Monday, March 10, 2014

5 Simple Changes That Will Improve Your Beauty Routine

Many of us have our beauty routines set so that we have a system that allows us to efficiently get ready in the morning and get ready for bed at night.  However, there are a few non-obvious measures we can take to tweak our beauty routines in minor ways that produce huge results:

1.  Moisturize right within a minute of washing.
Apply a healthy moisturizer like the Hempz Age Defying Herbal Body Moisturizer ($25 at Ulta) IMMEDIATELY (within the first 2 minutes after cleansing is ideal) after washing your face or your body to most effectively hydrate your skin.  Moisturizers work by trapping moisture from the air into your skin.  Plus, the water will allow for a smoother moisturizer will be easier to rub into your skin, it will feel less greasy, and you will end up needing to use less lotion.  Keep your lotion in your shower/next to the shower so that it's handy as soon as you're done washing. 

2.  Wash your hair at night instead of in the morning. 
This revision in your beauty routine can actually improve the appearance of your skin.  Going to sleep with greasy, dirty hair that contains products like hair spray, mousse, etc. can allow that stuff to get all over your skin (or get all over your pillowcase and then your skin) while your snooze.  All of that gunk can clog your pores during the crucial time of repair and recovery that occurs when you are asleep, which can lead to break outs.  Since your hair is also likely to be filled with aging pollutants that tag along as you go through the day, it is also important to keep them from migrating onto your skin.  Wash them off to help ward off premature signs of aging.  And don't forget to follow up each hair wash with a face wash.  Many shampoos and conditioners contain harsh detergents that can strip your skin of good natural oils as well as lipids (that give products that thick consistency) that can clog your pores.  Make sure you clean all of traces of those products off of your face to prevent dryness and/or breakouts.

3.  Use a moist egg-shaped sponge to apply your foundation.
I've only recently started using an egg-shaped sponge to apply my foundation (where have I been all this time?).  It honestly makes my foundation look great!  In general, I prefer sponges over brushes (which sometimes leave streak marks) and your fingers because it's easier to blend everything together in way that doesn't appear too thick on your skin.  Plus the egg shape of egg shaped sponges really allow you to get all the hard to reach areas of the face like around the nose and under the eyes.  I bought the Ulta Super Blender Sponge ($5 at Ulta).  I must say that it certainly makes my foundation look so light and natural on my face.  Wet it and then squeeze out the excess water before dipping it into your favorite foundation, BB/CC/DD cream, tinted moisturizer, powder, etc.  This will keep the foundation on your skin rather than in your sponge as well as give you that even, airbrushed finish.  

4.  Exfoliate regularly.
Two to three times per week swap your night face cleanser for a cleansing facial scrub (make sure that it will cleanse your skin as well as exfoliate) like the JUARA Rice Facial Scrub ($29 on, and trade your body wash for a body scrub like the 100% Pure Pink Grapefruit Body Scrub ($25 at Ulta).  Or simply, wash your face with a facial brush using your regular cleanser 2-3 times per week.  Overall, this simple step will give your skin a radiant glow.  In addition, exfoliating will improve the efficacy of both your makeup and your skincare:   
  • Dark spots, hyper pigmentation, and scarring will fade faster.
  • There will be fewer dead skin cells to clog your pores and cause breakouts.
  • You will have a smoother canvas on which to apply your makeup.  It will go on more easily and stay on for longer.
  • Your skincare products will work better.  Moisturizers and serums won't have dead skins cells standing in their way of penetrating your skin.
Be careful not to overexfoliate because that can irritate your skin, damage your skin cells, and overstrip your skin of good, natural oils.

5.  Do your face makeup after your eye makeup.
It's common to apply foundation, concealer, and powder before applying your eye makeup.  However, when we apply our eye makeup, we often find ourselves smudging, leaving specks of shadow under our eyes and on our cheeks, etc.  Rather than having to clean it up and then touch up your face makeup, put your eye makeup on first.  It saves you a clean up and looks way neater...putting undereye concealer on after eyeshadow really masks any traces of eye makeup that may have fallen onto your face during the application process and makes your eyes look brighter.  We also tend to rest our hands against our cheeks when applying eyeliner or eyeshadow, which can botch up your foundation.  

What's great about these suggested modifications to your routine?  They don't require you to spend more time or money on looking and feeling fabulous.  It's simply a matter of rethinking beauty rituals that most likely already exist in your day. 

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