How's your 2014 going so far? For some reason, I woke up on January 1st with this mad urge—like, more mad than usual—to test beauty products.
I guess that means I'm on a bit of a self-improvement kick, as is the usual fashion during the first week of January. In that spirit, I decided to make my annual New Year's resolutions list—which at this point, is exclusively about beauty. Quelle surprise! (I feel like all the "healthy" diet/exercise/detox stuff gets a bit boring and self-punishing, whereas beauty is just happy and fun.)
So in the spirit of looking AND feeling good, here are 10 things I hope to do more of in 2014. Then I wanna hear about your list!
1. Try more beauty products (and then tell you guys about them)
We all fall into our routines—even people like me who get new beauty deliveries in the mail on a daily basis. (Sad but true.) I do test a lot of stuff, but I want to do better and get through even more in 2014—and then report back to you guys on the hits and misses.
Just yesterday, for example, I ended up discovering a great mascara, nail polish, cleansing gadget and overnight mask. (Not so hot? This powder, because I don't like looking so matte.) Anyway, hopefully you're all on board with stepping up the review aspect of this site, along with our regular celebrity close-ups, skin and hair advice.
2. Wear more mascara
I've come to the conclusion that for most of my adult life, I was not wearing anywhere near enough mascara. Most people don't. In 2013, I improved my technique and learned how to really coat every single lash right from the roots, and then cleaned up the mess afterward with a Q-Tip dipped in Bioderma Sensibio. Sometimes, I fill in the gaps between each lash with this eyeliner.
After weighing up the amount of compliments I get when I do this (loads) versus when I don't (zero), I've decided I need to do up my lashes like this every single day. Just like I have a Life Cut and a Life Colour, I think playing up my lashes equates to my Life Makeup. It makes a huge difference to my face.
3. But wear less foundation
While I want to wear more makeup on my lashes, the opposite is true for my face. This is always my goal—to have skin so nice that it doesn't even require covering up with foundation, BB cream, CC cream or tinted moisturizer. I have an ongoing battle with blotchiness (a.k.a. "the curse of the Celts") and occasional annoying spots whose lingering red marks afterward are even more frustrating.
I'm a big believer in treating root causes instead of relying on skincare products, so some of the things I'm continuing or plan to experiment with in 2014 include vitamin A, oregano oil and progesterone. Stay tuned for more skin posts as I figure this stuff out!
4. Take more baths
Last year, I talked about my goal of reducing stress (cortisol), and I still think that's important. A lot of the time facials or other beauty services make us look better not because of whatever products were applied, but because we got the chance to just lie there for an hour and relax.
A hot bath is a wonderful way to release tension and help you sleep better (and beauty sleep makes you look better, obvi). I recommend adding plain Epsom salts to your bath water for an extra relaxation boost. This is a good video on the health benefits of Epsom salt baths.
5. Make more of an effort with styling my hair
I am terribly lazy with my hair. Unless I have to be somewhere important right after I get out of the shower, I usually don't even blow-dry it, let alone use one of my 5,000 styling tools or products. My excuse is that it takes so darn long to dry, since it's so long—plus because it's colour-treated, I don't want to inflict any more damage. Also? Tori Locklear really scared me.
But then I leave my house and regret not putting in more of an effort, so I want to reverse that trend in 2014—whether it's via heat tools, hair accessories, braids or teasing. All I need to do is look at my own Pinterest feed for inspiration.
6. Dry brush my skin regularly
I really need to start—and stick with—a dry brushing routine this year. It only takes a few minutes using a brush like this and working in short strokes toward your heart. The benefits are amazing: it removes dead skin cells, improves circulation and stimulates the lymphatic system. Some say it even helps eliminate cellulite. Anyone tried it?
7. Start rebounding for cellulite
Speaking of cellulite, I hear rebounding is another great remedy for this pesky condition. I do, in fact, have a rebounder, a.k.a. mini trampoline, at home—I just need to make the effort to bust it out more often. (Like the skin brushing, I do it for a while and then get busy and abandon ship.) Rebounding is another great lymphatic system stimulator; it's also a very safe, low-impact cardio workout and apparently 20 minutes of it is equivalent to one HOUR of running. Wow!
About a month ago, I heard a wicked testimonial from someone who got completely toned up (thighs and arms) just from daily rebounding. Who knew that could happen just from bouncing around in front of the TV?
8. Do laser hair removal at home
Another testimonial I heard recently was from someone who kept up with Tria home laser hair removal and got amazing, inspiring results. I have no excuse on this one, because I have several Trias... don't hate me... and have been very off and on with my treatment schedule. (Noticing a theme here? So many beauty products to try, so little time.)
Anyway, seeing as it's January, I've got a good five months to work on this before summer hits and I won't be able to do it, since you can't use lasers with a tan. The latest version of the Tria laser actually gives you results in half the time it used to, and can be safely used on the face, too.
9. Exercise my face
I know it sounds crazy. But I feel like gadgets that give your face a "workout" are the one of next big things in beauty. I was recently sent a few face exercisers to try, which look a bit freaky but when have I ever shied away from that, right? The one I'm most intrigued about is the Ying Yu Roller (above). It's a bit of a cult product in the UK and is hand-carved from jade, a gemstone that is supposed to have healing properties. You roll it around your face and it's like a daily massage—I'm SO intrigued.
By the way, while we're on the subject of skincare gadgets, I'm still fairly diligent with my Baby Quasar, a red light device that I find extremely relaxing; it's also meant to be anti-aging. I'm also due for another round of my Tria Skin Rejuvenating Laser, which I swear helped to fade some pigmentation when I used it last year.
10. Smile more!
My last beauty resolution is an obvious one, but it's easy, free, makes you instantly look and feel better—and makes the people around you happy, too. It sounds cheesy, but so much of beauty is about the energy you put out there instead of your actual physical characteristics or whether you remembered to wear lipstick or mattify your forehead that day.
So let's all try to smile a little more in 2014, shall we?
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Do you make beauty resolutions?
Do we share any of the same ones this year?
What are your other goals for 2014?