Sunday 5 January 2014

The Weekend Feature #1: New Year Beauty Resolutions

As is the case for many people, a new year means a fresh start for me and it's a time when my inspiration levels are high and I feel energised to embrace new ideas. For a while now I've been thinking of introducing a weekend feature here on Skin Deep- a potentially longer post than my usual ones and with more of a magazine column style format, looking at a variety of products along a selected theme which may be something timely or a generic topic. With fresh starts in mind, it seems fitting that the first instalment of The Weekend Feature is themed New Year Beauty Resolutions.

It's still not too late to turn over a new leaf and commit to a Beauty Resolution but if you're unsure of where to start, here are some ideas.

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
Stuck in a hair or makeup rut? Whilst a signature look may be a comfort blanket, or even help to shape or express your identity, there's a risk that your style may become outdated (which is aging) if you don't try out something different once in a while. I'm not necessarily suggesting a drastic hair cut but perhaps consider a temporary colour change, experimenting with different up-dos for work or even something as simple as altering your parting. Alternatively, makeup is one of the easiest ways to switch up your look and after all, it's not a tattoo and is easily removable if you don't like the effect. Always wear neutrals? Brave colour by adding a slick of red lipstick, or take baby steps and inject a subtle hint of colour by switching black mascara or liner for a bolder hue.

Brush up on Hygiene
If you're on Twitter or Instagram, it's inevitable that you'll be reminded to clean your makeup brushes on a Sunday as countless beauty bloggers will be bemoaning this weekly chore. It's hardly the most glamorous of tasks but regularly cleaning your makeup brushes is essential to maintain hygiene. Makeup brush sprays are useful for spot cleaning brushes but for a really effective clean, you'll need to wash them. Personally, I aim to wash my foundation brushes once a week using affordable and readily available Baby Shampoo.

Simply pour a small amount of shampoo into the palm of your hand and swirl your brush into it before rinsing thoroughly until the water runs clear. To avoid damaging the brush, be sure to keep the ferrule (the metal part that attaches the hairs to the handle) dry as any water that gets inside can break down the glue and cause hairs to shed. Pat away any excess water, reshape the brush whilst wet and leave to dry naturally on a flat surface.

To make the job less of a chore, why not wear an indulgent face mask whilst completing the task or treat yourself to a home manicure when you're done?

Ditch the Cleansing Wipes
Regular readers will know of my dislike for cleansing wipes, although I do acknowledge their usefulness in those times when you're too tired or worse for wear to perform a full cleanse. In those instances they're undeniably handy for removing surface makeup & dirt and are better than nothing but for everyday cleansing, they simply don't provide the sufficiently effective and thorough cleanse that skin needs. I'm not alone in this opinion- ask any skincare expert for their thoughts on facial cleansing wipes and inevitably, you won't receive a positive response.

What's more, it's argued that the format encourages over-zealous rubbing of the skin and in particular, the delicate eye area. Even those wipes which profess to be gentle can prove irritating to sensitive skin. Pre-moistened cleansing cloths sitting on a shop shelf warmed by harsh instore lighting would be a breeding ground for bacteria if it weren't for the addition of strong chemicals. Furthermore, the majority of brands feature alcohol in the ingredients list which strips the skin, causing dryness. Those which are concerned with green issues may also be disturbed to note that most cleansing wipes aren't biodegradable and simply add to landfill.

Can't forgo the convenience? Swap cleansing wipes for a cleansing water (a.k.a. micellar solution) instead. These effective makeup removers have the look and feel of water but contain tiny oil droplets to dissolve makeup and leave skin conditioned. Simply apply to a cotton pad and swipe over skin before bed.

Treat Your Tresses
Heat styling and even uv rays can wreak havoc on hair yet whilst many of us care for our skin, our manes can be neglected. If you're yet to discover the benefits of hair oils, invest now. Put aside any preconceptions that they will weigh down your hair or make it appear greasy... far from it. Hair oils have been one of the biggest beauty trends of recent years, with most brands (from salon to affordable options) offering one in their product line. Their popularity is unsurprising given that they help to add shine, tame frizz & flyaways whilst locking in moisture and helping to repair and protect hair. They can even speed up the time it takes to blow dry hair.

And don't forget to indulge in a hair mask on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, depending on your hair's needs. To intensify the treatment, wrap hair in a hot towel after applying and allow the mask to penetrate (blast the towel wrap with a hairdryer if you feel that it's cooling down).

Make Time for Me Time
There are countless benefits to making time for "me time", not least de-stressing yet many fail to set aside the time to indulge. Why not diarise a regular Sunday pamper session including a long soak in the bath and a home facial?

Now, aren't those the sort of New Year Resolutions that are realistic and achievable to stick to?!


1 comment

  1. Great article! Look forward to reading more :) I definitely agree with the no wipes rules- I was quite impressed that I even mustered enough energy to cleanse my face with Aurelia's Miracle Cleanser at 5:30am on New Year's Day! (I knew my skin would thank me later and it did!) The extra minutes spent cleansing will do so much good as opposed to using wipes!


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