When balancing kids, job, budgets, household management, meals, dating, and divorce stress, it’s easy to forget about ourselves. But a “refresh” may be just what the doctor ordered. Not only is shaving years off your look rather simple (and inexpensive), it’s a great emotional pick-me-up.
Color your hair
Dull or grey locks add years to your appearance. Now is a great time to chat with a good stylist and pick a flattering color for you. Avoid extremes or harsh colors, including going too blonde. Warm, natural hues are the most youthful and will soften the appearance of facial wrinkles.
Get a good haircut
Damaged ends, hair that’s too long, or frizz all make a girl look old(er). Get a good trim and add some layers. Refrain for over-styling and spraying your hair. (If you’re using loads of product or are going through a can of hairspray every few days, you’re doing something wrong.) Even if you like your hair, if you haven’t tried something different in a decade, it’s time for a switch.
Refresh your wardrobe
Pitch the mom jeans, sweats and frumpy T’s immediately. Clean out your closet and be brutal. If something is old, worn out, you haven’t put it on in years, or it doesn’t fit right, it goes. Now it’s time to replenish. You need not spend a fortune—visit Target, Walmart and Old Navy. Better yet, H&M (if you have one near you) is a fashion bonanza for inexpensive and trendy options.
If you’re starting from scratch, a good pair of figure flattering jeans and a pair of black pants are a must, as are a few good sweaters and tops in softer colors, and a great pair of shoes (no sneakers!– look for boots or booties during cooler months).
For work, skirts with tights or fitted trousers are solid choices. If you opt for a skirt, make sure hemlines are at the knee or slightly above. Mid-calf skirts are dated looks and they add on pounds (yikes). Pair the skirt with heals (not too high) or boots, and a basic sweater. And don’t forget to add a good handbag (no stains, rips, or tears).
Whatever you do, avoid trying to be too sexy or you’ll look ridiculous. Watch for plunging necklines, heals too high, skirts too short, and massive amounts of makeup and hair. No matter how great your figure, showing butt and boobs isn’t appropriate unless you’re at the beach.
Show your eyebrows some love
Avoid overly-plucked or over-grown brows. If you haven’t been for a wax or professional tweeze in a long time, go now!
Keep your teeth white
This one goes without saying: yellow teeth are bad for your (new) image.
Embrace neutral–colored lips
The most youthful-looking lipstick shades are nudes and peaches. Pick one with a little shimmer. Dark lips, especially when the color often ends up on your teeth, adds years to your appearance. If you love bold colors, use with great caution. (Tip: If you’re going on a date, go light. Most guys don’t want to share your lipstick when going in for a kiss.)
Don’t be too matchy-matchy
Perfectly matched outfits are super outdated. As long as your outfit doesn’t clash, mix it up. Try different colors and fabrics, scarves, and coats for your ensemble. If you’re a newbie at this, simply wearing a bright colored pair of shoes and funky earrings is a start.
Freshen up your makeup (hint: neutrals are fab)
Consider heading to a professional makeup artist for some refresher tips. (Makeup counters at department stores often do this for free.) Even if you don’t, note that darker, heavier makeup will age you. If you’re going heavy on the face powder, it’s sitting in your wrinkles and highlighting them (not a good look, I assure you!). Less is best and neutral shades are most flattering, like rose, nude, apricot and peach. Try a light shimmer or a good bronzer on your cheeks and lips.
Take care of your fingernails
Long, boldly painted fingernails are relics from the 80’s. Opt instead for nudes and neutral polishes (no chips!). At a minimum, keep your nails neat, clean and properly filed. Add a fun ring or two to jazz things up.
Go light on perfume
Heavy scents are overpowering and will make you memorable for all the wrong reasons.
Stand up straight!
Good posture is a necessity—it’ll shave off pounds in an instant and help eliminate frump. Walk with confidence (which is sexy!)– head up, shoulders back, make eye contact, and smile when appropriate.
Moisturize, moisturize, then moisturize some more
Especially in colder temps, it is essential to use good moisturizer often. Lather up, paying close attention to face and hands. Cracked dry skin isn’t the best look for anyone.
If you’re unsure where to start with accessorizing, pick just one option. (Hint: with neutrals, your can’t go wrong.)