I’m setting fall beauty resolutions to get out of my annual end-of-summer rut

Photography via instagram.com/maybelline

The end of summer is so strange, isn’t it? Once you graduate and start working a nine-to-five job, summer doesn’t really hold much meaning other than, like, the weather. Your hours are the same, your job is the same; seasons just kind of blend into one another and you keep track of them by monitoring the A/C situation in your office. And so year after year I find myself making some changes to cheer myself up at the end of glorious, wonderful summer. In the same vein as setting a new year’s resolution in January, these beauty goals provide a great distraction, but also a sense of newness that I crave once the days start to get shorter again.

I’m a real creature of habit when it comes to makeup: winged liner, thick(ish) brows, lots of highlighter and a brownish-nude lip. Fine, but boring. My look hasn’t really changed in years, and every August, without fail, I try to push myself out of my comfort zone. This year, not only am I setting out to finally do it, I wanted to learn why the hell I’m so scared of changing the way I do my makeup.

To do that, I talked to Lora Arellano, one of Rihanna’s makeup artists, about whether or not Hollywood’s biggest beauty chameleon also has a go-to look. “Having a staple look makes you feel comfortable in your own skin,” says Arellano. “[With] Rihanna, throwing on her staple red lip completes a look. I [personally] love that makeup and hair has the power to make [women] feel so confident.”

For a minute, I thought, “Well if a signature look is good enough for Rihanna…” Then I remembered that we’re talking about the woman who wore glossy black lipstick to go fishing. So while she has a beauty look she prefers, we’re still in different boats. (See what I did there? Fishing? Boats? Okay, moving on.)

“In my opinion, women get attached to a certain beauty look because we have perceptions of how we look with or without makeup,” said Grace Lee, Maybelline New York Canada’s lead makeup artist. “For instance, a lot of women won’t leave the house without eyeliner because they think without it their eyes look tired.”

So, what are my fall beauty resolutions this year? For starters, I’m giving co-washing (washing with a cleansing conditioner rather than a shampoo) a try. My damaged, curly hair would really benefit from it and the only reason I’m still using shampoo is because I’m too scared to go through the first couple of weeks without it, where it’s all grease and no gain. But after that, I’ve been promised shiny, bouncy curls, so how can I (continue to) say no?

Next: bright lipstick. Day after day, I reach for matte brown or nude lipsticks out of habit. It requires no thought or creativity, and that’s why I’m trying to move away from those shades. This isn’t an episode of What Not To Wear; it’s not that they don’t suit my skin tone, it’s just that they’ve become a roadblock in the creative process that beauty is all about.

We develop signature makeup looks because of the confidence we get from accentuating the features we like. But you can totally accentuate your favourite feature in more ways than one, because who wants to get stuck in a rut? Do you want to be the Jennifer Aniston of makeup? No. So this fall, when I want to accentuate my lips, I’m reaching for a bold shade. When I want to accentuate my eyes, I’m swapping my winged liner for clumpy lashes or glossy lids.

I’ve definitely accepted that I’m going to experience my yearly end-of-summer funk, emotionally speaking (I can’t help it; it gets darker outside and I get darker inside), but I’m setting fall beauty resolutions to try to ease myself out of it. After all, we just learned that beauty routines, no matter how set in routine, are making us live longer. So I’m happy to spend some extra time meticulously applying a bright purple lip.

Do you set fall beauty (or fashion) resolutions? Tell us about some looks you’re trying out for the first time in the comments, and browse the products I’m using to branch out.

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