Change Your Out-Look
It’s possible to keep perspective as you make a style change. Carmindy, a makeup artist on TLC’s “What Not to Wear,” believes it is confidence that makes people beautiful. “There is no such thing as a set standard of beauty,” she says. Still, she acknowledges the challenge of making cosmetic changes. “We are so worried about what others think,” she says. “You overcome this [worry] by owning your beauty and celebrating it.” Building confidence in your own look takes time, and can be achieved through seemingly very small steps.
Make a Small Style Change
Some people don’t want to change their entire look, but feel the need for something new. In these cases, a haircut, a new skincare routine or updated accessories can have a powerful effect on the way you see the world—and how the world sees you.
“I allowed my stylist to cut off and dye my hair. He convinced me it would help me stand out at an audition,” says Joely Pitman, a 26-year-old Atlanta native who had long, sandy hair past her shoulders and recently got a red, chin-length bob. Joely says that while it was a bit scary, it was definitely worth the risk. “My hair is literally bouncier, and I am excited that [my new look reflects] how bouncy I feel inside,” she says.
A haircut or new color gives you a lot of bang for your change buck, and it has the added benefit of making a major statement about your willingness to embrace a new look. “A haircut is the easiest, quickest way to make a major change,” says Samantha Meiler, executive deputy editor at Life and Style. “It’s dramatic and unmissable all at once.” Men can also benefit from an updated hairstyle, and shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with color too.
The same goes for facial hair. If you’ve been sporting a mustache, beard or goatee for a few years, perhaps it’s time to shave it off—or at least trim it differently. You can do it yourself, though there are numerous places that focus on shaving as a total and unique experience for men. Think of it as the equivalent of a spa for women, only instead of flowers and tea, you’ll get a beer and the game while you relax and get groomed. A good barber who does an old-fashioned straight razor shave is great too. The great thing about a professional shave is that your skin will get stellar treatment afterward, and you may happen upon a line of soothing products more suited to your skin than what you’ve been using.
If you’re too attached to your hair (facial or otherwise) to think about cutting it, another small but powerful change is experimenting new makeup or a new skincare routine that freshens up your overall style without a big investment. Men and women should develop a routine that involves using the right cleansers and moisturizers for their skin needs. Start by visiting a department store or specialty shop such as Sephora, or visit an aesthetician—a fancy word for facialist—at local spa or salon. Women can take advantage of free makeovers and try new makeup options until they find the right fit.
The best thing about these style changes is that they can be temporary, and don’t cost much. If you really dislike a lip color or moisturizer, you can try a different one. And if your hair isn’t what you expected, it will grow back. The key is to take it one step at a time until you look as good as you feel.