The New Year is a great time to take inventory of your life-- and your beauty routine. Although there is no shortage of fads and gimmicks designed to make you look better, there are a few tried and true things that could help you make this year your most beautiful one yet.
Read my insider beauty tips-- as a woman, a plastic surgeon, and a beauty expert-- below.
1. Don't go to bed with your makeup on
Take it all off every night, no exceptions. Prolonged contact between makeup and your skin is comedogenic, pore-clogging, and acne-inspiring. Simply washing your face at night will go a long way in improving the quality of your complexion.
2. If you are over 30, use a prescription-strength retinoid product.
This is the beauty secret of virtually every celebrity and model, and I consider it an essential component of a medical skincare routine. Retinoids give you smooth glowy skin, shrink your pores, and erase your wrinkles. If you are over 30 (or over 25 with sun damage or premature aging), I recommend retinoids for a beautiful complexion. My product line's Platinum Triple Glow (below) is powerful combination of tretinoin, hydroquinone, and hydrocortisone that will get rid of fine lines, even out pigment spots, and smooth your skin. I use this product every night before bed.
3. Don't get eyelash extensions or use false lashes.
These damage your delicate eyelash follicles and can cause alopecia (bald spots) where your eyelashes are supposed to be. Splurge on a great mascara, or use Latisse, or both, but avoid eyelash extensions at all costs.
4. Eat more leafy green vegetables.
Go ahead and buy that kale-spinach green juice. Studies show that not only do these vegetables give you much-needed vitamins and nutritional support, but they can also make your hair shinier, your nails stronger, and your skin healthier.
5. When you are having a terrible day, dress up.
Research suggests that it makes you feel good to look good. This powerful effect can be harnessed to get you out of a gloomy slump when you are having a tough day. Put on a great outfit, wear a splash of color, apply some makeup, or adorn yourself with a special piece of jewelry. The self-confidence boost will mitigate your difficult day.
6. Resist the impulse to age your personal style.
Many women, as they get older, feel pressure to cut their hair, get highlights, wear heavy makeup, or put on a lot of jewelry. While it is certainly attractive to present yourself in an age-appropriate manner, these stylistic changes (particularly when taken all together) can age you. Consider avoiding some or all of these trends. Think of the ageless beauty Demi Moore-- long, dark hair, natural makeup, and minimal jewelry.
7. Wear a signature scent.
Olfaction is one of our most powerful human senses. Smell, after all, is neurologically tied to memory, pleasure, and the brain's reward pathways. Find a favorite scent (or several), and wear a small amount each day to stimulate this aspect of your brain and give you a boost of sensuality.
8. Know when to seek professional help.
Whether you want to color your gray hairs, whiten your teeth, try Botox for the first time, or explore plastic surgery, know when to seek the opinion of an expert. While there are countless sources of information out there-- not the least of which is the internet-- a trusted authority will apply his or her expertise to helping you analyze your situation and get your best results. You can buy a bottle of wine that costs $2 or one that costs $100, but which one do you actually want to drink?
9. THINK OF SUNSCREEN THE WAY YOU THINK OF BRUSHING YOUR TEETH.
You would never leave home without brushing your teeth, so don't leave home without applying sunscreen either. You don't see the results of sun damage overnight, but over the years, you will 100% notice a deterioration in your skin quality if you fail to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays. I use Platinum SPF 45 Daily Tinted BB Cream from my own line every morning, rain or shine.
10. Remember the basics.
Don't forget all of the things your parents told you growing up: get enough sleep, eat balanced meals, get exercise, stick to a routine, think of other people's feelings, and spend time with your family and friends. These simple lessons will help you live a beautiful life. When you tap into beauty on the inside, you always reflect more beauty on the outside too.