Looking for affordable ways to update your style in the wake of holiday spending? It can be done, and I’ve put together a list of easy and fun ways to give your style an extra “kick” for the new year. You can also shop this customized Nordstrom catalog to help you make the recommended purchases. (Note, I’m a Nordie’s affiliate and may receive a commission from purchases made through these links.)
1. Take everything out of your closet that doesn’t fit right now.
Plowing through a bunch of clothes that are too small or too big is completely demoralizing. Don’t torture yourself. Pull them out, give them away, free room in your closet/dresser for show-stopping garments you’ll wear!
2. Pucker up with a new shade of lipstick
Try a new shade of lipstick that makes your complexion dazzle. If you have a cooler skin tone, go for shades with names that feel cooler by nature like “plum” or “pale pink.” Warm skin tones will like names that include hot words like “lava” or “caramel.” Remember that pinks are cooler than reds. The point is to choose a hue that’s noticeably different enough from your current shade. FashionMagazine.com featured a list of the most popular shades from around the world.
3. Indulge in a statement everyday Handbag. White, Gold or silver.
I’m so fortunate in that my husband gifts me an amazing handbag every Christmas. This year, the sales associate told him “white” was flying off the shelves, so I wound up with an amazing white Prada bag. Silver and gold (separate or mixed together) are also really hot this season. They are bright, clean and neutral so they will go with everything. Invest in one nice handbag (instead of 10 from the bargain bin) that’s your go-to accessory for most daily wear and your “cost per wear” will lower quickly. In the end, it will make the purchase a wise and affordable one.
4. Get a new hairstyle or hair color.
Unless you’re like Anna Wintour and have designated your hair cut as your signature style statement, it may be time to make a change. I jumped off the deep end and cut a good 8 inches off my hair in 2016. My husband freaked out, but I loved it and he warmed up to it (after a lot of men paid me compliments in front of him). Big changes in your cut and/or color is a BOLD step and one that can set the tone for the rest of the year.
5. Start daily affirmations.
I cannot express how effective my sticky note affirmations from Stick With It have helped me stay focused during chaotic times. I stick a new one on my mirror every Sunday and repeat the affirmation while getting ready for work all week long. There are a number of “themes” to choose from and they are budget friendly.
6. Sign up for a specific event and train for it.
I believe that looking at numbers go up and down on a scale is a fleeting and punitive measurement of good physical health. Instead try signing up for an event and train for it. It may sound strange, but my event is the TEDxUTAustin talk that I’m presenting February 10, 2018. It’s not a race or competition, but I do want to look and feel my best when I’m standing in front of 150 people and and a video camera. Austin hosts a revolving door of races and competitions year round. Pick one that works for your abilities, find a support group on sites like MeetUp.com and turn it into a FUN fitness goal.
7. Brighten your outlook with LED light therapy.
Skin therapist Laurie Falcon turned me on to this healing and calming skin treatment. Once you close your eyes and get under those lights, you fall into an almost meditative state– it’s good for the skin *and* the mind! And people notice the difference for weeks after a session. There are various colors to address the different needs of your skin.
8. Dispose of all expired beauty products (or those older than 6 months).
In fact, mascara’s shelf life is only about 3 months. Makeup will cake, become discolored and can even cause infections if used past the expiration date. I like EverydayHealth.com’s list of 11 beauty products, from lip gloss to loofahs, and when it’s time to toss them.
9. Replace bras that are more than a year old.
If a bra is worn more than once a week for a year, it’s time for retirement. The band stretches and the cups and wires lose their shape. Make sure you get a professional fitting before your next purchase and read this article I wrote about the risks of certain materials/designs and how to care for your bras for maximum value as part of an interview with leading bra designer Heidi Lehman. I like to purchase two panties that match a bra. Wearing a matching set always makes me feel sexy, even though no one else can see it.
10. Change your perfume.
Your olfactory system is the strongest sense when it comes to conjuring memories and associations. When I smell “Beautiful” by Estée Lauder, my mind goes back to 1990’s Virginia, when I worked in the music industry. By switching perfumes, you create a scented memory for the period that will last a lifetime. Here are tips from perfume expert Jane Daly for picking the brand that best suits your tastes.
If you would like personal help with your style questions, please contact me. I’m always happy to help!