How to Change Your Appearance

Three Parts:HygieneHair & MakeupWardrobe & Accessories

The reason doesn't really matter, but maybe you need a little change in your life. If you're unhappy with your appearance and you want a new fit, follow these steps to a whole new you!

Part 1

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    Practice good hygiene. It won't really matter what you look like if people can smell you because you haven't washed, or if bits of that onion bagel are still stuck between your teeth. Good hygiene means brushing, flossing, and washing regularly.
    • Make sure that you brush your teeth at least twice a day. Remember to get your tongue to fight halitosis (bad breath). Floss nightly.
    • Wash and condition your hair every other day. Your body makes good oils for your hair, so you don't want to wash them away every day. But you also don't want them to build up. If you have very oily skin or hair, six out of seven days per week.
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    Pamper your skin. Your skin is another important part of your body. Treat it kindly, with care, and it will glow for you.
    • Wash your face in the morning and at night. If you're starting to develop or already have pimples, use a light topical cream at night.
    • Apply a face mask once a week. If you can't afford one, there's no need to skip this step. Half of a mashed up banana with some tea tree oil is great for budget-savers.
    • Apply hand cream whenever possible and stay well-moisturized. Moisturize whenever you wash your face or after each shower.
    • Keep your nails painted and nicely filed all the time. Get them done at a salon if you're anxious about how they might turn out.

Part 2
Hair & Makeup

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    Get a new haircut. This is your first real step to a noticeably different you. Don't be afraid! Before you go to the salon, spend some time looking through magazines and figure out what you like. If possible, it's best to bring the hairstylist a picture so you are close to guaranteed to get it the way you like it.
    • Highlights, layers, beveled ends, shorter styles or side bangs are really beautiful. Contrary to popular belief, one length is NOT drab; but it certainly does not look good on everyone.
    • If you are going for more of an emo/punk look, think about cutting your hair short, layering it, getting bangs, and dying a portion of it a color like pink or purple.
    • If you are going for more of a California/surfer girl look, think long, slightly wavy hair with lighter highlights.
    • If you're trying to go classic/preppy, think side-swept bangs and straight, long hair that you can eventually put up into a bun, or chignon.
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    Keep your new hairstyle looking great. Now that you've got a beautiful haircut, show it off! Make sure you do your hair every morning. Pay attention to what product you put in it and how often you crimp or straighten it. Messing with your hair too often can result in damaged hair, split ends, or hair loss.
    • If you shower in the morning, use a tad bit of product and let your hair go natural. Natural looking hair will keep your look pretty and soft, even more approachable in some ways.
    • Headbands are in right now. Black, brown, or white headbands will go with almost any outfit. There are tons of wire and jewelry-like headbands available as well.
    • In a rush? Put it up. This can be beautiful, too. Ponytails and messy buns are great, and braids are back in style.
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    Try new makeup. Makeup is not a must, but you may want to use it. A little bit of lip gloss over a color or on its own will fill out your lips. Unless you're absolutely not allowed to, you should keep a little concealer, too, to cover up major blemishes. If you can't wear makeup, make sure you take really good care of your skin. This way, you won't have as many blemishes.
    • Keep your makeup in a cute carrying case and keep any essentials with you all the time - in your school bag or in your purse, depending on where you're going.
    • Think about getting a natural blush. The right kind of blush will make you look like you're naturally blushing, not actually wearing blush.
    • Get an eyelash curler if you can. Curling your eyelashes is a great alternative to mascara; curling opens your eyes up and makes them appear brighter and bigger.
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    Wear different makeup depending on your style. Again, the type of makeup that you use will depend on what kind of style that you're going for. Here are a few suggestions.
    • For an emo or punk look, think dark eyeliner and dark mascara, plus a little bit of red gloss to your lips for a pop. Don't opt for pale foundation! The pasty-face is a misconception. Just because you're emo doesn't mean you have to look lifeless!
    • For a California or surfer look, think natural tones and minimal makeup. A bit of bronzer, light mascara, and a small application of dark eyeliner. You want to look sun-kissed and beach-bodied, remember?
    • For a classic or preppy look, think either red or nude lips, mascara and a white pencil liner around the inner corners of the eye, along with a three-color eyeshadow that's perfectly blended. What a classic look!
    • Practice, practice! Practice these looks with your girlfriends. Take pictures to study what looks good and what doesn't. Remember, a little goes a long way with some makeup.

Part 3
Wardrobe & Accessories

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    Shake up your wardrobe. You're probably going to need to go shopping in order to give your appearance a makeover. But don't fret. Think about versatility when shopping: If you can make an article of clothing fit with several different items, you've done your job. You don't necessarily need a ton of new clothes to change your look; you just need to try to wear them differently.
    • Make sure you've got a couple of well-fitted, cool pairs of jeans. Avoid flares, as they're currently not in style. Try jeggings, too, as these offer comfort plus a little bit of style.
      • For emo/punk looks, opt for darker pairs of jeans. You can also try ripping or distressing your old jeans.
      • For surfer looks, go for lighter jeans or also jeans that are distressed. Think linen pants and capris as well!
      • For classic looks, try indigo or black skinny jeans (or maybe even some stylish plaid jeans if you're bold!), undistressed.
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    Let your shirts work their magic. Shirts and tops are, of course, essential to any look. Tailor your tops to the kind of style that you're looking for. Even if you've got a really low budget, you can make some great changes with only a few new pieces.
    • Tank tops and fitted tees can make a huge difference, and generally round out the surfer/preppy look. Get a couple of tank tops, or a bunch of tanks lined with lace might be nice, too. Wear these underneath tee shirts that aren't that cool, so that they show at the bottom. Try layering a couple.
      • Collared shirts work really well also if you're going for more of a preppy look. Loose-fitting button-downs (plaids or denim) can look very flattering with the right pair of skinny jeans.
    • Think band shirts if you're going for the emo/punk/indie look. Look for pre-washed or worn-looking shirts that have that vintage feel. They don't have to be baggy, either. Flatter your physique.
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    Find clothes at second-hand stores. Even cheap clothes can be great clothes. Not all thrift stores, however, are created equal. When buying second-hand, always be extra-careful about small tears, discolorations, or other defects.
    • Look for brand-name clothes that have been worn only a couple of times. The real steal is when you find a great jacket or blouse that hasn't even been worn but has that discount-price.
    • Visit second-hand shops right after the holidays. Often, people will get presents from their parents or relatives that they don't really like, and they'll gift or sell it back to the second-hand store. This is the perfect time to go.
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    Accessorize. Jewelry is really important. You don't need to wear too much, but make sure you've got a couple of great pieces, because they'll round out the rest of your collection. Keep it simple.
    • Try a circle-shaped pendant set with fake stones, or maybe some hoop earrings. Studs would work well if you're going for a grungier look.
    • Silver tones are very nice. They're very fashionable, inexpensive, and go with everything.
    • If you're going for preppy, make sure you've got a cool watch or two. Black or multicolor rubber bracelets work well for emo/punk.
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    Flatter your feet. Shoes are important, too. Shoes can really make or break your look, and they're the perfect accessory. Pay attention to what your feet get dressed in!
    • For preppy/classic, get a cute pair of flats, a pair of heels, and a pair of running shoes. High boots with fur are nice for the winter.
    • For surfer/California, try a pair of Keds, maybe some Uggs (only for the winter, though!), some flats, and some flip-flops.
    • For emo/punk, think Vans high tops, some black Converse, or maybe even some boots.


  • Remember a little perfume goes a long way.
  • Be confident with your style!
  • Try a whitening toothpaste, and smile! Be proud.
  • Be yourself and be confident. People can tell if you are being nervous and/or unnatural.
  • Picture someone who has the style you are looking for and imitate them for a while until it fits you perfectly, then you can out your own touches to it.
  • Invest in a real silver or gold necklace. You can wear it as often as you want and it will be your style signature.
  • You wear the style, not vice versa!
  • Choose your clothes carefully.
  • Be yourself, but try to keep up with the latest trends.
  • Take care of your health, always take the medication you need!


  • Don't use too much heat on your hair, this will keep your hair from getting split ends and it will keep it healthy. If you need to, invest in a heat protectant spray.
  • Always take off all makeup before you go to bed.
  • Always put lip balm on your lips before you go to bed so they won't crack or bleed.
  • Don't overdo your makeup.

Things You'll Need

  • A sturdy hairbrush
  • Good shampoo
  • A great-smelling body wash
  • Deodorant
  • A razor
  • Good perfume (test different scents until you find one that works with your skin. Some prefer fruity & vanilla based. Some prefer "watery" or "woodsy" based.) Remember: your nose knows!
  • Body lotion
  • Hand cream
  • Lip balm
  • Lip gloss
  • Tweezers
  • Cute jewelry (don't overdo it)
  • Nail polish
  • Makeup (eyeshadow, blush, lipstick, mascara etc.)
  • Hair clips and binders (setters)

Article Info

Categories: Looking Good & Makeovers