Your beauty routine can be a fun and luxurious daily pampering session, or it can be a hurried rush through the essentials. Either way, it's easy to get stuck in a rut of using the same products and techniques. Who has time to think twice about washing their face in the morning? This is why it's good to take stock of our beauty routines and rituals once a year (or even seasonally, if your skin changes with the climate). Here are some steps to go through when making an appraisal of your beauty routine.
Get a skincare consultation
There are so many things that can affect your skin and change your skincare needs. Stress, climate, water quality, aging, the list goes on and on. Ideally, you would see a dermatologist once a year — you are getting annual skin cancer checks, right? So this is the perfect time to go over the products you use and your skincare routine with your doctor. If you enjoy a facial every once in a while it's also an option to go over the same thing with your aesthetician. If you really just want a quick appraisal, stop at your favorite skincare beauty counter. Clarins, Clinique and La Mer all do skincare assessments. You might find out you've been using a deep cleansing face wash unnecessarily or it is time to start using eye cream.
Check out new beauty innovations
There's a lot of science behind our beauty products, and like other areas of science there are new innovations seemingly every day. High tech skincare is big business, and creating the next miracle cream is the new arms race. This could again be a question for your dermatologist or aesthetician, but it's also fun to do some research yourself. Magazines like Vogue give a monthly rundown of the latest beauty innovations, or you could stop in a beauty superstore like Sephora. Start with what you usually use and ask the salesperson if there are any new products that perform the same function better. If you usually stick to one beauty brand, go to that store or counter and ask what their newest products are or if anything has been reformulated.
Pick one beauty tool to upgrade each year or season as you can afford it. Changing to a higher quality hair dryer or straightening iron can make a big difference in your morning routine. Celebrity hair stylist Harry Josh's new line of pro tools is a great place to start if you can afford the splurge. A new Shu Uemura eyelash curler is a smaller indulgence that makes a big impact. Or, there's the classic new lipstick to perk up your routine for a few bucks.
Organize Your Products
Everyone knows you're more likely to use a product if it's easy to find. Clear out your medicine cabinet, bathroom closet and/or vanity and get rid of products you don't use or those past their expiration date. (Many beauty products lose efficacy with time.) You may even find a few products you forgot you had! Place like products together so when you're looking for a skin serum you know where to search, and won't just give up in frustration. I recently put all the makeup products I use daily for a basic 5-minute-face in a little bowl on my dresser. Now my dresser stays tidy and everything I need before I go out is right at my fingertips.
Ask yourself if you still love it
Most importantly, remember it is more than a routine, it's a ritual. If that body butter you swooned over in the store a couple years ago just doesn't give you the same blissful feeling anymore, look for a new one. (May we recommend Sabon body lotion in carrot?) If you're so used to your favorite perfume that you spritz without enjoying, check out some new scents. Here's our New Year, New Scent guide. Or maybe there's a part of your beauty routine you're quick to skip, like a weekly at-home mini-facial. Buy yourself a new mask or look up some DIY recipes on Pinterest so you start to look forward to the task. These days, there's really no aspect of your personal grooming that has to remain mundane, there's a product or cheap quirky DIY for nearly every beauty need.