Lifestyle

Your DIY life

Cosmo’s practical guide to those fiddly (but necessary) life tasks. From cutting your own fringe to being your own stylist, pocket these simple how-tos for DIY pride.

OK, it’s pretty clear that doing stuff for yourself is having a major moment. Whether it’s making your own flower crown, à la singer Lana Del Rey, or nailing a leopard-print mani, being on a budget has never looked so good. But if you’re one to freak out at the very notion of DIY, you’re not alone.

First, there’s all that pressure! While your version of doing it yourself might be successfully keeping a basil plant alive, someone else’s might be building an entire veggie patch… out of salvaged timber.

Of course, in a perfect world every single one of us would be DIY queens, but between uni, work and catching up on episodes of Game of Thrones, making the time to actually plan a home project, let alone finish one, can be really tough.

So what’s the fuss about, you ask? Well, that’s the thing: DIY-ing doesn’t have to be fussy at all. The reason we’re so intimidated by it is that somewhere along the way, it became this big, fancy Etsy-esque movement, when it’s simply about taking responsibility, having some practical strategies, and basically being a grown-up.

Sure, some things do require paid, professional help (sorry, we draw the line at clearing the gutters), but mostly we’re all far more capable than we give ourselves credit for. So instead of Googling “How to cut my fringe,” get schooled in some of these extremely useful DIYs.

How to be your own stylist

By General Pants Co. design director Pip Edwards.

Prepare Before bed I always lay out a few options, so that when I wake up I go straight to what I’m feeling that day. Another solution is to wear a version of what worked before. I always start with shoes: changing your shoes can make the outfit.

The Letter B We all need a great go-to pair of black skinny jeans and washed-back indigo, ripped boyfriend jeans. These are musts – just like a white oversized tee and a grey marle sweat. The other piece I’d suggest investing in is a bomber jacket.

Comfort The key to making your style your own is comfort. I’m a bit tomboyish so I’ll wear denim most days. It’s versatile. By changing your shoes and adding a neckpiece or some hoop earrings, you can transform denim basics to work for any occasion.

How to get the mindset of a personal trainer

By author and celeb personal trainer Tiffiny Hall.

There’s no such thing as motivation: The big M doesn’t exist. There only exists habit. To create a habit, commit to 30 days. Mark your calendar on days you train and log your commitment.

The exercise goodie bag: Think about all of the benefits of exercise: better skin, better sex, more energy, more tone, less fat.

Jeans test: Ditch the scales. Weight can be arbitrary, especially as women gain lean muscle mass. If your jeans still fit, happy days.

Spoil yourself silly: After every two weeks of solid training, schedule in a non-food reward. Take yourself shopping or get a facial.

Quick workouts: If I don’t feel like training I promise myself a 15-minute workout. After that, if I still hate it, I’ll do a recovery session. But nine times out of 10 the endorphins kick in and I have a great session. Your body wants to exercise even if you don’t.

How to trim your own fringe

By Sydney celebrity-snipper Brad Ngata, owner and creative director of Brad Ngata Hair Direction salons.

With a client base that includes Jessica Hart and Miranda Kerr, he can grant
you permission to use scissors at home.

You’ll need dry hair, so blowdry hair smooth. Sharp scissors are essential, not nail scissors. Even the chemist has good hairdressing scissors, best you invest.

It’s all about how your hair sits in the comb. Allow the hair to fall naturally, don’t hold it with pressure as it will pop up short. Chip your hair with the point of the scissors while it’s in the comb. Cut from the middle of your nose to the left of your eyebrow, then towards your right eyebrow. Use this as your guide and go section by section.

Always cut longer than your desired result, so you can keep going back to get the correct length. Personally I like a slight curve from the tail end of your brow.

Avoid cutting wet hair as it will spring up and be shorter than you want it.

Celebs that DIY

Jessica Alba created paper lanterns adorned with butterflies for her baby shower.

Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mitchell blogs her DIY projects, such as a glitter-glue sweatshirt.

Lauren Conrad gets her skin spring-ready with an at-home lemon scrub.

Ricki-Lee does her own hair and makeup for shoots and events.

Rachel Rutt cycles to modelling jobs.