What are your 2012 beauty resolutions? I’m an overachiever, so I have 10.

Lea Michele Happy New Year

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.

flaky skin What are your 2012 beauty resolutions? Im an overachiever, so I have 10.

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.

Retin A What are your 2012 beauty resolutions? Im an overachiever, so I have 10.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!

Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil What are your 2012 beauty resolutions? Im an overachiever, so I have 10.

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.

woman plucking eyebrows What are your 2012 beauty resolutions? Im an overachiever, so I have 10.

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.

Amy Adams makeup What are your 2012 beauty resolutions? Im an overachiever, so I have 10.

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.

Aquolina Pink Sugar What are your 2012 beauty resolutions? Im an overachiever, so I have 10.

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.

perfect teeth What are your 2012 beauty resolutions? Im an overachiever, so I have 10.

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.

sleeping What are your 2012 beauty resolutions? Im an overachiever, so I have 10.

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.

liposonix treatment What are your 2012 beauty resolutions? Im an overachiever, so I have 10.

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.

Fat Flush Plan What are your 2012 beauty resolutions? Im an overachiever, so I have 10.

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?

15 Comments

Thomas
Tuesday, January 3/2012 at 3:01 pm

That fat flush thing is veeeeery interesting… Since I have a wedding and prom this year, I NEED TO ROCK THAT SUIT. I’ll definitely be checking this out. And thats so weird about the cranberry juice because its like the one thing always, ALWAYS have in the house! The gym is also one of my resolutions, I’m getting a exercise bike/elliptical cross trainer ASAP to finally get some proper exercise!! My hair-colour is also something that I’m committing to, or rather NOT committing to!! Basically, I vow to now colour my hair at ALL for the next year (the occasional summer highlights are not included in this plan) but we’ll have to see how that goes. I’m done soooo much shiz to my hair in the last 12 months, it borders on obsession. Actually, it passed obsession when I bleached it four times. Yeeeeah. Finally, the white teeth/sleep is my last resolution! Since I’m getting my top braces on March 22nd, I’m going to be working on their colouring the minute they are done, and I need sleep anyway because anything less than eight hours and its like dawn of the dead in the mornings. No joke.

Huge fan, hyper-hair-colour-aware Thomas xx

http://changingcoloursofahairdyeaddict.tumblr.com/

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Sophia
Tuesday, January 3/2012 at 6:09 pm

I’m surprised to read that your doc recommends whitening that often. Does that mean white strips each month? Or one of those two-hour kits once a month?

I should adopt #4… I usually end up looking worse after picking/tweezing than I would’ve had I just let it be. Otherwise, my beauty resolutions are better moisturizing of body/hair/lips, eating more fruits and veg, and to stop obsessing over my hair colour (at least to other people).

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Mandie
Tuesday, January 3/2012 at 6:14 pm

Oh man, number 4 is my downfall. I recently redecorated my room and got rid of the extra bright lamp that I used with my magnifying mirror to, as my boyfriend describes it, “find things to squeeze that aren’t there”. I figured a dim lamp would cure me, but no! I’ve recently been using my Kindle reading light, sliding it underneath the mirror and aiming it at my face, so I can inspect every pore. It’s sad. I need to stop.

Even worse is the eyebrow tweezing issue. I have naturally lovely arched brows. They need very little maintenance. I’m lucky. So the other morning, I woke up to find that one eyebrow was suddenly decidedly lower than the other one. Stroke in my sleep? I didn’t think so, but I had a party to go to and intervention was needed. Turns out, plucking was not the answer. Worst part? My brows have been growing like crazy lately, I’ve wondered what was up with the sudden growth spurt. Then I plucked away half my left brow and now? Hair growth has stopped completely. Great.

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Kat
Wednesday, January 4/2012 at 3:40 am

Ahh, the gym… lol It’s like a global resolution: less bad foods, more exercise. I just bought a bunch of greens and stuff to make salads more often, and I SWORE to myself that I would use that free gym I have at the University and I am gleefully paying for every session without ever setting foot in the damned place.. :P I’m not doing it to “look better” so much, but more to feel more confident and healthier. I also bought 4 books (had to somehow compensate for all the makeup and clothes I bought over Christmas!), reading more is another one of my “resolutions”. I do have a lot of reading to do for school, but I figured I still needed to read things I just.. felt like reading. Things I wanted to know about, so I bought 3 science/physics books and another book related to my field of study. Because feeling smart is another part of feeling good and confident for me. ^ ^;

I hope you have a great 2012, long live Beautyeditor.ca! (…till Dec. 21rst anyways!)

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Nomadic D
Wednesday, January 4/2012 at 10:19 am

I didn’t make any beauty resolutions, but yours are pretty good ones! I think I’ll sign on for the one about not picking at your face. That’s a really good one! As for your hair, if it’s any encouragement at all, as a bottle red myself, the more often you dye it, the more your hair holds onto the dye, and the longer it lasts. Also, Aveda makes these amazing leave-in conditioners that deposit color. The red one you can get off the shelf runs a little on the pink side, but if you can find and Aveda salon they will mix you up a custom batch. I’ve found that it will keep my red going as long as I want without going back to the salon. On a side note, I love that you’ve tried 4hr body! I tried it once and actually really enjoyed it, I might try it again this year.

http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/

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Barb
Wednesday, January 4/2012 at 8:57 pm

how often are you using the Crest white strips-once a month?

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ava
Thursday, January 5/2012 at 1:05 am

My biggest weaknes are clothes, a trait I inherited from my mom. It’s still not easy for me to pay for anything that I can do myself, e.g painting my nails, coloring my hair. I generally dont like going to hairdresser maybe because I havent found one I like yet. My resolution will be to get a haircut every 3 months, keep up with my hair color, splurge on myself from time to time, eg: get a massage, work out, walk or ride a bike at least twice a week. My biggest downfall is your #4, so I will try to keep my fingers of ny face. Ad last but not least -to invest in some good face product – miracle10 maybe:)
And I missed one more, need to test 2 hour crest whitening, as much as I dont like this type of products

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tanveer
Thursday, January 5/2012 at 5:54 am

I don’t believe in resolutions, but I had fun reading your’s ;)

I do think I could do with eating more healthy, going to the gym more often, I have trouble sticking with a skincare routine myself and buying less makeup for sure – I have a lot already & I think I need to learn how to use what I have in better ways – basically refine my techniques – as opposed to running out & buying every new launch in the hope that it will be the answer to makeup like the stars :D

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Susie
Thursday, January 5/2012 at 5:22 pm

Excellent resolutions, Michelle!

Mine include finding a derm in Toronto and finally getting some Retin-A to treat my wrinkles, acne and uneven skin tone. I’m done wasting money on the over-the-counter stuff. I think it all comes down to that Retin-A.

I also want to get a Clarisonic and some Viviscal.

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R
Friday, January 6/2012 at 12:02 am

My resolution is to take care of my skin ALOT this year, diet, products w.e it takes.
And I have also started using retin-A but 0.05%, its making my skin flake quite a bit. Any moisturizer recommendations?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, January 6/2012 at 12:47 am

Are you waiting 30 minutes after your wash your face to apply it? That will definitely help… also you could try just applying it every other night until your skin gets used to it.
If you want to do a moisturizer on top, you have to wait 45 mins after the Retin-A so it’s quite a procedure. I prefer a face oil right now at night instead of a moisturizer – eg. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery or one of the Decleor oils like Neroli or Rose.
If you do use a moisturizer just get something really basic with no actives… something with hyaluronic acid would be good.

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Simran S
Friday, January 6/2012 at 5:32 am

michelle , i am looking for a sunblock, pls recommend something. i am sure u have tried a number of them . currently i am using nivea ultra sheer dry, but something is off the mark for me.

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QuiteLight
Friday, January 6/2012 at 2:42 pm

Oh, I’ve never thought of BEAUTY resolutions!

This is the Year of Yoga for me (increasing my own practice, going back to my own teaching & looking for more teaching opportunities for myself). Everything else is going to have to sync up with that.

More sleep; definitely! Will make getting up for yoga at 5:00 am (you heard me, ugh) easier.

#4. No picking; recently slipped after a bad breakout, and did a bit of damage. & I was doing so well! Why is this so addictive?

I think I’m going to focus on my hair this year. I’ve got my skin headed in the right direction, but my fine, lank hair is driving me nuts. Tricky when I’m trying to do all-natural products too!

Thanks for all the style inspiration over the year!

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Xennia
Wednesday, January 11/2012 at 2:45 pm

For 6 months last year, I suffered from acne so severely that my parents cringed when I took off my makeup because it looked, and was, so sore.
As an adult acne sufferer I was devastated to be battling a teenager’s problem, especially when I was using very gentle and extremely good (Clarins) products (which were truly a god-send and are so wonderful)

Retin A saved my life.
In a few short months my acne was clearing up and my scars are now gone.
I can look people in the eye again, I have the confidence that I was lacking and I’m better at my job and friendships because of it.

NOT to mention that the littie crow’s feet are gone.

It’s a great product to pair up with a really good and not overly rich moisturizer.
Exfoliate only with your towel after you shower or you’ll be over-drying your skin.

Hope you love it as much as I do.

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sky@laestetica
Thursday, January 12/2012 at 4:55 am

i will eat only healthy food (crossing my fingers!)…

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