10 easy beauty resolutions you can actually keep
On my listicle
It's nearing the end of 2016 and if you think your beauty stash is looking kind of overgrown, well you haven't seen what a beauty editor's bedroom (and bathroom) looks likes. Whether you're a beauty minimalist or a beauty junkie, here are ten, easy rules to making your makeup and skincare situation work better for you in 2017.
1. If you're not going to regularly clean your makeup brushes, at least buy a new set
Let's face it, there's probably mould growing on your makeup brushes (and probably your makeup) as you speak. And you wonder why you get breakouts and strange itching in your eyes. Now is the best time to snag value-for-money and limited edition makeup brush sets during the post-Christmas sales. Whether you're after individual brushes — try local makeup brand 13Rushes — or you want to check out Buro's curated selection of holiday brush sets, start the new year with some new (faux) fur
2. Don't do a makeup swap with your friends
Why? It's unhygenic and downright silly. Would you want to fill your makeup case with all the testers from Sephora? Thought not. Unless a product has never been used — yes, swiping it on your hands to see the shade counts as it being used — don't pass it around as you may be inadvertantly passing on bacterial infections.
3. Buy a perfume based on the scent, not the packaging or the name
A fragrance is probably the most intimate item a woman can buy or wear, next to her underwear. If a scent is not you, it's hard to use it and love it, no matter how lovely the flaçon that it comes in is or how thoughtful the giver. Spend the time to seek out something that really suits you and try it out on your skin for a day before committing to it. How do you know you've found the right scent? You become almost addicted to spraying it on. Don't know where to start? Multi-brand beauty store Escentials does blind fragrance testing as does Dior fragrance counters.
4. Exercise won't work unless you find it fun
As with any successful venture or relationship, you have to find that sweet spot. If you're social, sign up for a class where you can mingle and interact or organise group sports like tennis with your friends. Need to clear head space? Try brisk walking or even cycling in a scenic park or route. Love computer games? Get onto Pokemon if you haven't already. The only way to make exercise stick is to make it an integral part of your routine. Once you think of it as a chore, you're bound to find an excuse to skip it.
5. Splurge on a good foundation that fits you
This is the white T-shirt and jeans of your wardrobe — something that will see a lot of wear throughout the year. If you can find a good foundation from a drugstore or pharmacy brand... great. But for women of a darker or a more unusual skin tone, this is often not a possibility. Brands to try for a wider range of shades? Urban Decay, Nars, M.A.C and Make Up For Ever.
6. Don't buy ten pieces of the same makeup product
This is for the shopaholics and beauty junkies who feel like they must collect or try everything in every colour and iteration. Resist the urge to splurge, reign in your inner hoarder and streamline. You have just one face, one set of eyes and one pair of lips to adorn with facepaint, unless that is, you're actually a professional makeup artist. If you collect makeup as a hobby, remember that this humidity is a killer, and store your products in a cool, dry place. If you don't have the space for more stuff, either think about getting more storage or stop buying makeup till you do.
7. Resist the urge to try every trend you see on Instagram
The reality is, many of the makeup 'trends' you see on Instagram and social media look great in pictures, but not in real life. Get your beauty inspo from everywhere — be it magazines, old films, the streets, runways or YouTube — but always adapt a trend to your own features and climate. Beauty has always been about expressing individuality, not the nadir of conformity.
8. Do one of those skin scans that show emerging pigmentation to scare yourself into wearing sunscreen more diligently
Worst case scenario? Skin cancer. Best case scenario... well let's just hope those cute freckles don't merge into large liver spots in your old age.
9. Remember that your hair won't look this good forever. Treat your mane with care and respect
Instead of focussing on instant gratification hair treatments like colouring it every shade of the Pantone chart and perming, Keratin-straightening it and flat-ironing to keep it well-behaved, treat your hair like you would a Tinder date with prospects. Invest in preventive hair loss products, hair spas and scalp-specific shampoos. Monitor and treat any issues early and try to give your hair a break from too many chemical makeovers. When you hit your mid-thirties — and even earlier for some — or if you go through hormonal changes such as post-pregnancy hair loss, you'll treasure every last, healthy strand that you have.
10. If it smells bad, throw it away
This applies to everything from moisturisers to lipsticks to yesterday's takeout. A bad smell means its waaaay beyond its use by date. While it may be too much to ask you to Marie Kondo your cosmetics, or streamline your daily skincare routine to just three products, think about a see-smell-throw approach. If you find a goopy eyeliner or half-used eyeshadow in an old handbag, or corner of your room, do this quick test. If it's gone off, dispose of the offending item, don't pass it on to someone, and next time, try not to shop so much.