How To... Spice Up Your Routine

Young woman biting into a chili
Stuck in a makeup rut and unsure of how to bust out without breaking the bank? Here are some quick and easy tips that don't require a big investment in time or money. Give one or two a try and see how they work for you!

-- While everyone loves the classic black, brown and brown-black eye liner, why not try something slightly more adventurous? Colored eyeliners are very trendy and will add an interesting punch to your usual routine. Swap out that tired brown-black for a navy, gray or burgundy liner. These colors are just different enough, but still appropriate for work environments.

-- And while we're on the subject of eyes, have you jumped on the smokey eye train? Not everyone can (or should, quite frankly) pull off a heavy-handed smokey eye, but most of us could stand to smoke it up a little bit now and again. Black and gray are always good, but if that's too intimidating, try a chocolate or purple smokey look. Currently eggplant is my favorite smoke color. Concentrate color just on the lower part of the lid, no higher than the crease, to create a look that is easy, pretty and appropriate for day.

-- Makeup artist Carmindy recommends choosing a "feature focus" when putting together your daily look. In other words, select one area to emphasize (whether it be eyes, lips or cheeks) to avoid looking over-done and unnatural. Most of us do this instinctively, so an easy way to revitalize your look is to just pick a new feature focus. Are you always hitting that smokey eye? Well, maybe it's time for fuchsia lipstick! Always rocking the fuchsia lipstick? Then maybe it's time to try a peachy cheek! You get the idea...

-- Which brings us to eyebrows. While I don't think that there are eyebrow trends, per se, sometimes it is worth re-examining the duo to see if there is room for improvement. Thick and natural brows are pretty much the envy of everyone, so maybe it's time to put the tweezers down and let things get a little wild! Since you aren't likely to be sitting on a sun-soaked beach any time soon, no one is going to notice a few stray hairs here and there. It can be a good idea to occasionally let your brows grow all the way in to confirm that you are, in fact, wearing the most appropriate shape for your face.

-- To that end, an easy way to punch of your routine is to spend a little money for professional brow waxing or threading. Even though I do a good job on my own, there is something really satisfyingly perfect about the brow shape that a professional can create. Every once in a while, it is nice to treat yourself to exquisitely shaped brows.

-- Lastly, when thinking about easy ways to shake up your routine, think of something that you never do and try that. Why not, really? It's only makeup! Especially for those of you that forgo blush on a regular basis, it is worth revisiting again. An easy way to go is to try a cheek stain like this one from Pixi ($18). It won't take much time and will enliven your face with a little pop of color. Click here to visit a post on cream blush tips.

So go on, what are you waiting for? Try something new and surprise yourself with how awesomely cool you look.



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