Belfast Telegraph

13 fashion and beauty commandments for the New Year and beyond

By Lisa Haynes

Thirteen may be considered unlucky for some, but 2013 is the year to break that superstition.

Before you go making those life-changing resolutions, slow down — and think ‘mini makeover' instead. More than three-quarters (78%) of people who give up on their resolutions are doomed to fail because they try to make over-ambitious changes, according to research by the University of Hertfordshire.

But if you plan smaller, specific changes you're likely to achieve a much higher success rate. So, undo the damage of a festive fashion and beauty hangover!

1 THOU SHALT NOT ... covet too many clothes Give the January sales a wide berth if you have a penchant for false economy wardrobe ‘bargains'. Calculate potential cost-per-wear when you're about to splurge on yet another fashion fad with a limited shelf life.

Dressipi stylist Natalie Theo says: “It's all about versatility and making that hard-earned cash go further at this time of the year. “A little black dress, particularly a shift, is both a wardrobe investment piece and a great fashion blank canvas.”

2 THOU SHALT NOT ...ignore your body shape Love handles, muffin tops and bingo wings ... all wobbly bits that can be minimised with clever styling. Do away with unflattering fashions for 2013 by paying special attention to your reflection.

“We all come in different shapes and sizes so it's about finding clothes to flatter your physique and accentuate your assets,” says Julie Donnelly, head of womenswear buying for Isme.com.

3 THOU SHALT NOT ... be a wallflower Special occasions sometimes call for a statement dress that you can just throw on and go. Seek out a one-piece wonder for 2013; something that doesn't require lashings of accessories so you can be ready in record time.

Bobbie Malpass, editor of MyCelebrityFashion.co.uk, says: “Our fashion advice is don't start the New Year without a LRD — that's Little Red Dress. It's a stand-out colour and one that will get you noticed with minimum effort.”

4 THOU SHALT NOT ... overspend on seasonal trends Catwalk fads come and go but staples just keep delivering, no matter what the season. Seek out timeless classics that will enhance your wardrobe for years to come.

“The high street will be stocking vertical striped blazers, which are flattering and just scream spring/summer 2013, however, it's a classic that will see you through,” suggests Mark Heyes, stylist on ITV's Lorraine. “You can be wearing an old T-shirt and weekend jeans and instantly look smart with one of these.”

5 THOU SHALT NOT ... Overpack When it comes to holiday packing, two thirds of us not only fill up their own suitcases but hog a third of their partner's too, according to research by Sunshine.co.uk. Don't succumb to another year of panic at the excess baggage counter.

“Check the weather forecast before you go to minimise all those ‘just in case' items,” advises Emily O'Brien, editor of Styloko.com.

“Wear your bulkiest items to the airport — if you're taking a jumper and jacket, this is the time to wear them.”

6 THOU SHALT NOT ... hoard a redundant wardrobe No excuses for keeping clothes that are collecting mothballs in the back of your wardrobe. A clearout could even boost your bank balance for a new purchase.

Mark Pearson, chairman of MyVoucherCodes.co.uk, says: “Selling items online can be a great way of getting rid of unsuitable clothes, particularly if you've nabbed yourself an item that's in high demand — often a bidding war will mean you get a higher return than you paid in the first place.

“Be aware that selling online often incurs additional selling fees, particularly with eBay, so you need to be careful it's not costing you more than you realise.”

7 THOU SHALT NOT ... be stuck in a style rut Almost half of women (46%) admit they've never tried changing their appearance, according to Groupon research. It's easy to go on autopilot and throw on the same clothes and make-up, so ensure you bring your 2013 look up to date.

“New Year is a great opportunity to think about what's in our wardrobe and make-up bag,” says Seven Suphi, life coach and behavioural change specialist. “Think about the image you want to portray and whether your style matches that — or ask someone else if you want an honest opinion.”

8 THOU SHALT NOT ... yo-yo diet Maintaining a healthy weight isn't just essential for squeezing into your favourite dress but for your face, too. Avoid a rollercoaster ride on the weighing scales.

“Repeatedly gaining and losing weight can take its toll on the skin's elasticity, leaving behind stretch marks and jowls,” warns dermatologist Dr Tess Mauricio.

“Yo-yo dieting also causes premature ageing — the repeated weight gain and loss stretches your skin and makes it loose and saggy. A loss of facial fat causes sagging and a gaunt, aged appearance so aim to keep your weight in the normal BMI range.”

Lose weight sensibly and slowly, rather than crash dieting.

9 THOU SHALT NOT ... make unrealistic detox resolutions Extreme January 1 plans for wheatgrass shots combined with twice-daily gym visits means that you're likely to fall off the detox wagon in no time. Aim for a skin-transforming resolution that doesn't inflict any suffering.

“Three minutes a day body-brushing will change your skin,” says Newby Hands, FeelUnique.com's editorial director.

“Work from the feet upwards, always brushing towards the heart, and work gently to target the lymphatic system for smoother limbs and softer skin. Do this daily and you'll see the difference in just two weeks.”

10 THOU SHALT NOT ... collect pointless potions If 2012 was the year of the BB (beauty balm) cream, get set for CC (colour corrector) creams in 2013. Downsize your product haul with multi-tasking products for a simpler skincare routine.

“Nowadays, with all the hybrid make-up that combines skincare and colour, you don't have to layer your skin with numerous products,” says Jemma Kidd, make-up artist.

“Make addressing redness and uneven skin tone your main aim.”

11 THOU SHALT NOT ... be unkind to your skin Give your skin back its sparkle for the New Year. Always ensure that your head hits the pillow with a freshly-scrubbed face.

Celebrity facialist Nichola Joss says: “Cleansing the skin is super-important to clear away impurities such as dead skin cells and dirt from the day, which can dull the complexion — imagine the dull surface of a mirror and then the sparkle of one that's been polished.”

12 THOU SHALT NOT ... dismiss ‘me’ time Never underestimate the power of re-charging your batteries. Aim to set aside one evening per week when you lock the bathroom door for a well-deserved pamper.

“Sunday nights can work well and it's a great time to prepare yourself for the week ahead,” recommends Geraldine Howard, co-founder of Aromatherapy Associates.

“A bath with essential oils can be wonderfully relaxing to the body and mind. Use this time to take some deep breaths and just focus on yourself with no distractions.”

13 THOU SHALT NOT ... neglect your eyes The skin surrounding your eyes is the thinnest and most delicate on your face, meaning wrinkles appear faster than anywhere else. Eliminate tell-tale signs by vowing to use an anti-ageing eye cream daily.

“Use your ring finger for applying eye creams, as this has the lightest touch and is least likely to pull the skin,” advises Josephine Fairley, co-author of the Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible.

“Starting at the inner corner, dot the cream from just below your lashes to the outer corner of your orbital bone, patting it onto the skin. Do the same above the eye.”

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