How do I Start?

by Jen on November 11, 2005

A reader sent in an email that said:

“I honestly am not into the whole fashion and make up thing, but I wish I were. I feel like I’m not playing on what strengths I do have. I love dressing up, but I don’t know all the tricks to get my hair to behave and how to apply make up to accentuate my good features. Actually, I’ve always been a bit more focused on academics than social skills. How do I start to branch out more? I wish I knew about make up so I could use it wisely and have fun, but still look natural. I wish I knew which clothes were cute. I live in a rural town, 3 hours away from the mall. I don’t mess with fashion magazines, because I think I want a less worldly view. I also wonder about all the “make up consultants”, because they really are just trying to sell products, right? I wish I had a best friend fashion guru to help me out and give me makeovers and stuff, but my friends are about as lost as I am in the popular world.” 

Brandy, a new *Jen* Magazine writer and advice columnist answers this email:

One of the most memorable and most beneficial things my mom ever did for me was driving me to the mall on my birthday one year to have a professional make up consultation. I learned more from that hour that was spent with me than I have in any beauty magazine I’ve ever read. To this day I visit the make up counters at the mall for the occasional update in techniques or new ideas.

I think the most important thing to remember is that you need to find a look that YOU are comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to tell them that you want to look natural, or that you don’t think the purple eye shadow compliments your big blue eyes! Be sure to speak up if they use a particular product or color that you don’t necessarily like. Or if they use a certain technique, ask them to show you how you can repeat it yourself. They are there to help and give you the “how to,” but you are the only one who knows what YOU like.

Don’t ever think that you have to wear make up to be “pretty” or “prettier.”
While make up is fun and can accentuate your best features, it in no way makes you who you are. I rarely wore make up in high school, but no one ever said, “I don’t want to be friends with Brandy. She doesn’t wear make up!” I didn’t want to wear what everyone else was wearing, or do my hair the same way, or even my make up for that matter. I was my own person and I know that I was admired because of that.

Have you ever heard the expression, “Clothes don’t make the man?” How true I have found this to be! There are so many cute styles and new trends that you see everyday. As Latter Day Saint women, we do have a challenge in this department. I’m always up for a good challenge, though! When I am looking for new items to add to my wardrobe, I look for things that I am comfortable wearing. Good fabrics, complimentary colors, good lengths, etc. There are so many different body types, heights, skin tones, hair colors, eye colors, etc. that it can seem overwhelming trying to adapt to today’s fashions.
That is where my idea came from to have the fashions adapt to you instead!
Find pieces that compliment you well. Jeans that are flattering, tops that are cute on you. We all need a shopping buddy, someone who will be honest with you when critiquing new outfits. Try incorporating new pieces occasionally rather than trying to keep up with the new styles each season.

Most importantly, focus on you. Know that you are a daughter of our Heavenly Father and that your name brand jeans aren’t going to make a difference in the eternal aspect of things. Have fun with your style. And that advice that your parents gave you about just being yourself? I can’t stress enough that you should definitely listen to them, they know what they are talking about!   -Brandy

You can learn more about Brandy and ask her questions in her new advice column “Spare Change”.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jenvyr July 9, 2006 at 10:14 am

I really enjoyed the this article, it helped me to see that I am not the only one determined ot be different and follow my standards. I tend to dress different, I like to go to thrift stores, and stock up on the ‘unusual’ clothing there. I also tend to do my eyliner different, I draw designs all over my face. A lot of people think I do this for attention, but I don’t! I do it to show what I am like, and I am an artist (or atleast, I try…), so I like to be different and create new styles.

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crzyblonde19 January 12, 2007 at 9:53 am

When I read this it reminded me that that is how I was about 2 years ago. I still normally wear only one thing, for make up on a daily basis, Mascara! Make sure it you get it it’s not to clumpy on the wand if it is then wipe it off, on the inside of the tube or with a kleenex. Apply to the top lashes first then the bottom. When I go out for something important then I use all the “pretty” stuff.

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Hanna November 29, 2009 at 9:08 am

thank you brandy, for your amazing writing on this article. i'm 19yrs old girl from south korea but living in utah for my college education at byu. I really loved your article and want to say 'thanks brandy' like hundreds times! 🙂 thanks brandy!

recent fashion stream is bizzare. i'm from seoul, which is a capital of south korea and all my friends are wearing clothes that are not mathced with my values. which also means that lately fashion style is kinda hard for latter day women to find modest clothes for them and keep on it. i sometimes felt like i'm so nerdy by not wearing miniskirt just like my friends 😛 hahaha but since i knew what i was supposed to keep and what i believed in, i never wore things like them but could not feel comfortable from the fact that i may have looked nerdy or too oldfashioned to people around me. however after reading this article i feel free! competely feeling confidence for what i have been doing and what i am going to do till i die 😛 hehe thanks again brandy. I really love this magazine site and i'm so glad i discovered this website today! i am so going to recommand this site to my friends 😉

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