A few days into the new year and you’ve probably pledged to cook more, eat less and adopt a slew of other healthy habits (good for you!). After all, it is the ideal time to make positive changes in different aspects of your life. If you’ve been slacking in the beauty department (not removing your makeup before bed or forgetting to apply sunscreen), here’s your chance to redeem yourself. The best part about beauty resolutions? They’re fun!
Apply SPF to the Backs of Your Hands Daily.
It’s a beauty editor’s job to preach about the importance of wearing sunscreen, even on days when it’s cloudy. Not only does it help prevent skin cancer, but dermatologists also agree that it is the best way to slow the visible signs of aging, including pesky lines and brown spots. Invest in a lightweight formula (SPF 30 or higher). A good one: La Roche-Posay Anthelios AOX ($42.50, amazon.com), which boasts SPF 50 in a sheer, antioxidant-laced serum that doubles as a makeup primer. After you smooth it onto your skin, swipe some onto the backs of your hands so they look just as even and smooth as your face.
Read more: 4 New Ways to Get Glowing Skin
Edit Your Makeup Stash.
Makeup is pretty, so it’s easy to end up with a big ol’ pile of it at home. Go through your bag or cabinet and toss the colors you never wear or those items that have been in there for more than a year (unless it’s mascara or eyeliner — chuck those after three months). You’ll streamline your routine and buy yourself some precious time in the morning.
Wash Your Brushes and Wipe Down Your Compacts.
While you’re paring down, clean your brushes and sponges, wipe out your makeup bag (a baby wipe works wonders) and wipe off your compacts. Wash brushes and sponges with baby shampoo or mild soap and warm water then lay them out to dry. This can help prevent breakouts, plus you’ll feel more organized as you’re getting ready.
Double-Cleanse Before Dozing Off.
If you’ve been hitting the pillow with makeup on, this one’s for you. Going to bed with grime on your skin clogs pores and can lead to breakouts and even premature aging. Instead of dreading your nighttime skincare routine, think of it as five whole minutes to yourself. First, squirt micellar water on a face wipe (or cotton pad), then swipe it over skin in upward strokes to remove makeup. Try Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Makeup Remover & Cleanser ($6, amazon.com), which also comes in a waterproof version. If you’re really beat, hit the sack, but if you have a little more in you, cleanse with a gentle face wash then apply a serum or night cream with skin-smoothing retinoids, like Olay Regenerist Intensive Repair Treatment ($13, amazon.com), which can double as your eye cream.
Use a Sheet Mask While You Watch TV.
Multi-tasking at its best: Slap one of these potent, throw away masks on while you’re catching up on your DVR or skimming emails. Yes, you’ll look a little funny for a few minutes, but you’ll give your skin some TLC without spending a ton of time or money at the spa. Try Dr. Jart+ Water Replenishment Cotton Sheet Mask ($7.50, sephora.com), which is hypoallergenic and great for those with sensitive skin.
Unplug Your Flat-iron.
If you’ve gotten in the habit of heat-styling your hair regularly, your ends are most likely fried, split, and dry. Air-drying and embracing your natural texture will help bring back some life (and shine). Braid or bun damp hair to help control it and give it a pretty texture. Can’t part with your hot tools? Cut back to only drying, ironing or curling it once or twice a week.
Whether it’s those caramel highlights you’ve always wanted or that orange-red lipstick you’ve been nervous to wear, break out of your beauty rut and just do it. Life’s too short not to go blonde, gray or even blue.