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How to update your look

New year, new you! If you’re feeling like you need to refresh your look, there are tons of surprisingly easy ways to change up your appearance. From purging your closet to make room for new items, to changing up your hairstyle, brightening your smile and so much more, you’re going to feel as good as new. Ready to dive in? Here’s how to look different in 15 fun and exciting ways.

How to Look Different

1. Get a Haircut
A new haircut can completely transform your face, putting emphasis on different areas of your facial features. With a new haircut, you can bring as little or as much change to your look as you want. If you have really long hair, a chop above your shoulders will make you look like a brand new person, and if you don’t want to change up the length too much, adding fresh layers can be just as revitalizing.

2. Switch Up Your Glasses
If you wear glasses, one of the best ways to change your look is investing in a few new pairs to cycle through. Consider colour, thickness, shape and material and get a range of styles that suit your face. This way, you can match your glasses to your outfit and change up your look on the daily!

3. Energize Your Eyes
Have you been feeling like your eyes are looking tired and lack lustre? Energize them to give yourself a rejuvenated look. Use a hydrating eye cream to diminish dark circles and wrinkles and leave your skin looking and feeling smooth. Top it off with an under eye concealer that’s one shade lighter than your skin tone to brighten up your peepers.

4. Change Your Hair Colour
Feeling bored of your hair colour? Changing it up is the perfect way to transform your look. Talk to your hair stylist about colour, as they’ll be able to give you advice on which shade will be best for your complexion. If you’re not up for a full colour transformation, consider lowlights or highlights for a feel-good refresh!

5. Brighten Your Smile
Has coffee and red wine made your smile a little less white than you’d like? Brighten up your teeth to give your face a glistening new look. There are a number of options for teeth whitening, from whitening strips to charcoal powder to professional teeth whitening treatments.

6. Experiment with Different Eyeliner Styles
Different eyeliner styles will give you a new look each day, even when you’re using the same products. Switch from a bold liner to a cat eye, from a natural liner look to a retro, vintage wing. If you’re feeling fancy, add some glitter or change up your eyeshadow colour to something fun and bright like an electric blue.

7. Purge Your Closet
It can be hard for people to part with their clothes, especially if they hold sentimental value. But if you haven’t worn something in a few seasons (or even years), it’s time to donate or get rid of it. Get rid of any excess, “trendy” pieces you know you won’t wear again, and that should leave you with classic items that you’ll wear for years to come. Start filling your closet with good quality pieces and create the capsule wardrobe of your dreams.

8. Try the Dewy Skin Look
Dewy skin makes you look young and refreshed! Add a glowy dimension to your skin with a liquid illuminator. Use it underneath your eyes, down your nose and across your cheekbones for the ultimate dewy look. Just make sure to blend in the highlighter so it doesn’t look streaky.

9. Invest in Gold, Dainty Jewelry
The gold, dainty jewelry look is in and it’s a great way to elevate your everyday look. Think: stacked dainty rings, layered gold necklaces and dainty chain link bracelets. Solid gold is an investment, but will last forever, or you can opt for gold vermeil, which is a more affordable option.

10. Try New Hairstyles
Are you someone who always wears your hair down? Or styles it in one specific way? Switch it up and try out new hairstyles for a refreshed look. Curl it, straighten it, braid it or put it in an updo. Whatever you typically do, do the opposite to change up your look.

11. Put in Extensions
If you have a short cut, hair extensions are a great way to change up your look. Adding in hair extensions will allow you to play around with lots of different hairstyles you may not be able to with short hair. From over the shoulder waves to dutch braids and updos, the sky’s the limit with hair extensions!

12. Elevate with Earrings
Earrings are a simple yet effective way to elevate and change up your look. You can opt for bold statement earrings that are colourful and fun, or go more subtle with cool gold hoops or pearl drop earrings. Either way, earrings are the perfect way to frame your face.

13. Switch Up Your Lip Colour
Are you a die hard fan of your favourite lip colour? That’s all well and good, but there’s no harm changing it up once in a while. If your go-to is a bright red lip, embrace a nude lip shade or tinted lip gloss for a no-makeup makeup look. On the flip side, if you typically don the minimal lip, try a bold pop of colour to change things up.

14. Eyebrows
It’s amazing how much your eyebrows can change your face. They frame your face in a way that can soften and balance your look, and they can add length and definition to your face. Bold thicker brows are in right now, giving you the look of youthfulness. If you have thin or sparse brows, fill them in with an eyebrow pomade for a more full look.

15. Give Yourself a Glow
While fake tanner has previously gotten a bad rap, there are a number of great self tanning products today you can use to give yourself a gorgeous glow. These self tanning drops are so easy to use. All you have to do is mix them into your moisturizer for a natural, sun kissed glow.

Ready to change up your look in a big way? Try some of these ideas to refresh and transform your appearance!

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The past two years have proven to be a very unique period of time for everybody. Much of our lives – from where we work and how we holiday to who we can see and what we’re permitted to do – has changed enormously. Within this, less importantly but just as drastically, our approach to what we wear each day has also faced a transformation.

Whether you’ve been living in your loungewear or have been online shopping more than ever before, there have been plenty of changes in our approach to fashion this year. But, one positive of having more time at home on our hands is that we have had an opportunity to evaluate what we really need in our wardrobes – and a new year is the perfect time to figure out what should stay, and what should go.

From holding on to old clothes that never get worn to panic-buying pieces that won’t have more than one outing, we are all guilty of making less than sensible decisions when it comes to our wardrobes. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here, we break down 15 wardrobe resolutions to undertake now so that you can make space, save money and look the best you ever have.

1. Don’t buy something for just one occasion

We’re all guilty of it. A wedding, a birthday party, a Friday night reunion dinner with your friends. Heading somewhere exciting means we inevitably feel like we need something special – and therefore something new – to wear. However, more often than not, as much as we like the piece that we buy, it rarely gets more than one outing.

Instead of purchasing something specific for certain events, try to have a few dressier pieces in your wardrobe that are more versatile. If you go for something simple and more classic, rather than trend-led, you’ll be able to wear it again and again. Accessorised cleverly, it will never feel like the same look.

2. Don’t buy or keep something that doesn’t fit

It’s not uncommon to hold on to items that no longer fit you in the hope that they will again one day. It’s also not uncommon to buy something in a size too small as an incentive to lose weight or because it’s in the sale and they don’t have your usual size. However, holding on to these items – that you can’t physically wear – is one of the worst things you can do if you’re trying to reduce the size of your wardrobe. Be realistic and honest with yourself. If it doesn’t fit you, it’s time to sell or donate it.

3. Don’t buy or keep something that doesn’t suit you

As well as holding onto things that don’t fit, many of us keep pieces that we know don’t suit us. Often we’ve bought something on a whim because it’s a big trend or because we saw someone else wearing it and thought they looked amazing – but because it just doesn’t suit us, we’ve never actually taken it out of the cupboard. If a piece of clothing doesn’t make you feel confident and comfortable, it has no place in your life.

4. Don’t buy something just because it’s a bargain

It’s easy to be won over by a big discount, and you should make the most of huge markdowns – especially when it comes to investment designer pieces – but only if that piece is something that you really need to add to your arsenal. Never buy something just because it’s a great deal. No matter how affordable it was, if you never wear it, it’s a complete waste of money.

5. When you buy something, get rid of something else

An excellent way to keep your wardrobe at a sensible size is to adopt the one-in, one-out policy: every time you add something new, take a piece out (and sell it or donate it to charity). Not only will it keep your rails and shelves from overflowing, it also means you have to be much more confident about what you are purchasing. You’ll never buy something unless you completely love it, knowing that you are going to have to lose something special from your wardrobe.

6. Clothes swap with your most stylish friends

One great way of keeping your wardrobe feeling fresh is to swap pieces with friends. Operate your one-in, one-out policy by getting rid of something that you haven’t worn in months and trading it for a piece your friend has got bored of wearing (but you have always had an eye on). Whether you host clothes-swap parties with a big group or just have a deal with one friend, trading clothes is a great way of having an exciting wardrobe without spending any money or doing any further damage to the environment.

7. Don’t go on extravagant shopping sprees

Often we get stuck in style ruts, feel like we hate everything in our wardrobes and have nothing to wear. When this happens, more often than not, we go on a big shopping spree and end up spending huge amounts of money on exactly these trend-led items that end up sitting in our wardrobes forever, never being worn. Don’t let it get to this point. Instead, keep an eye out all-year round for pieces that you love and make a note of the things that you are lacking when you realise it. Think of it as a constant and evolving process, rather than going back to square one every few months. Allowing yourself to buy one really nice piece every month, rather than having two huge shopping sprees a year will likely result in much better thought-out decisions and, as a result, a far more stylish wardrobe.

8. Make an effort to discover new brands

Another reason we get stuck into style ruts is because we get attached to and comfortable with certain shops. It’s great to have your core favourites who you trust and you know last well, but there are always so many new, amazing brands hitting the market that are waiting to be discovered. From high-end designer labels to more affordable mid-range brands, keep exploring all year round. You’ll end up with some truly special, stylish finds (that – bonus – nobody else has).

“Go for something bold rather than merely pretty,” says Lam. “One of my favorite patterns for spring reminds me of Key West on acid. It started with a tropical floral with a ’70s vibe, but we twisted it, making the flowers bigger and brighter. The key to being comfortable when wearing a big print is to keep the silhouette sleek and simple.”

Silk Island dress, $1,990; at Barneys New York.

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Get an Oversize Tuxedo Jacket

“It can be a men’s or a women’s cut, but it should be one size larger than what you’d choose for a black-tie event. Wear it during the day over a T-shirt and a big necklace-or a button-down shirt-and a pair of your favorite tight jeans.”

JULIANNE MOORE in Lam’s tuxedo jacket and her own jeans. She wears it over a dress at night.

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Stick With a Sporty Heel

“Lightweight spring looks demand a shoe that is sporty but sophisticated. This season I used a pair of men’s preppy white bucks as the inspiration for a strappy gladiator sandal with a tapered heel, rope ties, and a cork sole. I love that it looks more American than Roman.”

Suede, rope and cork Odesa shoes, $790; at Barneys New York.

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Mix Dusty Pastels with a Bright

“It’s almost as graphic as playing black against white, especially with a vivid yellow or turquoise, but not nearly as harsh. That contrast also ensures that those deliberately faded pastel tones don’t come off as too sweet. If you’re more into dark colors, put navy with black. I think that combination is very cool.”

Lam’s silk double georgette dress.

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Avoid Four Trends This Spring

“1. Boho fringe—it gets tired real fast.
2. Anything latex, rubber, or fake leather—don’t bring back the ’80s, please!
3. That pale-skin, dark-painted gothic face. Go for lighter and happier.
4. Flip-flops. They do nothing for your posture or any silhouette you wear.”

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Go For a Comfy Carryall

“Choose a purse that’s as weightless as possible when it’s empty, roomy enough to hold your needs without looking like it’s bursting, and huggable so that it can conform to the shape of your body. The closer it is, the cozier it will feel, and the less encumbered you will be. You can tell when a woman has too much baggage.”

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Play with the Look of Two Purses

“Carry a smaller shoulder bag in snakeskin or leather, plus a bigger fabric or nylon tote—they’ll balance each other out and add personality and texture to a simple silhouette. It’s a practical idea too: Not only will it break up the weight of what you’ve got, but if you put your essentials in the shoulder bag (agenda, cell phone, makeup), you won’t have to dig for them all the time.”

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Make a Jersey Dress a Wardrobe Go-To

“It offers the luxury of elegance with the ease of loungewear. I love it when a jersey dress has long, tight sleeves, a boatlike drape around the neck, and shows just a touch of clavicle. And to make your look even cooler, combine jersey with leather. The soft matte against the tough sheen is a great contrast. Add a lightweight leather vest to a jersey sheath for an edgier attitude.”

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Be Ready for Spring’s Unpredictable Weather

“Layer pieces but vary the textures. Start with a loose silk blouse, add a cashmere cardigan, and then top with a cropped trench. You’re prepared for a change in temperature, whether it’s warmer or cooler.”

Cotton-viscose funnel jacket, $1,490. Cashmere cardigan, $650. Silk crêpe de chine tie blouse, $450. All at Derek Lam; 212-966-1616.

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Be Inventive with Decor

“Treat a chair like it’s sculpture. Look for one that doesn’t match the rest of the furniture. A couch should be classic, but the more eclectic the chair, the more fun it is, like wearing a funky brooch with a beautifully tailored suit. And as an alternative to art, frame something you love, like a silk scarf. I have one from a Paris museum on the wall in my living room.”

Ask yourself: Am I doing this for me or to please someone else? If it’s about you, keep going: How do I want to present myself? What do I feel good about? What do I want to update? Let the changes you make reveal the real you. (Have an outgoing personality? Try some bolder colors!)

2. Clean out your closet.

Make three piles: one for items that fit well and make you feel great, one for items that need tailoring, and one for items to donate or toss. Clearing out clutter helps you assess what you still need and makes room for a hot new wardrobe — and lets you appreciate what you already own.

3. Find a fashion mentor.

Share your mission with one of your stylish girlfriends. Ask her to dish her secrets: What designers does she love? Is she free to take you shopping? If you hit the mall solo, get advice from a chic store clerk about what silhouettes and colors might look good on you.

4. Experiment.

Give yourself permission to try a look that you may think “isn’t you.” Once you step out of your wardrobe safety zone, you’ll see your fashion possibilities in a whole new way. And if the look doesn’t feel quite right, ask yourself which parts did work. You may find a single new element to make your own.

5. Don’t give up.

The best thing about a style change is that if you don’t love it, you can leave it. New jacket looks a little too funky? Return it! Haircut a bit short? It’ll grow back! As you develop your look, you’ll see what clothes and makeup bring out the best version of you — and build confidence along the way.

Finding Your Style: 3 Questions for Ariane

Q: Why is fashion so intimidating?

The fashion we see seems flawless: Models have the perfect bodies and clothing, and it’s intimidating to compare ourselves to that unrealistic standard. But you can unhook your fears by focusing on the positive feelings that come from updating your look. Even a small change — like a form-flattering pencil skirt — can make you feel great. The confidence that comes from strutting your stuff in something you love will radiate from the inside out.

Q:
Why do people hang on to familiar looks?

Everyone has fashion blind spots. People think they can’t wear heels, or color, so they become trapped in what they’ve always worn. Plus, there’s a comfort in the familiar. Silence the inner chatter telling you, Color isn’t me, or, I’m too tall for heels, by focusing on what makes you feel good. When you get excited over an outfit or haircut, you’ll know it’s right.

Q:
How can I stop comparing myself to people around me and learn to own my unique style?

Let go of the way you think your hair or body should be and allow what you do have to come forth. Remind yourself that just as you compare your looks to friends’, you might very well be a role model for someone else — and that she looks to you for style inspiration.

Ever looked at yourself in the mirror and been underwhelmed by the image looking back at you? Nothing’s changed, necessarily. It’s just that your appearance is beginning to look bland or even a little dull and dowdy around the edges. Sometimes, looking good is about making periodic adjustments before you end up on one of those total makeover shows. You don’t want people to think you’re trying too hard — oh, no. That would be worse than doing nothing at all. But you do want to fine tune your appearance. You want a look that’s somehow fresher and brighter — like you just got back from vacation, or lost 5 pounds or won the lottery. You want this transformation to be easy, though, and relatively painless — and cheap. Impossible? Nope.

Let’s take a look at five fast and easy ways you can change your look for the better. This isn’t marketing hype, either. These tips actually work.

5: Change Your Lip Color — to Red

Yeah, this sounds too good to be true, but think about it for a minute. For generations, women have been pinching their lips or darkening them with anything from henna to cinnabar to pomegranate juice in order to add some color. Why? Women of old knew something many of us have forgotten: Lips have a sensual appeal that’s strengthened by every smile, moue and pucker. Your lips may actually be the first feature — anywhere on your body — that a man notices and admires about you. Now, that’s powerful.

If you’re one of those women who prefer subtlety in your makeup choices, take a walk on the wild side. Think of it as an experiment. Red is a surprisingly democratic lip color. The bluer shades (as opposed to orange-reds) favor most skin tones and hair shades. They also work well with neutral wardrobe colors like black, white, brown, blue, grey and khaki.

To balance out vivid lipstick, take a moment to darken your eyebrows with an eyebrow pencil or just a dab of petroleum jelly applied with the tip of your finger. A little eye shadow or mascara wouldn’t hurt, but they aren’t strictly necessary. We aren’t talking a major overhaul here, just a little extra shading around your eyes. It doesn’t take much. The added emphasis will help create a more balanced look for your luscious lips.

All of a sudden your cheekbones will look more prominent, your teeth will look whiter and your eyes will have a shine you never noticed before. Skeptical? Try it, and see for yourself.

4: Switch out Your Accessories

Accessories get no respect. If you’re on a tight wardrobe budget, they’re usually the first things dropped from your shopping list. When you upgrade your look, sweaters, slacks, jackets and skirts get the lion’s share of the attention, with maybe a splurge on a decadent pair of shoes. Here’s the real secret of a successful mini-makeover: Forget about the broad strokes this time around and pay attention to the details.

You may not be able to buy a new winter coat, but you can buy a scarf and matching gloves to wear with it, or invest in a silk scarf for your navy blue suit or a new belt for that little black dress. If coral is the in color this season (or aubergine or ruby), use it in a few accessory purchases like a new blouse or pin. A few small updates can have a big impact on how you look.

3: Change Your Hairstyle

Your hair is an integral part of your look, and changing it can be scary. The problem with staying with any one look too long, though, is that hair styles can date you faster than almost any other element of your appearance. It doesn’t matter what’s in today, in three years it will look tired, in five it will be amusing in old photos, and in 10 it will be an embarrassment to your children.

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t stick with a general length or color that suits you, but changing up your hair style occasionally can mean the difference between looking fresh and looking like the high school freshman who never got to hang out with the cool kids.

If the idea of a little hair therapy terrifies you, take it slow. Start with a little experimentation. Part your hair on the opposite side or down the middle. Try using a curling iron if you don’t already. Put your hair up for a change (or take it down). Consider adding highlights for a younger, more sun kissed look, or go a shade darker to add some mystery. Take it a tiny step at a time, but do be open to new things. You weren’t born in an old lady hair helmet, so let your tresses fly free.

2: Shop Out of Your Comfort Zone

Style is more than the way you look in clothes. It’s about how you feel in clothes, too. If you don’t stretch yourself occasionally and try new things, you’ll have a hard time ever feeling comfortable with fashion. New styles, materials and accessories can be exciting or intimidating depending on your perspective. If you peel off your comfy jeans, sweats or yoga pants with trepidation every time you’re forced to go shopping, your forays into this year’s latest styles could seem more like trying on costumes than treating yourself to a new look.

Here’s a tip that will help: Go shopping before you absolutely have to — that means before you need a new suit for that business trip or dress for the company Christmas party. Shop for experience and for fun. Visit a medium- to large-sized mall and look in the dress and accessory shop windows. Visit a few shops that are somewhat upscale for your lifestyle. Get comfortable with the process of looking around, asking questions and trying things on. Think of it as recon.

In a couple of hours, you’ll learn a lot, like: what’s available, what appeals to you, what colors are in and what shops have an atmosphere and price range you’re comfortable with. That’s a great deal of insight for a casual stroll around the mall.

Now, stop at the food court, and take a break. Write down some notes about the places you want to revisit. Of the garments you think you may want to look at again, choose at least one that’s a style renegade — nice but not quite you. It may be a color or cut that’s more feminine, trendy or flirty than you’ve worn before. It may be tighter or have a slightly shorter skirt. If it made your short list of memorable items, consider giving it a try. Buy it if you can — and wear it. It’s a painless way to change your look and hone your fashion sense in a few easy lessons.

If you’re deep in the doldrums, here’s a secret weapon that always works: Buy a new set of undergarments. Go for a camisole, bra, panties and maybe a slip in a color that’s light enough to wear under your work clothes, but not plain old white. Don’t those lacy layers feel smooth, soft and refreshing next to your skin? A thoroughly dainty and feminine indulgence will make you feel terrific. And when you feel good, you’ll look refreshed and revitalized — guaranteed.

1: Imitate the Best

The Internet offers an almost endless parade of slideshows and clips from last night’s awards show or last week’s premier. Stop admiring fashion from afar and start downloading photos and taking notes. It’s a sure bet that’s what your tween is doing. We’re living at a time when life imitates art. The designer garments that looked so au courant on the runway or in that celebrity interview will be copied, mass produced and on sale at a dress shop in your neighborhood before the ink dries on the style section of your Sunday newspaper.

More than ever before, celebrities are photographed, interviewed and evaluated based on their style sense. If you like the way a particular public figure dresses, pay attention to her look for tips about how you can update your style from someone whose fashion savvy you trust. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, or so they say. It makes good fashion sense, too.