1. Gather inspiration--from magazines, from friends, from your favorite fantasy stores, from the Internet, or from plain old people-watching. Ideas are everywhere!
2. When it's time to go for that first shopping spree or trip to the salon, bring along someone you trust, and whose taste you admire. She can help you navigate your new look.
3. Before you do anything irreversible (like plastic surgery) or really expensive, sleep on it...for a week!
4. DON'T FALL VICTIM TO TRENDS! "New" doesn't have to mean super-trendy, especially if it doesn't suit you, your life, your body. If you do want to test out a trend, try an inexpensive, “disposable” version: a piece that’s going to last about one season, just like the trend.
5. Above all, remember who you are, and what makes you feel comfortable. Picture yourself in three situations you find yourself in each week. If you can’t imagine wearing your new look in at least two of them, it probably isn’t for you.
Cheryl Kramer Kaye is the beauty director at REDBOOK, where she’s been since 2001. She has more than a decade of editorial experience: as the beauty and fashion director at Fitness magazine, as the associate beauty editor at REDBOOK (her first beauty gig), and as an associate features editor at Harper’s Bazaar. She has won two Gold Triangle awards from the American Academy of Dermatology in recognition of excellence in public education. Cheryl has made numerous TV appearances discussing beauty and fashion trends, including spots on The Early Show, The Today Show, and Good Morning America.