Trade your bronzer for a multi-use color stick. Sticking with beloved beauty standbys may not always be a good thing, as old formulas can leave your complexion looking less than flawless. Try these 12 product upgrades that help you put your best face forward.
1. Trade your bronzer for a multi-use color stick. Bronzer doesn't always work on pale winter skin; instead, swap it for a product that can be used in multiple ways, on various skin tones. Joni Powell, makeup department head for the CW's Hart of Dixie, recommends ColorStick from Cargo ($28, ulta.com). Available in five colors, this stick can be used for cheek shimmer, lip color, blush, eye shimmer, and eyeshadow. "It's the perfect product for an overall look," says Powell.
2. Replace your powder compact with finishing cream. Finishing cream is the new little black dress for your beauty regime. Try Revitalift Miracle Blur Finishing Cream ($20, walmart.com). "It will not only mattify and blur imperfections for a skin 'pick-me-up', but it will also provide much-needed sun protection with SPF 30," says Gervaise Gerstner, MD, L'Oréal Paris Consulting Dermatologist.
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3. Upgrade your regular lip balm to one with SPF. Don't forget that lips need protection, too; lipstick and gloss just don't cut it, especially in winter. "As women age, the skin on the lips gets thinner and dryer, which makes it more susceptible to sun damage," says Tanya Rae from Patrick Melville Salon. "Make sure your balm works double duty by hydrating and protecting." Try Aquaphor Lip Repair and Protect SPF 30 ($5, walgreens.com).
4. Swap liquid eyeliner for gel. Not everyone has the skill to apply a liquid liner, nor does it complement all eye shapes. A gel liner can help you achieve a dramatic look without the precision required by its liquid counterpart, says Powell. She suggests Bobbi Brown Gel liner in black ($23, sephora.com) and Urban Decay's award winning 24/7 glide-on pencil ($19, sephora.com). "The Bobbi Brown liner will give you a bold look, and the Urban Decay pencil can also be smudged all over as an eye shadow."
5. Invest in an illuminating concealer. Nix your thick, drying concealer for something lighter and brighter. Adding light around the eyes is the best way to diminish dark circles and make them pop, says Rae. Concealer with light-reflective optics, like Clinique Airbrush Concealer ($20, macys.com), is a makeup artist's go-to. "Look for a formula that is creamy and sheer; this will make for an easier application and less creasing."
6. Swap your regular mascara for one with oomph! To get voluminous lashes sans extensions, try one of the new volumizing mascaras, such as CoverGirl Lashblast Volume Blasting Mascara ($7, walmart.com). "Mascara is one of my favorite tools - it helps to open the eyes," says Valerie Rosenthal of Robert Stuart Salons. For a more dramatic look, lightly brush your bottom lashes as well.
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7. Trade eye cream for a nighttime under eye treatment. They don't call it beauty sleep for nothing! Nighttime hours are the perfect time to use a cream that would normally be too heavy during the day, says Rae. "Look for a supercharged formula, something rich that hydrates the under eye area." Choose a cream with Vitamins A and C, which work to strengthen skin and reduce imperfections while soothing and protecting. Try Pink Papaya Ultra Hydrating Eye Crème with Marine Extracts ($42, amazon.com).
8. Replace powder blush with a cream one. Don't shy away from blush because you're afraid of incorrectly applying it or looking like a clown. But consider shopping for a new formula. "Cream blush is easy to use and perfect for dry or more mature skin types," says Rae. Look for a sheer blush that glides on easily, with a pop of color that will make your skin glow. Layer for more intensity.
As for that age-old rule that says you should apply blush on the apples of your cheeks? Not true! "This will just drag the face down," insists Rae. "Keep blush on the cheekbones: Use your ring finger and tap the blush on the top of the cheekbones then blend into the skin an upward motion." Try Revlon Cream Blush ($11, walgreens.com).
9. Upgrade lipstick to a hydrating version. Lip color that hydrates lips (especially during winter) and transitions nicely into spring is a must-have for your beauty arsenal. Try Sephora Collection Rouge Cream Lipstick ($12, sephora.com). The moisturizing, pigment-rich stick gives your lips a pop of color, without needing to apply too much.
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10. Trade your brow pencil for brow gel. "Brows frame your face and play an important part in structure," says Rosenthal. So, make unruly brows behave by swapping your brow pencil for a brow gel, which is lighter and more natural. "With one sweep of the wand, your brows will hold their shape and have subtle sheen." Plus, a gel won't rub off or smear like a pencil might. Try Sonia Kashuk Brow Gel ($6, target.com).
11. Change out your foundation. "Cosmetics companies are always working on improving their products so it benefits you to upgrade," says Rae. Look for a creamy foundation that has a smooth application and staying power, like Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24H ($45, lancome-usa.com). Whether you apply foundation with your fingers or a brush, use a damp sponge to blend. This will help the formula blend seamlessly into the skin, eliminate any "foundation lines", and give you that extra glow, says Rayes.
12. Swap hand lotion for hydrating balm. If your hand cream is failing you, consider a wonder balm that's more effective than the average lotion, says Rosenthal. Apply the Nuance Salma Hayek Hydrating Balm Rose Petal ($7, cvs.com) to lips, cuticles, elbows, and other dry patches.
What are your makeup essentials? Let me know in the comments!
-by Kim Peiffer
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