Looking to create a new you for the new year? These tips can help you freshen your look without breaking your bank.
Simple steps for a low-cost makeover

As January rolls around each year, we reflect on the past and begin to look ahead with optimism toward fresh opportunities. Thinking about a new look for the New Year? Read ahead for some quick, easy makeovers that can help create a revitalized you.

New do We all do it eagerly. Study celeb hair trends for the season and wish we had their cut or even their color. But making a big change can be a scary thing. My advice is to try a little at a time; for instance, if you desire to be a blonde but brown is your current color, add some simple highlights around your face to brighten up your look without changing your overall color. Try a more drastic change that is flattering to most facial shapes by cutting some fringe, or bangs. Another simple tip is adding lowlights to give you a softer change without totally taking the brunette plunge. And remember, hair grows back and can be colored over. Don’t be afraid to try something new.

Fresh face A face full of makeup isn’t for everyone; in fact, most women I meet don’t wear much at all. But transforming your look quickly and cheaply can start with three simple things. Blush, mascara and a pop of color on your lips. A hint of mocha colored pink or bronze blush on your cheek can bring your face to life. As a focal point for other people, your eyes appear bigger, brighter and more put together with mascara. My grandmother always said you can’t start your day without lipstick. Try a more vibrant shade then your normal go-to color will tend toward a red or pink.

Back to basics Staples of your wardrobe should be items you wear at least once a week: the perfect-fitting black dress, the white shirt and some dark denim. Updating these items can give your wardrobe a whole new feel. When picking out dresses, try a wrap or a flattering fit and flare. Both of these silhouettes are perfect for any body type because they hide problem areas and accentuate the waist. Don’t spend a lot of money on white clothes since they don’t last as long as darker ones, but if you find the perfect fit, buy a few to last you all season.

A pair of denim jeans is a must in every woman’s wardrobe. Keep it simple and invest in a dark pair that will match with everything. If you are petite, go for a skinny leg; a little flare at the bottom is ideal if you are more pear-shaped. Taller girls should make sure the length is nearly hitting the floor.

New sidekick Looking for the perfect handbag is usually a tough decision. Try going for a medium-sized bag that can be used as a shoulder bag, a cross-body or carried at the elbow. A camel-colored leather handbag is a neutral shade that will pair well with a brown or black outfit and can be a timeless accessory that you use from season to season.

Take a risk Have a little fun and step out of your comfort zone. Prints, statement jewelry and a colored shoe are all you need. Add a few of your favorite prints through a blazer, skirt or silk top. Statement jewelry can be just enough to make a black dress look WOW or a white t-shirt look fabulous! Try a ruby-red, cobalt blue or even leopard colored shoe in a flat or a pump.

Melanie Pace, a wardrobe stylist, fashion consultant/correspondent and personal shopper with degrees in fashion merchandising and business from Florida State University. Melanie’s work includes serving as a wardrobe stylist for E! with Giuliana Rancic, Walt Disney World and Golf Digest, an on-air fashion expert for Fox 35 News and People StyleWatch, and Ferragamo Fashion show production and styling. She has also contributed to Yahoo shine, The Everygirl.com, Galtime.com, Ehow.com and Where Magazine.