We’ve all found ourselves in a beauty rut, reaching for the same products and using them in the same ways with very little active thought being used in the process; human beings are creatures of habit, but often those habits can start to have a detrimental effect if they’re not caught in their tracks. As we age, the seasons transition or our lifestyles change, our bodies require different kinds of attention and action: none of us would dream of wearing the same outfit from 18 through to 60, or having the same hair style for three decades, and your beauty regime is no different. Changing it up can make all the difference, giving our bodies a little boost and helping us to look and feel our best. If you’re feeling in a bit of a rut, here are ten easy little beauty changes to make to your regime that will make all the difference.
1. Tap & Massage Products Into Skin
Dragging your eye cream over such a delicate area or rubbing your favourite moisturiser into your skin will do little for your complexion; sure, the products will do their job, but a small tweak will turn the application process into a skin workout that will do wonders for your overall radiance. Eye cream should be applied in delicate tapping motions from the inner to outer corners, which in turn helps to stimulate blood flow and aid absorption; face serums and creams should ideally be massaged in using upward motions that help to lift and tone the skin, giving your complexion a little workout that’s far more beneficial than any skincare product. (For some technique tips, read my blog post here!) This tiny tweak requires little more effort, but will leave a big impact in the immediate and long term too. Winning.
2. Use An Overnight Hair Treatment
Your slumber time is precious, but it can be used to treat so many more areas than you think. I’m a big fan of overnight hair treatments as I can leave them on for eight hours while I’m asleep, waking up with hair that’s had time to absorb goodness without any downtime – because how many of us actually remember to put on a hair treatment before jumping in the shower? Using heated styling tools, colouring and bleaching, or just being exposed to pollution and sun, can play havoc with the condition of your hair; so if you suffer with dry, brittle or tired locks it may be worth investing in a lightweight treatment you can apply a few times a week before bed. (If you’re after some recommendations, here are three I love!)
3. Pop Cuticle Oil On Daily
I’ll never forget the time I got chatting to a manicurist with the most incredible nails, and she told me she actually set an alarm on her phone to remind her to apply cuticle oil three times a day… If it’s good enough for the experts, you know it makes a difference. Massaging in a touch of oil around the nail bed will help keep growth healthy, reduce dryness and keep nails looking fab; I always notice the difference when I’ve been using cuticle oil regularly, so it’s something I always have in my desk drawer.
4. Apply Foundation With A Sponge
Once you know the difference a sponge can make, you’ll never go back to brushes or fingers. For years I felt somewhat intimidated at the thought of applying my base with a Beauty Blender or sponge, taking the plunge almost accidentally and becoming addicted immediately. A sponge allows you to buff a product into the skin and a create a uniform, almost airbrushed, finish that’s incomparable to other application methods – and I find it far quicker too. My favourites are the Real Techniques angled sponges (I always have at least three on the go,) but I also love the Fenty and Nanshy ones.
5. Ditch The ‘Quick’ Cleanse
This means face wipes, micellar waters and foaming cleansers – in favour of oils, balms and gels. Face wipes only remove the surface grime, leaving a whole host of dirt and bacteria still on the skin; similarly micellar waters may attract surface makeup, but they don’t provide a thorough cleanse that your skin is craving. Although these have got a reputation for being quick and easy ways to remove makeup and dirt at the end of the day, they’re actually far less effective and less speedy than massaging a great oil or balm cleanser into skin and washing everything away with a warm flannel. I spend only a couple of minutes taking off my makeup and cleansing my face, which is far less effort than battling with an ineffective face wipe and waking up with panda eyes; the majority of skin issues can be solved with a great cleanse, so invest in your routine! This is the pinnacle of little beauty changes for maximum impact. (If you want to find out more about face wipes, and why they’re not the solution you think, read my post here.)
6. Sleep On Your Back
Did you know that sleeping with your head in a pillow can cause fluid to pool underneath your eyes, exacerbating any dark circles and actually speeding up the ageing process? I’m not saying you should never sleep on your front, but it’s worth being aware of the potential impact it can have on your complexion and making a conscious effort to sleep more on your front or side – if that’s an area of concern. Something else that can really help is a silk pillowcase, which stops a lot of the friction that can irritate hair and skin and instead provides a smooth surface that helps to keep both are barnets and complexions looking fresh; I always have one under my main pillow, switching it around when I get into bed, and now I couldn’t do without.
7. Protect Your Body & Hair From The Sun
One of the biggest causes of ageing and damage is UV exposure, and this isn’t just limited to sunny days; UV rays are present on even cloudy days, while sitting at your laptop or typing on your phone also exposes you to potentially damaging light. Wearing SPF should be part of your daily regime, especially if you’re concerned with signs of ageing or using ingredients including Vitamin C and Retinol (which thin the skin.) Finding one that works for you and provides SPF50 should be a vital part of your skincare routine, even if you won’t be able to tell the difference for twenty years – I promise you it will keep skin looking fresher and more radiant! The same goes for your hair, especially during the summer months, which needs protection in the form of styling sprays or spritzes; if your ‘do is prone to breakage, dryness or brittleness then adding a hair SPF into your styling programme will make all the difference.
8. Get To Grips With AHAs
AHAs are water-soluble acids made from sugary fruits which help to gently peel away dead and dry cells the surface of your skin, so that new ones can generate in their place. Not only do AHAs help to smooth skin, but decrease inflammation and the appearance of pores, even out tone, have a positive impact on skin texture, unplug pores and prevent pimples from appearing as well; the result will be a far clearer and more radiant complexion, as well as your makeup sitting better and for longer without movement or caking. You can apply AHAs daily via an exfoliating toner (such as Pixi Glow Tonic) or via skin serums and treatments that often have a higher dose intended to be used only a few times a week. Basically, get yourself a dose of AHA and you won’t regret it!
9. Spritz Perfume In Unexpected Places
We all know the typical pulse points, but spritzing a little of your favourite scent in new areas can help it linger for longer and create a whole new fragrance experience. Why not try behind the ears, down your blouse, in your hair or even on the backs of your legs? Rather than applying to areas of the skin that are typically exposed, changing it up a little will help keep the scent in place for longer – while spritzing over clothes will help to leave a subtle waft wherever you walk. Another one of those little beauty changes that you’ll love for years to come. (Read my post on new ways to integrate fragrance into your beauty regime here.)
10. Apply Your Body Lotion At Night
Standing with your limbs spread apart like you’re a robot isn’t fun for anyone, while waiting for your body lotion to dry when you’re in a rush is something many of us would prefer to avoid. Although there are nifty spritzes and lightweight lotions that help solve the problem, from my experience taking the time to apply a nourishing body lotion, cream or butter before bed is the answer we need. I applied body lotion at night for years before realising I was in the minority, but it allows the formula to get to work as I sleep so I can wake up with hydrated limbs and don’t have to worry about another step in my morning routine. I’m all about minimising the time it takes to get out the door!
What little beauty changes to your regime have made the biggest difference for you?
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