Happy new year! Welcome back! Can you believe we're entering our FOURTH year in the beauty blogging biz? (Therefore: If you ever get the niggling sense that your hostess ranks very, very high on the vanity index, this is why.)
Speaking of which, it's that time again. Time to take stock, have a frank look at what's working and what's not, and get our beauty priorities in order. Obviously everything goes to pot in December—sugar, alcohol and late nights totally sabotage your pretty—but if you're anything like me, you're ready to rededicate yourself to a good skincare routine, better hair and firmer thighs. For starters. Here are MY 10 priorities for 2012—have a read and then tell me yours!
1. I will remember that more (acid) is not necessarily better.
So you know how I have enough of a beauty product stash that I technically never have to visit a Shoppers Drug Mart or a Sephora? Well, that's why it's next to impossible to get a beauty editor to follow a routine. (Must.Test.Everything.) I've been trying to change my ways though—really, I have—with my dedication to the Miracle10 line these past few months. I can't remember if I mentioned this, but it was recommended to me that I switch from the "sensitive" line to the "normal" one, which meant that I'd be using glycolic acid instead of lactic. At the same time, I went for that dermaplaning thing (Blade. Face. Scary.) before getting a glycolic peel. I was already getting such great results from the lactic that I thought a stronger acid would be better...right?
WELL. Let's just say that my derm wasn't too pleased. Turns out, I was making my skin unnecessarily flaky (oops) and irritated (double oops), and I am NOT a candidate for peels of any kind. His advice? Keep it simple, stupid. One moisturizer, one sunscreen, one treatment product, done and done. Which leads me to...
2. I will give peace Retin-A a chance.
I've been bugging my derm about Retin-A for a while, and after I promised to quit the glycolics he finally caved and gave me a prescription for the 0.025% concentration, in a cream. I've only written maybe 100 articles on skincare over the years where dermatologists have called it the gold standard for anti-aging, acne and hyperpigmentation—so I think 2012 will be the year when I hop on board this train. I've dabbled with it a couple times in the past, once with a strength that was way too high and irritating, so I quit after a month, and then more recently in the form of Retisol 0.01%, which wasn't strong enough and is formulated with yucky chemical sunscreen. I'm hoping the 0.025% will be my sweet spot because I'm desperate to get rid of the freckles that are coming out all over my cheeks.
Don't hold me to this for all of 2012, but here's my latest routine. Morning: Clarisonic and sulfate-free cleanser; SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF serum; Miracle10 AHA cream (with lactic acid—which is gentler than glycolic and will help get rid of the flakes from the Retin-A); SkinCeuticals sunscreen. Evening: Clarisonic + cleanser; wait 30 minutes before applying Retin-A; wait another 30 minutes before applying a hyaluronic acid-based moisturizer or this Aïny face oil. Whew! Maybe not simple, but a little more gentle... I hope.
3. I will remember to oil my cuticles... and my feet!
I inherited bad nails. Weak, peeling, flaking, bendy, pathetically thin nails. However, until the past month or so I wasn't doing my part. Sure, I was Nailtique-ing, but I keep hearing that oiling up the cuticles helps them stay stronger too. So I've strategically placed not one but three cuticle oil prodz—on my desk, beside the bed and in my handbag. It helps. You know what oil is also awesome for? Dry, tough, calloused heels. Just nabbed this tip from Jessica at Jolie Beauty Bar and she says it works WAY better than creams.
4. I will refrain from picking, scratching, rubbing or tweezing things that are better left untouched.
I should probably give away the magnifying hand mirror while I'm at it, because that thing just encourages bad stuff to happen. The urge to inspect your skin or your eyebrows is compelling—Lord, is it compelling—but I'd say about 80 percent of the time you regret doing whatever it is you were inspired to do. Whether it was removing those two eyebrow hairs or popping that zit, which didn't really pop and is now going to leave you with a nice post-inflammatory pigmentation mark for the next four months, risky beauty moves like this usually don't go your way. (**And obviously when I say "you" I mean "me.")
5. I will commit to my colour.
Oh yes I will. For a long time I was all about finding some sort of colour solution that would allow me to go as long as possible between hair appointments, yet not have roots, but still have shiny gorgeous face-brightening hair. Finally I realized: this does not exist. Once I jumped off the ledge and started doing double process colour instead of just highlights, I was a lot happier—but now that I'm trying to channel Amy Adams, I need to be more diligent about toner. As in: I can't just rock up at the salon every six weeks for a root touch-up... I've got to visit every three weeks to get that fast-fading strawberry blonde tone put back in. It's high-maintenance, but when you find your Life Colour, that's just how it is.
6. I will stop forgetting to apply (and re-apply) perfume.
Criminal! I know. Fragrance is, like, the best thing ever—and I own far too much of it—but so many times I run out the door and completely forget to put it on. Or forget to re-apply it when I'm out. I just did an edit of my scent collection and put my current favourites front and centre: J.Lo Glow (embarrassing but I can't help loving it), my beloved Child, Anna Sui Secret Wish and Philosophy Amazing Grace. I also just made two new purchases. Aquolina's Pink Sugar, which I resisted for a long time due to the packaging (but finally gave in because it's a delectably yummy vanilla), and this cult one called It by Apothia, which I had to order from L.A. (It's like Child, but less floral and with a musky "skin" note.)
7. I will have whiter teeth.
Does everyone remember my amazing moment in cosmetic dentistry? Incredible, life-changing and one of the best beauty decisions I ever made. I just need to remind myself to protect my investment by keeping my pearly whites, well, pearly white. My doc, Dr. Ed Philips, says that you need to be doing a whitening treatment every single month to keep your teeth in tip top shape. (And since he recommends getting veneers in a shade that's slightly whiter than your natural teeth, I've got life-long maintenance to do.)
Also? I don't know about you, but a lot of red wine was consumed around these here parts in the past 30 days... so I've got to get back in the saddle. We tend to forget teeth being a part of beauty, but it makes SUCH a difference when they are gleaming and sparkly—I always get loads of compliments when I'm diligently whitening.
8. I will get my beauty sleep.
Did your mom ever tell you that the sleep you get before midnight counts for a lot more than the sleep you get after that? Mine did—and it turns out, she's right. I've had this fact confirmed by a couple of NDs in interviews I did lately, and so the lies I was telling myself (about how it didn't matter WHEN I got to bed, as long as I got eight hours) effectively crashed and burned. I'm not sure if a 10pm bedtime will ever be in the cards for me, but I'm now aiming for lights off at 11. Besides being essential for your overall health, it makes your skin look better too, since all of your cells repair and regenerate at night. (Oh, and my mom just declared to me this morning that when you sleep better, you have less wrinkles the next day. She's probably right—again.)
9. I will hit the gym instead of trying strange cosmetic procedures.
Oh how I wish weight loss and firming was as easy as booking in for a procedure. As some of you may recall, I've tried the Zerona (twice!) and more recently, LipoSonix... but I will sadly report that neither did squat for me. Instead, I should just be DOING squats. I know this. I'm also going to dust off my rebounder (fancy word for trampoline) because I keep hearing that it's the best thing evah for cellulite. Speaking of which...
10. I will follow the Fat Flush diet.
A search for cellulite cures is how I came to discover this diet book, which isn't new but sort of resonates with me. I've dabbled with the 4-Hour Body and Eat Fat, Lose Fat, but found both problematic and/or ineffective for various reasons. What I like about Fat Flush is that it's a detox and diet all in one—because apparently it's a toxic liver that impedes progress with most diet plans. I don't find this terribly restrictive since it's basically about cutting out carbs, sugars, caffeine, etc. (Sads!) But the cellulite part IS interesting. Besides rebounding, what also helps is eliminating dairy products, dry-brushing and drinking gallons of unsweetened cranberry juice. Who knew? I had a hunt through the Fat Flush message boards and there were enough testimonials to make me a believer.
Whew! Just 10 resolutions and I'm already exhausted. Wish me luck!
Do you make New Year's resolutions?
Got any beauty ones?
What say you about mine?