New year, new you needn’t mean a shopping spree. You can rejuvenate your beauty routine with just a few small changes. To start, clean out your makeup bag, wash your brushes, and get to know what’s really inside your products. That and more, above.
If you don’t do anything else to shake up your beauty routine this year, at least start with a clean set of brushes. Wet them with warm water, use Dr. Bronner’s Organic Pure Soap ($7) to wash the bristles, and let them dry flat on a towel, overnight.
Yes, masks can be expensive, but they last forever and offer dramatic results. You’ll be glad you have one stocked in your medicine cabinet when you need a last-minute boost. Our favorites? Tata Harper’s Resurfacing Mask ($55), Renee Rouleau’s Triple Berry Smoothing Peel ($85), and Clinique’s Turnaround Instant Facial ($37).
If color cosmetics intimidate you, try investing in cream formulas. The sheer formulas let your skin show through for the most natural look and they’re easy to both blend and build with just your little finger. Try Revlon’s Illuminance Crème Shadows ($6) on your eyelids and Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge ($26) on your cheeks.
There are a lot of scary ingredients listed on the labels of your hair, skin, and makeup products. We’re not saying you have to avoid all of them (we certainly don’t), but it helps to know the key buzzwords—and why they’re buzzy. Then you can decide for yourself.
Parabens, by the way, are preservatives found in everything from toothpaste to shampoo that may or may not (but probably the former) be linked to breast cancer thanks to their ability to mimic estrogen. And sulfates, the thing that makes soap and shampoo lather, actually strip your skin and hair of both its protective barriers and moisture.
Pictured: Beautycounter’s Never List, click here to learn more.
When was the last time you really cleaned out your makeup bag and medicine cabinet? Get rid of any mascaras purchased more than six months ago, the red lipstick that’s not quite the right shade, and the broken eyeshadow palette—trust us. You don’t have to buy new products, but it’s easier to enjoy the ones you really love when they’re all you see.
You never know what you’re going to get when you check into your hotel. These days your shower’s as likely to be stocked with Aesop as it is with something that will leave your locks dry as straw. To avoid the latter, invest in the travel-size versions of your favorite shampoo, conditioner, and cleanser (or travel-size bottles in which to house them) and being away from home will be significantly more comfortable. Try Flight 001’s 4 Pack Bottle Set ($12).
If you’ve admired second-day texture from afar, but can’t quite bring yourself to skip shampoo and conditioner, start experimenting with products. We’d recommend jumping on the mousse bandwagon, for starters. Our favorite formulas are Shu Uemura Kaze Wave ($38) and Dove Whipped Cream Mousse ($5). Click here to learn how to use them.