It’s that time again. Clean-sheet-of-paper time. The wonderful ‘fresh start’ moment. But while some New Year’s Resolutions are just too hard to stick to (or just too ambitious) – lose two stone, go to the gym three times a week, climb Kilimanjaro etc. (you know the sort of thing) – I honestly believe there are, however, small health-and-beauty shifts that will make big differences to how we look (and feel). So here are my recommendations – in no particular order – for simple resolutions that will genuinely, seriously improve your wellbeing and looks, over the next year. (I’d offer a money-back guarantee, if I could…!)
And all that’s left is for me to say: have a beautiful 2012…
Clean out your make-up bag. First, dump everything on the floor and throw out anything that’s two years old or older. From there, weed out anything that’s broken, smells funny or you haven’t touched in over six months. Remember: foundation in bottles and loose powder are meant to stay at home – if you put these in your make-up bag, you’re bound to have a big mess to deal with sometime.
Get yourself into a new routine for the New Year. Getting out of bed isn’t easy at this time of year, but the best tactic go to bed early (easier in January than it was in December!) and when you wake, have a cup of hot water first thing, with a slice of lemon and a teaspoon of honey. It helps cleanse your system and brings your glucose level up, to kick-start tthe day.
Clean your make-up brushes. They’re a big investment, and an essential tool, so take care of them. Use a professional brush cleaner, or simply by using gentle shampoo and warm water. Let the brushes fully air-dry before using.
Then treat yourself to a new lipstick. Go on. There’s no better way to refresh your make-up look! Look at trends but don’t be a slave to them – but try a new texture (gloss instead of matte), or a new colour (maybe it’s time to finally find that perfect red…) It’s amazing how such a simple change makes you look fresh and new.
Re-evalulate your skincare regime. Our skin changes with the seasons, stress and environmental factors, and New Year is a great time to look at how your skin looks and feels, and to make changes. Keep it simple: all most women need is the right cleanser, moisturiser, neck cream and a great, non-greasy eye cream. If you want to add in more, then fine – but resolve to use the extra products.
Take care of yourself, physically and spiritually. As modern women, we’re pulled in so many different directions that we’re often the last priority. Make a pact for 2012 to take time out for yourself to exercise, get manicures, facials and an occasional massage; get plenty of sleep and relaxation to keep you energised. Eat a healthy diet for life, not for the moment. Centre your energy on feeling good about yourself, instead of trying to be what you’re not.
Take two nights out of your week and treat yourself to a mask at home. You’ll get the best results when you apply a moisturising mask and sit for half an hour in a deliciously, hot bath: the steam opens the pores.
Drink more water. Heard it before, and from me, you’ll hear it again. If you can’t hit your target of drinking eight glasses of water every day, try drinking 1-2 litres of water daily before a special occasion for three days; on the third day, skin will be looking luminous and dewy.
Have a free makeover every 3-4 months. You might hate some of what the makeup artist does, but you’ll learn at least one thing each time that you find really useful.
And try something different, make-up wise, once a month – a different lip shade or shadow colour. Change the texture of something from matte to sheen or vice versa; just go into the shop and try it out and wear it for the day – and then buy, if you like it. Don’t let yourself become one of those women who can say “I’ve been wearing exactly the same make-up for years…”
Wear a minimum SPF15 each and every day. Winter and summer. Just do it.
Discover why Essential Fatty Acids really are essential. EFAs nourish skin from within and are as vital as vitamins – so eat oily fish three times a week, or take 500 mg. of omega-balanced oils, daily, to strengthen skin and brain cells. (I ‘prescribe’ Ideal Omega 3, which you can buy on VH, to every woman I meet. Fact.)
Turn to pure essential oils instead of prescription drugs to shift your mood. The scent of lavender is proven to slow the brain and restore peace of mind, while a few drops of rosemary in the bath is an instant pick-me-up. Better still, add the essential oils to a bathful of Better You Magnesium Oil Original Flakes, the other product that I witter on about to readers/friends/colleagues constantly. Flipping miracle-workers, these.
Wipe away worry lines by getting work/life balance right. Create some ‘me’ time by holding back some holiday allowance to book the odd day of beauty treatments. I was inspired by reading Beating the 24/7 by Winston Fletcher (John Wiley & Sons), to see how business leaders get the balance right!
Body brush daily. My, but this really works, if you use a firm but not-too-hard brush, to support the skin’s natural functions. Some experts believe daily body brushing helps eliminate a pound of toxins a day – and it definitely removes dead skin cells and improves skin tone and condition.’
Layer your body products. For truly nourished skin, apply a rich cream or balm and then ‘seal’ it in with a fine layer of a light body oil. This restores the satin feel and increases the feel-good factor.