Every year we pledge to try new things. A new haircut. A new trend. But year after year a few items on our to-do lists get left unchecked. Here’s a round-up of risks you might not have mustered up the courage to give a go, but definitely plan on trying the next time around.

1. Gone to greater lengths. You were no stranger to the maxi dress. It was long, flowy, and comfortable. Then came Fall and you came to a full stop when the maxi skirt replaced the summer staple on retail racks.

Next time remember . . . A lengthy skirt isn’t much different from the dress version. Pair it with utilitarian boots and a slouchy cardi during colder months. If you have shorter legs, opt for a boot with a heel.

2. Done the big chop. Sure, women with close crops like Amber Rose, Chrisette Michele, and Solange have made it more common to see a bald beauty grace our TV set or glossy magazine. But that doesn’t mean the thought of a bare head doesn’t still scare you shitless.

Next time remember . . . There’ll never be a “right” time to snip off your strands. It’s a major change, so feeling nervous is completely natural (no pun intended). Regularly seek inspiration and encouragement from haircare blogs like Curly Nikki and Black Girl With Long Hair.

3. Dyed your hair. Mahogany? Copper? Ginger? Chestnut? Cinnamon? Caramel? You couldn’t tell whether you were in a beauty supply store or an aisle in the grocery. Then there was that horror story about your best friend’s highlights turning orange.

Next time remember . . . When it comes to color or any chemical processing, skip the at-home treatments and go to a professional. And we don’t mean the neighborhood salon you never stepped foot in. Do your research first.

4. Played with prints. The rules sounded simple enough: Keep your prints in the same color family. But for some reason, no matter what tones your clashing prints, they . . . well . . . clashed.

Next time remember . . . The only difference between you and the woman you spotted on the train who pulled off this trend effortlessly was confidence. Pair that with your ensemble and you’ll look just as fierce!

5. Worn color eye shadow. Those M.A.C and Sephora palettes sat in your makeup bag collecting dust. Bold color was scary. What if it didn’t compliment your complexion or you applied it wrong?

Next time remember . . . Ask the person at the makeup counter what would flatter your skin tone and features. Next, ask them to show you how to apply the different shades. They’re there to help.

6. Rocked a red, pink or coral pout. You were absolutely convinced that brown girls do bold lips better. But this brown girl? Mmm, maybe on everyone else . . . but you? Nah.

Next time remember . . . If you don’t like it, you can just take it off. At most makeup counters you can return it if you change your mind, even if it’s used. We recommend wearing a shade out on a few occasions before you completely rule it out. It’s usually just a matter of adjusting to a new look.

7. Sported a faux fur vest. There’s a fine like between gaudy and luxe. And it was a fine line that you didn’t want to cross.

Next time remember . . . A fur vest paired with a basic black tee, some skinnies, and boots is a far cry from flashy. Keep the rest of your outfit simple and a fur vest can look trés chic.

8. Left the house barefaced. The only time you skipped the powder was when you were heading to bed, and sometimes when you were too tired, even that failed.

Next time remember . . . Not only will you give your face a much-needed break from piled-on products (which can lead to clearer skin), but you’ll also feel liberated. Running a quick errand to the Laundromat or grocery store? Pass on the foundation and blush. Just keep your eyebrows groomed and add some gloss or lip color.

9. Mismatched your mani. It looked silly at first. The random striped fingernail next to an even more seemingly random print . . . polka dots. But somehow they seemed to work.

Next time remember . . . Have fun with your nail designs. The key to keeping them tasteful is the nail length and shade of color.

10. Pair denim with denim. You saw denim-on-denim done wrong . . so wrong. You never wanted to be that girl, so you stuck to your denim separates and kept them separately.

Next time remember . . . Matchy-matchy doesn’t have to end fatally. Just anchor the pieces with a neutral accessory, like a brown leather belt or black pumps.

What risks did you wish you had taken this year? And will you take them in 2011?!


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