Everybody Loves a Makeover!
But Makeovers Never Seem to Stick…
As you can imagine, I’ve watched more than a few makeover shows and read many similar magazine stories in my lifetime. Have you ever watched an episode when they go back and visit the ‘made over’ person afterward? Usually she’s gone back to her roots and undone all the ‘making over’ so carefully planned by the experts.
The question is, why? The answer is, because they didn’t address the key issues about why she was choosing those surfaces to project herself to the world. Is she continuing to go back to her own mental image of ‘ideal’ or did she really just not understand how to replicate the look when she was on her own?
How can you do your own at-home makeover?
Coni’s Top 10 Image Rules Every Executive Woman Needs to Know and Follow:
1. Dress for your actual chronological age.
Too ‘young’ and you appear girlish, too ‘old’ and you appear matronly. Skirts should never be shorter than your middle finger when your arms are down and palms facing your thighs. Clear everything else out of your closet, now.
2. Don’t wear clunky shoes.
Clunky shoes are… clunky. Chunky heels don’t look good on anyone. The same goes for ankle straps most of the time. Do a ‘shoe review’ and throw away any shoes that are worn out or not flattering.
3. Only wear sweats to the gym and pajamas to bed.
Ever. There is absolutely no excuse to wear them in public, even at the grocery store at 2 am.
4. Hair and makeup should be subtle and natural.
Only have a haircolour that occurs in nature. Go easy on the hairspray – most women use twice as much hair product as they need. Update your hairstyle. Colour your hair unless you are going to commit to grey. Makeup should be simple and professional, but don’t be seen in public without any makeup at all. If you’re clueless about makeup, go to a makeup counter at a department store, look for a sales person who has what you think is ‘appropriate’ makeup, and have her show you what to do.
5. You can’t go wrong with an A-line skirt and classic blouse.
A too-high neckline makes you appear heavier and look constricted. So in general, v-necks are best with no cleavage revealed. If you have larger arms, go no shorter than ¾ length sleeves. Go buy a couple of good skirts and blouses that you know fit you well and you can wear when you need to impress.
6. Trousers must fit well.
Beware trousers that are too long or too short with pleats and front pockets. In general, get flat front trousers with a moderately low rise (1” below belly button) and a slight flare at bottom to make you look longer and thinner. Have the pockets stitched shut to avoid gaping. Try on every pair of work trousers you have and take a picture of yourself in them. Do they honestly fit you well? If not, throw them out.
7. Wear your real size and avoid the ‘too tight’ faux pas.
Your clothes should skim but not be like skin. You should be able to “pinch an inch” for a proper fit. Get your clothes tailored. It’s cheap. It makes things fit you properly. It makes you look thinner. If you’re hoarding too small clothes that you’ll ‘fit into someday’ – throw them out.
8. The most important thing you wear is what’s underneath.
Invest well-fitting undergarments including a properly sized bra, seamless underwear, and Spanx. If you haven’t been fit for a bra within two years, or if you’ve gained or lost a lot of weight recently, go for a fitting and buy new bras and undergarments.
9. Carry nice handbags.
Bags should be reasonably sized. It’s much better to carry a small handbag and a briefcase than to carry a behemoth bag. Just be sure that you avoid looking like a pack mule by carrying both bags on one shoulder. This isn’t good for heavy bags or long distances, but in general, if you can’t carry both of your every day bags comfortably on one arm, then you’re carrying too much! That sends a signal of disorganization and makes you appear overwhelmed.
10. Draw attention to your face as much as possible.
Wearing monochromatic neutrals with splashes of color or contrast has the added bonus of making you look thinner. One interesting, complimentary coloured piece of jewelry – a pin, pendant, earrings – or casually tied scarf is enough. If you’re in a creative industry, having a standout jewelry item actually becomes a topic of conversation and can be a great icebreaker – and a way to show you’re on trend but still serious.