Quick Ways to Freshen up your Look


If you’re in a job search, you’re being evaluated on your looks all the time.  Sorry – it’s just a fact of life.  Your grooming, your clothes, your sense of style – they’re all part of the package you present to potential employers for their scrutiny.  Here are some easy  – and inexpensive – ways to look better, courtesy of Noreen Young.  She’s a makeup artist, esthetician, author and well-known speaker on beauty.  She owns a studio in the Lakewood / San Jose area of Jacksonville, and she’s helped thousands of people find their best look.

Here’s what Noreen suggests to look better on a budget:

  • A hair trim is less expensive than a full haircut and can do a lot to freshen up your look – male or female.  A stylist can trim bangs or take an inch or so off your ends without doing a full shampoo and style appointment.  You can also get your hair styled at a local beauty school for a fraction of the cost of a full service salon.
  • (For women) Noreen swears by lipstick; she says that a soft and flattering color will draw attention to your mouth and by extension to what you are saying.  For what it’s worth, economists agree.  A recent study indicated that people perceive women who wear lipstick to be more confident, competent, and likeable.
  • For both men and women, a new accessory can freshen up an outfit.  A tie or scarf is usually a small investment, and it pays off by putting a flattering color near your face.  The right color can make you look well rested and healthier and make you feel more confident in the interview.
  • Noreen says that the mistake most people make is not paying attention to details.  Shoes are cited most frequently; they should be shined, in good repair, and not showing signs of age or wear.  Most HR professionals are women, and women notice details more than men.  I’ve often observed men who forget to remove the “X” stitching at the back of a new suit coat (for the record, that’s basting that keeps the back vent shut while it’s being fitted.) 

The extra few minutes you spend in front of the mirror (in natural light, if you can) will make a difference in that all-important first impression when you walk into the interview.

Here are some more tips for looking good on a budget:

  • Shop thrift stores like Goodwill – you’ll be surprised at the quality and the selection.  You can find designer clothes for pennies on the dollar. And the stigma (if there ever was one) is gone since the recession. Everyone loves chic on a budget.
  • Ask for samples of expensive products that you might want to try; they’ll last for a while and keep you from wasting money on products that you won’t like or use.
  • Most beauty experts agree that drugstore brands work just as well as expensive brands, so feel free to shop for the best priced items you can find.  You can also use products like shampoo at half strength (dilute with water) and get mostly the same results.

The best beauty tip costs nothing.  Drinking more water and getting more sleep is guaranteed to make you look younger, happier, and possibly thinner.  Turn off Leno and tuck yourself in an hour earlier.  The results will amaze you and may help you land your next job.

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