3 Ways to Bust Your Beauty Rut
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3 Ways to Bust Your Beauty Rut

It's time to revive your beauty routine and live your hottest year ever.

Fresh Start

With diet and exercise, consistency is key. You always prep your meals on Saturday and Sunday for the week ahead and commit to your sweat sessions because you know that working out regularly pays off. But with your beauty regimen, you can score even better results if you switch up your routine. We tapped top hair and makeup experts for simple ways to help you bust your beauty rut at work, on the weekends and, yes, even at the gym.

Weekend Updates

Get Red-y  A bold pout oozes confidence, but seeing yourself in a vibrant shade for the first time can be startling -- even for a beauty editor like me. The key is to apply it first and then finish getting ready. This gives you the chance to get used to it, and by the time you leave the house, you'll feel comfortable. (It worked for me!) Overwhelmed by the sea of reds to choose from? Forget everything you've heard about finding the right color for your skin tone. Head to a store that offers samples and grab a few to road test.

Play the Part  Eighty-six percent of women agree that when they're having a good-hair day, even an everyday event like going out to dinner is more fun. One of the fastest ways to take your 'do from boring to bombshell in minutes: Switch up your part. "If you wear it on one side, change to the other," says Jen Atkin, a Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy celebrity stylist. "You'll get extra lift at the roots, and it will frame your face differently."

Friends with Benefits  You know what makeup look works for you, so when you have special plans, it's easy to go into autopilot. Now's the time to shift gears. You can actually have more than one go-to beauty move. "Often, another person can see potential that you can't," says Jenna Menard, a Clinique Global Colour artist. So during your next girls' night in, ask your friends what looks they think you should try (filled-in brows, smoky eyes, a new blush, and so on).

Pretty Little Extras  If you thought hair accessories were only for your younger self, chic new designs will give you a reason to revisit the fun. "You can work them into a style you already do, like a ponytail, and it will become a totally different look," Atkin says. Try a thin metallic headband, like France Luxe L. Erickson Metal Braided Headwrap ($8, franceluxe.com). Or stack pins, such as Ban.Do Flash Bobbi Set in Silver Glitter/Mint ($10, shopbando.com) on one side of your head.

Push Through Your Gym Plateau

Bright Idea  When we asked FITNESS readers if they were more motivated to work out when they look good, 57 percent strongly agreed that a little primping left them more excited to get their sweat on. The one-step wonder to pretty skin is CC cream. "Added hydration makes skin look dewy, and many formulas also contain SPF and optic brighteners that leave your complexion luminous," Menard says. Apply the cream like a moisturizer, blending it into your skin. A good one: Dr. Brandt CC Glow with Ruby Crystal Complex ($39, drbrandtskincare.com).

Tricks of the Braid  Ponys keep your hair out of the way when you're dripping sweat, but your free-flowing strands can get stuck to your neck and back. Steal this trick from Julien Farel, the hairstylist for pro athletes in the U.S. Open: Braid the ponytail to hold all of the loose strands in place, then secure it with an elastic a few inches from the end.

Lash Out  Take it from the woman behind one of the sweatiest workouts: "A little mascara goes a long way," says Ruth Zukerman, a cofounder of Flywheel Sports indoor cycling studios. Avoid raccoon eyes by reaching for a waterproof formula and skipping your lower lashes. Want one that stays put even when you swab your face with a towel? Try Urban Decay Cannonball Ultra Waterproof Mascara ($20, sephora.com).

Sleek and Chic  "When your hair is soaked in perspiration, it's the perfect time to do a slicked-back style like a side-parted low bun," Atkin says. You can wear it for your workout (the low bun is my tried-and-true triathlon style that lasts through a swim cap, helmet, and running visor and still manages to look great in post-race pics) or pull your hair back in the locker room post-workout.

Up Your Ante at the Office

Baggage Check  The easiest way to refresh your look is to edit your makeup bag. "If you always use the same black eye-liner, try another dark shade," Menard says. Navy is the new black. Give BareMinerals Lasting Line Long-Wearing Eyeliner in Nonstop Navy ($16, sephora.com) a whirl.

True Colors  Staying neutral is for Switzerland. "It's easy to incorporate a little color and still look professional," Menard says. Her trick is to use a neutral eye shadow as a base, then layer a wash of color on top. You'll get a hint of the hue, but it won't detract from what you're saying during your presentation. Sweep on a medium shade from Clinique All About Shadow Quad in Jenna's Essentials ($28, clinique.com) and apply Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Eyeshadow in Fatal ($36, chanel.com) over it.

The Dream Team  If you're someone who rushes out the door in the a.m., the secret to getting great hair in seconds is as simple as using the proper shampoo and conditioner. "With the right combo, you'll be able to air-dry your strands," Atkin says. Here's a handy cheat sheet:

  • Fine hair tends to be limp, so opt for volumizing shampoos and a lightweight conditioner. Try L'Oreal Professionnel Volumetry Shampoo & Conditioner ($24 each, lpsalons.com for salons).
  • Medium hair tends to get frizzy easily, especially if it's wavy or curly. Look for pouf-fighting formulas, like Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy Frizz Control Shampoo & Conditioner ($5 each, drugstores).
  • Thick hair needs the most moisture. Check the label for a creamy formula that contains oils, such as Organix Luxurious Moroccan Argan Creme Shampoo & Conditioner ($7 each, drugstores).

Have a little more time? Whip out your blow-dryer. Even if you just hit your roots, that will give you lift, and you can let the rest air-dry or tie it back into a sleek low bun.

Lasting Impression  Does your lipstick fade by lunch? To make it last, use your go-to shade but apply it like a stain, Menard suggests. Swipe a lip color like Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Stick in Soft Raspberry ($9, drugstores) onto your finger and press it into your lips, layering it on for intensity. This helps the hue sink in.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, January 2014.