[By Anita Goopta]

Want to look as pretty as possible in 2012? Then vow to follow some (or all!) of these great ideas to transfrom the complexion of your dreams into reality.

1. Don’t buy moisturizer without SPF.

Even in the winter or if you think you are indoors most of the day. UV seeps through windows and is more prevalent than you think. Why take chances? And while we’re on this topic: If you skip the protection because you want to look like you hail from Brazil, you’ll look like you’re 15 years older later. P.S.: Schedule that skin cancer screening, too. Always look for moisturizer or makeup with SPF and you’ll thank us in ten years.

2. Try a “beauty dare” once a month.

I know it is easier said than done for how we tend to be creature of habits. We stick to safe browns and nudes for our eye shadows, and once we find the perfect shade of crimson for our lips, we use (or overuse) the colour forever. However, it’s time to buck this trend and do something different once a month. It’s liberating and can help you revive your look, surprise your man, and unleash your inner beauty diva. Once every few weeks, be bold with some red lips or an elaborate hair piece or nail decals or…you get the point. Moreover, doing this keeps you young and trendy, and you never know what gems you may uncover.

3. Shake up your skincare regimen

Maybe you’ve been using the same moisturizer since you were 18 and you thought it was the bee’s knees. But now that you’re 27, you probably need a new formula. Not to mention some eye cream, hand cream and neck cream. Set aside some time to figure out what you should be doing at your age, and then put your plan into motion. Your skin will change with age and seasons. Try to rotate your skincare so you are not using the same products year after year. “I advise my patients to do product rotation so they are using different sets of skincare throughout the year. I find this keeps their skin in tip top condition as the skin does not get tolerant of any particular skincare ingredient” advises Dr Low Chai Ling from The Sloane Clinic in Singapore.

4. Pay for your hair sins

We’d never tell you to part with your beloved hair straightener or stop the highlights, but you gotta pay penance for the damage you do to your tresses. Get regular trims, do weekly deep-conditioning treatments, and give your hair a break from the blow dryer whenever possible. When you find your tresses look dull and have let you down, get some vinegar and wash your hair in a home-made vinegar wash to get rid of hair product buildup. Then start afresh for a silky, shiny mane.

5. Go green.

Trying to be eco-friendly with every product you use can be overwhelming. So just make it a point to switch one thing in early 2012. Then, whenever it’s time to make a new purchase, browse the eco-friendly beauty loot instead of automatically buying your regular products. If possible, look for DIY beauty recipes that you can make from the comforts of your own home. Whip up an avocado and papaya puree mask, or keep soak salt in olive oil for a home-made foot scrub. Whatever it is, they will help you save some money and keep your beauty regimen green and environmentally friendly.

8. Put a cap on your bad habits.

We all have our vices. But that doesn’t make them okay, especially if you want to look your best. Smoking leads to wrinkles, heavy drinking can dehydrate your skin…don’t make us lecture you. While we know that not all of us can be angels, set a curb for your vices. If you must smoke, aim to cut down a cigarette every month or have smoke-free days. If you tend to binge on alcohol, set a limit for your alcohol intake when you are out with your friends. Swap hard core liquors with mixes and flavoured mineral water. We want you to have fun but we want you to take care of yourself while doing so.

9. Stop picking.

Everything. Your cuticles. The mascara off your eyelashes. Your zits. Whatever it is you feel the itch to pick, keep your hands off it!

10. Get your beauty sleep.

Like you need to hear this? But still, it’s worth repeating since restless nights can wreak havoc on your health and appearance. Try an eye mask if you have trouble shutting the world out.


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