With the strike of midnight on the 31st December comes the inevitable clinking of champagne glasses, smooches with loved ones and party popper residue in your hair. Although the following morning may also include a hangover, there’s something about waking up on January 1st and feeling like it’s a fresh start – a chance to commence anew with a fresh perspective. I’m awful at making and keeping resolutions, believing it’s more of an opportunity to make subtle life changes that will really make a difference. If you know there’s something in it for you, then it’s so much easier to integrate that small change into your daily routine. As we approach the end of 2014, here are ten beauty resolutions that are both easy to keep and will ensure you look fab all year long.
I mentioned in a previous post how investing in silk pillowcases can prevent ‘sleep wrinkles’ whilst aiding the absorption of night creams, but did you know they could also help with frizzy hair and acne? The smoothness of a silk pillowcase helps to keep the surface of individual hairs smooth and frizz free, as opposed to the harsh cotton cases that cause friction. Furthermore, silk pillow cases (regularly changed) will help prevent the build-up of bacteria that can multiply with heat and cause breakouts on your skin. Who knew one small change could make such a massive difference?
2. Night Cream
Not just for the over 40’s, night creams are a great way of injecting goodness into your skin as you sleep to ensure you wake up the next morning feeling fabulous. I love a rich night cream, treatment or mask applied as I slip beneath the sheets – just give it ten minutes to soak into the surface to prevent it from transferring onto your pillow and snooze. If you scrimp on day creams and serums, a night treatment is a great way of ensuring your skin gets all it needs on a daily basis.
3. Facial Massage
A recent addiction of mine, facial massage can really aid the absorption of your creams, oils and serums while stimulating areas of the face to ensure radiance. A few minutes a day (either in the morning or evening) dedicated to a mini routine will make a big difference to your skin’s texture and plumpness; I personally like to spend two evenings a week really deep cleansing and massaging my favourite cream into problem areas – including my forehead and around the eyes. Pretty much after the first session you can start to see a difference, especially if you’re starting to spot those fine lines that come with a certain age!
4. Clean The Brushes
Dedicating a small amount of time every week or two to thoroughly clean your brushes can make the world of difference – both to your makeup application and the performance of each brush. I use solid shampoos to ensure the process is quick, easy and as mess-free as possible, but liquid shampoos and specific brush cleaners do the job just as well. Bacteria and dirt builds up on brushes in only a matter of days, meaning you could be transferring grime onto your face every time you apply your products. Make a resolution to thoroughly clean your brushes as often as possible and you’ll see the difference in both your skin and makeup result.
5. Bath Time
Oh how I love a good bath session. Slipping into steaming hot water that’s delicately fragranced with a beautiful bath oil is the ultimate way to unwind. Having a weekly bath session is great for both body and mind, forcing you to take some time out and relax – as well as providing the perfect pampering session. Use your bath evening to exfoliate your limbs, apply a face mask, add a hair treatment and breathe in the stress-relieving notes of your favourite bath oil. Making time for yourself is just as important as making time for others.
6. Mask It Up
Face masks don’t have to be drying, nor do they have to take thirty minutes to get to work. With so many paper masks now available, they can offer benefits when you’re in a rush and don’t have time to endure a full-on pamper. Using a face mask in the morning while eating your breakfast, or with a glass of wine before a big night out, can help to plump and perfect skin in only a few minutes. One of my personal current favourites is this Origins Refreshing Face Mask, which gets to work to perk up my complexion in only five minutes.
Especially in the colder months, when skin is dryer and suffering from exposure to the elements, exfoliating your limbs can make a huge difference to the appearance and texture of skin. Once or twice a week a heavy duty exfoliant can help remove dead and dull cells from the surface of legs and arms, revealing the healthier and glowing skin beneath. If you’re a fake tan lover, or simply like to add a touch of colour in winter, then exfoliating effectively can also help your tan to look flawless and last even longer. Bonus.
8. Be Creamed
I’m horrendous at remembering to apply body lotion, but it makes such a difference to my arms and legs during the colder months. Swapping my morning battle with lotion and tights for an overnight treat helps my skin to flourish, while ensuring I’m not sticking to anything within reaching distance. I lather myself in lotion before slipping into my PJs, giving the body cream a chance to get to work as I sleep – it’s a great way of treating your skin whilst not sacrificing on time.
9. Invest In Tools
One of the biggest things for me in 2014 has been investing in the right tools. From amazing electric toothbrushes, to makeup brushes that help create the perfect smokey eye, there’s a tool for every beauty need; although we have a tendency to only buy what’s essential, identifying key areas of concern and investing in the appropriate tools can make a massive difference. You don’t have to spend a fortune, but there are tools out there that have been invented to make your life easier – make the most of them.
10. Tied Up
Endless straightening, curling and styling of our hair can cause so many problems in the long term; from split ends, dryness, frizz and broken strands, spending hours with electrical tools every day does incredible damage to your hair. As much as possible, avoid over-styling and tie your hair up instead; pinning your ‘natural’ hair will not only save the condition from deteriorating, but also reclaim precious moments in the morning. Since I’ve had hair extensions I’ve become an expert at making one wash last four days, thanks to tying hair up and re-styling using an endless amount of bobby pins. After a few months the difference is really quite amazing – even my hairdresser has commented.
Do you have any beauty resolutions for the forthcoming year? Will you be trying any of my top ten tips to ensure you look and feel fab throughout 2015?