Make These Four Style Resolutions

Make These Four Style Resolutions

This time of year it’s popular to ask, “What’s your New Year’s resolution?” So I say why not make some style resolutions, too? Too often we get stuck in a rut of same clothing/hairstyle/overall look that it might be time for you to reexamine your style profile. Let me offer four easy tweaks that could take you from same-old to new year, new you.

The old adage used to go: lighten hair in the summer, darken it in the winter. But I just read an article that discussed how women shouldn’t necessarily lighten their hair or add highlights in the summer or bring in some lowlights when it gets cooler out. The reason being is that everyone’s skin tone and coloring are different, so following this unilateral style “rule” doesn’t often apply to everyone. In fact one stylist was quoted as saying he actually likes adding lowlights to certain client’s hair in the summer to tone down and add more depth to sun-lightened hair. So it’s worth sitting down with a good colorist to discuss what will work for you. The most important thing to figure out is what types of tones within your color will work best for your skin tone. Would you look better with a cool icy Gwyneth Paltrow shade of blonde, or a sophisticated yet fun-loving deep brunette hue like Zooey Deschanel? And for those wary of changing their hair color: A little dye really can give your look a positive makeover.

I might like Sephora a bit too much, but I would highly recommend popping in here for some serious makeup advice. Their beauty consultants really do know their stuff. (I always think if I didn’t work in the style industry, I’d want to work at Sephora. How much fun would it be to play with that stuff all day?! Anyway, I digress). I like to think I’m a pretty educated makeup consumer. Surely not an expert or formally trained, but I know brands and a few tricks here and there. And yet I always seem to learn something new when I stop in. For example, I went in recently to purchase my favorite MAKE UP FOR EVER undereye concealer in my standby shade and ended up in a discussion with one consultant who knew exactly which shades had yellow-based undertones versus pink-based undertones in it and thus, which would be best for my undereye circles. I ended up picking out a different shade based on her recommendation (and trying it out in-store, of course) as well as learning a fantastic new trick for applying my concealer with a dome-shaped brush to give the concealer a clean, airbrushed finish. If you have a question or a nagging issue (dry skin, what blush to buy) I would highly recommend visiting Sephora or your favorite department store makeup counter to update your visage a bit.

There’s a bevy of wonderful spas and salons in Madison and the surrounding areas with loads of indulgent services that you can partake in (check out the magazine’s ). I’ve been lucky to try out eight such services in the past (read my pieces on mini-makeovers and ) but I’ve found that treating myself every now and then really does make a difference in my overall mindset. My favorite places to visit are Happy Nails on University Avenue for shellac manicures and the East-West Healing Arts Institute for massages. For an hour of relaxation it’s totally worth the price.

Although it’s my job to visit and work with local stores every month, it’s important that we all frequent local retailers to support what they do. After all, a vibrant city means there’s a wealth of fantastic shopping options available, too. With the recession of 2008, so many stores were shuttered and local shopping options became limited. As time went on and the economy improved, we saw more options slowly begin opening again. In 2013 alone I wrote about three new store openings—,  and —not to mention and , which opened near the end of 2012. Local shop owners also know their vendors and garment fits and can offer you personalized shopping advice—something you won’t find in a big-box store. 

It’s been said that if you have clutter in your life, it can actually cause you stress. That’s why you should clean out your closet. In my opinion winter is the best time to do it, since we’re indoors so much and have a bit more time to tackle household projects. But if you don’t get to it now, addressing this in the spring (spring cleaning, anyone?) is a great time, too.

You might think that someone (like myself) who works in the style arena would have this down pat. Well, you would’ve been surprised to see my closet up until a few months ago. You see, we moved at the end of October and I went through a few “rounds” of cleaning out my closet in the months leading up to the move. Then, I packed everything up and thought I was good to go when we settled in our new place. At our new place, I started opening up boxes…and boxes…and boxes of my clothing. It was ridiculous how much I had still held on to! So I sat down with the boxes and got brutal and asked myself “do I wear this? If so, when was the last time? Can I part with it? Or is it something someone else might like?” I ended up clearing out a lot more clothing that I had been holding on to unnecessarily. Now I’m very satisfied with my closet and am happy when I walk into it every day and see everything neatly organized and color coded. And it’s all stuff I wear! I say, happy closet, clear mind.

I’ll give you tips in a future blog on how to undertake your own closet audit, too.