Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Five Tips on How to Look Polished/Put Together (90% of the Time)

Recently, I got a formspring question from one of my readers:

How do you have the energy to get yourself ready and dressed everyday so nicely? I want to be that girl that always looks put together but then I get lazy or I think eh I'm not seeing anyone important today I'll look generic. Any tips?

I thought this question would be a good one to lead into a post about simple things you can do to make looking polished easy peasy (or doable, at least).

First things first--- I spend the time to get ready for the day because it makes me feel good. It's amazing what a little makeup, styled hair and a nice outfit can do for your self confidence. I believe you can be a better wife, friend, co-worker, employee, etc. when you feel your absolute best. Looks are just a small part of this, of course---but when you invest in yourself, my belief is that you can never lose.  Of course, confidence doesn't just come because of what's on the outside---but how you look on the outside can impact how you feel on the inside.

I like to look polished for my work week and on weekends, I tend to run all over town doing errands so I like to look put-together then, too.

Don't get me wrong---there are times where I leave the house sans-makeup (morning workouts, Starbucks runs, etc) or if I know I'll be cleaning the house all day or doing something else labor-intensive like painting---then, I don't even bother. But most of the time, I do make the effort because for me, it's worth it to feel good about myself.

Here are my tips on how to look put together/polished---and more importantly, how to create a routine that is doable for you and that you enjoy---it will motivate you want to spend time "getting ready."

Make your closet a functional space---seriously---you need to clean your closet like an episode of Hoarders.  That denim mini skirt you wore in college (you know which one I'm talking about!) donate it!  That too-short dress you'll never wear again---give it to your friend's younger sister.

(a work in progress)

Listen, I get it, we are all attached to our stuff---but believe it or not---getting rid of it will set you free! How can you possibly put outfits together when you have all this stuff all up in your space. Think of it as valuable real estate---does an item really deserve to take up space in your closet if you never wear it? Or if it reminds you that you'll never be that size again (ie: refer to the denim mini skirt from college).

Kendi from Kendi Everyday has a great closet purge post so I'll send you over there to read it (it's a several part series---a total must-read!)

After you've purged, organize your closet. I like to put similar items together and group them by color from light to dark---so all of my sleeveless tops go in a row---from white to black.  That way, when I pick the skirt I'm wearing I can immediately check out all the tops I have that may work with it and I also can find a specific color very easily.

I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of drawers. I don't think they allow you to see what you have. I put socks, workout clothes, bathing suits and underwear in my dresser, but everything else is hung or folded in my closet.  Allow yourself to really see the "big picture" of your wardrobe.

Look to blogs for inspiration---don't know what you like? Can't figure out what to wear? Don't know how to pair items together? Look no further than fashion bloggers. There are so many stylish gals out there who can lead you in the right direction. I keep an entire folder on my computer of outfits I love that other bloggers have worn. There are too many to name, but some of my favorites include The Chloe Conspiracy, The Blonde Salad, Anna Saccone, Running on Happiness, Kendi Everyday, 9 to 5 Chic, The Daybook, Saltwater Dreams, Saucy Glossie, Nicole's Guide to Style, Cupcakes and Cashmere, Mariannan, Atlantic-Pacific and A Co. Est. 1984 (and many many many more).

When I see a beautifully styled outfit on a blog---it inspires me to try a new trend, add to my closet or to try and create a similar look with pieces I own.  There is nothing shameful about trying to replicate a look someone else has styled---it's the biggest form of flattery!  I think a lot of bloggers give their readers the opportunity to test out looks they never thought they'd have the confidence to pull off.

Make it routine---How do I make the time to style my hair and do my makeup everyday?  Because I have a very simple and (believe it or not) quick routine.  I can be showered, have my hair styled, my makeup done and get dressed in an hour to an hour and 15 minutes.  On days I wash my hair (Mondays and Thursdays---read more about my hair washing routine here) I wake up at 6:47 (don't ask) and I'm out of the house by 8 or 8:10 a.m.  On days I don't wash my hair I wake up at 7:11 (again, don't ask, I have this "prime numbers" OCD) and I am out of the house by 8 or 8:10. 

(some good ol' second-day hair!)
I do my makeup the exact same way every day. Because of this, I have it all down to a very easy and non time consuming routine. I recommend that every woman experiment with different looks---then, decide which one you like best and is the most doable for day-to-day and do that look 90% of the time.  Some people may find that boring---I think it saves time and I love the idea of having a signature look.  It's kind of like Kate Middleton---sure, she may change out her eyeliner color and blush every once in awhile---but she knows what works for her and she looks classic and polished because she sticks with what works.  I like to experiment more with makeup looks for the evening---but for daytime---stick with a routine (watch my daily eye makeup routine and bronzer and blush application videos here.)

The same goes with my hair---I have a washing and styling routine.  On days I wash my hair, I blow it out and set it in Velcro rollers.  The next 2 days, I'll curl it. Then, I wash it again and it starts all over.  Establish a routine and set yourself free from figuring out how you want your makeup and hair to look.  This doesn't mean you can't ever stray from your routine---of course you can---but sticking to your routine 90% of the time will save you the frustration.

Don't put too much pressure on yourself---we all have days where we want to throw on black dress pants and a cardigan and that's 100% fine.  You don't have to look like you stepped out of a J.Crew catalog 5 days a week.  I too save my best outfits for days I know I have meetings or a special event.  Getting dressed is supposed to be a somewhat fun and creative process---putting pressure on yourself to be stylish 24/7 makes the process lose its fun.  On days where I'm feeling tired or don't have the desire to be creative, I go to my classic pieces that always make me feel good.  This includes items that don't need a lot of styling or accessories (like the striped Forever21 dress I wore recently or my black, full-skirted Club Monaco dress). 

Be aware of the pieces you have in your closet that always make you feel good and go to them when you aren't in the mood to layer and mix and match items.  I also tend to wear a lot of black when I'm not feeling particularly inspired.  Black is classic and when items fit well, you can't go wrong.

Think about how your efforts will make YOU feel---this goes back to my original point about confidence.  I know this sounds completely cheesy, but when I have a great hair day or I've spent the time to paint my nails or apply self tanner---the little things---I feel good about myself.  Don't think about how tedious these rituals seem or feel that you HAVE TO do them.  You'll never enjoy a makeup routine or hair styling regimen that you have to force yourself through everyday.  It's like doing a workout you hate because you think you have to. You don't have to do anything you don't want to do. You have to create a routine that works for your lifestyle and that makes you feel good.  If you feel like spending 15 minutes on your makeup is a waste of time---practice a routine you can do in five.  When I spend the time, it makes me feel good and in turn, I feel I have a better day because of it. Remind yourself how your efforts make you feel---after all, you'd never continue a hobby or participate in a workout class you felt gave you nothing back, right?

I hope this post was helpful and I would love to read your comments about your routines and how they make you feel!  Post below if you have additional tips on how to simplify the process of being "put together." 




  1. Love these tips! I would seriously kill to have a closet the size of yours - and you're so organized! I definitely color coordinate my closet too; it's so much easier to find something to wear. Just pick what color you're in the mood for and you know exactly where to look!

    As far as feeling "put together", I feel naked if my nails aren't painted, and embarrassed if they're painted and chipped! I'm a little (a lot) OCD about my nails and they need to be perfect ALL THE TIME. I haven't had the chance to paint them these past few days and it's been KILLING me. Ugh. Naked nails = no good for me.

  2. Great suggestions! There are so many days where I just want to throw on some sweats and call it a day. Here are some things I do to help myself step away from the yoga pants & Uggs:

    - Keep 2 "go to" outfits already set up in your closet for those awful days where you "have NOTHING to wear". These outfits should be outfits you feel awesome in but are versatile. I keep 2 day and 2 night outfits in mine. (black skinny jeans, blazer, little black dress that can be dressed up or down...)

    - Pinterest!! I have a whole board of "outfit inspiration" and I follow others who have great style boards too.

    Love your blog! :))

  3. Loved this whole post - it's so well-written and really applicable to everyone!

    I put make-up on everyday because it's fun - I too have a simple routine - it doesn't take any time at all, and I actually look forward to the process. I've had different people (teacher and some parents) at my kids' school comment favourably on how I look on seperate occasions (don't want to say exactly what because it might seem like I'm vain LOL! But I still smile thinking about it!) Some of the other mothers asked how I found the time to put on make-up - but because my routine is so simple, I just do it after I brush my teeth - and it's 5 to 10 minutes at most.

    I'm going to focus more on putting together outfits - I think accessories make such an impact, but after a while, my scarves and bracelets irritate me (and interfere with my house chores/looking after my kids) and I take them off - and I'm left with a v-neck sweater and skinny jeans - not too stylish LOL!

  4. @lindsey--i don't remember the last time my nails were bare---I always paint mine too :) I remember the last time they were chipped though, LOL! That's for sure :)

  5. Great post and tips! whenever I'm feeling so-so or having an ugly day i like to go extra glam to perk myself up. bright lipstick, sequins during the day, etc. i mean, it's the little things in life right?

  6. Great post! I totally agree with you on the whole boosting your self confidence thing! I am in college and most of the time I make the effort to look nice (my sorority voted me best dressed and "Thirteen Going on Thirty") because it makes me feel good about myself. But there are those days when my alarm goes off and I am so exhausted that I hit snooze and then roll out of bed and run to class. I am way less likely to participate in class on days like those because I don't want people looking at me!

  7. This was a very well written and thought out post. I really enjoy your blog posts.

    I totally agree with the routine, makes things quick and efficient in the morn. I actually feel better and ready for the day when I am put together. Makes me look forward to each morning:)

  8. Oh, you speak to my heart. My southern-lady, "fix-your-face", Momma told me to wear a dress heart. :)

    I love this post. It also encourages me to keep striving to always keep myself polished.

    Thank you so much for making this list!

  9. Great post. I couldn't agree with you more!

    I have a 5 week old baby who I stay at home with all day long. I still try to make time for myself to get dressed, and do some basic makeup and hair everyday. Even though most days, I just stay inside with her and don't see anyone but my husband, it still makes me feel so much better about myself!

  10. Probably one of my favorite posts you have done!! :) xo

  11. What a great post! I completely agree, and try to create comfort and cuteness into one without choosing one or the other! This post was a great inspiration to me this morning!
    I am filing this away with some others I've saved! J's Everyday Fashion is another site I save pictures from for inspiration. she has a post about the 5 item rule. Its so simple, but it really works. Making sure your outfit has 5 pieces always adds dimension and style to otherwise a "boring button down and black pants" outfit. Here's the link in case anyone's interested!
    Thanks Veronika!

  12. I also feel like 1) If you are not a morning person-spend 5-10 minutes the night before getting an outfit ready

    2) Accessories- Nice earrings, a statement necklace can go a long way. A belt can make everything look more polished

    3) Have an easy hairstlye to go to-On days you may wake up late- can you put your hair in a stylish low ponytail? (not the kind you wear to wash your face at night) -pair it with big earrings -it helps.

    4)Last tip-this helps me the most-Be neat-put your clothes away as if they are ready to wear-washed, ironed shoes-make sure they are repaired, polished etc. This way when you go to wear them they are ready!

  13. thank you so much to everyone who left tips and comments :) love reading your additional ideas!


  15. I definitely feel better about myself when I take time to chose a great outfit or do my makeup... I really enjoy your writing :)

  16. This was an awesome post. I'm trying to make over my wardrobe. The first thing I've done so far is I got fitted for a bra. I actually wasn't far off, but I got a Victoria Secret Body bra and it's been a life changer. Seriously. It fits perfect and it makes me feel not as sloppy.

    Good post V!

  17. Loved this post. I wish I could get away with only washing my hair Monday & Thursday. I must sleep wrong because I wake up and my hair is a mess.

  18. @anon---my hair doesn't look great when I sleep on it---I do have to re-style it especially because I work out most nights. So i'll brush it and re-curl it.

  19. It's kind of sad that women get confidence from the way they look. If you get confidence from a good hair day, what are you going to do if you get cancer? If you get confidence from wearing makeup, what are you going to do if something happens to your face and you can't wear makeup. I think the girl that asked you that question should be proud that she has the guts to go out in the world without doing that. People have been brainwashed in believing that if a woman wears makeup, is thin and does her hair, that she cares about herself. When the truth is, she is afraid to let the world see the person she really is.

  20. @anon---I have to respectfully disagree with you. As I pointed out in what I wrote, it's not all about looks---but when you look good (for some people, that means brushing their hair and applying lip gloss and for others it means wearing full makeup and styling hair)you do feel better about yourself.

    Women need to stop judging eachother. If one woman is happy going out with no makeup---good for her---that is what makes her happy. If another woman wants to spend an hour doing her makeup, hair and getting dressed everyday and she enjoys it and it makes her feel good---then that's great.

    We don't all have to make the same choices in life. Some women love fashion and makeup--they don't feel they HAVE to wear the latest styles and do their makeup---they want to---they enjoy it. What is the issue with that?

    Looks are just a very small part of who someone is. Your personality, work ethic, how you are as a wife, mother, sister, friend etc---those are all much more important attributes and have a larger impact on who you are as a person---but that doesn't mean that a woman who cares about how she looks is hiding from the world.

    If I get cancer, I guess I will deal with it one day at a time and see what happens. Many women who get cancer wear wigs and still wear makeup. Are they afraid of showing the world who they really are? No. They simply want to do something that makes them feel good about themselves. There are numerous nonprofits in the USA that support women with cancer by helping them learn to apply makeup and help them with getting custom wigs made. If it makes someone feel better, that is what matters. Wearing makeup on the outside doesn't change who you are on the inside (as a person) but it can make you feel better about yourself and there is nothing wrong with that.

  21. Veronika,

    I have to respectfully disagree with you. It's been shown that women who wear makeup get jobs and get promoted more than women who don't and make more money. Is that fair, when they really don't look like that? If you wear makeup, just to be polished, why do you wear it to go to the mall? I think you need to bone up on your reading comprehension. My comment was about not getting condfidence from what you look like with hair and makeup and about having the guts to show the world who you really are. Whenever you "respectfully disagree" with someone you write three paragraphs to defend yourself, when it could be done with one sentence. That tells me that you know it's true and you know it is and that's why you protest so much.

  22. @anon---makeup, in most cases, when done tastefully does not turn someone unattractive into a supermodel---so people DO "really look like that" they just look like a better version of themselves with makeup, not like a different person.

    If you want to go to work with no makeup on, wearing sweatpants and with your hair in a bun, be my guest. But my motto is, dress for the job you want, not the job you have. The women that I work with who are the top executives and decision makers don't pile on makeup---but they all wear nice suits to work, have their hair styled and groomed nicely and they all wear a little makeup---maybe some foundation, mascara, little eyeliner and some lipstick. Just enough to define features without looking too fussy. They aren't afraid to "show the world who they really are" they are just trying to look polished and professional by minimally enhancing their features.

  23. Veronika,

    I never said that I go to work in sweatpants, so please don't put words in my mouth. I've seen women that look good with buns and no makeup, so I don't understand why you consider that a bad thing. What do you consider unattractive? You said" does not turn someone unattractive into a supermodel". That tells me, you do think certain people are unattractive. Makeup can give you features you don't really have. It can make small eyes bigger and bigger eyes smaller. It can make a big nose look smaller by shading. It can make small lips big and can cover up bad skin and make it look beautiful. It can make a chin more defined. So, it can and does make some people look like a different person. Again, my comment was about not getting confidence from what is on the outside.

  24. @anon---but I agree with you---I too think that confidence doesn't come only from the outside and that the kind of person you are and your accomplishments are really what define you.

    However, I do believe that looking how you want to look does make you feel confident *in addition to* other things.

    I've seen women look great with buns and no makeup too---a very small percentage of women can pull this off--and good for them, they are lucky.

    Of course there are people in this world who are more attractive and less attractive. But that doesn't really matter. My point was that, yes, makeup can enhance features---but I feel like you are saying that most women wear it to mask what they really look like---which I don't think is true. If someone is wearing heavily applied makeup with a full-on smokey eye, okay, maybe they look super different---but most women, I believe, don't mask their features like this, they simply enhance what they do have.

    I mean, we could go on and on in this debate---but at the end of the day, I don't know that we will ever come to an agreement. I think most of a woman's confidence should come from what's on the inside, of course, but that doesn't mean a woman shouldn't wear makeup or style her hair if it makes her feel good.

    Why not? How does it affect you what other people choose? Do what you want and what you like and others will do what makes them feel good. It doesn't impact your life if you prefer not to spend time doing your hair and makeup and another woman does.

  25. my getting ready routine is miles shorter (under 30 minutes to shower, hair, makeup, clothes, and be out the door), but i do feel much more confident and want to speak up and be noticed when i take even that minimal amount of time for myself. and you're absolutely correct that it's about finding the routine and "look" that works 90% of the time. i never wear nail polish, can't recall the last time i blow dried my hair, and wear really simple outfits, but it's me. i'm comfortable and confident in this look and when i feel good on the outside i feel a lot more confident sharing my intelligence and wit.

    and to anon - sure women who are "polished" get promoted faster, but the same can be said for men. there are exceptions (as there are for women), but generally the men at the top are neatly groomed and take at least a few minutes to consider their appearance.

  26. Great post, Veronika. I like your tips and feel very similarly about looking put together enhancing your confidence. If I'm having a sluggish day, I like to spend an extra few minutes getting ready in the morning because it really can change my outlook. And feeling polished when I have to be part of an important meeting does make me feel more confident. Does it make me more or less prepared for the meeting? Nope. Am I bamboozling the other people at the meeting with the "fakeness" of my appearance? No, I wouldn't say so. I'm as real as ever. It makes me feel good. And I think that counts for something.

    And not to get all hoighty toighty, but I feel this way after studying everything from de Beauvoir's The Second Sex to more contemporary texts on the topic of women, sexism, appearance, inequality in the workplace, gender neutral language, you name it.

    So when the guy at the coffee shop this morning who served me my coffee was wearing subtle cat-eye eyeliner I didn't think that he was insecure or trying to present a false version of himself to society. I thought, "Huh, cool. He's really rocking that look." He's expressing himself. Simple as that.

  27. Allison,

    If you went to a meeting dressed nice, but with your hair pulled back and no makeup, how would you feel? Would you still feel as confident as you do when you do these things. That's my point. Women should feel confident in their "natural" form. I'm okay with a woman wearing makeup and doing their hair, just admit that you do this, because people find you attractive because of these things and that's where your confidence comes from. It's not a bad thing to want to be the prettiest chick in the room and for everyone to stare at you when you walk in the's human nature. There is something wrong with not admiting that this is why you want to "change" or "enhance" what you have. Do you understand what I mean?

  28. I always plan my outfit out the night before. That way in the morning ( I get up at 5 for work) I don't have to think. I already have a great outfit laid out with shoes and accessories. The only thing I have to do is shower, do my hair/makeup and get dressed! Great post!

  29. @anon---But no one is denying that they like to wear makeup because it enhances how they look and feel....and NO ONE is denying that they wear makeup at all. Everyone can see if it you have eyeliner or blush on---no one's eyes are naturally rimmed and no one's cheeks have a pop of pink like that (unless they are flushed from working out or being out in the color).

    If you think that women who wear makeup ONLY get confidence because they think it makes them attractive to other people, you are mistaken. I think you're underestimating women who are happy with who they are---maybe they have great careers, they are mothers, wives, volunteers, etc...their confidence can stem from so many other aspects of their lives other than their apperance.

    I still do feel confident in my natural form. I can wake up next to my husband with zit cream all over my face and I know he doesn't find me to be hideous---because it's not all about what's on the outside---love and attraction happen for many other reasons.

  30. Great post! When I saw your answer to that formspring question, I was really looking forward to what you would come up with. thanks!

  31. Veronika,

    Can you tell me where I said," that women who wear makeup ONLYYYYYYYYYYYYYY get confidence because they think it makes them attractive to other people? Actually, if you go back to the top of your post, it says,"It's amazing what a little makeup can do for your self- confidence". Then you say, " I do feel confident in my natural form". Can you see how that is a contradiction? I will say this again, for like the 4th time, confidence should not come from hair and makeup. This is what I have been saying, but my words keep gettng turned around.

  32. @anon-you said "I'm okay with a woman wearing makeup and doing their hair, just admit that you do this, because people find you attractive because of these things and that's where your confidence comes from"

    so how are you not saying that women get confidence from makeup?

    No one is saying it should ONLY come from hair and makeup.

    Yes, I did say "It's amazing what a little makeup can do for your self- confidence" that doesn't mean it's the ONLY be all and end all element that gives you confidence---it can BOOST or ADD to the confidence you already have from other elements of your life.

    Makeup will never make you confident or happy if you're not already happy with yourself based on other things (besides looks). It's not like someone who hates everything about themself can put on some foundation and lip gloss and blow their hair out and suddenly feel amazing---if it's not there, it's not there, and makeup won't give it to you.

  33. I love makeup! And will make no apologies for loving it. :)

    No, it's not where the heart of my confidence lives. That's just absurd.

    I can go from shower to door in less than 30 minutes. Hair and makeup done - a hopefully decent outfit pulled together. ;) Shorter hair definitely simplifies things.


  34. Why is Anon reading a fashion and makeup blog if it doesn't matter to her? As a SAHM of two little ones, who is just now trying to "pull myself back together" I really appreciate this post because it describes HOW one person makes themselves look their best in the morning. Its not totally doable for me most days, but I am trying and making small efforts because as a tired mom, I know that I feel better, more energetic and happier when I've done something nice for myself that day, whether its curl my hair and do makeup, or just find time to shower! I liked this post, and I hate negative comments! Just go read something else!

  35. @anon (SAHM)---I don't mind differing opinions on my blog as long as there aren't personal attacks and/or foul language, but I agree, that if someone doesn't find value in what they are reading then they should move on.

    I am sure new motherhood is a lot of work and very hard/time consuming---but I agree that making time for yourself is very important too. Moms who are happier with themselves can be better moms to their kids, too. Good for you for taking a little time---even if it's just 5 minutes, to do a little something for yourself that makes you feel good :)

  36. You said, " if you think that women who wear makeup ONLY get confidence". I have a problem with the word "only", because I did not say that...YOU DID!!!If a woman truly has real confidence than it will not give them a boost or add to the confidence, because their confidence is already at 100 percent, right? They don't need that extra oomph.

  37. @anon---please email me if you find a woman ever, on this entire earth (and maybe other planets too!) who has their confidence level at 100%. I would love to meet her and learn from her.

    thank you!

    ps- my email is veronabrit at gmail dot com (so you can let me know when you meet her! I'm so excited!)

  38. I loved this post! I have such a problem every morning getting ready for work! I've mentioned this on my blog hoping for suggestions! Im so glad you posted this! I posted a link to yours so my friends can take a look and read this post!


  39. Veronika,

    I loved this post. I think it gives great tips on how to quickly get a polished look in the AM. Something you pointed out was that you need to find a look that works for you and get into a routine... I have been trying to curl my hair in the mornings but it has made me run late and I can't get it to look right. I obviously need to skip that for my morning routine!

    In regards to the anonymous poster, they seriously need to let it go. I completely agree with what you're saying. I think make-up and fashion are your hobbies so they make you feel good about yourself. That is why you write things like this. I am really into photography and when I take an amazing photo or make someone happy by creating a permanent memory, I feel awesome about myself. I kind of found this to be the same concept of the tone of your entry.

  40. Um, I'm pretty sure Hillary Clinton is 100 percent confident, probably because she has everything because of her brains and not her looks. Whoopi Goldberg too!! There are two. Do you want to e-mail them, or do you want me to?

  41. I'm pretty sure that even those two women have their moments where they only feel 98% confident. Do you think Hilary felt 100% confident when her husband was on national television as the president of the United States admitting that he had an affair with another woman?

    The truth is, every single woman on this earth questions herself, has moments of doubt and days where she is not happy with herself. That is reality. No matter how smart, funny or attractive you are. Every woman faces hardships and has moments where she is not sure of herself---even Hilary.

    Also---do uou think that Whoopi Goldberg was 100% confident in herself if she once had a drug addiction?

    She is very strong that she was able to overcome er addiction---but that's the point---no woman is 100% confident. Every woman struggles with some of her choices and actions:

    (from the article on Whoopi):

    “Having been a drug addict, I feel I can say this… I was a functioning drug addict, I showed up for work because I knew a lot of people would be out of work and I wouldn’t get a check that I needed to buy my drugs."

    “I ended up sitting on a bed for three or four days scared there was something under the bed."

    “I wet the bed, I pooped the bed… I was so scared. I hit bottom. I did that a long time ago,” Goldberg said."


  42. Anon SAHM here again. Forgot to mention my tip in my comment. When you're a busy mom its obviously really easy to put yourself last in every way because you have to help little ones dress, groom, etc in the morning. You can get the kids all ready for school and then find yourself still in your bathrobe. For a while I just gave up trying, but then I realized I was never going to have lots of time so I'd have to find workarounds - no time for hair washing/drying/styling in the morning? Break it into chunks - wash at night, air dry and then all you have to do is throw a couple curls in in the morning to make it look more styled. Takes less than 5 minutes. No time for makeup? I try to find products that perform two functions (MAC Studio Fix - concealer and a light powder in one) and I spend more time/money on keeping my skin clear than makeup so that I can get away with less. I stopped flatironing and embraced my hair's natural wavy texture and asked my stylist to cut long layers so that it would take less time to style. I read a few selected style blogs because it helps me see real world examples vs. fashion magazines that just make me feel depressed that I don't have thousands to spend on a new wardrobe. As for the confidence topic, I'd say that confidence is about valuing yourself and showing others that you value yourself. That's not just for women either - men shave and dress for work too!

  43. Reading your blog over the past year has helped me so much! From little things to adding belts to my outfits to curling my hair the Veronika way - you inspire me to be more polished everyday!

  44. Different anon here, but you just gave advice about a week ago saying that if someone will never be for you let it go, yada yada. Well, heed that advice and just let that anon comenter go. What started as a difference of opinion clearly took a turn and the snarkiness and sarcasm is evident on both sides. You said yourself you two will never agree on the topic so why keep bantering back and forth. I am a loyal reader and think you are a classy gal, but not everyone will agree with you. Your opinion on the blog post is evident because you are the AUTHOR, respect that she feels differently, be confident in your opinion, and move on already!!!!

  45. loooooooooooooooved and enjoyyyyyed reading the post

  46. I enjoyed your post V. I also enjoyed the other tips from the comments, and hearing how your blog positively impacts people via others comments.

    I do not enjoy when someone hijacks a discussion with their soapbox. Kudos to you for staying so level.


  47. @Anon- thanks for your comment :) I dont mind when a post generates a heated discussion as long as insults aren't thrown around. In my knowing what to ignore post, I didn't mean that I'm going to ignore everyone who has a different opinion than I do. I moreso meant that I wouldn't engage with people who threw out mean insults. I didn't post some of the commenters' posts because of that. Once it ventures into that, I cease engagement. Debates are okay :)

  48. Great post. I dress how I want to dress and it makes me feel good. I agree with you, Veronika! It does boost my confidence. Everyone has their own level of confidence. I am allowed to wear jeans to work and I wear them maybe once a week if that. I just prefer the more polished look and I feel better. I get comments that I look so dressed up and I could care less. I do it for me! I don't wear makeup or pretty clothes to impress the world but I do dress for where I want to be. Self esteem is important. So if one feels good without makeup, good for you! If you need loads, more power to you. Do what makes you feel good :)

  49. I have no idea the point anon is trying to make here because it doesn't seem to be translating. I guess they are saying it's sad if women use makeup, hair styles, clothing, etc. to gain confidence. On that note, I agree. It IS sad if that's the ONLY way a woman can gain confidence. However, I don't think that's the case with 90% of women today. We use makeup/clothes/hair as a way to accentuate the "whole package", if you will. I find it interesting that woman are making more money, and catching up in the gender-income ratio to men, we're buying more homes than men, and becoming more educated than men. Coincidence that the cosmetic industry is also at a record high, even in a bad economy? I don't think so. And, I don't think this is us glamming ourselves up as unrecognizeable fem-botts to try and seduce men in order to take higher ranking. Rather, I think this is women feeling more confident in their looks, bodies, minds, and overall self-worth! We are taking better care of ourselves and thank goodness for it. There is NO problem in gaining a little extra something from wearing long as the lipgloss isn't the only thing you have going for you. I don't think it's sad that we as women can gain extra confidence through accentuating our good looks and style. I think it's sad MEN don't have an easy way to do this! HAHA!

    Also, no WAY there is a woman that is 100% confident all the time. Not Whoopi or Hilary. That was just a bad point to try to be made.

    I think this was a great post, Veronika, and it hit home with me. You've insprired me to go the extra distance in the morning to do a little more with myself because I had gotten lazy (in an office with a group of weather nerds who, seriously, sometimes wear sweatpants, so there is no style to be had). I feel better when I feel like I LOOK better. And that's for me. No. One. Else.

    - Erin Leigh (PaisleyE)

  50. Sounds like SOMEBODY in this post needs a makeover. Or therapy.
    Rock on, V.

  51. While I sometimes find myself rolling my eyes at some of your posts, I really enjoyed this one, and agree with pretty much all of it.

    There is a sense of confidence that comes from feeling like you're pulled together and looking your best. Should you derive all of your sense of self from how you look and what you wear? No way! Is it wrong to let how you feel about yourself allow you to get up the nerve to speak your mind and be proud of other aspects of yourself? Nope.

  52. V,
    This was a great post. I recently tried to get up a little earlier to start curling my hair the "veronica" way. I instantly got comments from the guys at the office. I work with all men so when I am "done up" they take notice. Like you said though. I dont do it for them as I am happily engaged but I do it for myself. I feel more confident, more engaged in my work and sometimes have more pep in my step when I dress cute. Much unlike today. Jeans, t-shirt and messy pony.
    I will certainly take this advise to heart though and try to put better effort in because it really does make me feel better.
    Great post! Love your blog!!

  53. Thanks for an inspiring post! I am wondering if you have a recommendation for my situation. I am making a career change from a super-casual work environment (jeans, flip flops, no makeup, no nail polish, etc...anything goes, really) to a (hopefully) professional position in HR. I used to work in an office and took decent care of myself, but it's been so long that my wardrobe is completely casual now and I haven't really worn makeup in awhile. Do you have a recommended makeup counter/department store, etc. that would be helpful in instructing me on professional, everyday makeup? I recently cut my hair into a pixie (I used to love, love, love hot rollers for a professional, pulled-together look!), and really feel that the right makeup will help play up my positive features and let me alter my daily look a bit.

  54. @anon---I think you can't go wrong at Bobbi Brown. I think their products are so wonderful and can really enhance your features without being over the top. I particularly recommend their blush, bronzer and gel liners.

    I think that Bobbi Brown is a great start :) good luck!

  55. But 4 and 6 aren't prime numbers! Otherwise I love the post! :)


  56. Veronika, I don't think I've ever commented on your blog before but I am frequently impressed at how caring you are regarding relaying so much useful yet personal information. It can be very difficult for an attractive person to give out advice without inspiring envy (and just plain meanness) in others. But you do, and I applaud that. In regards to your cranky Anon poster, let me say it is a human trait to want to be found attractive. Men and women want to be valued by others for their looks, intelligence, good nature, humor; the list goes on. To pretend otherwise is foolish. And I'm glad to hear Hillary Clinton finally developed some self confidence because she certainly has no self respect to stay married to the rapist and exploiter of women Bill Clinton all these years.

  57. I just started to train my hair for non-washings... I hope it becomes healthier again =]

    Great tips!


  58. this is a great post! incredibly useful and easy tips to look like you care but still not spend hours or tons of money.
    Thanks for sharing!

  59. This was an amazing post, Veronika! I really admire you & am so flattered that you mentioned me in this post because I look to YOU for inspiration! Thank you so much! I know you will help a lot of women with this post :)

  60. I haven't finished reading this post yet, but the fact that you set your alarm to prime numbers makes me love you even more than I did before! I just discovered you on YouTube over the weekend and have been reading your blog like a good book since. You have inspired me to find my "inner girly". Thanks Veronika!

  61. I just discovered your blog and immediately liked it a lot! Especially this post and your opinion about putting effort to yourself! I absolutely agree with that! Way to go! I´m just starting my own style/review/fashion blog and I´m sure your work will be a great inspiration. Greetings from Germany :-)


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