As a beauty fanatic, I always considered my routine to be quite refined. That is, until I spoke to makeup and skincare professionals about good beauty habits they wish people could get more into, at which point I realized that many of the same habits I thought were "refined" were barely scratching the surface. From seasonally swapping out your makeup bag to properly using a face wipe (yes, there is a correct way), there are a handful of habits that the pros wish we could work into our routines more often.
Personally, I throw out old makeup when it's expired (or when every last bit of the product is gone), I disinfect my tools often (like, maybe once a year), and I wash my makeup brushes regularly (or when I'm forced to because all of my shadows turn out a yucky brown color).
OK, so I'm no angel when it comes to beauty habits. But even if you are a shining example of proper makeup and skincare practices, I guarantee there's something you can learn from the professionals. Their unique advice tackles beauty mishaps head-on by incorporating approachable habits most of us can easily integrate into our day-to-day lives.
With that said, I'll let the pros take it from here. These 13 beauty habits are expert-recommended. Take notes, because these tips are guaranteed to benefit your skincare, makeup application, and overall beauty routine.
1. Keep Makeup Brushes Clean
Sonia Kashuk Knock Out Beauty Brush Set - 12 PC, $39.99, Target
The first thing that comes to Sonia Kashuk of Sonia Kashuk Cosmetics' mind when posed with the question, “What beauty habits do you wish people got more into?” is one I think most of us (including yours truly) could work on: Washing makeup brushes regularly.
“After I do my makeup in the morning, I wash my brushes right away at the bathroom sink so that the next time I go to use them, they’re clean,” Kashuk explains via email.
MAC Senior Artist Michelle Clark agrees, telling me over email that regularly washing and conditioning brushes “will enhance the ease at which your makeup blends and it will help you to keep your brushes in the best quality possible for years and years [...] The thought of using a dirty brush on a clean face just doesn’t make any sense to me." Touché.
2. Moisturize & Wear SPF
Equilibrium Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Day Fluid, $115, Nordstrom
If you’re guilty of skipping SPF or moisturizer more than you would like to admit, listen up: For Vanessa Eckels, lead makeup artist at Hourglass Cosmetics/Abbot Kinney, “Beautiful skin is always the basis for creating the perfect beauty look,” and that means that moisturizing and giving your visage the sun coverage it needs are essential.
Eckels explains over email that “whether your skin is oily, dry, or a combination of the two, everyone should be using a moisturizer with SPF during the day.”
I know firsthand that this is something that can easily be forgotten in the hustle and bustle of the mornings. To help ease into the habit, she recommends a product that works on all skin types and is multi-functional, like Hourglass’ Equilibrium Day Fluid, which is re-balancing, anti-aging, and has broad spectrum SPF 30 coverage.
3. Wear SPF Properly
Simple Protecting Light Moisturizer SPF 15, $9.99, Target
Once you get into the habit of wearing SPF, the next practice to get into is applying SPF properly. Dermatologist and SIMPLE Skincare Advisory Board Member Dr. Debra Luftman wishes people would apply SPF on the face, neck, chest, and hands first thing in the morning and all year long.
“The sun’s UV rays are always present, even on cloudy days,” Dr. Luftman shares via email. “By making this a habit, the potential for early skin aging and skin cancers is minimized.”
So make sure you’re wearing SPF and wearing it properly, y'all.
4. Utilize Lip Care
Hourglass No. 18 Lip Treatment Oil, $42, Sephora
Eckels also tells me about her frustration with dehydrated lips, and how doing research on a lip product and the ingredients inside it can be crucial to remedying the problem. “Oftentimes, the ingredients may seem moisturizing or cooling,” Eckels says, “But they may end up sitting on the lips without truly hydrating them or even worse, end up drying lips out even more.”
A product with natural essential oils, lipid oils, and vitamins might be your best bet when treating dehydrated lips. Recommending the Hourglass No. 28 Lip Treatment Oil, which contains all of the aforementioned ingredients and more, Eckels promises that a daily use will be like “a spa experience for your lips.” When you put it that way, lip care seems like it should be a priority, am I right?
5. Change The Pad On Your Eyelash Curler Every Six To Eight Weeks
Full Lash Curler, $22, MAC Cosmetics
Clark from MAC has a few habits that she lives and dies by, one being changing the pad on her eyelash curler every six to eight weeks. I've personally neglected that soft black rubber on my lash curler since, well, the day I bought it. But Clark explains that changing it out regularly “will make a huge impact on how well your curler will work.”
Plus, it keeps the tool clean and hygienic. That should always be a priority with something that is getting that close to your eye balls.
6. Use Conditioner After Shampoo
CLEAR Hydration Fix Conditioner , $4.99, Target
OK, so this one might seem a little obvious. But NYC-based dermatologist and CLEAR scalp expert Dr. Francesca Fusco says you would be surprised at the number of women who “skip or skimp on conditioner because they worry it will weigh down hair or make it look greasy.”
Dr. Fusco tells me via email that both your hair and your scalp can greatly benefit from being conditioned with a product that is formulated for your hair and scalp type, whether you have dry, oily, or dandruff-prone strands. She recommends CLEAR products because they are “formulated for the scalp and won’t weigh hair down.”
7. Change Up Or Clean Out Your Makeup Bag
Sonia Kashuk Soft Cosmetic Bag - Knock Out Beauty, $7.99, Target
Considering that her line at Target has some of the cutest makeup bags on the market, it’s no surprise that another habit Kashuk thinks people should get more into is seasonally cleaning out their makeup bag.
Whether you need to wipe it down to get rid of dirt and grime or clean it out by tossing broken products, Kashuk says you should “treat your makeup bag like you would treat anything else and keep it clean, fresh, and nicely organized.”
8. Use Anti-Dandruff Conditioner If You Have Dandruff
CLEAR Complete Scalp Care Conditioner, $4.99, Target
When Dr. Fusco (a scalp expert) tells me she wishes individuals with dandruff would use anti-dandruff conditioner, she means it. “Women tend to use an anti-dandruff shampoo to fight flakes, but switch to a beauty conditioner to get soft, silky hair,” she notes. "This switch negates nearly half of the flake-fight potential of their shampoo!”
If this sounds familiar, you may want to take Dr. Fusco’s advice and look for a conditioner with zinc pyrithione, like CLEAR’s Complete Scalp Care Anti-Dandruff Conditioner, which will achieve a flake-free scalp while beautifying hair and making it smell fabulous after consistent use.
9. Remove Makeup Before Going To Sleep
Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes, $4.49, Target
Kim Kardashian may tempt you, but Dr. Luftman says that leaving makeup on overnight can “cause skin to look duller, can cause breakouts, and even a potential for permanent pigmentation around one’s eyes!”
Clark from MAC also agrees, adding, “Besides the fact that the next day your eyes will be sore and covered in what used to resemble mascara and last night’s eyeliner, it also ruins your pillow case.” Need they say more?
If you struggle making it to the sink after a long day, Dr. Luftman recommends leaving a pack of cleansing makeup-removing wipes by your bed stand, like Simple Skincare Improved Cleansing Facial Wipes, so you can take your beauty products off with minimal effort and make your skin happy.
10. Go Tonal
Sonia Kashuk All Covered Up Concealer, $9.99, Target
In terms of makeup application, Kashuk recommends going tonal. And by that, she means finding foundation and concealer shades that blend flawlessly into your skin tone as opposed to lighter or darker hues.
For example, using a lighter shade of concealer under your eyes as opposed to your true skin color will call more attention than you may think. The same goes for foundation. As Kashuk eloquently explains, “As long as you don’t see the foundation, you know it’s the right color. If you’re seeing the foundation, then you’ve got a problem.”
11. Use Facial Wipes Properly
Simple Micellar Make Up Remover Wipes, $6.99, Target
While we’re on the topic of facial wipes, did you know there’s a right and wrong way to use one? Dr. Luftman assures me that there is. In order to avoid redistributing oil and bacteria around your face and causing breakouts, “It’s important to use your wipe from the forehead down to the jaw,” and “finish wiping at your nose, as it’s one of the grimiest parts of the face.” Who would have thunk it?
12. Be Meticulous In Public Places
ULTA Professional Cuticle Pusher, $12, ULTA
Do you bring your own nail tools to the salon? Do you wipe down gym equipment with your own towel? Do you limit your barefoot activity? If not, these are habits you might want to practice more according to Dr. Fusco.
“I see nail bacterial infections, warts, fungal infections, and rashes that can be attributed to contaminated surfaces,” she says. But being meticulous in public places — like not sharing makeup, avoiding using public samples at stores, or asking for new tools when getting a wax — can help you prevent those problems.
13. Explore Red Lipstick
Sonia Kashuk Satin Luxe Lip Color SPF 16 in Classic Red, $9.99, Target
Ever been intimidated by the red power pout? If so, be prepared to feel inspired by Kashuk and her belief that “everybody can wear a version of a red lipstick.” Similar to a LBD, a tube of red lipstick is a quintessential, classic makeup item that works on everyone — that is, if you like it. "A tube of red lipstick has so many different applications, so one tube could give many different women the right look,” Kashuk tells me. “It’s just finding your level of comfort within a red lipstick.”
Whether you apply it minimally or create a full-on red lip, Kashuk says it’s key to get out of the habit of thinking you "can’t" wear red lipstick. With the right experimentation, you can actually rock anything.
So there you have it: 13 beauty habits the pros wish we got more into. Now comes the tough part: Actually getting into the habit of doing them.
Images: Melodi Erdogan; Courtesy Brands