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    Make The Most Of What You’ve Got– even when you don’t know where to begin

    Make The Most Of What You’ve Got– even when you don’t know where to begin

    Dear Sharon: I am starting my life over. No need to get into what I’ve been up to, but suddenly I took a once-over in the mirror and decided I’m in serious need of an image makeover. The problem is that I’ve spent so much time as a fashion and beauty outsider that I don’t even have a clue as to where to begin. Help me find my way to looking polished. — Striving For Style

    Dear Striving For Style: Applause, applause, applause… take a very fashionable bow! I wish you much success in your brave new start. Not everyone is drop-dead gorgeous, but everyone has the ability to bridge the gap from ho-hum to simply wow with a little know-how.

    When we feel confident about our appearance, we exude a wonderful aura of triumph. Don’t beat yourself down about being the odd one out on fashion and beauty. The fact that you are asking for pointers means you have more of a style clue than you give yourself credit for. Now, you need to make the most of your looks!

    Your personal style should enhance your unique assets and sidetrack attention from imperfections. Before you can cultivate a winning image, you need to take a very honest inventory of your haves and have-nots. I am sure you are not the blank slate that you make yourself out to be.

    Discover a feature that you are most proud of and emphasize it. Find another woman with a style that you find inspiring and run with it! But, do tweak her style to best suit you.

    Yeah, yeah, this all sounds sooooo easy yet you don’t know where to begin. Well, my sweet sister of emerging style, it is after a few trial (and error) runs that you will develop your own distinctive look. Fret no more, even the best-dressed have “what was she thinking” moments every once in a while. Do not be timid… experiment (this really is the fun part!) until you discover a sense of style synergy that showcases you!

    The cheapest place to experiment is in a store’s dressing room– try-on whatever you like and mix and match to your hearts content without spending a dime. Only the “best” makes the cut. You can always seek the advice of a store’s fashion consultant. However, I feel they are limited to the style of just their store that may be okay for a fashion novice, but much too confining for a babe who is brimming with style… soon that may be you!

    Buy functional, yet chic essentials that coordinate into a basic wardrobe. As you get the hang of it, add on cutting-edge accents… like a hot pink sweater, beaded shoes, or a fabulous shawl. If you need shopping reassurance, peek through Best Dressed : The Born to Shop Lady’s Secrets for Building a Wardrobe (Clarkson Potter Publishers) by Suzy Gershman for some common-sense direction.

    Most of us don’t wake-up looking luminous… potions, lotions, and foundations help create a flawless complexion. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Beautiful Skin (Macmillan USA/Alpha Books) by Marsha Gordon, M.D. and Alice E. Fugate is just that– a basic guide for great skin.

    Soak up all the tips that in-store makeup artists have to offer (go to different cosmetic counters for variety); only buy the few things that make you appear gorgeous in five minutes. After you get your basic face down, then toy around with girly-girl extras.

    Cruise by hair salons and watch for a stylist who is working on someone with hair like you and sign-up for a consultation. Listen to the hairstylist’s suggestions. Be sure your concerns are understood before the scissors and peroxide come out…only a trend daredevil submits to “anything” a hairstylist suggests without question, or check out world renouned hairstylist, Frederic Fekkai’s new book, A Year of Style for the ultimate hair-care diary.

    Think of your image rehabilitation as your new hobby. Always keep an eye to up-to-the-minute trends for a modern statement. You will be in fine form in no time.

    Copyright (c) 1999-2000 Sharon Haver

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