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Finding a New Comfort Zone: 5 Small Steps to a More Radiant You (and Me)

SAFE is a four-letter word. Sometimes it's really good, like when you're wearing your seat belt or not sharing your lipstick. But sometimes, SAFE is a bad four-letter word, one that means stuck, or dull. In that case, it's time to take a little step outside your comfort zone and conquer. Here, five small beauty and style steps to try.
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Safe is a four-letter word. Sometimes it's a really good one, when it means spending time with people you adore, wearing your seatbelt, and not sharing your lipstick.

And sometimes safe is a bad four-letter word, one that means stuck, and dull.

In the latter case, trying something different -- like a new career step, a killer new workout, or maybe a helicopter tour (despite my your motion-sickness tendencies) in the South of France -- is so much better than safe. Nothing beats the kind of glow that comes from stepping outside your comfort zone and conquering, even in small ways. For instance:

1.Go bright on your lips. I'm not giving up on you. It's okay if you're still shy -- the bright lip is still a challenge for lots of women. But I can't stress enough the power you'll feel in conquering a little beauty fear. This I know from experience; I had to crowbar myself out of a serious sheer watermelon-gloss habit to get to bright lipstick, and now that I'm here, I can't go back. Small thing, big impact. OmigodyourlipcolourisAMAZINGonyou! can make your morning, maybe even your day. And, as Donna points out here, when you're comfortable with bright lipstick, it becomes another feel-better move in your pick-me-up arsenal, and you can never have too many of those. So go on, test drive Covergirl Blast Flipstick in Cheeky or Perky, or CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick in Spellbound or Flame. You. Can Do. It.

2. Embrace graphic liner -- even if you're wearing jeans and a tee. A friend told me recently that she wants to try winged liner, but because she's usually casually dressed, she feels it would look as though she were trying too hard. But guess what? Winged liner goes with super-casual wear as well as your sexy summer dress -- and you can make the flick as subtle or bold as you choose. Best to start with a sharpened pencil liner, or an easy-to-control liquid liner with a felt-tip applicator, such as Covergirl Line Blast 24HR Felt Tip Eyeliner. And if suddenly you feel outrageously sexy in your t-shirt and jeans, welcome to your new awesome comfort zone.

3. Try a new outfit. Now I don't mean a new grey sweater that looks like the 17 other grey sweaters in my your closet. I mean, try that wrap dress that shows off your curves. Or that cute flirty top with skinny-fit jeans. Or just quit covering up; it's summer, so leave the danged blazer at home. And confession: wrap dresses, flirty tops and leaving the danged blazer at home are outside my comfort zone (body issues -- gah). But I hope that by the time this post goes live, I'll have successfully powered through to a zone full of swingy summer dresses -- worn without leggings. UPDATE: Wheee! Success with dresses! Without leggings! And sometimes, sans the danged blazer!

4.Carry a small purse. Yep, this one's a personal quest, too. If you know me, or caught this earlier post, you know the large and insanely heavy bag I cart around with me even on weekends. Yep, even on weekends. If you do the same, let's make this a mission: leave all that stuff at home. Instead skip out with a tiny bag containing keys, lip balm, sunscreen, Tampax® Radiant™, phone and cash. And maybe tissues. (Shades don't count; you can wear those on your head.) Imagine the freedom. For real. UPDATE: okay, I've managed a small-ish bag! Four times!

5. Do something goofy.Go-karting has always struck me as something I'd like to do. Or maybe I mean bumper cars. Either way, it's something bad drivers can enjoy without fear -- we they can revel in scary-driving skills for a change, and have a good giggle, too. Whatever your idea of goofy, the idea is to do something that requires letting loose and being silly without a whit of embarrassment. Anything accompanied by shrieking laughter is guaranteed to expand a comfort zone, and bring out the most radiant you.

What's going to be your next small step outside of safe?

This is a sponsored post. Photo, Sarah Daniel.

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*Contest ends July 17, 2012.  Approximate retail value of prize is $300 CAD.  Offer open to Canadian residents of the legal age of majority.  Winners will be notified by email during the week of July 18, 2012.  ChickAdvisor is the contest sponsor and has sole authority to award prizes or disqualify users for any reason.  Click through for full contest rules.