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The bad beauty habits you need to ditch in 2013

Yahoo Lifestyle
2 January 2013

January is always associated with New Year resolutions, whether it’s quitting smoking, cutting back on the booze or joining the gym. 

But in the post-Christmas haze, it’s easy to forget that our beauty regime is probably also in need of an overhaul. To get you started, we've identified five bad beauty habits to break in 2013....

Always using the same foundation

Our skin's requirements can change incredibly quickly, and our choice of foundation should reflect this. The mattifying, shine-stopping foundation you used in your twenties is unlikely to do your skin justice ten years on. 

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"As we age, so does the need to change your foundation format," says Chase Aston, the Body Shop's international make up artist.

"The skin needs more hydrating and radiance-enhancing key ingredients, to ensure that the complexion looks and feels fresh whilst ensuring that fine lines are erased and softened."

It's also important to change your foundation depending on the season. "Pale and porcelain shades may suit you for the winter months, but can appear pallid and washed out for spring and summer," warns Chase. 

"During these months, opt for a foundation with a slight tint of yellow in it - this will ensure the complexion appears fresh and healthy. Also, switch from powder-based formats to cream, liquid or mousse."

Applying highlighter in the wrong way

Just because we don’t have Heidi Klum’s cheekbones doesn’t mean that the only way to define bone structure is by applying war-like streaks of bronzer or bright dots of blusher.

Make up guru Bobbi Brown suggests choosing a colour which reflects a natural, healthy flush of colour. 'The right shade of blush looks like the colour that your cheeks turn when you exercise or blush,” says Bobbi.

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“A pop of pink blush on the apples of cheeks makes any woman look fresher -  there's something about the colour pink that's instantly flattering: it warms up your face and draws attention away from tired eyes."       

Using the wrong shade of eye shadow

If you’re a fan of bright colours, work out which shades suit your skin tone and hair colour, and remember that brighter hues can be trickier to wear as we get older - that bright green eye shadow you wore as a teenager probably doesn’t look quite so stylish ten years on.

Eyelid primers can be especially useful when it comes to giving brighter colours staying power and creating a long lasting, creaseless finish.

"Eye shadows with sheer and shimmery finishes are the easiest to wear, and will suit all skin tones," says Chase at the Body Shop. 

"Remember that if you're opting to wear the lighter pastel hues, these work best on pale to medium skin tones. On warm to dark skin tones, the colours can appear wishy-washy so make sure you wear hues that are deeper and brighter in depth of colour - this will ensure that the colours will pop."

Neglecting your eyebrows

If you've been plucking your eyebrows in the same style for years, consider visiting a brow bar to find out which shape works best for your face shape.

"Getting brows professionally groomed is the equivalent to a mini-face-lift and gives your face structure," explains eyebrow guru Shavata.

If you're taking a DIY approach to brow maintenance, it's important to follow your natural brow shape. Take a pencil and hold it parallel to the side of the bridge of your nose - the inner edge of your brows should start here.

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Angling the pencil diagonally from your nostril to the outside corner of your eye will tell you where your brow should end. Mark these points with an eyebrow pencil and tweeze accordingly, never removing more than two rows of hair from the underside.

Avoid removing too much hair from above the brow - just enough to create a subtle, downward slope.  It's also worth investing in a good pair of tweezers -  square tip tweezers work well on coarser hair, while thin tip tweezers are ideal for finer hair.

Slanted tip tweezers are the best option for some seriously precise plucking and are perfect for maintaining brows on a day-to-day basis.

Only using one concealer

Using a one-size-suits-all approach to concealer is never a good approach.  You might well remember the days when one slick of Rimmel’s Hide the Blemish instantly covered everything from dark circles to spots but as our skin matures, its requirements change.

Covering dark circles can be especially tricky, and for this reason, a dedicated eye bag banisher is worth its weight in gold. 'Cover dark circles with a creamy, yellow-toned concealer,' suggests Bobbi Brown. 'For extreme darkness, start with a pink-toned corrector, then layer on the yellow-toned concealer.'

Mistreating your make up

The New Year is a great time to clear out your wardrobe, but what about your make up bag?

The combination of damp make up sponges, dirty make up brushes and eye liner pencils are a recipe for disaster, while hanging onto that year-old mascara won’t save you money, but might well lead to an eye infection.

Be ruthless: throw away anything which hasn't been used in the last three months, and give your make up bag a thorough clean, too.

"Beauty bags which are either plastic or lined with nylon are best as they can be easily cleaned on a regular basis," points out Chase Aston.

"I always keep wet wipes to hand to wipe away any spillage or leakage, and for my once-a-month thorough clean out, I use either Isopropyl alcohol wipes or liquid Isopropyl alcohol. Soak a make up pad and wipe the bags clean inside and out. For cloth make up bags, pop them into a bowl of hot water and using a mixture of baby shampoo and disinfectant, thoroughly wash and rinse, then allow to air dry."

Five beauty resolutions to make (and stick to!) in 2013:

Change your mascara regularly - ideally every three months. On average, women in the UK keep their mascara for around 12 months.

Wash make brushes once a month - simply wash them in soapy water then leave then on the draining board to air dry. Dirty brushes are a breeding ground for micro-organisms which can cause herpes, ringworm and impetigo.
Visit a make up counter and find out if the foundation you're using is the right one for your skin tone and type. Don't be afraid to ask for samples - foundations will often look completely different away from the harsh lighting of the shop floor.

Invest in a decent pair of tweezers. The right pair of tweezers will make the art of eye brow maintenance significantly easier. If possible, opt for a brand which offers a sharpening service - many brands offer a lifetime guarantee which will allow you to send back blunt tweezers for sharpening.

Go through your make up and chuck out anything you haven't used for three months. Unused items don't just take up space but are a magnet for germs, too. Don't forget to check the base of the product to find out how long it's meant to be kept for - the number of months will be written within an open pot symbol.

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