Thursday, January 30, 2014

Loving Your Look--Step 2--Do Your Research

Hey, friends!

I don't know how many of you are following my little New Year's Resolution to love my look more, but it is turning into quite the adventure! I can't wait to share some of my experiences and tips with you.

Let me start off by giving a little bit more background to this resolution. As I've said in previous posts, my style has changed a lot over the past few years. I learned to love wearing color when I was pregnant, and I missed the bright colors of my maternity clothes after I went back to my pre-pregnancy wardrobe. I have also been working out again and losing weight (thanks largely to breastfeeding, I'm sure), and that has made some changes necessary. I originally made this resolution to fix up my closet in order to better suit the new me, but it has quickly changed to a much bigger resolution.

I want to love everything about my look--my hair, makeup, clothes, shoes--and I want to do it without spending ridiculous amounts of money. Becoming a mom this past year changed me in so many ways, and I kind of feel like a different person. I want to feel at home in my own skin again, and that's where this resolution comes in!

Alright, back to business. I have posted a few refashions and one post with some de-junking tips. I hope that didn't bore you too much. I just get overwhelmed by organizing sometimes, so I figured I would share the tips that have helped me. Today I am going to talk about the very next step.

Step two to loving your look is....RESEARCH!

I know, I know. That sounds ridiculous. But hear me out. There is a lot more to looking good than going out and buying new things. That's where the research comes in.

For all the rest of you stay-at-home moms who are just wanting to switch things up and feel pretty again, this is a good place to start!

Learn about YOU.

That sounds silly, but I'm serious. Who are you? What do you like to wear? What colors look best on you? What hair style would both fit your lifestyle and your face shape?

Trust me, it's fun research. And remember, this isn't about critiquing yourself one bit! This goal is all about loving yourself more.

I like to use Pinterest for these questions. It is a good resource for images (usually) linked to posts, articles, or websites that can help you in your quest to love your look. Here are some that I have used in my own research:

Body Type Quizzes:
You Beauty's was my favorite, but there are lots out there. This isn't crucial, but understanding your body type can help you figure out what clothes will look and feel good on you. Once you figure out your body shape, search Pinterest for tips and tricks to dress your body best. There is a lot of good information out there!

Face Shape Quizzes: and The Hairstyler both have quizzes that I tried out. Knowing your face shape is important for picking a good part, hair cut, and makeup styles. Again, once you have your shape figured out, search the web for ways to flatter your face.

Skin Tone Quizzes:
Seventeen offers a quick little quiz to figure out your skin tone. This can help you understand which colors will compliment your skin. It makes it a lot easier to know what colors to wear when you have a feel for what will go well with your particular skin type.

Eye Shape:
This image from Listotic can help you figure out what kind of eyes you have. Learning that I have prominent lids helped me find some makeup styles that suit my eyes much better than other styles I have worn before. This tutorial brought me one of my new favorite everyday looks, and I found it because I was looking for makeup that would work well for my specific eyes.

Using the same research style, figure out all there is to know about your body. A lot of things you can tell just by looking! Eye color, hair color, hair type--basically all the facts. Then you're ready for the next step.

Figure out what you like. And what you don't like. Forming opinions on different styles of clothes, makeup, and hair is a big part of figuring out your own style. Search Pinterest's Beauty and Women's Fashion pages, or search for more specific things. Figure out what speaks to you, and embrace those things.

Things I've been embracing lately:

  • Boot cut and flare jeans: I realized the other day that nearly every pair of pants I own is "skinny jean" style. Now that I'm back in school, I have been eyeing other students' clothes to try and figure out what I like. I found myself being a little jealous of others' wider-leg jeans, so that helped me decide to go out and buy a variety of styles of pants. Since my recent weight loss has caused my pants to almost fall off on more than one occasion, I finally broke down and bought a few new pairs of pants this week with my birthday money. (5, to be exact. All $5 at Plato's Closet. They are having an awesome sale, if you have one near you!) I did buy one pair of skinny jeans, but I bought mostly boot cut and flare jeans, and I love them. I didn't realize I had missed them so much! I took some silly pictures while I shopped. These boot cut jeans are probably my favorite! They're a little long, so I can also wear them rolled up without having them become capris. I often have trouble finding jeans that fit right and have enough length for my relatively long legs. Used jeans are often the best way to solve this problem, since I can find so many different styles and sizes all in one place.

  • Anybody else stand on their shoes to avoid standing on the nasty floor? Ha! My socks kept coming off as I tried on pair after pair of jeans, so I was extra paranoid about stepping on the floor. :P
  • Darker hair: After about four years of consideration, I finally decided to dye my hair darker. My original color was a blonde-brown, and it is now a darker reddish brown. I love it. I wish I had a good picture of it to post, because it is so cute! My sister-in-law is in beauty school right now, so she was able to get me a good deal! I feel like my darker hair also helps me to embrace my fair skin and light blue-green eyes. It is a flattering color on me, and I have gotten lots of compliments! Better picture coming soon, but for now I'm stuck with this picture I took at PayLess while Austin let me get out of the house for a little bit a few days ago.

  • My body shape: After taking the body shape quiz mentioned above, I was in a little bit of denial. Austin (the adorable, ever-helpful hubby) said that I can always change body shapes. It's not like I'm stuck with one forever. I agree with that, but I also realize that my bone structure and genetics makes me mostly lean toward a certain body type. My hips and rear are the largest part of me, and learning how to dress to elongate my torso, draw attention to my face, and balance out my body has been very helpful. Longer shirts, cardigans, scarves, and other things have helped me to feel even better about my look. 
Point being, don't be afraid of your body. Embrace yourself, switch things up if you don't like them, and learn to love yourself and your look more!

I hope this has been helpful! I have already figured out a lot about myself that I never really thought about before. It's been fun to get to know myself a little better! I hope you enjoy it, too.


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