Tuesday, January 11, 2011

10 Beauty Resolutions NOT To Make This Year

Have you made any new year beauty resolutions? How many of them have you broken by now? I didn't care enough to make any this year, which might or might not be a good thing. In any case, browsing the web and the blogs to see what people are thinking and feeling, I couldn't help noticing some worrisome ideas. So here are my thoughts on ten beauty resolution better NOT made.

1. Follow all the latest beauty and fashion trends. This is the fastest way to fashion victimhood. It's not that cute when 14 year olds are doing it, never mind grown women. Instead, stay informed and pick one or two elements every season, something that speaks to you and makes you feel genuinely pretty. Keep everything else classy and at your comfort level.

2. Get plastic surgery. I'm not saying not to do it, but undergoing a serious medical procedure requires more justification than a new year resolution. Instead, do all the research and have a heart-to-heart with yourself about how much you really want/need the surgery and if the benefits are worth the possible consequences.

3. Drastically change hairstyle. Of course, if you're still sporting the Rachel this might not be such a bad idea, but don't cut off all your hair on a whim. Instead, consider a subtle change: side part, highlights, even bangs. Do something that would make you happy. You can always chop more later on.

4. Start wearing really daring colors. Let's face it, if you've never enjoyed attracting all the stares on the subway, wearing an acid green mascara and red eyeliner might not feel all that good after all. The same goes for black nail  polish if you're a beige-only lady and Ke$ha blue lipstick when you know you look best in coral. Instead, consider a red lipstick for date night or experiment with blue or green eyeliner. Subtly.

5. Wake up an hour earlier to apply more makeup/do a facial mask/flat iron hair etc.  Seriously, you need your sleep more than you need an elaborate cheek contouring. Besides, waking 5-10 minutes earlier would still make a difference in terms of preparedness without depriving yourself of precious beauty sleep. That snooze button is pure evil.

6. Never leave the house without full makeup.  Sometimes you really don't have the time or don't feel like it and there's no point beating yourself up over a missing foundation. Instead, your nearest and dearest might be a lot more appreciative if you focus on never leaving the house in sweats or your partner's old t-shirt.

7. Only shop sales. This looks like a great idea in theory but leads to countless bad purchases. The fact something is on sale doesn't necessarily makes it a good buy and stocking up on discontinued items might leave you with a bunch of lipsticks that smell past their prime (hence money wasted). Instead, sign up for newsletters and pay attention to Friends & Family sales from stores and companies you normally buy. Then purchase just an item or two you already had on your wishlist.

8. Get backups for beloved products. It's related to the one above, especially in regards to limited edition items you adore and then find yourself buying ten units in the post-holiday sale. The thing is that companies improve their formulas and pigments all the time. There's going to be newer and better stuff and you really don't want to get stuck with a foundation that has the texture of eight years ago.

9. Not spend money at all or always avoid expensive items. Making this resolution is setting yourself up to failure, for feeling deprived and prone to too many impulse purchases at the drugstore telling yourself they're so cheap they don't count. Now go count how many of those "little" treats are hiding in your drawers and tally them up. Were they really worth it? Instead, why not wait and buy one item of an excellent quality that you know you'll use and  that makes you really really happy? One gorgeous luxury lipstick, a small but wearable palette or an excellent and durable makeup brush have better chances to make you smile in the long run.

10. Find your holy grail lipstick/perfume/pair of jeans and stick with them- Don't get so focused on "the one" you stop enjoying the process. Chances are you need more than one color of lipstick or one perfume to end them all. Instead, think of a range of flattering colors or a perfume genre you love and explore them with joy.

Do you have an experience with resolutions gone awry? Other useful advice when you have the urge to revamp your routine without having a personality transplant in the process? Please share!

Image from an old Barneys New York newsletter.


  1. This year, I'm trying to spend less money at the counters and at Sephora. It's almost impossible for me, so we'll see how it goes....

  2. I've done pretty good so far. I made only two resolutions, and they have been easy to keep:

    1) Sample all the Mona di Orio fragrances I do not already own. I haven't sampled fragrance for over a year now, but I'm ready. It's no surprise I'll start with my favorite perfumer. :) That resolution is in transit--i.e., the samples are making their way to me from Les Scenteurs. I foresee beaucoup purchases as her creations always smell divine on me (I have the first five).

    2) Start the beauty purchases off with a few Edward Bess eyeshadows and blushes. I haven't fulfilled that resolution, but neither have I bought another Chanel red lipstick. So I'm doing well!

  3. I'm all for investing my money in quality products. It's worth saving up for, and applies to fashion items, makeup, perfumes and accessories.
    And in most cases - if I don't want to pay the full price for it, chances are that I don't really like it all that much...

  4. I enjoyed reading your non-resolutions. You are the quintessential voice of reason!

  5. Non-resolutions are awesome! I even followed one, and got bangs. I love bangs. :)

  6. What excellent advice, especially about the sales and little 'crap' (my word, not yours :-) v. one thing of quality.

    Sage advice, indeed.

    My resolution is to keep my hair in better order. It's extremely curly and, if I don't keep it in check, skirts close to Sideshow Bob territory. WAY too old for that. It only takes a couple extra minutes to smooth the curls out a bit. I'm too old (55) not to have a polished look. At this age, frizzy just looks messy and crazy. And I feel better when I'm a bit more pulled-together.

  7. My new year resolutions are:1) to be thoughtful of what products I really need, 2) weed out old makeup product (did that over holiday break) 3) Enjoy existing perfumes already in my collection 4) I've been looking for this particular vintage perfume bottle for over 15 years, and I think I've found it... 5) Have the courage to go gray (at 43, I'm over 60% there) 6) Maintain my brows better, it's the part of my beauty routine I'm most intimidated about! Silly isn't it? 7) Try Edward Bess products, they look amazing!

  8. Amazing post! I am always guilty of shopping sales and stocking up on my favorite stuff. My resolution is to ONLY buy new cosmetics when I need them. (the fact that I have 3 full unopened bottles of make up remover should be reason enough to refrain from the sales counters)

  9. My only (realistic) resolution is to only buy things that I really love so MAC can come out with billions of collections but no buying unless I try and really like something. Although what I've found is that I prefer higher end products because they seem they are more finely milled so I will have to wait and save for those items instead.

  10. Thanks for the realistic check-in, good stuff to be reminded of. While I benefit from a back-up of an item as chronic bag-dropper and misplacer of all things, my big resolutions are:
    1) Avoid purchases of items only made acquainted with through online reviews and swatches. I have to see it in real life to know for sure.
    2) Sleep on it. It will be there tomorrow/next week. Also, I have a weird thing about not buying the last one, I have enough, let someone else have it.
    3) Not buy 52 million variations on a theme of one item that worked very well for me, only to find 52 million variations that don't scratch the itch, rather just get a 2nd of the item (I legitimately use up my back-ups, more so than single items).
    4) Stick to what immediately makes me happy--easy and fresh make me happy, intricate and time-consuming drive me bonkers, and keep this vision in my head when I shop.


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