When you’re feeling stressed, blue, or restless, does the thought of a makeover perk you right up?
It certainly puts pep in my step when I find myself dragging. A style update can be a fantastic mood enhancer, and it needn't be drastic or expensive.
My preference? The mini-makeover.
I’ve used this technique at various points in my life – new career, new city, new life stage, new marital status, new relationship, new dress size… I also go for changing up my style when everything is running smoothly, but I want the pleasure of a new or updated look that comes from change. I’ve always found this process pleasurable, with positive effects.
When I was newly single after my divorce, I realized that I wanted a new look for a new life, but I wasn’t sure what that might be. I did know that I should take my time in easing into a brighter, shinier, different me.
While I admit I considered dyeing my hair red – who doesn’t want a little walk on the wild side? – as I said, I knew I shouldn’t take drastic actions. Mini-makeovers were just the thing – a change in makeup, hairstyle, adjustments to wardrobe – even a new perfume.
And it’s fun!
My Low-Risk High-Value Makeover
What did I do?
I grew my hair from super-short to shoulder length. I felt sexier.
- I changed my glasses.
- I found a new signature fragrance.
- I reinstated former healthy habits (regular exercise).
- I treated myself to fine lingerie, over time.
And by the way, I wore the fine lingerie every day, not just for special occasions.
Let’s say it’s been six months or a year or even two years since you’ve re-embarked on the single life. You may be thinking of wardrobe changes. You may be pondering possibilities ranging from the symbolic (new perfume) to the exotic (relocating) to the more sensational – like cosmetic surgery.
But does the Big D really necessitate double D’s? Does any other milestone of significance require extreme measures? Are you seeing reality in the mirror or a distorted version?
Do you have inner work that's yet to be done - when it comes to gaining confidence or resetting personal goals?
Am I saying not to go for the tightened abs or naughty knockers?
No. To each her own.
But don’t think you must look younger to feel confident. We can look impeccable at any age. Health and well-being are fundamental to the equation, and self-esteem is built on more than a surgically altered shaped or outer skin.
Mini Makeover Suggestions
I love mini-makeovers when it comes to personal appearance or style, as well as for my wardrobe and my surroundings. Naturally – we all have financial, professional, and parental responsibilities that form the framework for what we can afford, what is reasonable, and how much time we can spend on our efforts.
Consider these suggestions. They're among my favorites that I've used over the years.
If a day spa is handy – treat yourself! You’ll feel like royalty after a dainty dose of pampering. And if it’s not in the budget (or you can’t get a babysitter), do-it-yourself spa time is very affordable, and schedule it for when you have an hour to yourself. Try an herbal tea facial (steam and one tea bag), or a few bath products you can pick up at the local supermarket or superstore. Then light some candles for ambiance, soak in your tub, and unwind.
Drab color? A little bit of gray? Just bored with what you’ve got?
Chat with your hairdresser about a new style, a weave or extensions, or a new color. Switch it up – go red, go blonde, go sultry brunette! Nothing lightens your mood or changes your look quite so much as a hair makeover. But do remember to discuss your options if you think you'll change your mind 24 hours later.
A touch of brightening goes a long way on most women, and if you haven’t changed your makeup style since shoulder pads were the rage on Dallas, it’s time! Keep in mind that most of us wouldn't do well in "real life" if we resembled the overdone divas of Reality TV.
Head to the nearest department store where you can try any number of products – and have fun doing it. The older you are, the more a light touch will let you shine. Have a makeup artist show you how to apply products, and suggest the right ones for your skin and your lifestyle.
Do you associate your perfume with your ex? (I did.) Our sense of smell is powerfully linked to memory, and fragrance is incredibly seductive. That department store where you’re having your makeup done?
Don’t forget to stop at the perfume counter. Dab a little on each wrist. Take some samples home to try at different times. Enjoy choosing just the right one, and imagine leaving a new fragrance lingering on a gentleman’s pillow.
While many lecture on the pros and cons of dressing your age, it's more sensible to dress appropriately for your body type, lifestyle, personality, and career.
Do use a proper mirror when you’re trying on new clothes, and do remember that professional attire is one thing and socializing another. Experiment! Try new styles and colors! And treat yourself to beautiful lingerie that fits properly – and enjoy it. Do ask a friend's opinion, but dress to please yourself.
If you’re going to invest money in maintenance, there’s nothing so wonderful as a lovely, healthy smile. Does that mean blindingly white choppers or veneers? Not unless you’re headed to Hollywood. More likely, it’s as simple as regular visits to your dentist, whitening strips on occasion, and remembering the warmth and welcome that a smile exudes.
Makeovers on a Budget:
Like most of us, I live on a budget. When it comes to fashion, I own a few classic, quality separates (for versatility), mostly in black and neutrals. I jack up the look with color in scarves (and shoes), add a piece of bold jewelry, and you’d be surprised how budget-friendly this approach can be.
Did I mention the importance of a gorgeous pair of shoes?
I confess. Shoes are my Achilles Heel.
They don’t have to be four-inch stilettos or five-inch platforms - though why not, if you can pull it off – but something pretty and comfortable that makes you feel good.
The Value of a Makeover
The beauty of mini-makeovers is that they minimize risk, can enhance your confidence, and they're fun! Do push beyond your comfort zone, and don't assume you can't go for that new job or online dating service until you lose 20 pounds, fill your forehead with Botox, or drop five figures for the combo tummy tuck, face lift and breast implants.
If you feel you must undergo surgery, make sure you're not looking for external solutions to esteem issues that are better dealt with in other ways.
Take the time to understand your motivations, be realistic in your expectations, and consider less invasive alternatives. Be healthy, be financially responsible, and enjoy refashioning your life.