Radiance Resolutions

26th January 2018

January is nearly at an end, and your sparkling new gym card is languishing at the bottom of your bag, still to be used; the kale recipes that looked so appealing on Pinterest have yet to be cooked, and your pledge to learn Italian ‘non sta succedendo’. As for dry January, that ended abruptly on the 5th after the first week back at work. It’s not too late to try again, so how about some beauty aims from Lisa Botwright that are much easier to keep and will help you look and feel great throughout the coming year?

1. Clear out your clutter…
Clearing out your makeup bag/drawer/cupboard is such a satisfyingly cathartic thing to do, and doesn’t take long at all. Chuck out anything more than a year old, and be aware that mascaras only have a shelf-life of three to six months. Once you’ve had a good purge, invest in some pretty storage for your dressing table or bathroom shelf. There are some brilliant ideas online, such as using a vintage cake stand to display your perfume, and crystal glasses for your makeup brushes.

2. Detox your brushes…
Now you’ve got the tidying bug, the next step is to clean your brushes. They’re host to an alarming amount of grease and bacteria, plus the accumulation of weeks (okay, months) of makeup means they’ll be less effective. Either wash them in mild soap or shampoo and air dry them overnight, or invest in a swanky brush cleaner such as Clinique Makeup Brush Cleanser (£14 clinique.co.uk). With this, just give them a quick spritz, blot with tissue and moments later they’ll be ready to use again.

3. Double-cleanse for super-clean skin…
No, not a way for the industry to get you to spend twice on cleansers (though I had my suspicions at first!) double-cleansing just means cleansing twice-over for squeaky clean and clear skin: firstly to remove makeup and sunscreen, and secondly for pore-deep results. I use a cream cleanser followed by a gentle foaming wash, but adapt to suit your inclination and skin type. Gallinée’s brilliant probiotic cleanser is perfect for balancing sensitive or problem skin (£13.90 gallinee.com).

4. Embrace exfoliation…
The fastest way to brighter, healthier skin is to exfoliate regularly. Cell turnover decreases as we age, and so we can spend all the money we like on expensive creams and serums, but they won’t work properly if they’re struggling to penetrate through a thick upper layer of dead skin cells (yuck). Either use a plastic- microbead-free manual scrub such as Liz Earle Gentle Face Exfoliator (£16.50 Lizearle.com) or, for a quick and easy addition to your nightly routine, sweep some liquid glycolic acid over your face with a cotton wool pad, just like you would a toner. Pixi Glow Tonic (£18 pixibeauty.co.uk) has a huge cult following.

5. Be more adventurous…
If you’ve been wearing the same makeup for the last twenty years, maybe this year is the time to try something new or to switch things up a bit. The easiest thing is to buy a lipstick in a completely new colour: the perfect treat to brighten a grey day. Chat to beauty staff in department stores or look at beauty websites to find out what’s new and popular – a couple of great blogs are amodelrecommends.com or lookfabulousforever.com.

6. Maximise your hydration…
Drink more water. Yes, we know. But this year, resolve to add cucumber, mint or fruit to your water bottle to make it more exciting. Moisturise your skin internally, as well as externally.

7. Invest in the environment…
The beauty industry isn’t necessarily linked with great eco-credentials – think water wastage, plastic pollution, over-reliance on unethical palm oil sources and ambivalent animal welfare stances (many companies claim they’re cruelty free, but still export to China where animal testing on new beauty products is obligatory).

By investing in ethical brands such as Lush, Aveda, Neal’s Yard Remedies and many more, your conscience can be as clear as your (double-cleansed) skin.

8. Raid your fridge…
Remember those over-ripe bananas and avocados that you bought as part of your healthy eating drive, and are now wilting in your fruit bowl? Mash them up with some olive or coconut oil and you have the basis for an excellent hair treatment or mask for dry skin. Puffy eyes? Soak a couple of cotton wool pads in tea and lay them on your eyes. The caffeine helps to shrink the appearance of the blood vessels, and the antioxidants help eliminate inflammation. DIY beauty is fun and surprisingly effective.

9. Spritz some perfume…
Good perfume is expensive, and I have a terrible habit of wanting to keep it for best – and so, while it looks very pretty on my dressing table, it hardly gets used. But perfume is like puppy dogs and fairy lights, not just for Christmas, so treat yourself to an uplifting spritz every single day – even if you’re just popping out to the supermarket.

10. Mark out some me-time…
In between these and all our other resolutions to cook healthy dinners from scratch, get more sleep, take on more responsibility at work or give our children more enrichment opportunities, the idea of time for salon treatments, long scented baths or even a quick face mask seems overly fanciful. Something only Other People Do. But since I’ve made time for fortnightly manicures, every time I look down at my hands, I smile rather than frown. Shallow? Perhaps. Worth it? Yes! If you think of cultivating time for beauty habits as a form of self-care, then it’s definitely a worthwhile goal.

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