There’s no doubt that January can be a bit rubbish. Empty diaries and even emptier bank accounts can leave you feeling like there’s nothing to look forward to, while a period of over-indulgence can play as much havoc with your skin as it can your waistline. Although it’s easy to sit on the sofa and make your way through your entire Netflix watch list, this relatively boring period provides an opportunity to take stock and implement changes that will deliver benefits all year long – especially when it comes to your beauty regime. Simple tasks can make all the difference, boosting your mood as well as your overall look; if you’re wondering what you can do to set you up positively for the twelve months ahead, here are eight easy beauty tasks to take you into the new year with ease. You’re welcome.
CLEAN YOUR BRUSHES
Something that often gets so overlooked but can make the biggest difference, cleaning your brushes is a laborious task – but it’s got to be done. Even though we should all be cleaning our brushes regularly, it’s easy for months on end to slip by and for our tools to be saturated with makeup, dirt and bacteria; this just gets transfered onto your face with every application, causing breakouts and irritation while preventing your products from performing at their best. Giving your entire collection a deep clean will not only remind you of all the great things you have, but ensure your base applies flawlessly and your colours really pop. All you have to do is swirl each brush into some brush (or baby) shampoo in the palm of your hand with a little warm water until it runs clear; leave them to dry for 24hrs on some paper towel and your collection will be top notch again in no time! (Read my full post on why and how you should clean your brushes here.)
GIVE YOUR HAIR A REST
We spend so much time drying, straightening, tonging and curling that our hair can become all kinds of stressed out. This only gets worse during the colder months too, when it’s battling the cold weather outside and toasty heat inside alongside frizz-inducing rain showers. Not only is it a great idea to treat it to a weekly hydrating and smoothing mask to inject back what it’s lost, but the first few months of the year provide a great opportunity to reign in the heated appliances and embrace a little more of the dry shampoo. Try extending the life of each wash by a day or two by embracing tied back looks, removing the need for over-styling every day; I promise it’ll make a difference.
UPDATE YOUR SKINCARE REGIME
Our skin needs are every changing, so what may have worked for you this time last year may no longer be sufficient; you may be suffering more breakouts, dryness or oiliness, your skin may have started to show signs of ageing or just be duller than it was before. Similarly, you may have been able to tackle previous issues so those potent ingredients are no longer necessary on a daily basis – so jot down three things you love about your skin and three things you’d like to improve, looking at your current skincare to see if you need to add or remove anything within it. You may benefit from some Vitamin C or Retinol (more info on that here!) or a simple exfoliator to help buff away dullness; it may be that you need to avoid triggering ingredients altogether or start investing in some weekly massage, but take some time to think about what will work for you – and the products that will help support that.
PICK OUT A NEW SCENT
I’m a firm believer that a fragrance provides an opportunity to make memories; our sense of smell is incredibly powerful and linked intrinsically with how we process the world, so wearing a new scent for a new year will always help you remember those moments and achievements when you smell it again. I love spritzing on a perfume that instantly takes me to a specific time in my life, so why not pick out a new scent to help make 2019 memories that you can cherish in the years to come? This time of year there are tonnes of half price gift sets lingering from Christmas too, so you can bag yourself a bargain at the same time.
THROW AWAY OLD MAKEUP
On the packaging of every makeup product is a little jar symbol accompanied by a number; this is known as the Period After Opening (or PAO) number and is essentially the expiry date of what’s inside. They range from 3 months for things like mascara, up to 12 months to something like a foundation – so you may be surprised how often you should be tossing things away! Go through your entire collection and throw out anything that’s been definitely been opened for a year or more (pencils excluded) or anything that you’ve simply not liked or used; there’s no point in storing expired, potentially harmful and unloved pieces.
TAKE SOME SUPPLEMENTS
Supplements can be life changing, and they’re something I *try* to take every single day in order to boost my immunity and body’s ability to operate as it should. There are now so many amazing supplements also designed to help boost the performance and appearance of skin, so making them part of your daily routine could provide benefits in the months to come. (Check out my feature on Imedeen Derma One which I’m still taking here!) If want to keep it simple a fish oil can help lubricate eyes and keep skin healthy, while iron can give you the boost of energy you need to get through January; if it doubt, have a chat to your local health food shop for some recommendations.
GET YOURSELF A PEDICURE
Hands up if you just shove your feet in socks and boots from October until March and then wonder why they’re such a state as soon as its sandal season? Feet are often the most neglected body part over the winter months, and it’s no surprise really; but looking after them now will not only make you feel great for a good old fashioned pamper, but ensure there not so much of an eyesore when you want to get them out again. I take myself off for a pedicure every six weeks or so, just to keep my dry skin at bay and my feet looking fabulous even if it’s only me seeing them: it allows me to take time out of my busy week for a little self-indulgence, and nothing makes me smile like freshly painted toes.
TREAT YOURSELF TO SOMETHING JOYFUL
Most of us are somewhat skint after the over indulgent festive period (and the super tempting sales) so the long slog to the next payday can be painful. Although you may not be able to justify a whole new outfit or booking a holiday just yet, often a new nail polish or novelty lip balm is all you need to bring a little bit of joy to your daily life; don’t punish yourself during this already punishing time of year, instead giving yourself little beauty treats you know will keep you smiling all the way until spring.
Let’s make this the best year yet!
What changes and easy beauty tasks will you be making to set yourself up for the next twelve months?