I've always been a proponent of looking like the "A+ version of you." But admit it; when the New Year comes around we usually have an "A+" attitude, but feel a little more "C-"after the stressful, tiring holiday season. As we adjust to getting back to the grind, we want our look to match our motivated, "go get 'em" attitude as we work towards our 2013 resolutions. You may still be working to lose those extra pounds or stay more organized this year, but here are some easy ways you can make yourself look and feel better on the journey!
- Out With the Old. We all have what I call the "makeup graveyard" which is usually a drawer filled with cosmetics that haven't seen the light of day since you wore them that one night out many moons ago. Take everything out of the drawer or your makeup bag and see what you use on a daily basis. Keep one or two "fun" colors that you'd wear possibly to a party, a theme day at work, or that one night out. Hang onto your basics; what you wear everyday should be what remains within reach, and keep the extras aside for special occasions.
- Try Something New. If you've found yourself hitting "pause" on your DVR when that makeup commercial comes on, or stopping on a page in a magazine when you've seen that fierce smoky eye or stunning red lip then that means you are ready. And don't think I can't hear your internal dialogue. "She's 17 years old with no pores. I could NEVER wear that!" Makeup is all based on individual style and preference; adapt a trend to YOUR liking. It doesn't have to be exactly what you have seen in a magazine, but there can be a nod to the trend while still feeling comfortable wearing it. If you're a brown eyeliner girl, try black or navy to switch it up. Or if you only line the top lids, try the bottom one day. A tube of red lipstick is the "little black dress" of makeup -- everyone should have one. Do your basic everyday makeup, but then switch it up by adding a red lip. And no, it doesn't have to be a fire engine "Jessica Rabbit" red. There are limitless versions and shades of red. Find the one that you like best. After applying it, look at yourself in a full-length mirror -- not your handbag compact -- to get the full flavor of the bean. Looking into a tiny mirror can give you "floating head" syndrome, where all you see is lips, which can be intimidating.
- Take More Time. Every woman asks me what tips I have for doing ten minute makeup. My answer? Add ten more minutes! For me it's all about focusing on the skin, which is often overlooked in lieu of getting to the "fun stuff" like lips and eyes. The skin is your canvas. When it looks good, everything else does. The daily goal is to hear "YOU look amazing" not "your MAKEUP looks amazing." Even if you weren't born with flawless skin there are ways to get the look. Invest in skin care and priming products. Primers act almost as a "Velcro" to your makeup, allowing products like foundation to stay on all day, looking fresh throughout. They can also minimize pores (!), smooth out fine lines (!!), and keep your makeup on for at least eight hours (!!!). Foundation shouldn't look or feel like something you'd buy at Home Depot either. Treat it like skin care. If your skin is dry use a moisturizing foundation, while oily skins should use a more matte finish. Make sure the color is correct! Most women's faces are a little lighter than the body due to exfoliating, sunscreen, and the like. Match it to your neck and body for consistency or you risk me running up to you with a sponge to blend it. Do the base first, then add concealer. You'll find the concealer goes on better and you use less once you have perfected the base. And unless you want the FBI following you, apply it with a brush, not your finger, as it will leave fingerprints in the makeup. Spend the bulk of your time on skin, meticulously covering flaws like sun damage or blemishes. If you REALLY don't have time, concentrate on making up the areas with the most mobility like your eyes or lips. A chic black cat eye or a dramatic lip will make a statement if you're in a hurry. Or try using long wear products to minimize touching up throughout the day.
- Own the Compliment! I love when I meet up with a friend who may have her hair styled differently, is wearing a bright, chic lipstick, or who may have a new blush color on and I say, "Wow... you look great!" When she wrinkles up her face and says, "I do?" I usually respond with, "Not anymore!" People -- take the compliment! Especially from someone who appreciates beauty. I know; there's trepidation when trying something new and our personal security level is on "high alert," but if it's anyone who won't lie to you it's your best friend. Feel proud! Relish in the love, and it may encourage you to explore your look even more.
- Have Fun! Makeup shouldn't feel like a chore. There are two ways I view makeup; one is to correct or enhance, the other is to express your mood. If you're feeling like you want to be heard, like in a court of law, job interview, or breaking up with a partner, try a red lip. Or if you're feeling vampy on a first date or even traipsing to the market, try a metallic gray shadow on the eyelids. Remember -- makeup is the ultimate disposable accessory. It washes off!