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Are You in a Beauty Rut?

Have you had the same hairstyle since college? Do you still use blue eyeshadow? You may be stuck in a beauty rut. Don't worry, though, we've called in a team of experts to help you escape common beauty blunders.

Heavenly Hair

Vu Nguyen, a lead stylist at Frederic Fekkai in New York City, provides these smart suggestions for updating your hairstyle.

The Rut: You haven't changed your 'do in years, even though you don't particularly love the way it looks.

The Fix: We know your current style is familiar and convenient, but a new haircut can make you feel fresh, young, and more confident. Try one or more of these tips to invigorate your tired hair.

  • Change your hairstyle two times a year, when it becomes warm and then again when it gets cold. Try a darker, shorter style in the winter and a lighter, longer style in the summer. The short style will provide a breezy contrast to your heavy winter wardrobe, and the long will add some sexy movement to your more minimal summer attire.
  • If you aren't ready to completely revamp your look, ask your stylist to make small, gradual adjustments -- like a few added layers or some fun, funky bangs. These semipermanent changes will energize your look without completely abandoning your trademark style.
  • Make simple styling variations on a day-to-day basis to keep your look from growing dull. Mix things up by wearing your hair wavy or straight (whatever is the opposite of your usual style). And wear hair accessories, such as a fashionable headband or cute clips. You can also experiment with the way your hair falls; try a sweeping side or a simple center part.
[Nest Note] Remember: A style that works for a girl who puts significant time into her hair (straightening, blow-drying, etc.) might not work for the wash-and-go girl. Choose a look you can realistically maintain.

Mod Makeup

Lyn Lynch, lead color specialist for Sephora Fifth Avenue, recommends some simple ways to modernize your makeup.

The Rut: You're using the same makeup products you were when you met your mate. Or you've ditched your beauty routine altogether, saving pricey products for special occasions.

The Fix: While playing the singles game, you likely experimented with daring makeup, like fiery red lipstick and vibrantly hued shadows. Now that you've settled down, your look seems to have grown boring. Take some time out to establish a makeup style that fits the newly married you.

  • Ask a makeup artist or representative at your favorite beauty counter to help you identify your best features. Get tips on how to highlight your positive attributes (and disguise or minimize the rest) with makeup and contouring.
  • Take stock of what you already have (you may have purchased some great beauty loot for the wedding) and figure out what needs to be replaced and/or discarded. Purchase a few new products to give yourself a boost, like a bright lipstick or a pretty blush.
  • Go to a makeup counter and just play with the options (with help from a representative, of course). Find something that boosts your natural look (but still looks natural) for during the day. Then experiment with a more fun look for going out. The best thing about makeup is that you can remove it, so don't be afraid to try something unusual.

Sophisticated Style

Vanessa Giovacchini, stylist for Couture Candy, offers some chic ideas for revitalizing your wardrobe.

The Rut: You might consider your look "classic" because you still wear the same clothes you wore in college, but just because you've stopped being a trendsetter doesn't mean you can't keep up with some trends.

The Fix: Rejuvenating your wardrobe (and shopping without spending too much) can really have a positive impact on your spirit. A few simple updates might be the difference between feeling outdated and feeling (and looking!) fabulous. 

  • Get rid of the clothes that don't fit right or don't make you feel great. Confidence in your clothes is key to looking good in them. If you don't like the way you look, neither will anyone else.
  • Go to a boutique and ask a sales associate to help you find clothes that are figure-flattering and fashion forward. Knowing what looks good on you and what trends you can (and can't) pull off will make all the difference.
  • Pick up a few of your favorite fashion magazines (or surf some websites) to see what's new in the fashion world. Find yourself a "must-have" item and invest in it. A piece that will update an outfit you already own and love is a great place to begin. If you have an amazing dress that makes you feel like a million bucks, consider purchasing a big belt or funky shoes to mix up the style. Or buy a pair of stylish shoes to wear with your favorite jeans or skirt.

Get answers to more of your beauty and style questions here.

-- Lisa Milbrand

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