirror). Read them aloud daily and your confidence will go sky-high.
  • Buy yourself something you've been wishing for, even if it’s just something small. Get your favorite candy or a top you’ve been eyeing. Little treats can go a long way in rewarding yourself for being you.
  • Work out! Summer is here, and exercise is a great way to feel your best and stay healthy. Go to a gym in your neighborhood, try out a new type of exercise or swim.
  • Tell yourself every day, “I’m beautiful because I’m different. I’m beautiful because I’m unique.” Don’t forget that beauty doesn’t last -- what lasts is who you are.
  • Do what you love to do. If you like math, German or art, you should focus on that. When you enjoy what you’re doing, you will achieve more, and your self-confidence will grow.
  • Trust yourself and your dreams. You can make it! Even if you’ve had a bad day, focus on what you want to achieve. When you reach your goals, you’ll see that everything was worth it.
  • Last but not least, smile! Think how lucky you are that so many people around you love you. Remember: You don’t have to be gorgeous to be a model, because beauty comes from inside.

Sneaky Secrets About Your Menstrual Cycle

You’re pretty sure you know the bare basics about menstruation? Yeah, yeah, it makes an appearance every month. And having your period can make you feel crabby, crampy or just plain weepy. Headaches, back pain, acne, sensitive boobs, even constipation or diarrhea -- yep, they’re all pretty common. But we know some secrets to help you feel more comfy when your monthly period comes calling. So give Mother Nature a time-out and try these tips, pronto!

Outsmart Your Bod
Up to 90 percent of younger women have period pain -- and it’s the top cause of school absences for girls. But taking an anti-inflammatory med, like ibuprofen, the day before your period can trick your bod into going cramp-free on day one. Brilliant, right? Predicting the date might be tough, since it can take up to two years to get on a regular cycle. But give it a shot. Grab a calendar and put a red heart around the day you start your period each month. Pretty soon, you might see a pattern. Oh, and stay away from aspirin, which can make periods last longer. No, thanks!

Eat, Drink and Be Merry

Feel like you can’t button your jeans? It’s called bloating, babe. Unfortunately, eating salty-sweet junk foods (exactly what you crave during your period) makes it worse. So does drinking caffeine, which can also intensify mood swings. To have a happy period, treat your belly right. Start by chugging plenty of water, which actually reduces fluid retention. Then opt for light, frequent meals that are rich in complex carbs (think whole grains, beans, fruits and veggies) and Omega-3s (salmon is delish). The fiber keeps you, ummm, regular, and the fatty acids may reduce cramps. Calcium and magnesium can help too. The perfect snack: low-fat string cheese with a handful of sunflower seeds.

Work It, Sister!

Sure, it’s tempting to curl up and watch a chick flick. And if that makes you feel better, go for it! But many girls find that exercise reduces cramps. Gentle yoga or Pilates stretches sore muscles and helps you chillax. Meanwhile, cardio exercises (like jogging, dancing or swimming) releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins that kick pain to the curb. Bonus: Girls who work out regularly report fewer period probs, so aim to keep active all month long.

Be a Hottie

Warmth does wonders for angry muscles. So make a heating pad or hot water bottle your BFF once a month. You can even buy mini heat-wraps that stick right in your undies while you’re out in public. (We swear nobody will know it’s there!) End your day with a cup of tension-taming herbal tea, a warm bath and at least 8 hours of sleep. We bet you’ll wake up feeling like a new girl in the morning.

Adventures in Feminine Hygiene

Being a girl isn’t always easy. When it comes to feminine hygiene, there’s lots of room for major embarrassment! Here, real girls dish on their most mortifying moments. (All you can do is laugh about it, right?)

Mood Monitor
My little sister had this kid over to play Wii with her, and he had to use the toilet. I had a box of pads on the bathroom sink, and the boy asked my sister what was in the box. She said, “Oh, those? They’re just those things Claudia puts in her underpants when she’s in a bad mood.” Nice. -- Claudia, 14

Pray Tell!
This is the most embarrassing thing ever! I got my period while I was at church, but I didn’t have anything with me. It hadn’t gotten on my dress, so I folded up some toilet paper and placed it in the crotch of my underwear. I walked (pretty fast) back to the pew to tell my mom we had to leave. As she and I were heading up the aisle toward the exit, I saw it. ... The bloody tissue had fallen out of my undies and onto the floor! My mother nonchalantly knelt down, scooped it up and slipped it into her purse. Bless her! -- Kara, 13

Landing Pad
When I was at the skating rink when I was about 6 years old, I noticed the dispenser in the ladies room and put some coins in to find out what it was. Two maxi pads came out, but I thought they were kneepads! I stuck them to my knees, and went onto the rink. I was skating like that for a while before my aunt pulled me aside and took them off. Later that night, my mom had “the period talk” with me. -- Sandy, 15

Stick Figure
I was ready to try tampons, so my mom bought me some. Everybody had told me that it doesn’t hurt, that I wouldn’t even feel it. But it felt really awkward! I decided to wait and see if I got used to it. I was walking around the house looking all stiff when my big sister was like, “What is wrong with you?” I told her about the tampon, and she said, “Something is not right.” She showed me the directions on the tampon box, and it turned out I had left in part of the cardboard applicator. Stupid, but now I’m a pro! -- Camryn, 13