We’ve all seen them: beauty no-nos. Maybe it’s a fad that just went out of style (dark lining on light lipstick or teased-out 80s hair) or things that are on the fringe of style insanity (platinum bleachy blond hair or severely over-plucked brows). Either way, it’s best to think things out before stepping out into the real world. So here are my top five tips for looking good at any age.
First off, try to avoid extremes and “short term” fads in makeup and fashion. There might be a reason you’re turning heads in public, but it might not be the reason you think. Sure, no one wants to be bland, but you can look gorgeous without being too “out there.” Plus, buying into popular fads makes you look good for a few months. After that, you have a closet full of clothes that won’t be hot again until they’re retro 20 years down the road. Tanning until you’re orange, over-lining your eyes, or wearing incredibly tight or baggy clothing are a few examples of things to avoid.
Secondly, keep it simple. Sometimes more is less, as cliche as it sounds. Too many accessories and thick layers of makeup make you look clunky, dated, and a little risky. When you’re wearing makeup, be careful to pick out skin tone base makeups that match YOUR skin. (Have you ever seen that woman who’s face doesn’t match her neck because she went with a super tan foundation? Avoid this at all costs.) A natural style is best for the day. Use earthy tones during the day to maintain a classier and softer look. If you’re going out, especially for an evening date, you can be a little more daring with color. If you have redness, use makeup with a slightly yellow tint. If you have dry skin, try to avoid powdery makeup as it shows flaking. Don’t try to accentuate too many features. Too many extremes (dark eyeliner and mascara, fire engine read lips, and deeply rouged cheeks) will make you look cheap and extreme. Pick one element of your face and roll with it. If you have lovely eyes, focus on accentuating them.
Next, be sure to be yourself (and flaunt your best qualities)! Please recognize that there isn’t any one style of makeup or clothing that is perfect for every single person in the world. Know yourself. Find a style that accentuates your natural beauty. Sure, maybe your nose might be big, but you have killer eyes! Or your skin might be dry, but you’ve got beautiful silky hair. Don’t sell yourself short. Everyone has something. If something is fashionable, but it looks horrid on you, don’t buy it. For example, tube tops were super cool a zillion years ago. Sure, these might have been super hot on a gal with a perfect flat stomach and well-toned arms, but no one else could possibly pull that off. Don’t end up looking silly by trying to look good. That being said, just about every style can be tweaked a bit to look good for everyone. Try to find makeup tones that look great on your skin. Many styles of clothing come in a variety of cuts for different body shapes. Another example: it isn’t impossible to find many dresses of the same color and fabric in different cuts. Find one that looks good on your body. If you don’t have that movie star airbrushed perfect body, try a halter top instead of a strapless, or a slightly longer cut.
Fourth: dress your age. There is nothing more peculiar than seeing someone 40 dressing like a teenager. You can look good at any age, but some things just aren’t meant for certain age groups, and even if you have the body you had years ago, that doesn’t mean you still need to wear the same clothes. I went to school one day and the Special Education aide, who is well into her sixties, was wearing the exact same off-the-shoulder sweater that I had just bought from Rue 21. It was cute, yes, but a sixty looking sixty year old probably shouldn’t be trying to show so much…shoulder. You can look good at any age. Take care of your skin and teeth, find some age appropriate, classy, and stylish pieces. (Classy beats trashy at ANY age!)
Finally, mix it up! Now, don’t go too crazy with your polka dots and pinstripes and such, but if you look the same every day, you’ll get a little blah. Take a tiny risk now and then. Get a sexy haircut, mix up your wardrobe by adding something new (some amazing shoes, perhaps?) Have a variety of cute styles. Don’t just find one kind of clothing that looks good. There are so many amazing styles of clothing for every body type, so take advantage of that.
The most important element of external beauty is being comfortable with yourself. Some very beautiful people tear themselves up because they just aren’t comfortable with themselves. You have to love yourself inside and out before you worry about looking good for anyone else!