The dawn of a new year is often coupled with a slew of new resolutions—from updated fitness goals to finally prioritising self-care needs—that many of us aim to meet over the next 12 months. But January 2022 has been off to a rough start, and sticking to a newly-minted daily, weekly, or even monthly schedule can be a challenge—and not always the good kind.
With an ongoing pandemic and a number of other unforeseen life stresses, we’re looking for extra simplicity and peace of mind wherever we can find it, especially when it comes to beauty and wellness. Developing a well-rounded routine can not only fine-tune a person’s appearance, but also add moments of calm to an otherwise busy day. But true beauty lovers know (this writer included) that there are common pain points many of us face—from regularly washing our makeup brushes to wearing sunscreen on a daily basis—that actually require less effort than you might think to resolve.
To help us streamline the process even faster, we turned to some of the top hair, skin, nail, and makeup professionals for their thoughts and product recommendations to make staying focused on your beauty goals a breeze. Here, nine beauty resolutions we’re sticking to for 2022.
To actually wash your makeup off before bed.
“Sleeping with makeup on is a total no-no,” says NYC-based dermatologist Shari Marchbein. “Double cleanse routines aren’t necessary for everyone, but they can be especially great for those needing to remove makeup. Double cleanses typically start with either an oil-based cleanser or micellar water (my personal choice). And the second step is to add either a foaming or creamy cleanser depending on your preference.”
Marchbein recommends those with oily skin stick to foaming cleansers like CeraVe’s Foaming Facial Cleanser as a second step in their removal routines. For anyone with rosacea, eczema, or other forms of sensitive skin, she advises using a hydrating or creamy cleanser such as the La Roche-Posay Wash AP+ Gentle Foaming Moisturizing Wash, or a gentle micellar water like Simple’s Kind to Skin Micellar Cleansing Water. While the right combination of products can make taking your makeup off faster than ever, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Tone Dermatology in Chicago, IL, Caroline Robinson adds that an unwritten rule of proper removal is taking your time. “Most makeup can be effectively removed if we slow down and stop rushing our face washing,” she adds. “Use a circular motion and gently loosen up makeup with your cleanser for at least 30 to 60 seconds before rinsing.” A few of Robinson’s cleansing go-tos include Revision Skincare’s Gentle Cleansing Lotion, and the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Oil Cleanser, which she highly recommends using on dry skin to remove oil, debris, sunscreen, and makeup prior to following up with a gentle cleanser.
To remove stubborn makeup that lingers after washing your face, celebrity makeup artist Melissa Hurkman recommends using a warm washcloth along with a few Q-tips around areas like the lips and eyes, where products tend to stick. “Run a washcloth under warm water and ring it out until it’s almost dry,” she says. “Then, apply a little oil or your favourite makeup remover to that area and hold the warm cloth over it to help loosen the product. Finally, massage your oil or remover of choice over your skin again, and wipe away everything completely.”
To put an end to nail biting and cuticle picking once and for all.
While nail biting or cuticle picking can serve as a temporary stress relievers, doing so can wreak serious havoc on the health of your nails overtime. “Nail biting and cuticle picking is a habit which can take a lot of self-discipline to kick,” says celebrity nail artist and owner of Doublemoss Arte and Jewelry Betina Goldstein. “I’ve heard from a few clients of mine that wearing gel polish can help minimise nail biting. When it comes to cuticle picking, I recommend using a ball or a fidget spinner to keep your hands occupied when feeling stressed.” According to celebrity nail artist Sigourney Nuñez, using a hydrating cuticle oil can be another option to curb picking and biting, since the treatment can keep your nail beds continually moisturised. “Applying cuticle oil everyday can prevent the area from getting brittle and eventually breaking, and just generally doesn’t taste very good,” she says. “Lately I’ve been exploring non-mainstream cuticle oils by supporting nail techs who sell and develop them for extra income. Currently in my bag, I’m carrying Nail Me and Co. and Cutie Oils.”
To get rid of dry winter skin.
Colder months usually mean an increase in dry, scaly skin, which is typically an easy fix with the right methods and products. For optimal hydration, experts say that considering when to apply your body or face moisturiser of choice can make all the difference in keeping your skin supple throughout the day. Board-certified dermatologist at Entiére Dermatology in NYC Robert Finney suggests patting dry, and then applying a thick moisturising cream or ointment while your skin is still damp. “[Additionally,] take quick showers—ideally limiting them to between five and seven minutes—and only once a day.” Robinson agrees, adding that applying moisturiser within two minutes of leaving the shower is key. “Apply your moisturiser within two minutes of leaving your shower; the longer you wait the more hydration is lost,” she explains. “I also love to layer products. My initial moisturiser on an area that tends to be drier or prone to cracking (like the knees, hands, and feet) is a thicker moisturising cream, but I always top it off with Vaseline Jelly to ensure the hydration is sealed in.”
For moments when your skin is flaky, Finney advises using a moisturiser that will help it descale (typically containing ingredients like ammonium lactate and urea) once daily in addition to your regular moisturiser. “My favourite right now is the Isdin Uradin Lotion 10,” he notes. “This combination will help gently draw moisture in to repair the skin.” Another pro tip? Don’t forget about your lips when it comes to keeping dry skin at bay. According to Marchbein, chapped lips are characterised by the peeling, fissuring, and cracking of the lip skin, which can often be painful, and caused by a number of factors including cold dry air, harsh winds, excessive or habitual lip licking, and more. “The lips do not contain oil glands, unlike other parts of the body, which predisposes them to dryness and chapping,” she says. “My all-time favourite, can’t live without lip (and eye) moisturiser is simply Vaseline Jelly—you really don’t need anything fancy here. A hydrating occlusive ointment is perfect for the thin delicate skin of the lips.”
To wash your makeup brushes on a regular basis.
We know what you might already be thinking when it comes to this beauty resolution. But with so many different options available to get your go-tos squeaky clean, washing your makeup brushes doesn’t always have to feel like a chore. “I personally prefer using a soap when I clean my brushes after a work day, as opposed to a cleaning solution because I find it most effective, and for my clients with really sensitive skin, the less chemical products I use on my brushes the better,” says Hurkman. “My favourite soap to use on my makeup brushes currently is by Cinema Secrets. The Brush Cleansing Soap removes bacteria and makeup residue almost immediately without drying out the hair of my brushes—I like to wear gloves and work the soap in.” Hurkman also recommends Cinema Secrets’s Professional-Grade Makeup Brush Cleaner, which she uses in between clients, and to remove stubborn stains on her brushes before washing them with soap and water.
Celebrity makeup artist Cara Lovello also counts the Cinema Secrets Makeup Brush Cleaner as her absolute favourite, adding that keeping your brushes their cleanest between each use can not only minimise bacterial build-up, but also ensure your makeup application looks as pigmented and precise as possible. “You can’t expect your makeup to come out it’s best if you’re using dirty brushes,” she says. “I promise the more frequently you start to clean them the easier it gets to do it consistently. Cinema Secrets’s Brush Cleaner is the absolute best cleanser out there. It makes cleaning your brushes so easy, and since it’s also quick-drying, I never have to wait between clients.” After washing your brushes, experts suggest using a paper towel to squeeze out excess water, and storing them upright in a container or brush belt to avoid misshapen bristles. Hurkman also says placing your brushes on an elevated cooling rack can allow optimal airflow that dries the brushes quickly. As an added tip, try placing a small portable fan in front of them to help decrease drying time.
To take better care of your scalp.
As many of us focus on simply extending the length of our hair or managing unruly ends, effective scalp maintenance—which is literally the root of great hair care—is often an afterthought for beauty lovers. “Gentle exfoliation is key to thicker, healthier and shinier hair,” explains celebrity hair stylist Sally Hershberger. “To avoid irritation and sensitivity, exfoliating your scalp once a week is ideal.” Similar to the gentle kneading of a deep tissue or Swedish massage, using a water-friendly tool (or simply your fingertips) in the shower is not only relaxing, but can also help stimulate hair growth. While it may seem like an extra step in your beauty routine, experts suggest that scalp care doesn’t have to be complicated.
“One of my favourite scalp treatments is something that almost everyone has in their kitchen—coconut oil,” says Hershberger. “Coconut oil can moisturise the scalp, helping with any dandruff or dry skin. Just warm a tablespoon in between your hands and massage into the scalp. I love it because it’s super effective, natural and easily accessible.” According to Hershberger, the right scalp massager can be an easy yet effective add-on to your existing hair regimen as they exfoliate while lessening product build-up and just generally just feel great to use. “There are tons of options, but I recommend trying the Heeta Hair Scalp Massager Brush,” she adds. The temperature of your water is another aspect to consider in your hair care process. Celebrity hair stylist Garrett Markenson advises that while rinsing with cold water to increase shine and lock in hydration is a myth, using water that’s too hot can ultimately contribute to scalp dryness. “One thing you can do that will change the health of your hair significantly is doing an oil treatment that penetrates the inner hair shaft, like the Reverie Ever Recovery Hair Oil, at least one hour up to overnight before wash day,” he says. “Not only does the oil deliver nutrients and fatty acids to the scalp and hair, but they can give it an extra barrier from absorbing too much water, which reduces damage.”
To avoid wearing chipped nail polish.
We’ll be the first to admit that sometimes wearing chipped nail polish is a matter of happenstance, but with so many options available for a flawless manicure—from press-ons to long-lasting top coats—keeping your nails neat and glossy is easier than ever. “My favourite long-lasting top coat (for many years) is Seche Vive’s Gel Effect Top Coat, because it dries quickly, and hardens the polish surface,” explains celebrity nail artist Queenie Nguyen.”It prolongs intense shine and stays very shiny like gel polishes for days without the need for the LED lamp.” For another tried-and-true top coat option, Nuñez recommends indie brand Glisten and Glow’s Top Coat polish, which she says dries quickly, stays shiny, and doesn’t leave behind any streaks.
If you’re in search of a luxe manicure that requires little to no effort (outside of a trip to your local salon), a few sets of pre-designed press-ons might become your go-tos in 2022. Goldstein is a fan of using Nails of LA’s range of styles on many of her clients, but when she has time to start a look from scratch, she reaches for the brand Pattie Yankee. “They come pre glued and they are super sturdy but then easy to remove with a bit of oil or alcohol,” she says. Nguyen often uses options from Static Nails on her clients since they have a stylish, yet natural look. “They can also be reshaped and reused,” she adds. While nail art and polish can help elevate an overall beauty look, it can also be refreshing to go au naturel with your manicure with the help of a gentle yet efficacious remover. Nguyen’s favourite is currently the Zoya 3-in-1 Formula Remove+, since it quickly gets rid of left over polish while prepping and conditioning the nails. “I personally use a mix of acetone (for extra removing power) with OPI’s Expert Touch remover which is gentle on the skin because it has emollients,” says Nuñez. Goldstein prefers an acetone-free formula for her polish remover of choice, and has been using the Karma Naturals Nail Polish Remover with Rose Oil for over eight years. “It’s the only remover I keep in my kit,” she says, “I love their to-go wipes, too.”
To master the five-minute makeup look.
One of the fastest ways to complete a true five-minute makeup look? Enter, multi-use beauty staples. “I love using the Dior Backstage Glow Face Palette on my clients’s skin to get a beautiful glow, but these shades are also perfect for eyeshadow as well,” says Hurkman. “I also use the Lux Unfiltered No. 12 Bronzing Face Drops on myself to add a soft natural tan to my face. This product helps speed up my makeup process, since I usually don’t need foundation after it sets in. Nudestix’s Nudies Matte Blush and Bronze in the shade Beach Babe is perfect for a ’90s sunburnt look. I love using this cream on both the lips and the cheeks.”
After applying her skincare essentials, Hurkman’s own five-minute makeup routine starts with a few drops of Lux Unfiltered’s face drops, followed by a quick addition of concealer where needed, like under the eyes, or to cover an unexpected zit. Next, she uses Persona’s DreamStick Cream Bronzer to add more depth to her face while adding a small amount to her eyelids. Hurkman also likes to apply Nudestix’s Beach Babe to her cheeks and lips, and finishes off the look by brushing her brow hairs into place and adding a few swipes of mascara.
To use heat protectant when styling with hot tools.
“It’s crucial to protect hair from heat damage when using hot tools,” explains Hershberger. “My favourite heat protectant is my 24K Golden Touch Nourishing Dry Oil, which not only keeps hair soft and silky, but also offers a high level of heat and UV protection. Another bonus is that it also smoothes frizz and defines style without any added weight.” Hershberger says that ultimately, the right temperature to use on your hair depends on its texture. As fine hair is more fragile and prone to heat damage, she recommends keeping your tools no hotter than between 250 and 350 degrees. Medium hair types can withstand greater heat at 300-350 degrees, and for those with thicker or more textured hair, a temperature between 400 to 450 degrees is ideal. “Stick to styling with heat once a week to maximise glossy, healthy hair,” she advises.
To embrace daily SPF.
According to our experts, wearing a broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher every day of the year is the single most important step in a skincare routine for healthy skin. “Ultraviolet rays from sun exposure are the ultimate ager, which contribute to wrinkles and sun spots, plus a breakdown of collagen and even skin cancer,” says Marchbein. Dermatologists and beauty editors alike are fans of EltaMD’s line of versatile sunscreens, including their zinc oxide-based UV Clear SPF 46. If you’re in the market for sun protection that also provides light coverage, consider an expert-backed tinted moisturiser with SPF, like Revision Skincare’s Intellishade Matte or the Tower 28 Sunny Days SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen Foundation. Their formula’s tints are borne from iron oxide, which helps add pigment to the SPF, and also provides the benefit of blue light protection, since broad-spectrum, non-tinted sunscreen is designed to exclusively protect against UVA and UVB rays. But ultimately, “the best sunscreen is the one that you’ll wear,” adds Finney. “If you don’t like it, you won’t use it. [I recommend] putting a bottle next to your toothbrush, since most don’t forget to brush their teeth every morning,” he says.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.