Martini, I didn't feel the "girlification" bug until I was about 35. It was sooooo hard, but I knew it was time...lol.
Things that "worked" for me:
- a short, simple necklace that I could put on and leave on (because it was wayyy to much to think about having multiple necklaces to match different outfits)
- simple pearl earrings
- doing "something" with the fingernails
- adding a few cute shoes and purses to the rotation
And, finally...the hair. I was a lifelong one-length, long hair girl. I went shorter and added layers.
I have NO clue. I'm getting old and wrinkly and a bit chubby and like my t shirts too much.
But, I do have a younger coworker that played basketball, rode horses and groomed and all that and she cleans up pretty good. Mostly she does it by changing her hair, adding light makeup - eyes and lips - and adding small earrings and perhaps a necklace. She keeps her hair shoulder length and puts it up in a french braid or a clasp for dirty stuff, and curls it lightly and leaves it down with lots of hairspray for that "natural" tousled look when she's gonig out. Trust me, it's not frozen stiff but it's close.
Clothing wise she wears blouses with a little neck appeal and slacks or a dress.
I had another co worker who would just put on nice earrings, a little makeup and a really nice dress and shoes, and a hat. She looked dirty like the rest of us at work but on Sundays - nice looking pastor's wife. Not quite Ascot, but nice.
You do have to go out and shop for this stuff. Try to drag along a friend with taste that you can live with.
The way you walk! Tomboys tend to stomp. Watch a couple episodes of America's Top Model, then modify the walk tips for every day use. Works like a charm to de-Tomboy the biggest Tomboy, no matter what the rest of the wardrobe, makeup, etc. But on those notes... fitted clothes, mascara ALWAYS, a little lipgloss, and hair that's cut well also go a long way.
1.) Recruit girliest friend.
2.) Have her take you to her hair salon, with her trusted stylest, and get a good cut for your face. Don't argue too much, BUT DO MAKE SURE to tell the stylest that you are only willing to put in so much energy to maintain it on a daily basis. There are plenty of cuts that will look good with just some blow drying, no extra styling needed, but you need to tell them you want one of those!!
3.) Have said girly friend take you clothes shopping. Give yourself a $100 budget or something, and have her pick out a few good pieces for you, and teach you how to put them together.
4.) Yes, learn how to walk! Uncross those arms!
5.) Most importantly: Take care of your skin, and hair! Slather on some lotion every morning/night, and use decent hair products. That way, at least you have a good base to work from, and aren't fighting frizzy hair/scaley skin anytime you want to clean up.
Lex, you are SO not qualified to hand out girlification tips...
OP, wear something that makes YOU feel good. I cannot handle short skirts or 'fashion', but slacks and a nice blouse and I feel confident and great about myself! Total transformation.
Spend some time at home playing around with makeup at home. Pinterest has some really good tips. Same with hair... which can be a little bit tricker! I still have not mastered the french braid. Buy a good hair straightener (straight is easier than curls at first, IMO)
If I get really stuck outfit wise, I got to Polyvore. I can put in my pieces, and mix and match until I find something that I like, or I can go 'shopping' and have a goal. I hate to shop, so the quicker the better!
As a life long tom boy one of the guys, everyday is black steel toe work boots club, the most important thing about expressing your girly side is have it be just a more girly side of yourself. When you decide on your look then rock it! Definately practice in heels as suggested above. Play with makeup to decide your look and colors. Apparently my transformation from everyday me to glamor girl is such that people think I have a sister.
Lex, you are SO not qualified to hand out girlification tips...
As a man who has dated women ranging from beauty queen cheerleaders to tomboy girl next door types, made over quite a few tomboys like yourself, and who has done loads of fashion photography and portraits with such women, I'm confident that I'm qualified to give advice.
Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!
You can start low maintenace and build up. I am a complete cosmetics junkie, so feel free to PM me if you ever have questions. Some of the drug store brands are fine, but I find the higher end stuff is actually easier to use and lasts longer. Also, going to a department store means you can actually test shades.
If you don't wear make up at all:
Start with a tinted moisturizer. It will even out your skin, moisturize, and most of them have an SPF these days. Add a bit of brown mascara - black will be too harsh - and a little tinted lip gloss.
If you decide to use a blusher, keep it simple and just add a touch to the apples of your cheeks. You don't need to get into contouring and all that.
If you step it up a grade, I'm a fan of the powder cream foundations or mineral foundations. They are easier to control than liquid. Test shades on your jawline - you want to match your neck AND face. A little eyeliner - pencil is easier to start with than liquid - a little neutral eyeshadow and your brown mascara.
If you decide to move up to full face or need an evening look, schedule an appointment with one of the department store brands. Most of them are very good, but browse around and look at the way the girls do their faces. Some brands may encourage more than you like. Chanel or MAC are great for evening/party looks. Clinique, Lancome and Estee Lauder seem to have a better feel for every day looks. Don't be afraid to NOT schedule an appointment. Go to each counter and ask questions.
Hair - schedule an appointment with someone who you get good references for. Do a consult first. Sit down with them, discuss your routine, what you want out of a cut, your hair type and look at the books. Pick out styles that appeal to you and discuss if they are realistic.
Eyebrow waxing - the hair stylist should be able to do that as well. Keep them in your natural arch. You only want to groom them, not change them.
Mani/pedi - I don't get them for a couple of reasons. Manis because I have horrible nails but I don't want to spend the $ for maintenance for fake nails. They are horrilbe for your nail bed anyway. Pedis because I'm a brittle diabetic and the risk of infection or getting cut is just too high for me. As a girly girl, this was a hard decision - I'd love to have pretty nails, but it's a sacrifice I had to make.
Clothing - you don't have to spend a fortune to dress well or suitably for your figure. Don't know what your figure is, but Empire dresses work well on almost any figure. Buy good natural fibers. A lovely classic cotton or silk blouse will serve you so much better than a nylon or rayon POS.
Most stores have websites. Flip through to determine what appeals to your eye to determine your style. Buy a few strong foundation pieces and build on them. American women tend to have way more clothes than they need and that never get worn. If you don't tend to fluctuate sizes, buy off season. That $300 wool blazer on the rack in September can be had for a song in April
Buy the best shoes you can afford. Better to have 3 or 4 pairs of really good shoes than 20 pairs of crap.
Don't try to be who you aren't. Lots of lace and ruffles doen't mean girly if that's not who you are. Katharine Hepburn was certainly feminine but not a ruffles type. But Doris Day was also feminine with an entirely different style. Have fun with it and don't put too much pressure on yourself. You don't have to do an overnight style change.
Mascara at least. IMO, one of the greatest things about being female is that I'm allowed to redraw my face if I don't like what was given. Make-up can be a shock at first, but you are missing a major opportunity if you don't wade in.
Great bras. Since you have boobs anyway, you might as well give them "structural integrity" and get a pretty bit of scaffolding to do that. The worst ever is pretending that you don't have boobs. No one but you buys that hype. The bra advice, then, is the same as the make-up advice.
Wear clothes that fit. I can look girly in jeans, a Carhartt jacket and shirt. But that's because those bad boys have a shape to them.