New Year's Beauty Resolutions for 2012

Has your beauty routine become a little too routine? Here's my top ten, must-do tips for freshening things up this year. Easy, effective—get ready to shine, ladies!

Ready for some New Year's resolutions you can stick to? Here we go: Time to step out of our beauty box a little with some easy, common-sense measures to get you out of your routine and refresh your appearance. These are my Top Ten Must-Do Beauty Resolutions for 2012; you don’t have to commit to all 10 of them, but I consider each of them an integral, exciting step to a fabulous new look for an exciting New Year:

1. Shape your brows and add definition. Framing your eyes will give you an instant lift, giving you a younger appearance and drawing immediate attention to the windows to your soul. Use a pencil to better define brows that lack shape; use powder to fill in those that are sparse. *ACP pick: Laura Mercier brow pencil—its triangular shape makes it easy to grip for better precision.

2. Use a primer. Primer, used under both foundation and eye color, will even out the skin, hide imperfections (like pores, redness, discoloration and fine lines), and most importantly keep your makeup on all day and all night. This is a must have when living in the Lowcountry, where humidity is a make-up killer.

3. Use an SPF every single day. I cannot stress this enough! Be sure to use on your throat and chest as well. I always say to my clients who don’t use SPF: Scoopneck today...turtleneck tomorrow. 

4. Blend your eyelinerinto your eyeshadow for a more seamless look; if you wear it on the lower lashes, line your eye as far as you have lashes. A half-lined eye does not make the eyes bigger just incomplete. *ACP pick: Bobbi Brown's gel eye liner—my makeup kit would be empty without it.

5. Puff it out. If you tend to wear a bit more foundation, use a velour puff to blend it into the skin to eliminate inconsistencies. This will help your makeup appear more natural. Check the accuracy of your shade by walking outside and and looking at your makeup with a mirror in the sunlight.

6. Put down the brown lip liner. Nude? Okay. Brown? Just say no. Good rule of thumb? If your lip pencil would look good as an eyeliner, then it does not belong on your lips. 
*ACP pick: Trish McEvoy's Deep Nude lip pencil

7. Throw away old makeup. Dump mascara every two months, liquids once a year, and powder every two years. I know makeup can get expensive, but so can a trip to the dermatologist for a breakout or infection caused expired products.

8. Be cosmetically prepared. Here are your must-haves when applying makeup: Q-tips (I love the ones with a wooden tip that are tightly wound—they help control fuzz and are more precise), sponges, tweezers, and good light. 

9. Do not match your makeup to your outfit. The holidays are over. You do not want to look like a Christmas ornament. Seriously....the goal should be looking your best, not looking like a tidily wrapped party gift.

10. Be age-appropriate. Your makeup should adapt to your age and grow with you. The older we get, the less makeup we should wear—believe it or not, a more natural look it is more flattering to mature skin. Don’t make the mistake of sharing in your daughter’s stash of cosmetics.

BONUS TIP: Adverse to certain products? There's a compromise out there for everything. For example, if you don't wear foundation but want to try evening out the skin, try a tinted moisturizer. If you know you are not going to wear shadows, at least put on some mascara and maybe a little liner. If blush scares you, go for a pinky bronzer. *ACP pick: I absolutely adore Le Metier dual bronzer in Romeo and Juliet. It works with every skin tone and you can never make the mistake of putting too much on.

Happy New Year!