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New Year, new beauty habits

Make a resolution to kick-start a new beauty regime, urges Sue Moxley. Stick to it and you'll see results very quickly

Pick the right cleanser

Your skin is only as goof as the cleanser you use. Get it right and your complexion should always  look dewy and fresh; choose the wrong cleanser and you could end up with dry, dull-looking skin or, worse still, blemish prone if bacteria and sebum are allowed o clog pores.

Skin care guru and cosmetic doctor Jules Nabet believes you should combine cleansing with gentle massage to help stimulate circulation, so skin turnover is gently boosted, helping to keep your complexion clear.

Take a tip from another skin care professional, Liz Earle: her best-selling Hot Cloth Skin Cleanse + Polish cleanses skin and acts as a general buffer, £16 (www.lizearle.com)

Maximise your moisturiser

Boost the benefits of your moisturiser by applying it to areas that need plumping most. Leading make-up professional Caroline Blight suggests applying a thick coat of your favourite moisturiser- such as Odylique Avocado 24 Hour Replenishing Cream, £24 (www.odylique.co.uk), straight after cleansing and toning while your skin is still damp. Leave it for around ten minutes to absorb into the skin, cream away any excess, then apply your base over the top, using your fingers to blend it over the skin for a more flawless finish.

Mix and match your base

It's hard enough finding a foundation that blends well with your skin tone let alone a shade that works well all year round when the shade is likely to change. So buy two... one lighter and one darker, so you can blend them together to get the right mix. And another thing to remember: salon, spa or department store lighting can affect the way a foundation looks on your skin, so you'll need to apply a streak of colour just under your jaw-line, then go out in daylight and check again in a compact before you buy.

Try No7's new Lift and Luminate Triple Action Foundation that has a light serum base which glides over skin, disguising large pores, £18, at Boots.

Brush on your concealer

Pat McGrath, make-up artist to some of the world's top models, uses a fine angled-brush to blend over concealer and the kind of light-diffusing serums used to disguise fine lines around the eye and lips. She insists it's the only way to get the sheerest finish by helping to blend he product away to nothing but still giving enough coverage.

Bag the best bronzer

It's the ultimate complexion booster and year-round beauty kit essential, according to Marissa Carter, creator of the award-winning Cocoa Brown range. Just remember that bronzing powder should be swept over the cheeks temples and hairline to frame the face in light downward strokes, otherwise it collects in tiny hairs on the face, and try a light shimmering cream or oil such as Cocoa Brown Golden Goddess to touch over and highlight cheeks and brow line, price £11.95 at Tesco.

Freeze those bags...

The easiest way to define eyes and get this season's smoky eye look, if traditional liquid liners are too fiddly, is to look for one of the new gel liners to sweep colour across the top of the lashed, stroking down towards the lash line. Black can look heavy as we get older- experiment with softer shades of grey and purple for a more flattering look such as L'Oreal Paris Infallible Gel Crayon in Violat Va Va Voom, £4.19 at Boots.

Make-over your hair

No time to spare on hair? If you've no hope of fitting in a full blow-dry, make sure the front of your hair looks groomed with a texturising product and shine spray such as Schwarzkopf Got2B Volumaniac Root Lift Spray, £4.19 at Superdrug. That's because the fringe and crown area have instant impact and no one will notice that the back of your style is looking less than great...

Power up your polish

Most salon owners know that a true manicure takes a whopping five hours to set hard but you can speed things up by running nails under cold water to harden polish just after it has been applied; just remember it could still ripple and smudge if you knock it. A good-quality oil, carefully smoothed over each nail, will also rev up drying time, and give your manicure a long-lasting shine.

Try celebrity manicurist Leighton Denny's Bio Build Serum that helps strengthen and repair dry and brittle nails, £12 (www.leightondennyexpertnails.com).

Get your beauty sleep

It works for the likes of Penelope Cruz and Kate Winslet, and it's a fact that between six and eight hours taken at a regular time eeach night is essential for the skin to repair anf regenerate. Find it hard to drift off? Make a conscious effort to switch off phones and other devices at least an hour before bedtime and be sure the room is warm but well ventilated.

Try slipping Health and Heather's Organic Night Time Tea that's been proven to help you relax and have a better night's sleep, £2.99 at Holland & Barrett

What do you think of these tips? Do you have any of your own to share?

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