Fall brings with it not only a change in season, but that never-ending feeling of “back to school.” Do you know what I mean? Even though I’m 26, I still get the urge to refresh and restart when September rolls around.
Since I don’t have actual school to return to all new and freshened up, this often leads me to contemplating some pretty radical changes to my hair and makeup routine. I don’t know why, but the fall air always makes me kind of crazy, beauty-wise.
Do you get the itch to change it up too? Well, good. That makes two of us. However, I’ve learned (after several rounds of dark brown hair, only to bleach it back again two months later) not to do anything too drastic. However, that “brand new girl” feeling is important and shouldn’t be stifled. Here are a few subtle ways to mix it up without the hefty hair color bill.
1. Change your brows. You should know by now that brows are one of the most important parts of your face! If you don’t shape them, start! I always tell novices to visit a professional to determine their best brow shape. Don’t go in expecting those trendy Cara Delevigne brows if that’s not what looks best on you. If anything, brow newbie, clean up the stray hairs with a tweezer – don’t go crazy! – and tint your brows with a brow definer. I like Clinique’s Instant Lift because it’s super easy to use: you just draw your brows in with its soft, malleable crayon tip. Giving your brows a shape and definition can subtly change your whole face, and the good news is that hair grows back! You can keep fiddling with them until you find your perfect shape.
2. Dying to dye your hair? Sleep on it. Seriously, don’t be impulsive like me and wake up one morning dying to be chocolate brown, book an appointment the next day and then wish you’d stayed blonde after two weeks. Don’t do that! Sleep on it. And if you do decide to dye your hair – by all means, go for it if you really want to! – then make sure you’re getting your hair in good shape pre-dye. If you have dark hair, try a semi-permament color that will wash out after a few shampoos, or use a color-depositing conditioner like Aveda’s Madder Root (for red tones) to give your existing color a boost. And there’s always hair chalk and Manic Panic for blondes! My rose pink hair lasted all of four washes and it gave me the change I needed for a few days.
3. Bang it up. Cutting bangs is an easy way to change your hairstyle without hacking off a ton of length or making a decision you might regret. Chop them long enough to push off your face if you hate them. I seem to do this every fall, without fail.
4. Try a new lip color. Ditch your summer pinks for something less familiar, like a rich plum shade. I’m really into Estee Lauder’s new Pure Color Envy lipstick in Insolent Plum, because it’s more purple than my usual wine shades and makes me feel like I’m wearing a completely different shade! If you usually do a nude lip, try a red stain.
5. Experiment with blush. Did you know that nude/taupe blush looks incredible on a ton of skin tones? No, probably not, because you’re stuck wearing your NARS Orgasm peachy-pinks all year round. Go visit the MAC or NARS counter and ask for a new blush shade. I promise you that a reddish-plum or taupey-mauve will be just as gorgeous. It might even be more flattering than the shade you’re wearing! Find a shade that suits you, and then go grab a dupe or two at the drugstore if you don’t want to spend the money on an expensive brand. When my friends complain to me that they’re in a beauty rut, I always tell them to mix it up with their blush.
6. Go jewel tones with your liner. If you wear black liner every day, swap it out for a rich purple or emerald once or twice a week. It’s a subtle change, but it will feel special and exciting to break out of that routine. Change is good!