20 Ways To Take Beauty Risks With Your Hair & Makeup

Make yourself into the person you want to be.
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Make yourself into the person you want to be.

Diana Vreeland has always been one of my glamorous idols. Her wildly popular column for Harper’s Bazaar, “Why Don’t You?”, encouraged readers to think differently about themselves, their style, and the world around them.

Of course, because it was DV writing, these suggestions swung wildly between the cleverly achievable and the somewhat-bonkers. Therefore, “Why don’t you tie black tulle bows around your wrists?” was mixed in with, “Why don't you own, as does one extremely smart woman, 12 diamond roses of all sizes?”

I don’t think the majority of these suggestions were meant to be taken literally. To me, this column represents an idea: Why don’t you take a risk? Why don’t you let yourself be different? Why don’t you make yourself into the person you want to be?

diana vreeland

Diana certainly did. (Image via)

And what better time to make yourself into the person you want to be than January? A new year means new beginnings, after all, so I’ve put together my own list of fun ways that you can switch up, improve, and grow your beauty game in 2015. As inspired by Diana herself, this year ask yourself, Why not?

Why not boldly define your brows, wear a dark lipstick, and leave the rest of your face bare (or nearly bare)?

Why not spend an hour on Instagram looking at all the amazing nail art talent that’s out there? Have you even SEEN Clara Hwang's account? Girl is next level.

Why not dab concealer on your lips for a matte nude shade, then apply glitter lip gloss on top, the way we did in the late '90s?

concealer on lips

Flashback to 1999!

Why not try fake bangs out for a week?

Why not pretend it’s Opposite Day and wear your makeup the opposite way? Dark eyes if you usually go light, bright lips if you’re usually a nude person, et cetera. Try something dramatically different!

Why not take a sea creature for your new beauty inspiration? I want to see more nudibranch realness served this year!

nudibranch

INSPIRATIONAL. (Photo via)

Why not re-watch one of your favorite old movies and put together a look based on it? It can be as literal or tangential as you like! I'm dying to recreate some looks from The Women.

Why not glue crystals to natural-looking fake eyelashes, just for every day?

Why not mix and match colors that are “supposed to” clash? Yellow eye shadow and black lipstick, for example, looks gorgeous together.

black lipstick

Yellow: Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Canary. Black: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion. (If you use eyeliner on your lips, please DON'T use the same pencil on your eyes without cleaning it well. Bacteria can be jerks!)

Why not try summer makeup in winter? A glowing complexion and bronzed cheeks look beautiful all year round (and help you pretend you're eternally on a beach, for those of us suffering through the winter).

Why not block out a couple hours, play some amazing music, and give yourself the world’s best at-home facial? Wash your face, exfoliate gently but well, use a really luxurious face mask, then massage in some light moisturizer. Don’t rush!

Why not consider blue lipstick? With dark mascara and shimmery cheeks, it’s a bold (and beautiful) look!

best blue lipstick

This blue is Urban Decay Eye Shadow in Radium worn over lip balm. I'm still looking for a blue lipstick that I love.

Why not consider a new nail shape? There’s so much more out there than square.

Why not scent your stationery with some of your perfume? My grandmother always told me it's what a "lady" does.

Why not fall into a Josephine Baker Wikipedia hole? She was not just stylish as hell, but basically the best human of all time.

josephine baker

BE INSPIRED BY OUR QUEEN. (Image via)

Why not experiment with scarves and ribbon this year? Work them into updos, braid them through sections of your hair, tie them around ponytails. The sky’s the limit!

Why not buy that one totally impractical product you’ve always wanted? Whether it’s bright turquoise eyeliner, rainbow mascara, or a fancy lipstick, why keep telling yourself you’ll never use it? LEARN to use it!

Why not get the haircut you’ve been dreaming of, even if it would start a minor war with your best friend (Hi, Michael) and make your work life a little difficult? I’m not talking about myself here, EXCEPT I AM.

lee miller man ray 1930

Lee Miller, as photographed by Man Ray, 1930. (Image via)

Why not revisit Kevyn Aucoin’s amazing beauty books and recreate some of his best looks?

Why not put all your seldom-worn lipsticks in a bowl in your bathroom and wear a new one every single day until the bowl is empty?

  • Why not tell me your own ideas in the comments? I know you have some. Let’s make 2015 the very best year ever!