Thursday, April 14, 2011

10 Ways to Look More Polished

InStyle is by far one of my favorite magazines.  I have at least 7 years worth of magazines stacked on my bookshelves, on my desk, and in my closet.  I just refuse to let go of any of my Vogues, Instyles, or Real Simples! InStyle always has great tips and inspirations. One of my favorite features on their website is the "10 ways..."  10 Ways to Look More Polished is a great one, although I don't think I'll become so attached to my hair-straightener anytime soon.  Below you'll find InStyle's 10 tips, plus some of my go-tos.

(1) Find your beauty uniform: the key is having a go-to lip and eye combo. Makeup artist Sonia Kashuk recommends a brown smoky eye and sheer rose lips 
I blogged about my makeup routine here, but my go-to eye palette is Bobbi Brown's shimmer brick. Technically it's meant for face or cheeks, but I really only use it for my eyes and LOVE it. 

I love mac tinted lip conditioner.  It's incredibly soft, not sticky at all, and leaves a subtle and yet brilliant color.  

(2) Practice your posture: "Stand with feet 4-6 inches apart, then imagine a balloon tied to the top of your head pulling everything up ever so slightly." Okay, so this is really for those red-carpet moments (so not the most useful), but I do think posture can make a huge difference in appearance.  Standing and sitting up straight can instantly make you appear confident and polished.

(3) Manage your mani: InStyle says that chipped nails suggest laziness.  I like to think they suggest a busy schedule, but I do obsessively repaint my nails when they get a little chipped.  As a former nail-biter, having painted nails also dissuades me from biting my finger nails. These colors are in constant rotation.
OPI in Chapel of Love.  
OPI in Big Apple Red
Essie in Chubby Cheeks
Essie in Ballet Slippers
Mac nail lacquer in Steamy

(4) Be generous with your fragrance: I love the idea of always wearing your signature scent, even with a t-shirt and jeans.  My roommate can confirm that everything I own smells like me, because I always wear a fragrance. I have three signature scents, depending on the occasion and outfit. Yes, I am a little obsessive compulsive about my scent.
I use my Lilly Pulitzer "Wink" for everyday. It's a lovely light fragrance that instantly brings a smile to my face when I spritz it on.

I bought Burberry London while on exchange in a small airport for a steal!  I use it for special occasions or nights out.  It's my 'glamorous' scent that makes me feel like I should be heading out for a fab night on the town.
I use this Juicy Couture fragrance for those days I want to put an extra little skip to my step, feel a little extra swanky, or am wearing something a little more dressed up than usual.

(5) Lose the Shine: Makeup artists describe polished skin as flawless without being too dewey or overly powdered.  My go-to for reducing my overly abundant shine?  Oil blotting sheets.  
Pretty much any brand will do, but I pick up a pack of Clean and Clear sheets when I pop by my drugstore and keep them on me at all times.   Both my mom and I swear by them.

(6) Update your hair accessories: InStyle suggests channeling Jackie O (a classic favorite) by using a tortoise barrette instead of a hair elastic to tie up your hair.  J. Crew and Ann Taylor have always had a great selection of tortoise hair accessories, and usually offer a discount if you buy two or more tortoise accessories.  
I fondly remember my very first tortoise shell headband.... My mom and I were on one of our usual mother-daughter shopping trips at Ann Taylor way back when I was merely nine years old.  She was looking for a fun summer suit, and I was there to yay or nay her choices. As she was paying for her purchases I was playing with the jewelry and accessories, and fell in love with the super thick tortoise shell headband.  It became my very first Ann Taylor purchase.  It lasted me about ten years before I finally accidentally snapped it in half.... woops!

(7) Plan ahead: I break this rule the most often. I NEVER plan my hair cuts more than 24hrs in advance.  Honestly, I just wait until my hair gets too long and unruly, and then stop by one of my local hair salons without an appointment.  I only get a cut once or twice a year, so I don't ever get too attached to any particular stylist.  But for those with shorter hair and who get color done, I think setting appointments in advance is a good plan to ensure you get your favorite experts.

(8) Stock up on hairspray: hairspray is great for taming frizz, adding volume, and giving life to dirty hair. To combat frizz, I spray my hairbrush with hairspray and then run it through the lower half of my hair.  
Although not hairspray, I also swear by Pantene Thick Smooth Definition Gel.  I LOVE this product.  It's my favorite for treating that pesky winter frizz.

(9) Leave your flatiron at work: Sure commuting to work or class can damage a hairdo, but I think this is a little excessive.  Although I'm lucky enough to have hair that can easily be made straight with only a good brushing.

(10) Become a morning person:  As much as I like the idea of  going to bed and rising early, I am so not a morning person! I love the idea of a calm, easygoing morning, but I have a huge problem with going to bed really late and then hitting my snooze button too often in the morning.  
    What are some of your tips for looking more polished?



    1. I've been wanting the lilly fragrance for such a long time!

    2. I've been coveting that Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick for ages may have convinced me I need to splurge! ;)

    3. The oil sheets are my fave...and the Essie polish! xo

    4. Lovely post!i love MAC!
      Love your blog too!
      Im now following!check mine out if you like?


    5. Great tips! Love that light pink essie polish!