For the first few months of every New Year it can be a time when we still feel sluggish and withdrawn after the Christmas party season. An excessive amount of food and alcohol can leave us looking bloated, tired and dull-skinned that no amount of sleep seems to get rid of – so what’s a girl (or guy) to do? You’d be surprised at how a small update in your beauty routine will lift your spirits and leave you feeling fresh! These are the 12 tips & tricks you need to know for the New Year.
#1 Powder Me Pretty
Skincare trends really grip the market every time, but a small handful of these will last longer into the year, and are ones you really must try to give life to your base look. Face mask trends have really stood out, with sheet masks taking the reigns, and more lately powder to liquid masks too. One of the most accessible and highly praised ones of the market is Origins’ RitualiTea Matcha Madness Revitalizing Powder Face Mask (€38.40). By adding a small amount of water to some of the powder, you make an antioxidant mask, which will remove impurities and leave your skin looking clearer and more glowy in 10 minutes. It’s also travel friendly due to its consistency!
#2 Skin Boosters
Korean skincare really took hold of our market in the last two years. Their 10-step routine may be a bit intense on an everyday basis but we can definitely learn from the way they look after themselves. Aside from our usual oils and moisturizers, using skin boosters, essences and ampoules will leave us looking untouched from the party haze of the previous season. Essences follow toner, and is a concentrated formula, which targets any imperfections in the skin. The ampoules and boosters add necessary vitamins like a more potent serum, as are other forms of ‘boosters’. These are serums to care for very specific needs too, in higher potency always.
#3 Modern French Manicure
You’re most likely sick of seasonal red shades and the glitter remnants from New Year’s Eve, and yet you still want something different to give your nails a pep in their step. The nail trend that has been tested on all the Spring/Summer runways is the modern version of the French manicure. A stand out among all the orderly office-suitable manicures, this is a fresh take that’s suitable for any occasion. With a graphic strip across the nails in the same outline as the classic white tip of the French mani would be, the colour stripe is diagonal, and can be as chunky or thin as desired, leaving the rest of the nail either clear or in a neutral colour.
#4 Hot Pink and Tango Pink
A miraculously easy and quick way to bring your face back to life is to coat your lips in a bright colour. Similar to nails, we tire of red so opt for hot punchy colours to try like fuchsia and orange tones, which are predicted to be the standouts of the season ahead.
#5 Smile Bright
Another repercussion of all that food and drink binging is that your smile may not look as bright as it did before. Sugar and colourings have probably left their mark on your teeth, so to get them back to their glowing former state why not try whitener strips. These are the easiest form of at home whitening with noticeable effects, and nowadays they are much more accessible on the high street market. If you are determined to try the infamous Crest whitening strips (€36.89), hailed as the best America has to offer, they are more readily available as of lately thanks to their website now shipping internationally. An alternative that has been praised for its effectiveness are the Polarwhite Pro Teeth Whitening Strips (€24.95).
Just like the matcha mask from Origins, a post-Christmas season boost is what your skin will need, and sometimes it’s more so moisture that you’ll be on the hunt for. The Liz Earle Intensive Nourishing Treatment (€20.48), packed with shea butter, apricot oil and borage to give an intense and creamy moisturization, while comfrey calms down any irritations. Illuminating products are also a godsend, and the WEI Beauty Rice Sprout Express Glow Illuminating Masks (€9.46) are sheet masks sold in singles, giving you that plumped cheeks feeling with no mask commitment.
#7 Everywhere You Go Travel Size Fragrance
During a long day, you begin to wain at a certain stage and need something to intercept the tiredness. One of the easiest and most effective ways to lift your spirits is to give spritz yourself with a favourite perfume. Fragrances are so powerful (even if it’s a light scent itself) that the can refresh without having to even look in the mirror as it directly affects your senses. Fille et Fils Scent Therapy Sabine EDC (€9.39) is a unisex musky, relaxing scent made with natural oils from France. Escentric Molecules Molecules 01 Travel Size (€43.84) is a cult favourite as it adapts to the user to create a unique scent for each individual.
#8 Blow-Dry Babe
Getting your hair done professionally can be like hitting the reset button, which is ideal for this time of year! Getting a blow-dry is commitment-free and that’s what makes it so attractive. If you’re finding it hard to sever yourself from the throes of seasonal parties and getting back into normal life, then spoil yourself with a blowout to get that fresh feeling for a ‘new start’.
#9 Glisten in the Moonlight
In the dead of winter, everyone will tell you that it is time to tan. What if you are not a fake tan fan though? Is it wrong to be pale? Of course not! You don’t have to change your skin colour to look your best. A great alternative to this, or an addition if you so choose to tan, is to start using a body oil. The oil will give you a soft sheen if used sparingly, giving you that ‘glow from within’ you’re searching for. The NUXE Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Usage Dry Oil (€32.99) is one of the best for this, and it comes in spray form that’s easy to use.
#10 Exfoliate the Dead Year Away
Nothing is going to scrape away the old year like exfoliators. If you don’t properly exfoliate, no amount of moisturizers and illuminators will work, as they can’t penetrate the skin properly. Starting with the face, if you’re sensitive to beads in physical exfoliants, opt for a chemical exfoliant. The legendary Pixi Glow Tonic (€21.95) will slough off any dead skin cells and leave radiant skin to shine through. Origins Modern Friction Nature’s Gentle Dermabrasion (€39.95) has micro beads for a physical exfoliant if you prefer this form.
For the lips specifically, which tend to suffer during the colder months, get a mini sugar scrub for them to keep them smooth and soft. The Indie Lee Coconut Citrus Lip Scrub (€42) is a sensationally soothing scrub that, while pricey, will last for months. Likewise, Lush has various flavours of lip scrubs from mint to bubblegum, just try not to eat the whole tub.
For the body, don’t wait until around to get your skin supple and good enough to show off. For travel friendly options, the Sanctuary Spa Ultimate Salt Scrub (€2.49) comes in sachets. The Clarins Smoothing Body Scrub (€34.60) is a perfect choice if you have sensitive skin, as the particles are minute and it smooths with bamboo extract.
#11 Let It All Sink In Luxury
Embryolisse Laboratoires Lait-Creme Concentré (€19.20) is available now far more widespread than the French pharmacies it originated in. One of the biggest multi-purpose creams on the market since the 1950s, still a favourite on runways, shoots and film sets by the professionals! It can be used as a moisturizer, a primer, a baby cream, a shaving cream, a makeup remover or a repairing mask. It’s paraben-free and suitable for all skin types… in other words it is an essential! For a real treat yourself moment, try the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream (€90) for a dewy glow and plump finish with rose hip oil, Vitamin E and hyaluronic acid.
#12 Refreshing Handbag Facial Sprays
For an instant energizer and facial refresher, a facial mist is a newfound favourite. Acting like the facial equivalent to perfume, this will give you a sensory lift and elevate your mood, with the added benefit of cooling the face and resetting your makeup. The best on the market include the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water (€25), MAC Cosmetics Prep + Prime Fix+ (€22) or Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater (€12.29). For something that is totally fragrance-free and suitable for the most sensitive of skins is a mineral water mist like the Avène Eau Thermale Thermal Water Spray (€3.99) comes in a travel size of 50ml. A handbag essential, especially for hectic days.