By Suzie Moldavon
Feeling beautiful on the outside makes most of us feel more confident on the inside, and confidence is sexy! The best thing about a new year is that it allows us to hit the reset button and improve upon things that might have waned as our busy schedules got the best of us. So here we are, at reset, and you can start fresh at any time, during a new season, on your birthday, or even today, as long as you remember that beauty begins from the inside out.
1. Think inner beauty first. When you take that first look at yourself in the mirror, instead of being critical as so many of us are, try to be kind to yourself, focus on a positive, and pinpoint your favorite trait. Don't pay attention to your puffy eyes, which will disappear after a few glasses of water -- maybe notice your tousled hair or your toned arms. Then, with a little makeup or a great blouse or T-shirt, accentuate this trait and feel beautiful all day. If you want others to see your beauty, you have to see it first.
2. Get back to basics. We've all had mornings where mascara smudges on our pillows are evidence of our laziness in washing our faces before bed. The task of a whole skincare regimen before bed can be a lofty goal for some. So, if you can't find the time every night to wash your face and take off your makeup, maybe add a box of makeup wipes next to your sink (or bedside) and at least do that, and finish with a little toner to take off any oily residue. If you are already an avid face washer, then keep up the good work and congratulate yourself with #3.
3. Treat yourself to a spa day. Moisturizer and eye cream are a daily must to keep the skin supple and hydrated, but what about the rest of the routine? Not all of us can afford a facial once a month, so give yourself a break and pamper your skin when time permits. Whether it's Thursday night and you're staying home to "wash your hair" or Sunday morning after a great workout, you can scrub, peel and mask at your leisure. The scrub and the peel are both exfoliators, so maybe alternate depending on which one your skin needs most, and there are dozens of types of masks for dry skin, oily skin, essential vitamins, tightening -- you can change these based on what your face is hungry for.
4. Try a body buffer. Slough away that ugly dry skin gently with an exfoliating mitt that can be used daily or weekly. There are gloves and mitts of all kinds, so if you think your loofah scrapes or hurts (the most common complaint -- however, a loufa is really for in-grown hair prevention, which is why it's more abrasive), try to find another kind that helps to invigorate your skin and leaves it feeling soft and refreshed. With a circular buffing motion, you will actually be able to see the dead skin beading up and rolling off your body--that's when you know you're using the right tool.
5. Don't forget to floss. I probably sound like your dentist right now, but flossing is somehow the most menacing task for many of us. A beautiful smile and good dental hygiene are not to be overlooked in your routine, and can take years off your visible age. Several companies make those already-strung flossers to make it easy, so you can do this in your car on your way to work in the morning or at home after you brush those pearly whites. 6. Maintain those arches. Oh eyebrows, the frame of our beautiful faces. I'm a huge fan of letting a professional help you maintain these facial centerpieces, but if you're committed to keeping yours tweezed on your own, then consider letting a pro re-shape or clean them up three times a year. It's so easy to get off track when doing your own brows, and a trained eye can provide proper symmetry and shape.
7. Powder and paint. There are a fortunate few in this world that can step out without a stitch of makeup on their faces, but most of us need a bit more help than that. Can you get away with just a little concealer and mascara? Or is lipgloss your trick to breathe life into your otherwise sallow complexion? You don't have to be red-carpet-ready on an everyday basis, but whatever makeup steps make you feel your best, add them into your daily routine. Start by identifying your three minimum products -- mine are foundation, mascara and eyebrow powder--and then just kick it up from there when you have more time or somewhere special to be.
8. Tame those tresses. Don't forget that your hair is one of your greatest fashion accessories, and that your hairstyle should reflect your lifestyle. Many of us don't have time to perfectly blow and curl our hair every day, so having a cut that fits your personality saves you time and energy. If you know you are a wash-and-go kind of girl, then cut your hair into a cute shorter "do" or leave it long and let it air-dry into a fun, beachy look. Or, if you are more of a primper but want to save time, wash your hair on Monday, then you can revive your locks with a little dry shampoo and a few twists of the curling iron for Tuesday and Wednesday.
The key to revamping your beauty routine is knowing who you are (including how much time you have to spend, your budget, and your personal style preferences) and set realistic goals as you update your beauty routine. The idea is to make it fit you, rather than the other way around.
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As one of Hollywood's premiere makeup and eyebrow artists, Suzie Moldavon is sought after by celebrities and industry professionals alike. Her clients include Lady Gaga, Candice Accola, Larry King, and Meghan McCain. Suzie's work has been pictured in People, Southbay Magazine, Your Wedding Day, and Maui. She has done makeup and styling for numerous appearances of The Tonight Show, The View, Good Morning America, Chelsea Lately, Real Time with Bill Maher, and The Rachel Maddow Show and has done red carpet makeup for the Academy Awards, SAG Awards, People's Choice Awards, Grammy's, and the annual GQ Man of the Year party. To find out more about Suzie and her beauty insights, tricks, and tips from the front lines, read her blog on Red Room and follow her on twitter: @suziemoldavon