How to look more polished

how to look polished

My best friend in high school was the most “polished” looking person I’ve ever met. I mean, imagine: just a teenager, and she’d already figured out the secret to something that’s plagued me for years – how to look polished.

I swear the wind didn’t even dare to blow on that girl: so her hair was always perfectly in place, her clothes never seemed to crease, and her carefully applied makeup was just as immaculate at the end of the day as it was at the start. I, meanwhile… well, I was the exact opposite. No matter how carefully I ironed and lint-rolled my clothes, or how much time I spent in front of the mirror, by the time I got to school, I’d always look like I’d just rolled out of bed. I’m still the same today – and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m just not one of those naturally “polished” looking people. Instead, I’m the kind of person who’ll always have to work at it: and, with that in mind, here are some of the things I’ve learned about how to look a little more polished – even when you’re anything but!

how to look more polished

01. SIMPLIFY EVERYTHING

One of the first things I learned about looking “polished” is that the simpler you keep things, the easier it is – and by “thing” I mean “everything”, basically. Elaborate outfits, fussy hairstyles and makeup techniques that requires a You Tube tutorial before you can use them are all much easier to mess up – with the result being that you end up looking plain messy. These days I’m a huge fan of simplicity in all things, so I’ll keep my look as pared down as possible – not only does it make it quicker and easier to get ready in the morning, it also makes it easier to look pulled together, too.

02. BE PREPARED

It’s the Boy Scout’s motto – and it’s probably the polished woman’s motto too, because a last-minute rush is a really easy way to end up looking dishevelled – or, at least, it is for me. I’m very prone to those last-minute rushes, so if I need to look my best or feel a bit more confident, I’ll do my best to plan my outfit beforehand, so I can be sure it’ll look the way it did in my head – that’s not always the case, so it’s a good idea to do a test run first!

03. WEAR NEUTRAL NAIL POLISH

My nails are one of the least polished things about me – no pun intended. I have really dry cuticles, I’m useless at shaping the things (I can’t stand having long nails, so I always end up filing them down in a hurry, when I realise they’re getting too long to type with), and my polish always seems to chip within minutes. Now, the best solution to this would be a weekly manicure or something, but I don’t have either the time or the money for that, so I have two other secret weapons instead: an LED lamp, which lets me give myself a no-chiip gel manicure at home, and a neutral polish. My favourite shade at the moment is Essie’s ‘Sugar Daddy’, which is one of those “your nails, but better” colours: it makes my nails look healthy and polished, but the colour is natural enough that if they chip, or when the gel starts to grow out, you don’t notice it nearly as much as you would a brighter colour.

04. GET A GREAT HAIRCUT 

I’m just as useless with hair as I am with nails, unfortunately: I guess I must have been at the back of the queue when all of those “beautifying” skills were handed out! Because of this, I’ve long since given up trying to do much with my hair in terms of styling: I just don’t have the skill or the patience, so it ends up looking worse than when I started. Instead, I rely on a low-maintenance haircut, which will – hopefully – look good without too much effort on my part. For days when it just won’t behave, meanwhile, a simple bun or ponytail will usually do the trick – and even I can (just about) manage one of those!

What about you? Got any tips on how to look more polished?

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