How to Change Your Look Over the Summer

Two Methods:Shaping Up Your BodyRocking a New Style

Summer is a perfect time to work on your body and wardrobe to create a great new look for the fall. Read the steps below to learn how to transform your look over the summer.

Method 1
Shaping Up Your Body

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    Start a photo journal. Whatever the goal for your body – weight loss, weight gain, muscle tone, tan skin – getting real results takes time. It can be depressing to work hard at making a change and still feel as though you've made no headway, which is why a photo journal is so useful. Take a picture of yourself from the front and side at the start of the summer. Then, once or twice a week, take more photo sets of yourself the same way. Whenever you feel discouraged, look at your photo journal to see just how far you've actually come.
    • Wear minimal, form-fitting clothing. Leggings or running shorts and a tank top make an ideal ensemble. This way, you'll be able to track changes much more easily.
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    Learn about calories and nutrients. Calories are your body's main energy source; other nutrients (such as vitamins) help regulate various specific systems and keep your body's natural chemicals in balance. You need both if you want to remain healthy; focusing on just one or the other won't help.
    • If you use more calories than you eat, you'll lose weight; if you eat more calories than your body can use, you'll gain weight. Fat is just your body's way of storing calories for long-term future use. When you use more calories than you consume in food, your body will burn away fat to make up the difference.
    • Nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids need to be maintained at fairly steady levels for your body to be able to function efficiently. Without nutrients, your weight loss will be unhealthy for your body, since it can't convert fat into calories as efficiently.
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    Learn about exercise. The best way to burn lots of calories is through exercise. As opposed to just not eating, exercise allows your body to convert calories into useful results, like muscle tone, without denying you the nutrients you should be getting from regular meals. The key to peak physical fitness is combining lots of vigorous exercise with a healthy, nutrient-rich diet.
    • Some exercises burn more calories per hour than others. Swimming and “hard” martial arts like karate are near the top of the list; however, any exercise (even a walk) is better than none at all.
    • Once your body gets adjusted to regular exercise, it can take a lot of steady, low-stress work, like jogging or cycling. You should give yourself off days for more strenuous workouts, but don't be afraid to do at least some exercise seven days a week. More exercise is almost always better than less.
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    Mix different types of exercise. There are two basic types of exercise: aerobic, such as running, swimming, and cycling, and resistance, such as weightlifting (and, to an extent, swimming). It's easy to run or jog some every day, but don't neglect weight training either. Both types are important to your overall health.
    • It can seem as though weightlifting is solely the realm of men, and designed to build huge, bulky muscles, but in truth, it's one of the healthiest types of exercise available regardless of your sex. The stronger your muscles become, the more efficiently they'll burn calories, and the faster you'll be able to tone up. You'll only develop bulky muscles if you go on a special diet and work very hard towards that specific goal. Regular weightlifting will tone and define your muscles, not turn you into She-Hulk.
    • If you plan to gain some weight, you don't have to stop exercising at all. Instead, just eat larger portions of healthy food to gain more calories.
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    Add in a healthy diet. To support your vigorous exercise routine, plan to eat healthily every day. Start by setting a caloric intake limit; for most people, anywhere from 1400 to 1800 is a good place to start. Build your diet around that number, and emphasize nutrients to be sure you're getting balanced support as you work out.
    • Start with vegetables. Vegetables are nutrient-rich and in many cases, practically calorie-free. Eat lots and lots of them every day to give your body plenty of energy and keep your mood balanced.
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    • Fill in the rest with fruit, whole grains, and lean meat. These items are generally considered to be the healthiest foods to eat overall, as they provide more important nutrients and allow you to fill up your calories without taking in much fat. Be aware that fruit is usually quite sugary; eat fruit in moderation to avoid the empty calories of sugar, which will cayuse you to reach your daily limit before you feel full otherwise.
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    Set a regular schedule for everything. Of course, this includes your diet and exercise regimen, but don't forget to schedule other things you've got planned as well. If you want to get a tan, plan regular visits to a tanning bed or regular sessions in the backyard. For whiter teeth, talk to your dentist and follow the routine he or she provides for you (which often involves regular treatments).
    • A vital part of setting a schedule is setting aside time for plenty of sleep. Plan on getting at least 8 hours a night, and then adjust it up or down a bit if you need to. Without lots of sleep, your body will run itself ragged in a few days and you'll get sick or injure yourself.
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    Plan ahead for one-time appointments. A new hairstyle, manicure, or other physical modification can make a bold statement when fall rolls around and it's time to show off the new you. Schedule appointments for things like this well in advance of when you plan to get them done, so you don't have to scramble. Set aside money early as well, to be sure you have enough to pay for what you want to do.
    • Some less common changes you can make to your body include colored contact lenses, tattoos, and piercings. If you're planning to get a tattoo, be sure it's something you're going to be happy with for the rest of your life (and be sure you're 18 – any younger is illegal). For piercings or tattoos, if you're living at home, be sure to get parental permission first – they will find out if you don't, and the fallout won't be pretty.
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    Keep up. At the end of the day, all the planning in the world won't change the fact that your body is designed to change slowly over time, not dramatically overnight. Increase your odds of a successful transformation by sticking to your plan rigorously from day one.
    • The fewer calories you consume and the more exercise you do, the more dramatic your weight loss will be; however, after the first couple of weeks of a new program losing more than a few pounds per week is unhealthy and unnatural.
      • Assuming a five pound loss the first week, you shouldn't expect to lose more than about 40 pounds maximum over the course of the summer (and it's more likely the number will be around 20-25).
    • The more exercise you do, the more exercise you'll want to do. That's great, but be sure you aren't running your body too hard too fast. Nothing kills an exercise regimen faster than a pulled muscle or sprained ankle. Try to work out enough so that you feel pleasantly stiff the next day, but not so much that your body feels sore or tight.

Method 2
Rocking a New Style

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    Grow your hair out. Summer is the perfect time to let your hair grow another couple of inches. This will give you a lot of flexibility to try new styles, and a good excuse to try different hair products such as shampoos and conditioning treatments. Keep searching until you find some that work perfectly for you.
    • At the end of the summer, about a week before your style debut, go to a trusted hairdresser and get your hair cut or trimmed so that it's just how you want it. This is also the perfect opportunity to retouch highlights or add color.
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    Play dress-up. Get a good friend and schedule some regular trips to clothing stores, just to try things on. Make it a point to go to stores that sell niche or specialty clothing, as well as mainstream retailers. While you're there, have fun trying on everything that seems interesting, even if it doesn't seem like your style at all. Critique each others' ensembles and take plenty of photos. After a few weeks, you'll have a great style portfolio to help you find your new look.
    • If you find something you absolutely have to have, don't hesitate! Often, the next time you come back, it'll be gone, usually for good. Try to keep such impulse purchases down to only the very best pieces, to keep your costs reasonable. If you're buying something every time you go out, you're probably not being picky enough.
    • Don't neglect secondhand and thrift shops on your adventures. Despite the fact that most of what they sell is ugly, they can occasionally provide a beautiful, unique item for your outfits. Thrift stores are great for retro-style looks in particular.
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    Settle on a style. Using your photo portfolio and images from magazines and the Internet, put together some ensemble ideas you think would look especially good on you. Focus on clothing first, and worry about accessories after that. If an item of clothing wouldn't look good without a specific accessory, it's probably best to skip it.
    • Keep a notebook or list on your phone and write down ensembles as you come up with them. Note the price and location of each piece, if you know it or have a general idea. Feel free to erase or reorder parts as you work. When one piece will work with multiple ensembles, mark it so it stands out – that one's a definite keeper.
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    Purchase your outfits. Start with the key pieces that you marked as being useful for multiple outfits, and then work from there. With your basic pieces purchased, it's easy to work around the problem of other specific pieces not being available anymore – just find something else that goes with your core piece. Again, start with clothes and shoes. Other accessories can come later.
    • If you've been adjusting your weight over the summer, buy as close to fall as you can, and be sure to try everything on to make sure it fits properly – after all, your body's a different size and shape than it was a few months ago.
    • You shouldn't need more than a few new pairs of shoes to complete most of your outfits. Be creative and think about how to repurpose one pair for several different looks.
    • Keep all your receipts. If you have second thoughts later, you can usually just return the item.
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    Accessorize. Now is the time to purchase costume jewelry, belts, handbags, and other items that help complete your look. Search high and low for good deals – accessories can end up costing a lot of money very quickly, but with some patience and determination, you can also snag some incredible deals.
    • If you have some extra money, invest in a nice perfume. Perfume clerks at stores like Macy's and Nordstrom's can help you find a nice scent, or you can look up perfume discussion communities on the Internet.
    • Remember, jewelry in particular doesn't have to be high-quality to look good. High-quality jewelry is nice, of course, but carefully picked costume jewelry can also make a bold, smart fashion statement.
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    Work on your makeup. The perfect time to experiment with new makeup is right after you've acquired a nice new wardrobe for yourself. Of course, if you don't usually wear makeup, you certainly don't have to start right now, but there are few better ways to cheaply and dramatically change your physical look to make your clothes and hair really “pop.”
    • Use good quality makeup, if you can afford it. Over time, most makeup is pretty cheap, but some of it costs a pretty penny up front. As long as you're able, invest in some of the nicer stuff, especially foundation, powder, and concealer. Those three elements give you perfect control over your complexion, making them the most important.
    • Experiment with feature-defining makeup. Lipstick, lip liner, eyeliner, and eyeshadow are the primary tools in your artist's kit for making your makeup a personal expression of style. Break open your supplies and try out new colors and combinations to come up with some great bold looks that will turn heads in the best sense of the phrase.
      • As with your clothes, it helps to have a friend over and try new makeup combinations together. You'll get great feedback and have more fun than you would alone.
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    Put it all together. Finish your last sessions for tanning, tooth whitening, or anything else you scheduled. Clean and style your newly-cut hair, and put on your favorite new ensemble, starting with clean undergarments and building up through clothes, then shoes, then accessories. Apply whatever makeup style you want (don't forget to paint your nails a bit earlier, if you want to), and add any final touches like color contacts or nice perfume. Grab the right purse or bag, and step out with confidence to show off the new you!
    • If you can afford it, having a salon day the day before your debut will ensure you look and feel your absolute best.
    • Smile and be outgoing with everybody. Your confident glow will accentuate your new look, and people will be truly impressed with the change.
    • Don't stop taking good care of yourself just because the summer's over. By this point, good dietary and fitness practices should have become habits. Just stay in those habits and continue to look and feel your best.


  • Drink plenty of water. It's next to impossible to drink too much water, and its benefits for your skin and hair can't be overstated. Water also keeps you from getting dried out during exercise, especially in hot weather.
  • If you can't find time, money, or transportation to go to a fitness center or gym, don't worry. Just do situps, pushups, jumping jacks, and stretches at home, and supplement them with regular jogs or bike rides. You can also consider getting a fitness DVD and following along with the routine.
  • Different qualities of skin call for different types of makeup. People with dry skin should stay away from mineralized makeup, which can dry the skin out even more. If your skin is oily, on the other hand, go for oil-free foundation and powder to keep from exacerbating it.
  • Be sure to maintain a regular hygiene regimen. Most people already know to do this, but you should shower, wash your face, and apply deodorant at least once a day, wash your hair about every 2-3 days, and brush your teeth twice a day or more.
  • When in doubt, talk with a specialist. Dermatologists can help recommend makeup and lotion that will suit your skin; experienced clothing store clerks can often provide great fashion advice. Don't be afraid to ask questions.
  • If you want to, get a major haircut when it gets hot. It will feel as if a weight was taken off you and make you more prepared for a great summer holiday!

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Categories: Beauty and Grooming for Girls