For many the New Year means adopting a new attitude towards what you eat, and how much you work out – but how about your beauty regime? It’s time to clear out those products you’re not using, clean your make-up brushes, and get stuck into some beauty resolutions.
1. I will cleanse, tone and moisturise
Taking care of your skin will make you look healthier and feel better about yourself. Fact. Making sure that you take a little time out of every day to properly cleanse your face, tone up the pores and then add moisture back will make a world of difference. You don’t have to go the full hog with serums – though we love them: check out Angela Langford’s Perfect Pores natural serum, (£26.50, angelalangford.com) full of gentle and natural goodies, or Rajeunir’s for an all-in-one approach to lock-in moisture (£42, rajeunir.co.uk) – a basic balm or oil cleanser such as Murad’s Renewing Oil Cleanser, (£29, Murad.co.uk), or the gorgeous Merumaya Cleansing Melting Balm, (£14.50, Merumaya.com) a simple toner like Janjira’s Pomegranite & Acai Micellar Water (£28, janjira.co.uk) which removes makeup, and unclogs pores, or a moisturiser such as Pure and Light’s Organic Essential Face Cream (£39, pureandlightorganic.eu) will do so much for improving your visage. Treat yourself to a new face muslin while you’re at it, BareMinerls have a new range out called Mineralixirs, including the Facial Cleansing Cloth (From £38, John Lewis).
2. I will wash my brushes and throw away my out of date make-up
Gross, but so many people just leave years of powder or foundation lingering on brushes, spongers and other applicators without bothering to wash them clean. You don’t need to spend a fortune on dedicated brush soap: baby shampoo will do just as good a job for a fraction of the price. If you’ve not overhauled your beauty products for six months, your make up is probably past its best. Cosmetics which have gone past their “use-by” date are more than just a bit crumbly or odd-smelling: they can harbour harmful bacteria. Expired mascaras can cause eye infections, ancient cream blushers can irritate or result in rashes. Do yourself a favour: review your cosmetics and face creams with the following mantras. “Do I use this? Does it suit me? Is it still in date?” And if the answers to any is “no”, then you have our blessing to discard – which means shopping. Hooray!
3. I will sort out my skin worries
Most people will suffer with some kind of skin complaint at some time, whether it’s blemishes, dryness, or excess oil – and you may not be using the correct products to best help your issues. There is a huge range of products out there to treat minor complaints, and Cloud 9 Skin Solutions have a fab range including Clarity Skin Clearing Spot Gel (£32, cloud9skin.com). We also love the Proactiv range for keeping skin on your face and body squeaky clean, try the introductory kit for just £19.99 (proactiv.co.uk) including skin exfoliator, pore targeting treatment, complexion perfecting hydrator and other goodies. But if you’ve been battling a problem for more than a few weeks, it’s time to consult an expert. Make an appointment with a dermatologist, or your GP to seek advice.
4. I will learn how to properly apply make-up
We learnt a ton last year about how to (and not to) apply make-up. Gone are the days of using your fingers to swipe foundation and hope for the best. Get an airbrushed look with the right tools. A decent foundation brush is the ideal way to apply and work in product without leaving steaks and marks. Use a little product and work into the skin – you don’t need to apply it everywhere, with a true match colour you only need to apply to areas needing coverage. The latest must-have for 2015 has to be the Beauty Blender (£16, beautyblender.co.uk.) An egg-shaped sponge, this clever little tool is designed for perfect make-up application, leaving no traces or mess. And for a super-modern approach, SkinPep offer a Professional Make-up Applicator which gently vibrates for a flawless finish. (£29.99, skinpep.com.)
5. I will experiment with my look
It’s easy to get stuck in beauty ruts, relying on the same techniques or products year in, year out. Chances are that make up technology has moved on since you decided on your chosen few. Why not head to Boots, John Lewis or Debenhams and let the make-up counter assistants work their magic with a free makeover? Boots in Cambridge now also offers a Benefit Brow Bar, where the San Franciscan make-up marvels promise to rescue and tend even the most neglected of brows. Sticking with the arch, we also love L’oreal’s new Paris Perfection Brow Artist Plumper (£5.99, Boots) for grooming our brows. So once you’ve chucked out your old cosmetics, head into town and see what new treats the big brands have for you. And as for the quickest way to change your make-up look? Go for a bold statement lipstick – we love Lord & Berry’s Crayon Lipsticks in Orange and Plum (£10, ASOS.com) or Artistry’s huge range of Signature colours (£19.20, amway.co.uk).
6. I will look after my hair
If there was ever a good time to be good to your hair, it’s during winter. The combination of cold weather and central heating, mixed with hot styling, and products can leave hair weak, brittle and flyaway. A hair masque is the ideal was to replenish poorly locks, and we love Electric Hair Intensive Masque for hydrating your follicles and nourishing through to the ends. (£23, electric-hair.com) or Original&Mineral Seven Day Miracle Moisture Masque, (£9 selfridges.com), an intense moisture masque for colour damaged hair. If you’re one to suffer split ends, a decent hair oil can be worn through the ends during the day without making your hair look unwashed, use a product like Auymi Organic Coconut Enriched Hair Oil which is wonderfully rich and moisturising and full of Omega 6, Sesame oil and Coconut oil. (£7.99, ayumi.co.uk).