- Whiten Your Teeth:
Nothing makes you look prettier and more approachable than a bright, healthy smile. As Charla Krupp once famously proclaimed, yellow teeth are ageing! Fortunately, they are so easy to fix! A friend recently told me that she gets her teeth professional cleaned at the dentist’s office three times a year instead of twice, and I immediately decided to do the same thing. If you don’t want to invest in a professional whitening treatment, use an at-home whitening system or a portable tooth whitening pen. Another tip? Try cool, blue-based lip colours (cherry, raspberry, wine) instead of warm tones (coral) to counteract the yellow in your teeth, or try a gloss designed to help your teeth look whiter.
- Change Up Your Manicure:
I am not saying that there is anything wrong with acrylic nails. Wait, yes, yes I am. I know this is controversial, but thick, long, squared-off nails are dated. The trendiest talons now are delicate, whether short and delicate or longer and slightly almond-shaped at the tip. Don’t be afraid to break out of the French manicure box. There are so many chic, wearable manicure ideas out there that are neutral and updated. Classic red, coral or sheer pink nails are always chic. Or if you are looking for something funkier, try painting all of your nails with one solid colour, and then adding a sparkly topcoat to a single nail on each hand, or try a colourful new nail wrap like the ones from Jamberry.
- Ditch the Boring Bag:
Your bag should be a beautiful high-quality statement piece. It should not be boring, or frumpy, or dated. After all, you carry it every day, and a blah bag can bring down your whole outfit. A stiff bag with a faux exotic print embossed onto the leather looks so dated. Invest in a status bar, if you can or more affordable options that are still on- point style-wise, look to lines like Z Spoke from Zac Posen, Michael Kors, and Rebecca Minkoff. Avoid faux texture, tons of exterior pockets, and a boring shape in a boring colour, like beige. For an investment piece, choose a black or camel bag in a strong, elephant shape with minimal detail and hardware.
- Lower Your Vamp:
High vamp shoes (those that covers more of the top of your foot) can be cool, or edgy, or funky, but they are rarely feminine or delicate. Furthermore, thin straps are prettier than thick straps, no matter what the Birkenstock wearers say. And while the new ugly shoes may, arguably, have a place in the wardrobe of a 20-year hipster, after a certain age they look comfort shoes-the very antithesis of cute. So skip the flat forms and shower slides, the Tevas and the Birkenstocks, and stick with a classic but still comfortable option like thong sandals, ballet flats (square toes or pointy toes are both trendy), or gladiators. Call me old-fashioned but I like pretty.
- Lose the Platform Flops:
Yes, this is closely related to #4, but I feel so strongly about this that I decided to give it its own category. Flip flops should be flat. Ditch the styles with the thick black rubber platform soles and go for a classic pair of Havaianas. While you are at it, toss any flip flops with the black nylon straps and black soles. There are so many options that are equally affordable and comfortable, yet far more stylish.
- Grow Your Hair Out:
Some women immediately cut their hair after having kids. It’s like a rite of passage. 1. Have a baby. 2. Buy yoga pants.3. Chop hair off.
But there is another way. You can have a baby. Wear cute clothes. And style your hair however you want it. Within reason.
We all make trade-offs. I decided keratin was too high-maintenance for my current lifestyle, and I embraced my curls, but I didn’t cut it off, because my hair looks better long. The key is to pick a pretty, flattering style that can maintain, whether it’s long or short.
- Ditch the Baggy Clothes:
So, so, so many women think they are bigger than they are. They wear long baggy tees and slouchy sweatshirts in an attempt to hide it, which actually end up making them look bigger. Next time you are shopping, try the smaller size. Or, if you are in wearing your clothes a little too snug, try the next size up. Clothes that don’t fit are unflattering, unattractive, and most of all, ageing.
- Upgrade your Denim:
I find that there’s plenty of room for trendy, disposable denim in girl’s life. The boyfriend jeans, the updated “mom” jeans, the high- waisted jeans- all these are of the moment trends and are best bought at discount prices, either at thrift stores, off-price stores, or fast fashioned outlets like H&M. don’t spend a lot on anything with a short shelf life. The dark washed skinny jeans is today’s answer to the boot cut: sleek, flattering to many, and versatile enough to dress up or down. It is a new classic and should be an investment piece. Try to spend 2-3 times as much on these, and look for premium labels like Joe’s, AG, and seven for all mankind.
- And your Bra:
I know you think that you are tired, stretched-out, an old bra is fine. It isn’t. Unless you struggle to fill in an A-cup, you need some support. The right bra will make absolutely everything you wear look a million times more expensive. You will look taller, slimmer, and chic-er. If you are a full B-cup or higher, an underwire is required, not optional; and if you can only choose one bra, pick a seamless neutral style with convertible straps for maximum versatility. And if you don’t have a high-end department in town, go bra shopping online at innovative retailers like Brayola, True & Co.
- Pick a Fresh New Lip colour:
So we’ve heard how a too- matte lipstick can age you, and how the opposite-a nude, washed-out lip-is also true. Your best pick? An ultra-hydrating colour with a little bit of sheen in a mid-tone flattering colour.
Whether you prefer the subtlety of a lip stain or the pop of a bolder shade, make sure the colour complements your skin tone and brightens your complexion.
- Groom your Brows:
You know how you feel when they look straggly. Prevent that from happening by regular rearview mirror checks. I find that the angle of the rearview mirror, combined with natural light, is the best place to pluck stray hairs as they arise and keep your brows neat and gloom. Keep a pair of tweezers in your glove compartment and touch up your brows whenever you have a spare moment! But never, of course, while actually driving.
- Buy a Cute Pair of Sneakers:
Even if you don’t work out. Especially if you don’t work out. Trainers are trendy right now, and just the thing for long days of family travel or hiking around an amusement park. Of course, I’m not talking about you’re worn out running shoes here. Make them count. Make them cute! Then they will look like an intentional part of your look and not just an afterthought.
- Use Sunscreen:
Every day, even when it’s grey. Use an anti-oxidant-packed formula on the face, neck, chest, ears and back of the neck every morning, and a body lotion with SPE on extremities. In sunnier months, switch your regular hand cream for a moisturizing sunscreen. If you want the protection without the greasiness, try a sunscreen stick, like the Age Shield Hand Balm form Rodan+ Fields.
- Wear Dishwashing Gloves:
Not a glamorous subject, but we all wash dishes, and all that soap and hot water and scrubbing can take its toll and makes hands look older. I keep a hand-lotion pump next to my kitchen sink and apply a quick dab to the backs of hands before slipping on my girly dishwashing gloves. It’s like a little spa treatment, but it’s the best I can do most days.
- Find a Great Skincare Routine:
As a beauty writer, I have never had a shortage of skincare products on hand, but all that choice can be confusing, to you and to your skin. You don’t need more products. You just need a few well-chosen ones that cover all of your bases. One way to do this is to pick your entire skincare routine from the company since the products are designed to work synergistically.
And if you are just getting started, keep it simple: a gentle cleanser, an anti-ageing cream with SPF for the evening. After it becomes a habit, add more products as needed, like an eye cream or a mask. For more tips on choosing and using a skincare routine, check out my new book on the topic, filled with the top skincare experts.
- Get Botox:
When it comes to treatments that can treat current wrinkles while preventing future ones, Botox tops the list. And it doesn’t have to mean frozen face. Get a recommendation from a trusted friend for a derm known for his minimalist approach. Just the tiniest bit will leave you line-free and relaxed-looking for months, and no one needs to know. So what are you waiting for?
- Use a Skin-firming Body Cream:
I have been told that a cream can’t take the place of exercise, but who has time for that kind of negativity? I personally love the way firming creams leave skin taut, glowing, and, well, firm. I am always on the hunt for the perfect all-purpose body cream, one that makes you firm and glowy, with just a hint of colour. Jergens BB cream checks all the boxes, and it’s so affordable! Aveeno, Nivea, and Palmer’s are also good options.
- Curls Your Lashes:
You might not think you need to curl your lashes. You do. Trust me. I have long, dark, curly-ish lashes and was convinced they didn’t need curling until I tried it. Now I look back to those pre-lash-curling days and shudder. What a waste. Don’t let these happen to you. Curl your lashes, and you will be hooked by how bright and wide-awake it makes you look! The best curler is from Shu Uemura. Don’t waste your money on any other.
- Discover Coconut Oil:
Along time ago, I read that Sophia Loren used to smooth olive oil on her body to keep it soft and youthful, and as I wanted her skin, I baulked. I didn’t want to smell like a salad. Fortunately, with coconut oil, theirs is no odd smell. Only a mild slightly tropical aroma that I love. I have been using coconut oil on my face, body and hair for several years now, and I am obsessed. Addicted. My favourite brand is DeRigueur, which is pure, organic and packaged in a tub so big you could practically soak in it. It absorbs quickly so you get smooth, hydrated skin, without greasiness. I use it to remove makeup, moisturize my dry legs, and calm the frizz in my hair.
As promised, most of these 19 easy ways to look better instantly are small changes you can make today that will lead to brighter, fresher and more stylish you tomorrow.