How to Look Like a Million Dollars, Whatever Your Budget May Be! - Blog By DonnaBlog By Donna
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A Mom Navigating Life

How to Look Like a Million Dollars On Any Budget

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In our modern society, EVERYTHING is influenced by your physical appearance. Your relationships, your happiness – even your job – are all influenced, in a big way, by your looks. While this is not very fair, it is the truth. If you doubt whether or not your looks can influence something like your job, a number of studies and surveys will prove you wrong.

If you don’t make an effort to look your best, you will go through life unsure of yourself and without much confidence. If you commit to good fitness, a good diet, and change your style up, you can easily look great without plastic surgery or other extreme measures.

For some, plastic surgery might be the best option, but keep in mind that most people can get by just by making some lifestyle changes. Plus, remember that plastic surgery is very expensive, and it’s not something you want to cheap out on!

If you have decided that you want to work on your looks, this article will help. The work will be your responsibility, but this article will help you by giving you all the tools you need to succeed. It will also inspire you, hopefully, and give you the motivation you need to make positive changes in your life. For many, it might be difficult, but the end result will be well worth it. Read on for helpful tips to help you look like a million dollars!

Dress Well

Your clothes have a huge effect on how you look. The styles you wear define your appearance, at least at first glance. If you don’t consider your face to be your best attribute, you should highlight the rest of your body by wearing nice clothes. Keep in mind that “nice” clothes don’t necessarily have to be expensive. You can find plenty of deals on quality, name-brand clothing that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

If you consider yourself to be a stylish person, you’ll be able to shop on your own. Visit clothing stores and try things on, even if you’re not sure how they will look. It won’t hurt to try something, and you can always take pictures of every outfit and review them later. Sometimes it helps to take a step back and try to take in the whole picture, and not just focus on one individual piece of clothing.

Plus, if you take pictures of every outfit you try on, you’ll have a catalog of clothes that you could purchase in the future, and you’ll know exactly how it will look on you. Pictures of clothing in advertisements and online are usually displayed on models or mannequins – so they don’t necessarily show how the item will look on you. The only way to determine that is to try it on.

You should consider visiting a few upscale clothing stores. Even if you can’t afford anything there, you can still try things on and ask for advice from the employees. Most upscale clothing stores employ style experts to help customers select clothing styles that complement their bodies. These people can be an excellent resource. When talking to them, be respectful and kind. Many of them are paid on commission, so if you don’t end up buying anything, consider giving them a small tip (assuming they can accept it).

When you find an outfit that you like, take a picture of yourself in it and note the brand/style/color/etc. If the store has reasonable prices, purchase the item(s) there. If not, take that information and look for better prices elsewhere.

Generally, stores like Ross, Kohls, etc. have pretty good clothes at great prices. However, they are often picked-through, meaning the real deals get snapped up quickly. If you want to find excellent bargains at discount stores like these, you’ll have to make regular trips to browse their inventory. Also, check out their websites and see if they have a better selection there. You can also ask an employee or a manager when they get new shipments of clothing, so that you can essentially get first-pick of what comes in.

If you’re on a budget, consider buying clothing online. Online clothing stores have very low overhead costs, so they are able to keep the prices low. Internet stores are also subject to much more competition than brick-and-mortar stores. While there may only be 2-5 clothing stores in your area, there are thousands online, all competing for your business. To you, the consumer, this is great news! The only downside to shopping online is that you can’t try anything on.

This is why I recommend shopping for clothes in person, and trying them on there. Then, take the brand and size information and search online for the best deal. You will be surprised at how much money you can save! Lastly, consider making bulk purchases online (i.e. 5+ pieces of clothing) to save on shipping costs. Many online retailers will offer discounted shipping or even free shipping if you spend a certain amount of money.

If you are not such a stylish person, you can also take some friends along with you when you go shopping. Friends of the opposite sex (or whoever you are trying to attract!) are generally the best, as they can tell you honestly whether or not an outfit makes you look attractive or not. Tell them to be brutally honest, and don’t get upset if they say an outfit doesn’t look good on you. You can save a lot of money and get better outfits by bringing along a second party to help you decide.

Improve Your Skin

The health and look of your skin has a huge impact on your physical appearance. Some are blessed with healthy, radiant skin, but the majority of people have to work hard to keep their skin happy. There are a variety of factors that contribute to your skin health, and it’s hard to accurately tell you how to improve your skin without knowing your individual situation.

If you have minor to moderate skin problems (minor dryness/flaking, minor rashes, minor oily skin, etc.) you can probably solve the problem at home using over-the-counter skin care products. If you have moderate to severe skin problems (regular rashes, extreme dryness/flaking, very oily skin, etc.) then you should see a dermatologist. You can also see a doctor, but they are most likely going to refer you straight to a dermatologist.

If you have chronically dry skin, one thing you can do is invest in a showerhead filter. These specialized showerheads cost around $20-$30, and they filter out chlorine and other impurities from your shower water. Many people have discovered after using one for a month or two that their skin improves by leaps and bounds. It won’t work for everybody, but it should at least help a little bit. I have yet to see these filters at any brick-and-mortar store, so you’ll probably have to buy one online. Amazon.com is a great place to start. Be sure to check out the reviews section before you buy anything!

Another thing you can try is switching up your skin care products, soap, etc. Many people experience allergic reactions to their skin care products without even knowing it. Consider trying a natural skin care product, or one labeled “hypoallergenic”. Also, if your skin is itchy on a regular basis, your laundry detergent might be to blame. Generally these allergies are caused by scents in the detergent, so try one that is not scented.

Stand Up Straight

Believe it or not, posture affects your overall appearance more than you’d think. A poor posture tends to highlight your bad qualities/attributes, while good posture highlights your good attributes. Also, standing up straight makes you look more confident and more powerful, and also a bit taller.

Not only will good posture make you look better, it will also improve your life in other ways. First of all, your back will feel better almost immediately. Most people slouch when they sit, causing their vertebrae to compact and sit in an unnatural way. This can lead to back and neck pain, and a variety of other issues. Regular trips to a chiropractor can help this, but nothing helps more than proper posture.

Another benefit is that standing up straight requires more effort from your abdominal and chest muscles. While it won’t be too noticeable, this effort will translate into burned calories and increased muscle definition. Add good posture to a regular workout schedule, and you’ll be fit in no time – which leads us to our next tip…

Get in Shape

Getting in good shape is vitally important to your appearance, as well as your physical wellbeing and longevity. Most Americans are dangerously out of shape, often to the point of obesity. While it can be difficult to define “in shape”, it’s pretty easy for most people to assess whether or not they could benefit from losing some weight. One tool you can use is a BMI calculator, which compares your height to your body weight, and assigns you a BMI number. You can find a BMI calculator at the CDC website.

If you determine that you need to lose weight, you’ll need to combine exercise with diet. Diet is often more important, so if you need to lose more than 5-10 lbs to get to a healthy BMI, then focus on your diet first. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and try to reduce your intake of red meat, sugar, and fatty foods. Most of all, pay attention to what you put in your body. Most processed foods contain very high levels of fat, salt, and other things that are very bad for you. Read the nutrition labels before you eat anything!

If you need to lose a small amount of weight, or you just want more muscle definition, you should hit the gym! Gym memberships can be purchased for $30-$50 per month, generally, so it’s not a huge expense, assuming you actually use it regularly. If you can’t afford a membership, or think that you wouldn’t be comfortable working out at a gym, then you can always exercise at home.

Start with a cardio routine, and make it a habit. Running or jogging is a great cardio exercise. Shoot for 30 minutes of solid cardio per day. If you can’t handle that, start with 10 minutes and work your way up. If your joints can’t handle jogging, consider power walking, swimming, or elliptical training. Swimming laps is an excellent cardio exercise that also works your muscles. Of course you will need access to a swimming pool to do this, which may not be cheap.

If you decide that you want to work out from home, you can start with cardio, combined with pushups and crunches. These are some of the basic exercises that don’t require any equipment. If you want to expand your program, consider investing in some home exercise equipment. Pull-up bars are quite useful, and can be purchased for $20-$40. Free weights are also useful and can be used in a variety of ways. Free weights range in price from $10 – $100+ depending on what you want.

Before you begin working out, ALWAYS remember to stretch. Stretching is one of the most important parts of any exercise routine. If you don’t stretch, your muscles won’t be able to benefit much from exercise, and you’ll be much more likely to sustain an injury. Do your best to stretch for 5-10 minutes before AND after each session. Stretching also serves as a warm up and cool down period, which is beneficial as well. Be sure to stretch every muscle group that you will be using that day.

If you don’t know enough stretches, look up a guide or watch a YouTube video and follow along. It will take a while to get in the habit of regular stretching and exercise, but once you get used to it, you will see results very soon.

20 Responses to How to Look Like a Million Dollars On Any Budget

  1. Mellisa says:

    Great tips. It’s nice to know that there are ways out there to look great without spending a lot of money.

  2. Skin really has so much to do with looking your best!

  3. I really need to work on standing and sitting up straight.

  4. Those are some wonderful tips!

  5. rina says:

    Shopping online is something I really enjoy these days. But nothing can beat the time when we try on the clothes we want to buy in a store (even if we don’t buy them at the end). And yes, shaping up is also the key to look good. I am working my ass to loose weight and 2013 will be my year of slimming down. Thanks for the great tips and wish me luck! 😀

  6. Colleen says:

    When I’m eating well my skin clears up and I dress just a little nicer and feel great. It all starts in your mind.

  7. Marcie W. says:

    Great tips and I’m happy to see I already do some of them!

  8. Jenn says:

    My posture is horrid. Need to work on that.

  9. Kathleen says:

    Love these tips. I am currently working on getting in shape, as I think that is a big piece of the puzzle.

  10. get in shape! That is SO TRUE!!

  11. Courtney says:

    Awesome tips! Thanks!

  12. Lolo says:

    I would really like to focus more on my skin and not just using soap. Urgh!

  13. carla bonesteel says:

    These tips are great…I am very broke, and don’t have a perfect body, so makeup and clothes are a struggle for me…But I do the best I can with what I have!

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