The way we look on the outside matters. It’s not vain to want to look nice; it’s actually really important for your mental health to present yourself in a way that makes you feel confident. It also allows you to be the most authentic version of yourself, since things like hair, clothing and makeup are all forms of self expression.
You don’t need to force yourself to fit societal beauty standards or look like a model – you just need to look and feel like the best version of ‘you’ so you can get out there and tackle whatever life throws at you! If you’re in a bit of a rut with your appearance, here are some easy ways you can improve things without breaking the bank.
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Your skin is your canvas, and taking good care of it can make a world of difference in your overall appearance. It provides a smooth base for makeup if you choose to wear it, and healthy skin will help you to feel more confident and more comfortable too. If you have any existing skin issues you’ll know they can be sore and uncomfortable. Acne, dermatitis, rosacea and eczema are just a few that lots of people have problems with.
Don’t feel like you have to live with skin issues, speak to your GP as the first port of call and ask to be referred to a dermatologist if you need to be. Usually a combination of lifestyle changes, external creams and medications and oral medications to treat any internal problems (such as hormonal imbalances) can clear up many kinds of issues.
If you don’t have any medical skin issues then a consistent skincare routine is all you’ll need to keep oil or flakiness at bay and keep your complexion radiant.
A day and night moisturizer, a facial oil or serum, eye cream and lip balm, along with a good cleanser and exfoliator, are the products most of us need to create a basic skincare regime which can seriously improve your look along with the health of your skin. This applies whether you’re young or closer to retirement age.
And healthy skin is the best-looking skin. If you go with combination products such as a day cream with SPF included then you’ll save more time and hassle.
You don’t have to spend a lot if you can’t or don’t want to – even drugstore products can be great and it’s consistency that matters more than anything.
If you’re on a budget but enjoy skincare products, you could always invest in one or two more expensive products like a nice facial oil that will last for a long time, or ask for these things as gifts when birthdays and Christmases roll around.
Healthy-looking hair can instantly boost your appearance. If you want to make a drastic change or improvement to the way you look then your hair is a great way to do this. If you’re on a very tight budget, choose a low maintenance style and that way you don’t need to spend much time or money at the hairdresser – just a simple cut or a few highlights a couple of times a year to keep it fresh.
Taking good care of it day to day is the best way to keep your hair healthy- work out how many times a week your hair needs to be washed to keep it looking clean without over-washing. Purchase a hair oil that’s right for your hair type. While there are fantastic high end oils to choose from, there are also plenty of wallet-friendly products that work great.
Oil the ends of your hair before bed to nourish and protect the ends which will naturally be the weakest part of your hair. Reduce your heat styling as much as you can and go with heatless styles – there are so many curly and wavy hair looks you can achieve with heatless curlers and even braiding overnight to improve your look from the head down.
Overall, the key to keeping your hair looking great without costing you a lot and being low maintenance, is to work with what you have. Embrace your natural hair texture instead of working against it. For example, if you already have straight hair then a quick smooth over with straighteners will make it look sleek without using lots of heat, compared with heat styling curls every day.
If you’re noticing you have more grays showing, some highlights to blend these into your hair in a subtle way will grow out more naturally than say a harsh, dark color which will need regularly retouching to look good.
Clothes can be really expensive, but you don’t need to break the bank to have a stylish wardrobe. If you shop smart, you can still find amazing pieces without spending a fortune. Looking for preloved items is a good place to start.
Make regular visits into local charity shops and thrift stores, or check apps like Vinted where you can get really good deals. While sites like Shein do come with their downsides, if you shop smart here and go with versatile pieces, you can get some bargains that will last a while without contributing to the environmental damage of fast fashion.
Spend a little more on some versatile staples like jeans, jackets and boots that you can wear year in year out, and then you can mix and match them with less expensive pieces, to improve your look. If you create a capsule wardrobe for each season you can stay stylish every day without having to buy lots of clothing items so it saves you money.
Accessories can take your outfit from good to great, a few well chosen accessories can make a big impact and improve your look overall. Invest in a versatile handbag that complements your style and can hold your daily essentials.
A statement necklace or a pair of classic earrings can instantly elevate a simple outfit and add interest, color and texture. Scarves are another fantastic accessory. They can be worn around your neck, tied on your bag or even used as a headband.
Think jewelry, sunglasses, hats, bags and more. If you get one or two things from each accessory category then you can add something different to your outfit each day for that fashion-forward boost.
Makeup can be a lot of fun since it’s a tool for you to use however you like. You can apply lots for a glam look or to completely change your appearance, or you can apply a little just to cover up any blemishes and enhance what you already have.
If you’re new to makeup you might be a bit overwhelmed and put off, but give it a go! Start small and watch YouTube tutorials to learn about applications and different products. A simple BB cream will even out your skin tone while still looking natural, and a dark brown or even clear mascara will give your lashes a boost if you’re intimidated by a bold black shade.
From there you can work your way up if you feel like it, and experiment with blush, bronzer, eyeshadow and different lip shades. Techniques like smokey eyes, contouring and highlighting and lining your lips are all useful skills to have, and can be perfected with a little practice.
The great thing about makeup is that you can get great products without spending much. If you aren’t keen on the result, simply wash it off and try again! If you’re a naturally artistic person you’ll probably find you really enjoy the process. And then once you have these skills nailed you can use them in the way you see fit.
This might be to create natural daytime looks that make you glow and look fresh, as well as feel confident. For nights out and special occasions, you have the ability to do your own makeup exactly the way you want without having to rely on friends to help or hire a makeup artist, so that can save you money there too. All in all, it’s possible to improve your look with the above tips and without having to spend much to do so.
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