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In honor of it being a new year and all the many, many articles I'm reading both online and in all my fashion magazines, I've decided to take stock of the beauty rules I live by and also make a list of the ones I've been aspiring to master.  How many of these do you guys follow?

1.  Always taking my makeup off before bed – Not to pat myself on the back, but I excel at this one.  I don't think I've gone to bed with my makeup on in years.  Years!  It's mostly because I both hate to be dirty and also love my expensive ivory bedding, but no matter what, it's a rule you should follow as well because sleeping in your makeup leads to nothing good.  (Except sometimes a really sexy, smudged, morning after smoky eye.  But you can do that on your own without the pore clogging effects).  If you're super tired one night and don't want to go through the whole face washing process, I recommend Burt's Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes for Sensitive Skin.  They're my staple when I'm too lazy to use my Clarisonic because they're gentle on your skin, but get all your makeup off.  It takes zero effort to go to bed with nothing on your face and I love that.

2.  Getting at least eight hours of sleep a night – Okay, I am terrible at this one.  I always intend to go to bed early, but then a good TV show comes on or I need to do some work or the new issue of People starts calling my name…    The point is, pretty much every expert ever recommends getting at least eight hours of sleep a night and I know I'm both happier and less exhausted looking when I do, so one of my goals for 2013 is to actually stick as close to that schedule as possible.  Maybe then I won't end up sleeping twelve hours a night on the weekends to catch up.

3.  Deep condition my hair at least once a week – This one should, in theory, be easy to stick to, but for some reason, I'll do it consistently for a few weeks and then not remember to do it again for months.  Like almost everyone I know, I color my hair (although I color mine darker than it is naturally) so it needs all the conditioning it can get.  And as a part two to this resolution, I'm also going to try very, very hard not to wash it every day.  My stylist gets super annoyed at me for shampooing it that often and I know it's both bad for my hair and stripping the color out of quickly, but somehow I just can't help myself.  I like clean hair!  So I'm going to start this one slowly and try to wash it only every other day and see if I can accomplish that.  Maybe then I'll be ready to move on to dry shampoo and washing it only twice a week.  Fingers crossed!

4.  Using sunscreen every day – Again, not to brag, but this is another rule that I'm diligent about and you should be too.  Life in Los Angeles means constantly being exposed to the sun, so I never leave the house without a high SPF on my face (full disclosure, I'm still working on being this diligent with sunscreen on my body, but I'm getting better at it).  I've tried a ton of different sunscreens for my face and found some good ones, but right now, the one I'm obsessed with is Neutrogena's Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 50 with PureScreen.  It's not greasy at all, blends right in so you don't have any white streaks left on your face, has a high SPF, and costs less than $15 for a generous tube.  If you're a newcomer to wearing sunscreen on your face, I can't recommend this one enough.

5.  Smiling/laughing more often – Not to be too cheesy or new age, but it really is true that when you smile, you just look better.  Plain and simple.  And I think we can all agree that as busy and stressed as our lives are these days, sometimes we just don't do it enough.  So one of my New Year's resolutions is to laugh as much as possible.  I'm convinced that it's going to make a difference in how I feel – and when you feel good, you look good.  It's that simple.  So even if I have to tell myself a silly knock-knock joke while I'm in a long line at Starbucks to keep from getting annoyed, that's the plan for 2013.

How about you guys?  What are the beauty rules you live by and the ones you're resolving to get better at?

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