# 1 Take Better Care of Myself
Beauty-wise, I tend to be very lazy. Actually, that might be more of a general thing, and not just restricted to my beauty regimes. I know all the skin-care routines - wash, cleanse, exfoliate, tone, moisturize - but I'm always too lazy to do it as often and regularly as required. I'll do it as and when my mood is right; or if I see dire need for any particular activity; or if I have to look especially good for some occasion!. And my skin (not to mention hair, nails etc) patiently puts up with my lazy habits! Well, it won't have to anymore, because this 2014, all of that is gonna change. It's at the top of my list!
# 2 Care before flair
I've seen it so often. That gorgeous girl on the train wearing the perfect makeup. I always end up thinking how unkempt I must look sitting besides her. But then my eyes fall to her elbows and I see the telltale white marks. Her skin is starving for moisture. I'm guilty of being that girl. I often glance in the mirror before leaving the house and add some kajal to ensure I look presentable. But I'm more careless when it comes to moisturizers, sunscreen etc. It's easy to miss out on these since the immediate effects are not visible. But over a period of time, the damage to the skin due to neglect is irreversible. This 2014, my motto is care before flair. It is way more important after all.
Recently I cleaned out my dresser and was shocked to find that so many of the products had already expired! I found creams and lotions lurking in the shadows - creams that I'd forgotten I owned! I ended up throwing away three bags full of creams and scrubs and what not; along with an entire bag of dried nail paint! It was such a waste. And even after throwing away so much, my dresser was still crowded as ever!
# 4 No buying products just because I love the packaging - it's the content, quality and value for money that matters!
This is something that everyone knows. Most of us are sensible, well educated people. So why do we fall for pretty packaging? I don't know...maybe the same reason why we can't help but be attracted to good looking people - even if they may be trouble or totally wrong for us or simply not our type. Whatever the reason, this 2014, I'm going to think with my brain and not my eyes!
# 5 No going crazy on a shopping trip and buying more than intended
This is something everyone has faced. We all have our weaknesses - clothes, shoes, bags, watches, accessories, makeup, face packs and whatnot. But the story is the same - we see, we want, we buy. Do we need? Often no. But when you have the cash (or not - Remember Rebecca Bloomwood who tried to pay for a hot dog with a cheque because she just had to have that beautiful green scarf?) and it's right there looking gorgeous, almost begging to be yours, we just can't seem to resist. Especially when the salesperson goes on to list all the reasons why you simply must buy it. And against our better judgement, before we even know it, it's added to our shopping cart. But no more! This 2014, it's gonna be brain over heart!
# 6 No buying products without researching them first
Forget the ads. Of course they'll tell you that your life would be incomplete without the new BB cream/lip balm/mascara - that's what ads are for! But unless you're one of those people who's the first in line to buy everything just as it hits the stores, there's a very good chance that someone's purchased it before you. It's always a good practice to read reviews of a product before purchasing, just so you have a rough idea as to how effective the product truly is. (This is something I usually follow; unless I violate # 4 and buy things without previously intending or if the store doesn't have the brand I was looking for and I end up buying some other brand instead - I'm impatient like that.) Very recently, I purchased Lakmé Gentle and Soft Deep Pore Cleanser, and not knowing the price beforehand, I ended up paying an unnecessary Rs. 20 more (Read the review to know more). Moral of the story? Google's there for a reason. Use it!
# 7 Paying more attention to the ingredients listed
We have a right to information. A right to know what goes into the products we buy and use. But often, even when looking at that bottle of lotion or face wash for instructions and expiry dates, we tend to skip over the ingredients listed. Why? Because we trust that the products have been tested and we don't always understand the complicated chemical names. That's right, most of the ingredients are chemicals, and we happily slather them all over our face and body without even knowing what they are. Some products don't even bother listing their ingredients (like the Lakmé Eyeconic range) and we may not even realise! Are the products we use tested on animals? Do they contain harmful chemicals? Do we even care about these things? We have started trusting brands too much and hoping for the best, but why should we? You notice how a cream containing avocado and neem extracts will have that written right across the front of the bottle in large font, while the rest of the ingredients will be mentioned (or sometimes are omitted entirely) in the tiniest font at the back? Google and Wikipedia are a great help when it comes to understanding complicated chemicals and how they can be harmful. Let's stop being ignorant and start paying more attention. After all, there's no point having the softest skin if you get cancer, is there?
# 8 Paying attention to expiry dates
My mother absolutely hates throwing away stuff, including expired
products. She'll always use expired face and hand creams on her
so as to not to throw it away. But using expired products is always
a bad idea.
Recently I walked into a store to buy an Everyuth face mask of which I'd read great reviews. I was very happy to see that they had what I was looking for but the packaging seemed a little dusty and old. On examining further, I noticed that the product the salesperson showed me was one year past its expiry. When I pointed it out to him, he said that Everyuth had changed its packaging and didn't manufacture the product that I wanted anymore - something that he conveniently forgot to mention when I asked to see the face mask. And then he calmly returned the expired pack to the shelf he'd taken it down from, probably with the intention of palming it off on some other unsuspecting person. An expiry date is a warning that the product is no longer safe to use beyond the specified date, and should you chose to use it, the company cannot be held liable for any harmful effects later noticed. This incident with the face mask made me realise that you have to be careful of expiry dates not just while using the product, but also while purchasing it. Ensure that the product you're purchasing has sufficient shelf life left. Also check for clarity in manufacturing and expiry dates while purchasing. About a year, when you don't have to squint to see when the product expires, you'll be grateful.
# 9 No buying entire ranges - decide on each product individually
When Elle 18 came out with its colour bombs range, there was a rush to buy the cute trendy affordable cosmetics. In all the excitement, people bought as many products from the entire range as they could carry. And who could blame them? The gorgeous packaging, bright amazing colours and affordability made them a great choice. I have a lip gloss from the range which I really adore. Wanting to try more of them, I looked up some reviews to see whether all their glosses were as good. To my dismay, I came across quite a few reviews stating that their Vanilla Heat Lip Smoothie, though looked gorgeous, smelled like kerosene! No one wants lips smelling like kerosene! The point I'm trying to make is, just because it feels good to own entire ranges of products (or even if you've tried one and loved it, the entire range may not be as good), every product in the range may not be as good as the other. They're not collector's items, and won't be worth more as a set. Evaluate each product individually before buying.
# 10 Experimenting is great; but not at the cost of my skinI'm that girl who's always trying new things. I'll try the weird combination of some unheard of veggies and fruits in the menu of a restaurant, and even though I probably won't be able to swallow any of it, I won't be discouraged from doing it again because it was a new experience. Well, new experiences are great. Who doesn't like to try out that gorgeous looking new BB just launched? But experimenting at the cost of suffering a breakout and also purchasing something you might never be able to use again? Not really worth it. You can never really know how well a product is going to work on your skin without trying it out. But what you can do is look it up and see if it has caused problems for others.
So these are some of my resolutions for 2014. How about you? Do leave your thoughts and any other points you can think of to add to my list.
And of course - Have a beautiful 2014! :)