Wardrobe Refresher: Closet Detox & Beauty Rx

This week brought upon a much needed task: closet cleanout. I tend to get inspired to do this around the changing seasons. When I open my closet doors to get dressed on a chilly November morning, the last thing I want to see is a slew of summery dresses and tanks that I can't wear again until Spring rolls around (it feels so far away!). It's time to redebut all those winter sweaters and boots that went into hiding back in April. It's fun to do the actual switch-out not just because it reminds you of all your favorite pieces for the approaching season, but because it forces you to detox your wardrobe. OK, this old frompy gray dress from 5 years back? Let's face it - haven't worn it in 2, and likely never will again. Ahhh how liberating it feels to get rid of two garbage bags full of things that were becoming fashion liabilities. Closet space is valubable, and should only be filled with clothes that do you favors. Trust me - that H&M cardigan you bought in college will never "suddenly inspire you" again. At $17, there's always a better one to replace it. And the most fun part - getting to make room for all the fabulous new clothes I buy when I go on my weekly shopping sprees! Alright, you got me. Sadly, there are no weekly shopping sprees. But I read a great interview with Nina Garcia, who advised the financially stunted fashionistas of today to "go shopping in your closet." What a concept! I loved her take on revamping your current pieces. "Do your hair and makeup, and spend an hour trying on your own clothes." She says that often what comes of it are new outfits composed of things you might never had thought to put together.  It seems so obvious once we hear it, but how many of us actually devote real time and energy to breathing life into our closets? We tend to ignore the fact that a fabulous top you bought to go with a certain skirt could actually be worn with jeans and a vest. The faux fur short sleeved jacket you bought for a glam rock New Years costume is now actually in style for real life. Lightweight dresses can even be tucked into structured skirts and worn as tops. If we can get past our "must have new stuff" syndrome, no one else will even notice that we're recycling. Truly, you're the only one who knows your wardrobe as well as you.

Get more tips from our favorite Marie Claire fashion director/Project Runway judge in her book The Style Strategy.

Aside from literature (bought with online discount and free overnight shipping, of course), there are other excuses to incorporate a wee bit of shopping. No matter how frugal you are, some things just have to be purchased from time to time - beauty products for example. Shampoos run out, lipglosses get used up, and our roots grow in. Here are a few of my favorite beauty finds at the moment...

Frederic Fekkai Salon Color: This at-home DIY hair color system spares no quality against the real thing. Aside from the star treatment you might receive (and pay for) at the salon, the results are truly identical. At $30, it's still slightly more than a drugstore brand, but well worth it for the quality - they even give you pre-color treatment, a bowl and brush, and a generous tube of conditioning treatment that will last for weeks after you color. I just used this for the first time last night in Medium Brown, and I'm now a devoted fan.

MAC's Fascinating Eye Kohl: You may have seen this pop up on The Life Styled multiple times before, but this little beauty tool is that good. When used in the water line or on the inner corners of your eyes, your face completely comes to life in a "something's different about you, but I can't tell what" kind of way. It also works as the perfect sticky base for eye shadow on the lid. I recommend making this a staple in your glittery holiday looks.

MAC's Asphalt Flower Fragrance: I'm not normally that inspired by fragrances, but this little limited edition roll-on scent blew me away. It's described as a deep, dark, erotic scent that's both feminine and fierce. At just $20, it has everything I look for in a fragrance - the perfect balance of musk and floral, and it's on-the-go friendly.