Basic black dress: One personality at a time

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'Tis the season for glittery golds and shimmery silver shades of nail color, eye shadow, lipstick and all sorts of attractive accessories. Plus save money and turn last year's black party dress into this year's updated fashion find. You just have to know how to match your metallics to your material. I challenged myself to see how many new styles I could create with two basic black dresses that I already owned and a handful of essential accessories. Then I added a couple of festive cosmetic items for the finishing touches.

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Read on to see if there is something here that you can work with. This is one exercise that you can try yourself at home! You can be your own fashion expert without spending a lot of cash. With our tight economy, it is thrilling to see how much you can save by shopping your own closet. Make your home and your jewelry box your mall and treat yourself to a few inexpensive cosmetics to top it all off. I gave this theory a try and decided that honoring the different personalities of my favorite black dresses got me off to a great start. Read on to see what I mean.

Your black dress and her multiple personalities Do you need that basic piece of clothing to be Corporate Cindy by day but Flirty Flo by night? How about a Conservative Connie for a family New Year's dinner followed by a Western Wendy dress for the evening bash that will take you into the New Year? So, let's dive in and take your basic one personality at a time starting with Corporate Cindy.

Black Dress #1 - Corporate Cindy

Corporate Cindy needs to look professional by day, but will be in a rush after work to make a quick change to Flirty Flo. To do this on a budget, take last year's basic black dress and blazer. I found this one at White House Black Market for just over $100, but you could make this jacket yourself. Take a blazer and . You can also change out bow colors by changing out the ribbon. Since the dress is low cut, add a black tank top underneath worn with a silver necklace. Now for the fun part, change Corporate Cindy into Flirty Flo for an after work holiday happy hour.

Forming Flirty Flo & Sophisticated Sophie Time to loosen up and change into Flirty Flo. . These pearls can be worn doubled up or one length or adjust the clasp to make the necklace shorter like a choker. For a unique look, like I've done in this photo. Add a shorter pearl necklace and Flirty Flo is complete.

To transform Flirty Flo into Sophiscated Sophie in 10 seconds or less, . The final look features the same basic black dress worn with the long pearls as a belt, the choker pearls and a final set of silver strands draped over the black wrap. Chances are you already have sets of pearls from last year, a wrap and a black dress. Now let's discuss some guidelines about finishing off this silver masterpiece with the right cosmetics for your specific look.

Channel 3's expert makeup artist, Karen Hall tells me that if you are better in warm colors such as orange, rust and browns, then gold jewelry and bronze metallic cosmetic shades will work best on you. For women who look better in cool colors such as pink, lavender and grays, then silver accessories will complement your skin tone. Karen also stresses that she prefers neutral eye shadows with just a touch of the holiday metallics for a festive enhancement.

As far as body glitter goes, Karen says to only use a tiny bit of the sparkly stuff on cheek bones, collar bones and the neck. Avoid applying glitter to the arms and chest because Karen says that can look overdone. I recommend first applying DDF's Glycolic Body Lotion followed with a little sprinkle of body glitter.

Black Dress #2: From Conservative Connie to Western Wendy

I had so much fun working with my first black dress that I decided to try this exercise with another black one that was a different style from my first one. This year I will need a conservative New Years Eve outfit for lunch with my husband's family. Then I will want to do a quick change that can be worn two-step dancing to ring in the New Year later that night.

Wearing the same dress for two occasions will save me time and money. So, I started with this basic black dress and . I was thrilled to find this versatile belt at Ann Taylor for $38.00.

Then after the family meal, I plan to switch out the sash for this big belt that I found lost in my closet. Finally, this old denim jacket . My black boots work with both outfits, so this a fun and quick change. One purchased sash paired with my old boots, old dress, Grandmother's keepsake beads and my long lost belt made a new outfit in minutes. You could do this, too.

Just clean out your closet and check with your friends on accessories that you can borrow and trade with each other. You will be amazed just how many personalities your favorite black dress can sport in one day when needed! Plus, I found some amazing and affordable festive finds in the accessory department.

My Top Picks for Hot Holiday Accessories My gal pal, Cat, told me about an unbelievable deal for you silver jewelry lovers. Check out for beautiful pendants, earrings, bracelets and more all costing only the 6.99 shipping fee. So, basically the jewelry is free. Just log on and shop. The site regularly updates the selection every few minutes. So, you see a piece you want, simply click and purchase.

I selected this gorgeous blue topaz ring, which normally sells for $70. I paid the $6.99 shipping fee and it arrived at my house within a week. The company is L.A. based and has done this for over five years. The Web site explains that this is their way of introducing new jewelry pieces by sending out samples of real silver accessories to customers who shop through this site. Thanks Cat for sharing this true gem of a find!

I also like getting my metallic holiday cosmetics at Bath & Body Works this time of year. I found a lot of items priced for five bucks or less with a good assortment of body glitter and makeup.

Silver and gold jewelry finds are a plenty at White House Black Market locations. For sparkly nail colors, the best buys are found at Ulta Beauty Stores. The Ulta brand of polish sells two bottles for ten bucks. This same store also sells DDF Glycolic Body Lotion, which is my top pick for a moisturizer that smoothes out skin bumps while adding a soft and silky glow to shoulders, arms and legs.

So, have fun with the holiday colors. Take out last year's basic black dress and let your silvers shimmer and your golds glitter right along with the holiday lights. Hard to believe it is that time of year again! Tis' the season to get out your holiday best while sticking to your beauty budget. And if you can make last year's dress work with a few old or new accessories. well I'll toast to that!