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Confidence Shift

The Blog by Michele Charles Gustafson

My Origin Story: Dressing Myself Well

aboutmichele confidence Nov 14, 2018

Every superhero has a turning point in their origin story - how they come to be and own their magic, that they use to help others. I have mine too.

This photo was my very first Instagram post. I then shared it on my Facebook profile with the caption, "Everything must change nothing stays the same." I love that song.

It was at this time I was in the "sad times." I call it. I appeared confident on the outside. The world saw me as owning life, but deep down I was crumbling. It was a critical time and this time - Feb 2011 - was the turning point.

It was shortly after this photo that I began to renew how I saw myself in the mirror. I was my first Hue and Style image consulting client, and by changing how I saw myself, I shifted how I saw my contribution, I made new choices that supported my life and the sadness lifted.

By November 2011, I posted a new status, "Feeling happy all the way inside." What most don't know about me is I am my own case study. By my learning to dress well, by...

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2 Unexpected (Yet Powerful) Uses Of Color In Your Life

color Nov 07, 2018

Right now, there is a huge chance that you don’t realize how powerful color is in your life.  I mean, you may generally agree with me that it boosts your mood or makes you face more vibrant but unless you’ve learned the deeper power of it, you just can’t know how powerful it is.

That also means you don’t know how to use it in your life to do two very amazing things:

  1. To shift your mindset every day toward personal power that creates the motivation to take on your life with confidence. It does that.
  2. To silently speak to your audience no matter who they are - your potential clients, your communities, your upper management, your husband and partner. Color influences others to act. Yes, it does that, too.

So while I love that you love color as I do, I want you to know there is more to it than meets the eye (pun intended).  There is more to learn and if you are on a mission to help, change, impact and transform others, it’s a tool in your image...

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#Glowvember Instagram Challenge


In my past lives, I sacrificed fun for work - it’s still a battle sometimes, if I'm honest with myself, as a self-proclaimed “Type-A in Recovery” so I thought it'd be fun to spark some fun with what I do and to invite you guys to come along with me in November with an Instagram #photochallenge!

The theme is #Glowvember and is a chance to discover (or rediscover) and share the keys to style, confidence, and joy because when they all come together, you GLOW!

I’ll be posting each day on my Feed and/or IG Stories.

JOIN ME! And better yet, tag a friend on this IG post and we’ll all have some fun together! Don't overthink it (I'm resetting that too this month).  It's easy. Just say 'yes'! Can’t wait to play!

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5 Simple & Powerful Ways to Maximize Your First Impression

 Learning to become confident in the image you portray to others is easier when you have a fantastic role model. My Dad, Dr. Gerald Sonson Charles Jr., was my example. He was a significant reason why I do what I do today.  He was the sharpest dresser and the first one to teach me the importance of a great first impression, how your image connects to a mindset that creates success and how your presentation teaches others how to treat you.
In honor of my Dad,  I'm sharing with you HIS "be sharp as a tack" image advice:
1. "It’s better to be an hour early than a minute late."  Arriving on time shows respect for others. They will instantly take you more seriously.  Arrive appropriately early, around the 10-minute mark. Earlier than that and you may be intruding on your hosts' time causing an impression that works against you.
2. "Don’t wear home clothes in town."  You are a walking billboard...
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2018 EmpowHer Mentorship Scholarship Recipient


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The Top 2 Elements of A First Impression

Ninety-three percent of your first impression is built on your appearance. That means people are judging you and you haven’t even said a word.  It’s not fair but it’s true.

These are the two elements people notice first in your appearance:
:: YOUR FACE - Your features, the center of your face, your eyes and the gesture of your mouth (your smile). Then the hair that frames your face.
:: YOUR FIT - How your clothing “hangs” on your body; if it’s well-groomed, is not-too-tight or too-baggy.  If it is in good repair which tells them about how much you care for yourself.
These two elements will communicate to a new customer, client or relationship if you would care about them; if they should trust you to do business or if they believe that you “know your stuff."
First impressions can make or cost you money as a business or as an entrepreneur or even an individual wanting to stand out and develop their...
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Makeup Hack: Save Your Face & Your Image

makeup tips Jul 26, 2018

You have to know from me by now that the #1 thing people notice about your image is YOUR FACE!

So...keeping it "well kept" by cleaning your makeup brushes (every 2 weeks if you can) is a must! Here's a fun hack for you. Use Dawn dish detergent for the "wash" cycle in your brush care.

It cuts the grease that is the oil from your skin and strips all that bacteria harboring 'goo' off your the bristles of your brush - especially if they are natural hair. Many of you may not know that I was a skin care professional and makeup artist for 15 years - I always used Dawn to clean my brushes and have had some for those same brushes for the same length of time. It's tried and tested.

Save your skin from bacteria, save your complexion from breakouts. EVERYBODY go wash your brushes this weekend and report down below how it went for ya inside the Art of Dressing In Confidence for Success community on Facebook! You can even post your own hack!


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The Gift of Resiliancy

aboutmichele confidence Jul 05, 2018

Some call it Grit.  I call it Resiliency. It’s the ability to bounce back and I think one of the most valuable qualities anyone can own.  It comes from experience.  You can’t fake it.

My resiliency comes from 3 experiences in my life:

  • Moving 2500km from home at 18 to go to university. I knew no one and had no idea how I was going to get my 2 suitcases and 1 cargo trunk to my dorm room when I arrived.  I figured it out.
  • My Dad’s passing when I was 24. He was teaching me about business and success. I wasn’t finished learning from him.  I found I had learned more than enough.
  • 100%-commission work. Selling a product, an opportunity and piece of mind taught me to see other’s needs and match my solution to them. I learned to not dwell on a “no” because a “yes” would be right behind it.

Each of these has taught me exactly what I need to know to be a leader to others at this moment in my life.  They...

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How To Avoid Wardrobe Mistakes & Wasted Money

fashion shopping style May 23, 2018

Listen, Gal. Not even I get it exactly right every time. But my wardrobe missteps are 1 in 20 garments I purchase. Not 20 out of 20.

Case in point: I bought this top. Loved the cut, the color was right, the flowers I thought were Dramatic enough for me, but when I got it, I took it on and off a few times - never actually wearing it out. (A tried and true symptom of a misaligned wardrobe purchase.)

I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t want to wear it and finally, it hit me today. It’s “too sweet” too much in the Romantic’s style story and not enough in own dominant or secondary style profiles.

Solution? I choose two items that ALWAYS get me where my outfits communicate who I am: First, my favorite pair of wayfarer sunnies, and second, a moto jacket.

BOOM! Now, it’s me. All me.

Here’s what you need to know, Gal, every item you choose, purchase and wear is speaking to you, for you and about you. You have the power to have every piece...

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[Featured Podcast] Women+Style Episode With Alexandra Sampson of SheTime

fashion featured in style Apr 26, 2018

Thank you The SheFirst Project for having me on the SheTime Podcast to talk about the truth of Women & Style.

I was delighted to be featured in this episode where host Alexandra Sampson sits down with me to discuss:

  • Image vs. Style
  • The correlation between life transitions, redefining yourself, and what you project.
  • The things women must first tackle to develop image strategy and confidently project themselves.
  • The power and psychology of color, and using color to express what you want to say.
  • My current self-care routines.

With my own brand "tell it like it is," I listen to the entire interview by clicking my quote below or HERE.

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