What to Start and Stop Doing in Your Beauty Routine
New year, new you right? Psh, whatevs. You're already fabulous! However, I know we can all improve our beauty routine. I have 10 things I want you to start doing, and 10 beauty habits I'd love for you to kick to the curb.
1. Thickly lining your bottom lash line. Placing too much emphasis on your lower lash line drags your eye down, making your eyes look smaller and making you look older. Outlining your entire eye in black liner should be reserved for smoky eye looks at night.
2. Wearing your blush too low. Wearing blush below your nose visually drags your cheeks down, making you look older and your cheeks saggier. Imagine a line below the end of your nose that connects to the end of your ears and try to keep blush above it.
3. Overlining your lips to make them appear larger. This never looks natural. If you want the appearance of fuller lips, use light-reflecting glosses, nude shades, and Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker XL Extreme Plump Collagen Lip Shine if you like lip plumpers.
4. Using old school wedge sponges to apply your foundation. These soak up your foundation and hold bacteria. If you must sponge, a beautyblender is the way to go. I show you how to use one here.
5. Lining only the outside of your lips with lip liner and doing so after lipstick. A fresher look: Outline your lip shape and fill the lips in entirely before applying lipstick. This way, when your lipstick wears away, you still have color underneath and not a ring around the mouth. Filling in also gives the lipstick something to which it can anchor.
6. Using bronzer all over the face to appear more tan. Malibu Barbie, there's a better way! If you must use a bronzer, use a fluffy brush to lightly dust on the high points of your face. Otherwise, I use a matte bronzer to add shadow to contour areas only-under the cheekbones, at temples and hairline.
7. Smoking. This does nothing for you in the beauty department. Many employers help cover the cost of smoking cessation programs. Find support and kick this habit. Your face will thank you.
8. Tanning. You can still be a bronzed beauty without the harsh effects of natural sunlight. Here are some of my favorite sunless products to get you there.
9. Using one eye shadow brush for everything. No single brush can do it all. If you find your shadow never looks as blended and professional as you'd like, I bet you are relying on one brush to do it all. At the very least, you need a fluffy crease brush and a flat shader brush. More on brush styles can be found here.
10. Using a nude lip color. There are nude lip colors and then there are what I call "mouth-erasers." Your skin tone plays a big role here but nearly every one would benefit from a little pink or peach in their nude lip color. Colors like MAC's Creme de Nude are extremely difficult to wear. One of my favorites is NARS Lip Lacquer in Chelsea Girls.
1. Experimenting with trends and color. Makeup isn't a tattoo! If you don't like it, wash it off and try another day! My favorite time to experiment with a new look isn't right before a big event. Would you believe it's right before bed? You've got to wash your face anyway so why not experiment.
2. Defining your brows. It will make a noticeable difference and make you look younger in the process. You can define with powder, pencil, brow gels, or a combination of products. My favorite products are from Anastasia Beverly Hills.
3. Using a retinol or retinoid product. I am in love with Philosophy Help Me Retinol Night Treatment, and I've sung its praises here if you'd like to know why I'm so obsessed.
4. Using an eye cream. The delicate skin around our eyes needs special attention. If you already have existing wrinkles, try Philosophy Miracle Worker Eye Reform or for more preventative care, Shiseido Ibuki Eye Correcting Cream.
5. Incorporating SPF into your moisturizer or primer. Skip a step and sneak your SPF into a step you're already doing. My favorite SPF moisturizer is Peter Thomas Roth Max All Day Moisture Defense with SPF 30 or Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer with SPF 20.
6. Using waterproof mascara on your bottom lashes. My favorite is Maybelline Lash Discovery, because the tiny brush is perfect for the lower lashes. Accentuating lower lashes only makes your look more complete. Waterproof formulas will ensure you don't get raccoon eyes.
7. Washing your makeup brushes. Regularly. If you need details on how, I have more detail here.
8. Enjoying your morning beauty routine! I like to put on my coziest robe and slippers, sip my coffee, play music and sometimes catch up on Good Morning America while I do my makeup. It's my favorite part of the day.
9. Exfoliating. Either via a Clarisonic brush or a gentle at-home peel. One of my favorite peels to do at home is Algenist Triple-Action Micropolish and Peel. I talk more about it here.
10. Start asking what you want to know. Always wanted to learn how to do a smoky eye? Ask a makeup artist to show you. Wondering how a friend always looks so put together? Ask her what product she's using. Curious about a new skincare innovation but afraid to try it on your skin? Ask for a sample at Sephora. You won't know until you try!