Style Evolution: Peek Into My Lookbook

Three years ago, I was at a loss for what to do with my old magazines. I could recycle them, but that would mean I would likely never see certain editorials again. So I came up with a solution: Create my very own style and beauty lookbook and with all the random images I love from magazines.

Since 2008, I can track how my style has evolved. In the beginning, I was attracted to light, pink and airy items as well as basic pieces mixed together. Not only was this what I was pulling from magazines, but it was also what I was wearing. At one point, I had sleeveless tanks in every color under the sun.

There are pages I return to time and time again, like the one above. I don’t know what it is about it, but the styles draw me in and speak to my sense of style. I even used the photo of Amanda Seyfried (far right, top corner) to show my hairdresser how I wanted my hair to look on my wedding day. It did look like that by the end of the night when all the curls fell down.

As fall approaches, I refer to my seasonal pages (like the one above) for new outerwear options and ways to keep fall and winter fashion fresh instead of dreary. A pop of bright colored makeup or shoes do the trick quite nicely.

As my interest in makeup has grown over the past two years, so has my collection of beauty photos. It got so out of control that I had to start a whole new lookbook just for beauty articles and photos. If you plan on doing this, I recommend saving whole pages as opposed to clipping out images. With clothing, it’s easier to see details if you crop the photos. However, with makeup, it’s easier to see the whole look without cropping.

Here’s the page dedicated to the Smokey Eye. Even if you don’t have a huge interest in makeup, these images are good to keep around for reference. When I was in college, I thought a smokey eye was achieve by applying one swipe of black shadow. Having photos like this show that, no, in fact, it takes much more than that! So these can actually help you avoid beauty blunders.

So tell me: Do you keep a lookbook? If you don’t, would you start? What do you do with your old magazines? Share your thoughts by commenting!

About Courtney Mirenzi

Courtney Mirenzi is the voice behind Those Graces. She has been named one of the 50 Most Fashionable People in Boston, one of The Boston Globe's Top Bloggers and favorite human of one of her cats. She loves red lipstick, hiking and traveling. (Find out more.)


  1. Love these peeks into your lookbooks!

  2. Funny, I used to do the same thing, tearing sheets out of magazines, putting them in notebooks and boards and it was what inspired me to start my blog! I still tear everything out of magazines but now I file it for blog inspiration.

  3. I love this! What a great idea! I used to be precious about my magazines, but our recent house-move made me realise it’d got out of hand. This would be a much more helpful approach…

    • I have to set rules. It used to be everything from the previous year (ie: 2010) had to go or be put in a lookbook. Now I’m going to have to limit it to the last 6 months because it’s getting out of hand.

  4. This is a great idea! I have a folder of tear sheets of all my interior inspirations and have thought about creating a book. You’ve inspired me to get moving on it. I usually use my old magazines to create collages. My friends and I get together and we collage, talk, and drink wine. We were inspired by It’s a nice spiritual practice.

    • Oh that’s so cool! I would love to have friends to collage with! I don’t think too much about the meaning of photos I’m collaging, but I’m sure it’s a therapeutic and inspirational process.

  5. I keep a look book since 1999 (by now I’ve filled 3 scrapbooks). That’s when I started to buy seriously fashion magazines and decided to keep photos that I like! Not only clothes, but furniture as well. Oh and make up. Nowadays I keep less and less photos though.
    Oh and I have Gwyneth’s pink dress on my look book too!

    • That’s awesome! Have you ever done a post on it?

      I think it’s a good way to hang on to the parts of magazines we like and ditch the rest.

      And, oh yes, that pink dress! I loved it!

  6. What a brilliant idea Courtney! I never know what to do with my old magazines (I save and house my Vogues but not the others) but now I’ve seen this I’m definitely going to go and buy a scrapbook and get creative! It’s good too because cutting and sticking is the kind of thing you can do whilst watching tv so it actually doesn’t take up too much time.

    • Thanks Alexandra! I think this is a good way to reuse old magazines. Some I’ll never cut up (Ready Made, etc) but others I go to town on. I have no reverence for magazines!

      I agree–the cutting and taping part is rather relaxing and easy to do while you’re doing something else like watching a movie. I recommend getting a sketchbook a bit larger than you think you’ll need because I bought one too small for my beauty lookbook and I do have to do a lot more cutting to get the pages to fit properly,

  7. Courtney! No lie, just this year I started saving pages from my magazines so I didn’t have to just recycle them all and lose the inspiration. I have a ton of pages stored in a silver shoe box waiting for some use, and this was the perfect motivation! I love what you did with yours. I’ll definitely be bookmarking to come back to it whenever I finally get a chance to start on mine!

  8. Love your lookbook! I do the same thing with my magazines :)

  9. That is a really neat idea! Though I don’t really have magazines like that, I do a lot of browsing online so keeping a online lookbook of what I like could work too!

    • You should start taking screencaps of pages you like. I’m thinking of doing that with page layouts I like so I can keep them for future inspiration for my blog layout.

  10. This is a great idea for using old mags. It’s something I can do with my girls, too. They love cutting and pasting. Vision boards are so wonderful for getting to know yourself and making things happen!

    • I actually started this habit when I was a young girl. Except it was on the back of my door in my bedroom. I still remember Gwyneth Paltrow and that pink dress she wore when she won her Oscar for Shakespeare in Love. That was definitely on my door!

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