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Eight ways to break out of a beauty rut

November 27th 2015 / Anna Hunter



If you could do your makeup in your sleep, it’s time to switch it up. The following hair, makeup and skincare ideas are sure to blast away the cobwebs…

If you stumble to the bathroom zombie like in the morning to put on your face, or pull your hair into the same familiar ponytail most days, you’re missing out on the joy and zhush that a few simple beauty routine readjustments can reap. Having a signature style is undoubtedly cool, not to mention time saving, but go into auto-pilot for too long and you could lose out on new product developments, fresh ways to wear old classics and easy means by which to highlight your best bits. You don’t wear the same clothes each and every day, so don’t dress your mug in a monotonous manner either; try a few of the following to spice things up. Seeing as a change is rumoured to be as good as a rest, they could be your lifelines throughout party season (do actually sleep though)...

If you normally paint your nails red, style it up…

First things first, get your hands on a bold, pillar box red such as Ciaté Paint Pot in Mistress. Then follow superstar manicurist and Ciaté nail ambassador Rebecca Jade Wilson’s lead on how to funk it up:

1. Simple designs often have the highest impact and with Mistress offering a perfect shade of glossy red, we kept it simple.

2. Start with basic prep and sweep a base coat across the entire nail, ensuring nails are clean and oil free.

3. Using this timeless red shade, start at the top of the side wall of the nail and swoop the brush in a semi circle shape up to the tip of the nail.

4. Repeat on the other side of the nail, leaving a small gap down the centre to complete the design

5. Ensure that you complete this mani with a slick of ultra glossy topcoat; Ciate’s Fast Dry Topcoat, £11, provides ultimate shine and speed dry results.


If you normally get a big glossy blow dry, relax a little…

Bouncy, shiny, Sex and the City style blow dries do have an abiding appeal, especially during the twinkly festive season, but being a bit of a rebel feels a bit more fun than going with the follicular flow, especially when you pair ever so slightly kinky, undone hair with a glitzy dress, bold makeup or quirky jewellery. This laidback, less is more vibe is perfectly translated by John Freida’s ‘Low Blow’ service, a downward blow dry that flies in the face of stiff, Dynasty era helmet hair to create imperfect, ‘relaxed and pretty’ lengths, without the huge roots but retaining the kind of swoosh and shine that you expect from a salon blow out.

Over at Aer Blowdry Bar, ‘The Somerset’ has a similarly tousled and textured feel, as natural, loose and lived movement in the hair is inspired by windy west country walks. If you can’t make it to London, hop it to a Headmasters in the new year and ask for the ‘chic, soft and touchable’ Undone Blow Dry, a staple style in the 2016 lookbook. It’s essentially ‘no makeup makeup’ for your hair, and it’s beautifully modern, in the vein of looking effortless, but ironically it can be quite tricky to pull off at home. If you’re game, polish up your bedhead with a little help from George Northwood.

If you normally wear a straight flick of liner, go graphic…

A cat’s eye, a Nike tick, a vintage 60s block line- most of us have a staple, simple approach to applying eyeliner, which is no bad thing when you know you need to catch a bus in ten minutes time. For more experimental events, however, forgo the paint by numbers approach and get merry with a felt tip liner (Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner is our pick). ‘Float’ your liner as at Felder Felder’s AW15 show (add rose gold à la makeup artist Attracta Courtney for an especially festive take), scrawl a star or triangle at the corner of one eye or simply draw a neat triangle or fishtail shape at the outer edges of each eye. Try flipping things upside down as follows too…


If you normally restrict eye makeup to the upper lid, get low…

Kohl, shadow and sparkle all migrated down south for AW15, with models at Roberto Cavalli and Versace showcasing smoky, glossy and grungy smudges along the lower lashlines. Seductively edgy eyes are easy to achieve with Charlotte Tilbury Rock n Kohl Iconic Liquid Eye Pencil in Bedroom Black, £19. As the name suggests is has a smooth, inky texture that smooths on like a dream and blurs into the lower lid artfully rather than haphazardly. The jewel like finish also looks luxe rather than louche.

If you’re feeling more ‘snow queen’ than Sooty and Sweep, take your cue from the models at Rodarte and bling up the lower lashline. At the AW15 show gems were traced almost along the waterline, but applying a flash of Urban Decay Heavy Metal Eyeliner in Distortion, £12.60, is a much less fiddly route to razzle dazzle. As it’s making such a statement, you’ll require only a neutral makeup backdrop, saving you the time you’d normally spend on blending a meticulous smoky eye and likely attracting even more admiring glances. Not that that’s the point, but we’ll take it.


If you normally rely on red lipstick, change the tone…

There’s no doubt about it; red is undeniably uplifting, brightening and possibly the most revered look in Beauty Halls of Fame. Stray from your trusty scarlet and go a bit rusty instead, however, and you’ll take the best of red but give it on-trend twist. The artistry team at MAC have many an idea to inspire you:

“This season the rouged lip moves closer to Woodstock than Hollywood, as bricky, retro reds take over from classic Russian hues. Rust, Bordeaux, wine, burgundy, ochre, caramel, tobacco, cognac, aubergine...whether velvet or vinyl in texture, these dark, warm lips exudes a sophistication that references everything from porcelain pre-Raphaelites to the chic side of the 70s.”

“Eccentrically inclined, but super chic and pulled together, what’s as appealing as their versatile vibe is the flattering nature of these Biba-worthy shades for fairest to deepest skin tones alike.

Makeup artist Val Garland describes the new red palette as ‘cooler and less ‘lady’ than traditional reds’, and if you want in you can’t go wrong with time-honoured MAC Lipstick in Chili, £15.50. Wear with unshakeable confidence by heeding MAC director of makeup artistry Terry Barber’s wise words:

“These tones just work on everybody.; they require no effort to look chic.”


If you normally stick to the same old moisturiser, have fun with a face mask…

Makeup’s not the only playful element of your beauty routine; skincare can have a sense of humour too. Head east for a dose of cute but highly capable skin additions by tapping into the South Korean skincare movement. Have a night in with Mizon Cotton Shower Sheet Essence Masks, £7.50. Packaged in Anime style envelopes, the five masks are available in either dry or oily skin formulas and are infused with powerful but lightweight skin ‘essences’ to refresh, hydrate and soothe most skin types. Once you’re onto sheet masks, South Korea is your oyster; try moving onto fermented skincare and innovative exfoliating cleansing tools. Endless hours of entertainment await.

If you normally book a last minute panic spray tan, go gradual…

There’s something about a full-on mahogany glow in midwinter that looks a bit...off. Take a break from deep and dark spray tans and get sunkissed in the shower instead via St Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion. Our editor-in-chief and self confessed ‘Florida granny’ Susannah Taylor swears by it for a natural looking, even and easy peasey wash (no pun intended) of colour. It’s been one of the sellout products of the year for a reason, and it’s also a shining star within our Latest in Beauty Cult Collection Box.

If you normally apply makeup methodically, try leaving something out…

Most of us have a set order of application when it comes to makeup, and many of us come to depend on certain products, textures and tools without really knowing why or giving it a second thought. Get out of the groundhog day mentality and do things differently for a day. Perhaps you dare to wear a brighter eyeshadow and leave out the mascara, wear a matte base instead of a dewy one or use your fingers instead of an arsenal of brushes; whatever it is, make sure it’s a variation on your usual regime. You’ll discover new looks and finishes that’ll suit you, some that don’t, and most importantly, inject a bit of energy and life into tried and trusted techniques.

If experimentation is the order of the day, why not dabble in our Latest in Beauty Cult Collection Box? Worth over £60, it’s yours to enjoy for just £15.95, plus P&P

Follow me on Twitter @AnnaMaryHunter and Instagram @annyhunter

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