It's a new decade and like the rest of the world, you're determined to lose weight, hit the gym more, find a new job, volunteer, save the planet, stop drinking coffee, and finally write that screenplay (you can't possibly keep James Cameron waiting any longer). But those big resolutions take a lot of time and effort. If you're looking for New Year's quick fixes and simple ways to start fresh right now, try these ten totally doable home beauty tips.
Home Beauty Tip #1: Do a Cabinet Cleanout
An instant clean slate in your beauty routine begins with a major cabinet cleanout session. Depending on the "situation" behind those bathroom cupboards, this task can take less than an hour, or all day (especially if you're the kind that still owns "hair mascara"-it won't make a comeback, we promise). Pitch products you can't remember the last time you used and barely-full bottles just sucking up space.
Not sure what to keep and what to toss? "It's important to take inventory every six months and look out for changes in smell, texture and performance," says Jessica Liebeskind, a celebrity make-up artist. "Liquids and creams are good for about one year, while powders can last about two."
Home Beauty Tip # 2: Keep Beauty Products Organized
Now that you've said buh-bye to items like scented body glitter and the bottle of CK1 from 10th grade, it's time to create order from chaos. Everyday make-up should be well organized in a clear tray with compartments so you can always find what you need, especially at 7:00am before you've had caffeine. The products you don't use as often should be stored in containers. Clear plastic shoeboxes are great for stowing away your hair and nail care products, body lotions, face masks, self-tanners, and more.
Home Beauty Tip #3: Clean Makeup Brushes Regularly
How many times have you spent big bucks on nice make-up brushes and failed miserably to actually take care of them? Liebeskind says simply washing your brushes weekly with baby shampoo is all it takes to keep them in tip top shape. If you go longer than a month, it can shorten the lifespan of your brushes and interfere with the performance of your products. So if every shadow you put in on looks gray, you know what you need to do gals...
Home Beauty Tip #4: Floss Daily
If you're the type that frantically flosses only the week leading up to your dentist appointment, it's time to focus daily on maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile. According to the American Dental Association, flossing is just as important as brushing because decay-causing bacteria still linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can't reach. Flossing gets at those pesky food particles between your choppers and under the gum line. It's essential in preventing tooth decay, gum disease, and even bad breath.
Home Beauty Tip #5: Splurge (A Little)
While we all can't travel with private chefs and personal yoga instructors like Jennifer Aniston, treat yourself to something special every now and then. Whether it's a luxurious body wash and lotion set for itchy, winter-induced dry skin or scheduling a few spa treatments, a little pampering does a body good.
Home Beauty Tip #6: Remove (All of it!) Before Bed
Skipping a nighttime cleanse clogs pores and ruins innocent pillowcases. Plus, that caked-on mascara residue makes your eyes even harder to open when your alarm clock blares the next morning. It just takes two minutes to wipe your face clean before bed with make-up remover pads like pre-moistened towelettes from Almay.
Home Beauty Tip #7: Drink More Water
Water works wonders. According to the experts at The Mayo Clinic, every system in your body depends on water. It flushes toxins out of vital organs and carries nutrients to your cells. Not to mention, lack of water can lead to dehydration (which can impact everything from energy levels to dry skin). Good old water is also a healthier choice than calorie-packed soda, juice and alcohol. Have a glass with every meal, and sip away throughout the day. Jazz up your tap by adding mint, raspberries, lemon or lime slices.
Home Beauty Tip #8: Practice Better Nail Care
Why must your poor hands always take the brunt of a bad day at the office? Not only does biting your nails and cuticles make you look like an unstable, nervous wreck, chomping away passes bacteria and viruses from your nails to your mouth. Treat yourself to weekly manicures to keep your nails neat, strong and far from your teeth.
Home Beauty Tip #9: Eat Beauty-Boosting Foods Every Day
Disclaimer: Popping a handful of blueberries will not turn you into Gisele. However, eating foods packed with powerful anti-oxidants, nutrients and omega-3s does make a difference in how you look and feel. "Produce not only delivers a heart-healthy fiber boost, but recent studies show that certain fruits and vegetables can provide surprising anti-aging benefits," says Sari Greaves, R.D., spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. "Berries of all hues are rich in antioxidants, such as Vitamin C which puts them in the center of the beauty spotlight. Vitamin C can keep your complexion looking smooth by fighting skin-damaging free radicals. My favorite winter berry tip is to buy frozen berries and use them as a topper on oatmeal, whole grain pancakes or low fat yogurt!"
Foods rich in healthy fats are another beauty booster. "Fatty acids in seafood help reduce chronic inflammation," adds Greaves. "The omega-3s in fatty fish like salmon and tuna have the most potent anti-inflammatory effects. If you're not a fish lover, I recommend consuming omega-3s from plant sources, like walnuts, soybeans and flaxseed. These foods still provide a steady supply of essential fats that help promote the integrity of your skin, hair, and nails."
Home Beauty Tip #10: Be Good to Yourself
Spa treatments and flossing (while important!) can only take you so far. As cliché as it sounds, real beauty truly comes from within. While zits, bad haircuts, and "fat days" can definitely shake your self-confidence, resolve to stop sweating the small stuff and focus on what make you feel good for a really happy new year!
What are your beauty resolutions for 2010? We want to know your favorite spa treatments to splurge on, nail care essentials, remedies for dry skin, and must-try health foods!