9 Ways To Look Polished - Even When Running Errands
You have to get dressed anyway so why not look nice while doing so.
Being busy is a normal part of life. Between all of the responsibilities you have such as working, caring for your home, maintaining relationships and handling other adulting activities, there’s a lot on our plates which often leads to becoming distracted. These distractions can sometimes lead to neglect in various areas of our life, including self care, grooming and personal style. It can even lead to a general feeling of not even caring about our apperance but it doesn't have to be that way.
Looking good is feeling good. When you feel good, you operate differently - from a place of confidence. You might be thinking to yourself that you don't have the time, knowledge or expertise to pull your “look” together as it relates to wardrobe, makeup, hair and overall beauty. That’s ok because I believe this knowledge and ultimate success actually comes with strategy and planning. By not making excuses and creating good habits such as planning out your week, getting up earlier and being more organized, you can always put your best foot forward. Below are some of my favorite personal style and beauty tips to help me stay flawless and polished on the go...
Plan Your Wardrobe In Advance
Just like you would plan your upcoming week which may include meetings, events, appointments and the like, take time to plan out your wardrobe for the week in the same manner. Pull all your items together, including accessories, shoes, and proper undergarments to avoid the frenzy of trying to get ready in the morning or whenever you have to leave the house. Use a rolling rack or a section in your closet to arrange the looks of the week. Doing so helps to ensure you are able to get dressed effortlessly instead of discovering at the last minute that your clothes need to be cleaned, pressed, hemmed, are ill fitting or that your outfit doesn’t look as cute in real life as it did in your head when instead you should already be ten minutes into your commute. WHEW!!! In addition, planning your wardrobe for the week will allow you to decide and schedule when your garments need laundering, repair or even donation.
If you want to avoid the extra fuss and energy that comes with coordinating all of the elements of an extensive wardrobe, you can create a uniform of sorts with basic pieces. This can include the following wardrobe staples:
Dress (Sheath, Wrap Dress)
Skirt (A-line, Pencil)
Denim (Jeans, Skirt)
Denim jacket, Trench Coat, Pea Coat
These are basic pieces that you can mix and match for effortless wear. Consider basic colors such as black, white, cream, beige, and navy that you can wear repeatedly so you still look sharp and polished. Keeping your color scheme neutral with strategic pops of colors and prints (camo and leopard print) makes it easier to mix and match your separates.
Become More Mindful When You Shop
I know that many people are given to impulse purchases because something is cute or it's on sale. Or perhaps you had a challenging day so you say “Eff it I’m going shopping.” I’ve been guilty of that too. But now more often than not when I shop, each piece that I purchase, whether it is shoes, clothing or accessories goes under careful consideration. Some of the questions I ask myself are:
How many ways can I wear this?
How many places can I wear this to?
Can I dress this up or down?
How well is this garment made?
Do I really like this or am I trippin’?
Do I have something like this in my wardrobe already?
Speaking of if I have something like this in my wardrobe already and planning ahead, I like to keep my clothes laundered and ready to go. Learn to make minor adjustments to your clothing whether by hand or with a sewing machine. It’s always a good idea to have a good tailor, dry cleaner and shoe repair person on deck. If you are lucky, your tailor, dry cleaner and shoe repair will be in the same place for one stop shop.
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Wear Good Undergarments
Good underwear makes you feel good but more importantly the proper undergarments will make your silhouette look good as well as give you the support, shaping and smoothing that you need, thus helping you look better in your clothes.
Good bras (balconette, strapless, t shirt bra)
Panties (Low cut, high waist, thong) Whatever you choose, no VPL!
Shaper garment (bottom, top or full)
Slip - yes they are still relevant.
Keep Your Nails Done
This will mean different things to different people. For some people that will mean going to get your nails done professionally. For others that could mean doing a manicure at home or just keeping them clipped/trimmed and clean. Either is fine. Just keep your nails done - whether it is a simple manicure or getting gels or acrylics. Now I’m a press-on nail enthusiast. I love the fact that I never have to depend on someone else to do my nails and that I can switch up my nails at a moment’s notice and at any time of day in the comfort of my own home.
It’s amazing how a simple piece of jewelry can elevate an entire look. I am a jewelry maximist. I’m not sure if that is even a word but I've always worn several pieces of jewelry at a time since I was a child. I have my staples that I wear daily which includes stacks of bangles in a mix of silver and gold on one arm. On the other arm I wear a watch, a tennis bracelet and maybe a charm bracelet, as well as a couple of necklaces and rings. Then there are the other pieces that I wear occasionally - depending on how dressy the outfit is or what the occasion is. You may not care to wear so much jewelry at one time but do consider including the following basic pieces into your jewelry/accessory collection.
Simple bangle (Or two. Or three)
A ring for each hand
Simple hoops or studs
A Tote bag, clutch and shoulder bag
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Always Wear Fragrance - The Invisible Accessory
There is nothing more pleasant than smelling nice. I remember as a child having my very own fragrance that my auntie sold (It might have been avon or something). The only thing I can remember about that fragrance other than actually having it is the red top that was shaped like a tulip. It was special. I also remember as a child one of my mom’s go to fragrances was Jean Nate After Bath Splash Mist. She smelled so pretty. She also forbade me to touch her fragrance. As I got a little older, I remember her go-to fragrance was Donna Karan Cashmere Mist and Chloe. I would occasionally use some of those fragrances and while I loved how they smelled on her they smelled so so on me. When I was in my late teens/early 20’s I discovered my signature fragrance that I wear to this day and that is Dior J'adore eau de parfum. I’ll never forget the day I saw that beautiful bottle from afar in my local department store. I asked for a sample and it has been love ever since.
Fragrance has the ability to create fond memories and elevate the perfect outfit and occasion. To learn more about the power of fragrance, read this, this, and this.
Keep Makeup And Hair Simple
I didn’t grow up seeing the women in my family really wearing makeup. Sure they always looked pretty but makeup wasn’t a thing. But then there was the Ultima II eyeshadow palette my mom had. I was 11. I found it. I smeared several colors on my eyes and left for school. The kids laughed. I wonder why. I also had this doll. Her name was Christy. It was a head attached to a tray. She came with her own makeup. I smeared that all over my face too. I guess that was a precursor to me becoming a makeup artist. Today my daily look is very simple with perfected complexion, groomed brows, mascara, highlighter and lip gloss. My daily go-tos for a quick 5 minute face are…
Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Medium Coverage Liquid Foundation in 15 Neutral
Sephora Collection Matte Perfection Powder Foundation for setting and touch ups throughout the day in 64 Neutral Mocha
Sephora Collection Best Skin Ever Full Coverage Concealer in 44Y for under eye concealing, brightening and highlighting
One/Size By Patrick Starrr Ultimate Blurring Setting Powder for setting under eyes in Dark/Deep
Mac Macstack Mascara AND One/Size By Patrick Starr Fantasize Lifting & Lengthening Mascara. Yes - together!
MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt
Benefit Toasted Hoola Bronzer
Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb in Fenty Glow
If you wear makeup, plan that out as well or at least have a well organized makeup bag and/or drawer and an idea of the look you are going for. In all seriousness, if you want to try a new look, practice in your free time so you can nail the look and avoid having to clean up the mess you've created and starting over when you should have already left the house.
You can always keep your look basic yet polished with…
Lip Gloss or Balm.
Remember that a good skincare routine does the heavy lifting of every beauty routine and cuts down on the need to put on tons of makeup. If you want to do a little more than those basics but still not do too much, you can create a palette of frequently used eyeshadows and blushes or use multi use products that you can use for more than one feature or purpose.
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There are many options when it comes to hair and since hair doesn't take care of itself, you will need to figure out how to care for and maintain it, even if you have a stylist that you go to. This may mean consistently scheduling your appointments as well as figuring out how to do a great chignon or top knot, doing twist outs, or keeping your hair cut on a regular basis. Wigs are amazing and will allow you to switch up your look often - daily if you so choose. Even with that, be sure to care for your actual hair.
Master The Day To Evening Look
Many people have jobs that require a more conservative look but after work activities may require something less conservative. Going home to change may not be an option so this is where creativity and planning is required. Keep items such as an extra pair of shoes, clutch and other fun accessories in your desk or trunk to switch into. For your makeup, you might use more liner, blush and lashes as well as change your lip color before you head out to your post work activities. If your hair is in a chignon/bun, you might let your hair down or vice versa - put your hair up in a bun.. You can even add hair accessories, put on some different hair altogether or put on a headwrap. The options are endless.
Keep In Touch - With Yourself
To keep your look intact, be sure to touch up throughout the day. Sure you may think that because you are super busy, you can't take 60 seconds to make sure everything is in place. You have to use the bathroom at some point during your day, right? Hopefully? Honor yourself enough to re-center yourself, take a few cleansing breaths, brush your teeth or at least gargle after that tuna fish sandwich. Keep a small pouch in your desk or purse with travel items such as:
Basic makeup items to reapply as well as a refreshing face mist.
To reiterate, being on point in the various areas of life, including your physical presentation, takes planning, focus and consistency. Take those few extra moments in the beginning of your week to ensure your days go as smoothly as possible and that you stay on top of your game.
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