Take a glance at your phone. Do your last ten selfies all look exactly the same, down to the same lip shade? Go back a little further—do they look the same as they did six months ago? A year ago? Six years ago? We all know the old adage that if it’s not broken, don’t fix it, and while that’s certainly true in some cases, it’s not always the best way to go when it comes to our makeup. It’s possible for your beauty look to go stale, which means it may very well be high time to freshen it up.
Break out of the rut.
Wearing one particular color can be your signature, like if you’re the type of girl who always wears red lipstick, but if you only wear one particular brand and shade of lipstick, then it’s a beauty rut, not a signature, says celebrity makeup artist and brow expert Ramy Gafni. One sign of a rut is when you overwhelmingly tend to stick to the same colors rather than trying something new. A good way to shake things up is to have your makeup done by a makeup artist, and don’t hinder them by insisting they only use certain colors. You may not like everything they apply, but you may discover a color or product that looks amazing on you that you had never considered. Another good way is to experiment with sheer formulas—for example, if you always wear neutral lipsticks, try applying a sheer bold red gloss on top. It looks bright in the tube, but will add a subtle pop of color when applied. The most important beauty tool is an open mind.
Accept that you may have outgrown your former self.
You’ve definitely purchased new clothes since high school, and it’s pretty likely that your overall style and taste has changed a lot, but some people are wearing the same makeup they did a decade or more ago. “We often ask clients if they are using the same brands of foundation, mascara, and lipstick that they used in high school. If the answer is yes, it’s time to move on. Your skin changes as the telomeres shorten [with age], the skin gets drier, the lips change in color, and the makeup needs a little refresher,” says Nancy Reagan, a master esthetician and makeup artist. In addition to getting older, the formulas for makeup are getting better. There are killer ingredients with botanical extracts, vitamins, liposomes, micronized minerals, and even kosher glycerin. Updating your makeup is not only about updating your look when it’s time—it’s also about getting better quality products that look and feel natural on the skin.
Your makeup has changed, but so have you.
As your skin changes over time, you need to change your makeup, too. These changes can be seasonal, like when skin gets drier in the winter and oilier in the summer, but as you age your skin needs different formulations of foundation, concealer, powder, says makeup artist Corinna Cooke. As you get older, you may want—and even need—to make changes, too. For example, your dark lips may not look as good now as they did ten years ago, and those ultra glossy lips that look fun on a teen look immature on a girl in her twenties. “You need to evolve your look so that it’s always fresh, current, and age appropriate. Think of Madonna—she’s always evolving,” says Cooke. If your complexion starts looking flat or lifeless, or if your eyeshadow now makes your eyes look heavy or lackluster, it’s definitely time to change things up.
Read more: How to Find Your Signature Beauty Look