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Five beauty resolutions for the new year

Resolution 1: Purge some product

Many of us are guilty of holding onto beloved beauty products beyond their expiry dates. If you're one dried-out tube of mascara away from appearing on Hoarders, however, you may be in need of a makeup-bag cleanup. When cosmetics age, the preservatives wear off and bacteria, ranging from colonies of dirt to infection-causing microorganisms, invade. Don't get grossed out, though; purge some product instead. Mascara, for instance, expires especially early and, if you use it daily, should be replaced every three months. Also, start cleaning the tips of your eye and lip pencils, by sharpening them, on a weekly basis. Finally, dirty brushes can cause irritation or breakouts, so use a cleanser or a mild antibacterial dish detergent to prevent bacterial buildup.

Resolution 2: Leave the house naked

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If the spring 2014 runway shows were any indication, it's time to experiment with the no-makeup makeup look. The au naturel face created by makeup artist Tom Pecheux for Balmain epitomized the trend, which is as much about skin care as it is about minimal makeup use. To get the look, massage a hydrating gel under a moisturizer to instantly plump, revive and replenish skin. If you need added coverage, layer a tinted moisturizer or CC cream on top to even out your skin tone. Blend a de-puffing, dark-circle-erasing eye cream around the contour of your eyes before applying a spot corrector where needed. Cap off the effect by pressing a lip conditioner into lips for a robust, healthful look.

Resolution 3: Man up

If the guy in your life is prone to depleting your jar of La Prairie, it's time to return the favour and pinch his products as well. At the top of the borrowed-from-the-boys list is Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm. Enriched with shea butter and avocado oil plus antioxidants like vitamin E and green tea extract, this hydrating balm nourishes dry lips and protects against the sun with an SPF of 25. Masculine scents are also popular for women right now but a unisex eau de parfum like Byredo's 1996 Inez & Vinoodh is a great way to test out more masculine notes. It's an intoxicatingly woody fragrance with hints of amber, leather and patchouli.

Resolution 4: Break the beauty rut

Arriving at a hair and makeup routine that works can make getting ready less stressful but following that tried and true pattern day after day can lead to a beauty rut. Luckily, the spring 2014 catwalks were full of fresh beauty and hair ideas (from the tangerine lips at Rag & Bone to the braided tresses at Rebecca Minkoff and Oscar de la Renta) to coax you out of your comfort zone. To streamline the transition to a refreshed regimen, invest in a kit or palette with a diverse range of colours and textures. Subscription beauty boxes are another convenient way to expand your horizons with new products delivered every month.

Resolution 5: Repair that hair

Asking many women to forsake their blow driers and flat irons is like asking Kanye to stop being obsessed with, well, Kanye. Instead, protect hair from styling trauma (and repair it if need be) with these key tips. First, prepare damp hair with a heat protector, like Shu Uemura's Art of Hair Satin Design, to minimize damage from styling tools, eliminate frizz and give you a salon-glossy look. Second, condition your hair once a week with a hydrating mask enriched with essential oils like Aveda's Dry Remedy Daily Moisturizing Mask to restore shine and repair fried strands. Third, don't comb your hair immediately after you shower. Instead, let hair air dry for 10 to 15 minutes before employing a wide-tooth comb to brush out tangles, starting from your ends and working up to your roots.

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