Basic ways to improve your look & outlook
Make-up, like clothing, changes with the seasons.
Bangs are out. Big hair is so 1982. Fellas, that plaid polyester shirt with the butterfly collar you wore in high school has got to go. And that extra 10 pounds you gained 5 years ago no longer qualifies as "baby fat." Let's face it, you need a makeover. If those TV makeover shows haven't convinced you, it's time to get off the couch and do something.
Not all makeovers have to be extreme. There are lots of simple things you can do short of plastic surgery to get the look you want, from updating a few wardrobe pieces, starting an exercise program or getting a skin treatment.
"The best advice is to do something! Something is always better than nothing so make time to get active," says Chantrell Antoine, co-owner and personal Trainer at MBC Fitness in Atlanta.
Don't know where to start? Here are some ideas to help you on your way to the new you.
- Get your hair done. Consider doing something drastic such as trading your long hair for a shorter look or going from brunette to blonde. Cut out some pictures of hairstyles you like and take them to your hairdresser. Guys, get rid of the straggly hair or shaggy beard. Sometimes a great haircut can not only make you feel different but it could make you look years younger.
- Flash those pearly whites. Make an appointment with your dentist to get your teeth whitened. Cosmetic whitening is a quick procedure, relatively inexpensive and can drastically change your appearance. Consult with your dentist to see if this is an option for you.
- Put your best face forward. Make an appointment with a professional make-up consultant. Make-up, like clothing, changes with the seasons. If you've been using the same products awhile or can't find the right over-the-counter products, a make-up consultant might be just the person to see to bring out your best features. If your skin is an issue or your problem goes beyond a little concealer, or maybe you want a product to take a few years off your face, you make want to pay a visit to the dermatologist.
- Since you plan to walk down the aisle just once, hire professionals to do your hair and makeup. This may be one area where you want to splurge a little. Nothing is worse than having your hair fried the day before your nuptials. Meet with your hairdresser and the makeup artist to explain what you want. Bring pictures. Ask to see their portfolios and style books. Test their products (especially makeup) to make sure you're not allergic. And if possible, bring a friend to take pictures as you try on dresses (because sometimes it looks good in the book, but not good on you).
- Feeling stressed out? Do what the beautiful people do. Relax at the spa. Spas are not just girly. Plenty of local spas offer treatments for men as well as women and even couples packages. Freshly scrubbed and polished skin, under-eye treatments to get rid of those dark circles, and pampering from head to toe by a whole team of people can make you feel good inside and out.
- It doesn't take drastic measures to make you feel good or look good. Sometimes something as simple as a fresh manicure or pedicure is all you need. (FYI: guys, if you're worried about coming out with pink nail polish, most salons offer male manicures). So, hit the nail salon, buy yourself a new pair of sandals and show off those newly-polished toes. While you're there, consider some other salon treatments like eyebrow waxing or tanning.
- Diet may be a four letter word, but the effort to lose weight doesn't have to be a journey you face alone. Get some help in the pursuit of a slimmer you. If you're looking to take off a few pounds the old fashioned way, you could consult a nutritionist, hit the gym or pay a visit to a weight management center. "Everyone is not into running," says Antoine. "Don't feel as if that's the only way you can get in shape. Stay in shape by utilizing the stairs. Whether at home, or in the office, walking up and down the stairs is a very effective leg workout." Remember to consult your doctor before you start any weight loss regiment.
- Don't overlook the importance of speaking to a professional counselor or therapist, especially if you are having issues with your body image or self esteem. "If someone is wanting a makeover, then it might be time to get a makeover from the inside out," says professional counselor Eddie Reece. "Can you imagine how much better you would look if you felt a lot better?" Reece suggests that significant life changes such as reducing the stress in your life, discovering how to stay committed to self improvement plans and learning to love the way you look just as you are, can make you feel and look younger.