Do you ever find yourself thinking, after seeing a random person on the street, or at the mall, or at a bar: “Damn, they definitely have their shit together.”
And they’re not always dressed in a suit, or driving an expensive car. There is an aura about them, or maybe it’s the way they walk. The truth is, it’s a myriad of tiny details that come together to trick the mind, and here’s the secret: looking polished or put-together is not that hard to do. You don’t have to have it all together in order to look like you do. Here are six simple ways to look polished without trying too hard:
1. Know Your Colours
Everyone has a palette of colours that suit them best, based on the pigment of their skin, the undertones, and their eye colour. Think about it: is there a particular shade of red that you always buy your lipstick in, because it makes your features ‘pop’? Do you look in your closet and see blocks of the same colours that you always tend to lean towards? Most of the time, that’s because those colours are a part of your palette. There are certain colours that will just brighten you up and compliment your natural colouring so well, while others will make you look sickly or washed out.
I personally got my colours done by a professional right after graduation and found out that I am an autumn, and deep colours suit me best. It explained my mostly dark wardrobe, and why I could never thrive in pale pinks.
A tip to figure out your colouring at home would be to cover up your hair in a white towel to neutralize, then try on pieces of clothing from your wardrobe with no makeup on. With colours from your palette, you’ll find your eyes brighter, your cheeks more flushed, and you naturally glow.
This isn’t to say that you can’t look polished in other colours – it’s just that when you wear your colours, you barely have to wear any makeup, and it just looks right, to the naked eye.
2. No Bed Head
Someone I think of when I think ‘polished’ is Sofia Richie (daughter of Grammy-award winning artist Lionel Richie). One of the reasons I realized she always looks so crisp and clean is because she never has a hair out of place – she uses wax and gel to keep all her baby hairs in place, and there is never a flyaway in sight.
Whether you have curly hair, wavy hair, straight hair or short hair, if you style your hair, you will look much more polished!
3. Take Care of Your Skin
Proper skincare is important for many reasons, but aesthetically, if you have a good morning and nighttime skincare routine based on your skin type (dry, combination, oily) and consistency, you will have more dewy, healthy skin. Long-term it should help slow down wrinkling, and short-term you’ll have a natural glow about you, no makeup needed. It’s not to say that someone with a problem with acne doesn’t look polished – it’s just to say that if you minimize blackheads and pores, eliminate dead skin by keeping your face moisturized and focus on problem areas, you will feel more confident and vibrant and won’t need much work in the morning.
4. Wear a Watch
Am I the only person who sees a watch on someone’s wrist and just assumes that they have their lives together? The subconscious logic is this: a person who wears a watch values their time, because they don’t have a lot of it.
There are multiple reasons that ballerinas are viewed in such an elegant, polished light. One thing we can learn from them is proper posture. When you walk or sit with a straight back, you appear taller, more alert, and more dignified.
A tip from a ballet instructor to having better posture isn’t to shove your shoulders backwards, but actually to push out your stomach until it’s aligned with your shoulders, as this will feel much more comfortable and natural.
6. Dress for Success
At the end of the day, even if you want to be a stockbroker, but you currently work in construction, you obviously can’t wear a suit to work. But as much as you can, you should dress for where you want to be in life (Read https://thestrugglinggraduate.blog/2019/04/15/5-things-the-law-of-attraction-taught-me/). Once you start feeling like you’re already there, you will attract the life you want. When I was a bank teller, I tried to dress business professional as much as I could, although the dress code was business casual, until I got a job that fit my criteria almost to the tee.
Looking polished isn’t hard, but it makes a big difference, especially for new grads who want to make the transition into being young professionals. Do you have any tips? Leave comments below!