Extreme Makeover – The Cheapskate Edition

Credit Philip Nelson 2010

1. Bob and Weave. Nothing makes a bigger impact on your style than a drastic hair change. So cut off a foot of your long locks, try platinum blonde or even go flamingo pink. Make an appointment at a training salon and you’ll pay half the price.

2. Swap Your Swag. Get a closet full of new clothes without spending a single dollar. How? By hosting a clothing swap with your stylish friends. It’s exactly what it sounds like, and it’s a great way to change your look.

3. Reshape Your Brows. Giving your eyebrows a shapely boost can help give your face a whole new glow. Just stop by your local salon to get your brows reworked for under $20.

4. Save Face. Instead of buying a whole new bag of makeup products, learn to do something new with the products you already own. Try some smoky eyeshadow, or go for or a vintage cat-eye look. It’s one of the easiest ways to change up your beauty routine.

5. Trade Products. Sign up for a MakeupAlley account and trade beauty products with other users. You’ll clean out your beauty bag and score some designer products – without all that “splurging on an untested item” anxiety.

6. Rethink Basics. Jeans are a staple, but they’re also extraordinarily common. Swap your boring denim for a pair of jewel-tone skinnies. Your casual style will get a huge color kick.

7. Try a Makeunder. If you’re known to spend a lot of time primping and preening, going with a lower-maintenance style can give you a whole new look. Try a messy top-knot instead of perfect curls, and go for a fresh-faced makeup style using only mascara and lip gloss.

8. Spend on Accessories. New belts, bags and jewelry can throw your entire wardrobe into a new light, so leave your clothes alone and focus on accessories instead. When you print coupons or use promo codes from sites likeiBotDis, you’ll save even more.

Credit Christopher Macsurak 2011

9. Raid Grandma’s Closet. Old is the new new, but there’s no need to shell out cash at vintage shops if you’ve got a grandma who’ll let you raid her wardrobe. Complete your retro look with a rockabilly hairstyle to add a little edge.

10. Repurpose Old Tees. There’s no need to throw away oversized or overworn T-shirts when you can give them a DIY makeover instead. Find and follow online tutorials to give your boring T-shirts a new, artsy twist.

11. Be a Fake. Fake eyelashes are a great way to create a dramatic look. Learn to apply them yourself – and stick to single lashes instead of strips for a more polished style.

12. Your Signature Scent. If you’ve worn the same perfume for the last 10 years, choosing a new scent is an easy way to rebrand yourself. Instead of spending a lot on designer bottles, try an essential oil like jasmine or ylang ylang

13. Do a Dye Job. Fabric dye can give old clothes a new lease on life. Use black dye to resurrect faded skinny jeans, or choose a bright shade to give old khakis a brand new look.

Credit embhoo 2011

14. Cross the Gender Divide. Are you a dyed-in-the-wool tomboy or a self-proclaimed girly girl? Switch up your style by borrowing or swapping clothes with someone on the other end of the spectrum. Who knows? A pink minidress or a tailored suit jacket could be the look you’ve been searching for.

15. Pump it Up. Has your total lack of a booty caused you to shy away from short shorts and other trendy styles in the past? Maybe it’s time for some heavy lifting. Squats create curvacious miracles, and you can do them at home without paying for a gym membership.

Of course, a wardrobe change will only take you so far. If you’re looking to completely revamp your image, you may have to resort to more drastic measures – like changing your name to an unpronounceable symbol or quitting your job to become a rodeo queen. How far you go to reinvent yourself is up to you, but if you follow these tips, you’re doing the one thing you need to be doing above all else: experimenting!


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