1. Have a Spring Clean
The first thing you should do is have a spring clean. We are all guilty of keeping old makeup products just because we love the colour, or its been discontinued, or it reminds of us a special occasion, regardless of whether or not it has gone off or that we have no intention of wearing it again! Go on, be ruthless… you can always treat yourself to some new products in 2011 and if you don’t wear it anymore surely you won’t miss it?
To help you out, here are the average shelf-lives of makeup products once opened: eyeshadows, eyeliners and powders last a few years; lipsticks and lip glosses last 1 – 2 years; concealers and nail polishes about a year; foundations only keep fresh for 6 – 12 months; and mascaras, well, they really should be replaced every 4 – 6 months – so if you have some brightly coloured or glittery mascaras from your youth, hiding in the bottom of your makeup drawer, it really is time to say goodbye and move on!
2. Cleanse, Tone and Moisturise
If you want your skin to be as healthy as possible you really should invest in a 3 step regime: cleanse, tone and moisturise. Although it can be expensive, your skin really will reap the short- and long-term benefits of the routine if you keep it up daily. Toners are usually the product missed out but they are an important product to keep your skin balanced; they also get rid of any remaining residue after you’ve cleansed and prepare your skin for your moisturiser. Depending on your skin type, whether dry, combination or oily, and your biggest concern, such as dehydration or wrinkles, there is a regime suited to target your needs specifically. Make sure you opt for a moisturiser with an SPF to protect your skin against harmful UV rays. You don’t have to choose the most pricey, prestige skincare brands but find a cheaper high street alternative such as Nivea or Garnier. Find out more about choosing a 3 Step Skincare Regime.
3. Remember to Exfoliate
Our skin is constantly renewing itself with new skin cells and sometimes the old ones need getting rid of. It is easy to forget to exfoliate and then realise you should have once you’ve applied your foundation and your skin looks flaky and uneven underneath. It is often the forehead and cheeks which are most prone to flakiness. While some people exfoliate just a few times a month others need to exfoliate (usually those with dry or combination skin) a few times a week. Exfoliate after cleansing and before moisturising – massage the exfoliator in circular motions on damp skin to get the best results. If you have sensitive skin go for a gentle exfoliator such as Clarins’ Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner, while if you require deeper exfoliation go for something stronger such as Origin’s Modern Friction.
4. Care for your eyes
Don’t forget about your eyes! The skin around our eyes is very delicate and often the first place to show the signs of ageing. The fragile skin around the eyes has different needs and concerns to the rest of the face and so requires a separate moisturiser. Beauty advisers in store will be only to happy to help you identify which eye cream is right for you or you may be able to tell which you need depending on your biggest concerns — read our article on choosing an eye cream for further advice. Also, don’t forget your eyelashes which can tired and dry from mascara and other eye makeup; an eyelash primer (which goes on before mascara) can protect and nourish your lashes whilst enhancing the effect of mascara. We particularly like Estee Lauder’s Lash Primer Plus.
5. Always Remove Your Makeup At Night
We’ve all got to the end of the day and simply been too shattered to bother removing our makeup and use our skincare, but this is not good for your skin and eyes. It’s not just that panda eyes aren’t a good look in the morning but that leaving your makeup on overnight can cause it to get absorbed into your eyes resulting in puffiness, redness and trapped dirt. If you don’t cleanse your face properly before going to bed you are more likely to have spots and breakouts as well as dull and dehydrated skin. If you are regularly forgetting or unable to remove your makeup and cleanse your face at night, you could buy some cleansing pads which are a quick and easy way to remove makeup and cleanse your skin. We particularly like No7’s Quick Thinking 4 in 1 Wipes because they not only cleanse but tone your skin, remove make-up including waterproof eye make-up and moisturise. Leaving your face feeling clean, comfortable and hydrated.
6. Clean your brushes
Makeup brushes are an effort to keep clean but it really is an effort worth going to. Not only will cleaning your brushes keep them in top top condition ensuring they last longer and preventing the bristles from falling out, but stop you irritating your skin with dirty brushes which can lead to spots and breakouts. Application is always better with clean brushes and you won’t have last night’s black eyeshadow turning today’s beige one grey! Invest in a brush cleanser such as Clinique’s Makeup Brush Cleanser it will make cleaning brushes easier and keep the squeaky clean. Although you should clean brushes after every use, finding the time to do it once a week will be better than not at all.
7. Be brave and follow the beauty trends
2011 is the year to experiment with colour. There are going to array of colourful makeup products out this year from pastel to brights starting this spring. Be brave and try that fiery orange or cool blue lipstick. Block colour and full-coverage makeup is also set to be big this year but you can ease yourself in gently by just wearing a bright eyeshadow with a nude lipstick or a bright lipstick with a natural eyeshadow. Solid liquid liner and full-volume lashes bring a touch of Hollywood glamour to any look and are hotter than ever for 2011. Turquoise, jade and purple are just some of the cool brights seen on the catwalks, M.A.C’s Peacocky Range (pictured right) is gorgeous.
8. Look after your nails
Although it is an effort to keep your nails looking perfect, we all know that chipped nails look bad and while touching-up is fine, it only works on the odd chip or two. For the busy twenty-first century woman, day-to-day business and household chores are bound to chip your nails. Find the time to file, buff and shape your nails regularly and properly re-apply fresh nail varnish at least twice a week. To make life easier, go for light and clear polishes which don’t look so noticeable when chipped or even opt for a French manicure.
9. Have a makeover
Tying in with point 7 (be brave and experiment with colour in 2011) you should find time to have a makeover. You could either book in with a local makeup artist or visit your favourite beauty counter and book an appointment with the resident makeup artist there. Not only will you learn lots of application tips but they will be able to give you some fresh ideas about what colours and textures suit you. Even if you are a makeup junkie, perhaps there are some colours you’d love to try out before buying or a technique you’ve just never been able to master such as smokey eyes or applying party makeup products.
10. Treat yourself monthly
You don’t have to visit a beauty salon to treat your skin. At home masks and peels can give your skin the fortnightly or monthly boost it needs. Whether you need a comforting hydration mask for dry skin, a stress relieving or deep cleansing detox mask, your skin really will benefit from the concentrated ingredients found in them. Depending on what your skin feels it needs from month to month, why not just buy individual sachets? Sanctuary do some great ones including their 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask Sachet — it’s also an excellent way to try before you buy! Read our DIY Facial and New Year Skin Detox Products to get some more treatment ideas.