The electric blue eyeshadow of the ’60s. The Rachel haircut of the ’90s. You’re likely not sporting these distinct dated looks anymore (if you are, read on, fast!). But you may be in a much subtler beauty rut and not even realize it. The reason is we’re savvier than we used to be, explains makeup artist Diana Carreiro. We keep up on trends featured on websites and in magazines and blogs, but at the same time we might not be using the right formula or we just don’t know how to change what we have been doing all these years. It’s easier to stick to your no-fail mascara all year long, or that beigey-nude lip. Read on for some common spring beauty ruts—you may discover you’re guilty of one or two.

You wear a nude lip, day after day

Carreiro admits to being guilty of this herself. “I use my concealer, my cream blush and my nude lipstick and I always go back to this look,” she says. While there’s nothing wrong with this neutral, simple face, take a look at what’s going on each season. This spring and summer, reds, oranges, fuchsias and pinks are in. You don’t have to make a dramatic change and do a matte lip in a bright orange, but try to ease into this season’s spring beauty with a sheer lip gloss or
lip tint in one of these shades, says Carreiro. Have a look at the trends every six months and try just a small change, she says.

Your makeup kit only has black or brown eyeliner

While there’s certainly nothing wrong with black or brown eyeliner, why not try a different colour liner to play up your everyday neutral taupe eye shadow? Carreiro suggests purple for green eyes or copper to compliment brown or blue eyes. Blessed with hazel eyes? “The flecks of yellow in your eyes would look great with an olive green eye liner,” she says.

You’ve been using the same skin care products for ages

Picking up the same cleanser or moisturizer you’ve been using for years without giving it a second thought? It’s easy if the process has become engrained in your routine. Andyou may think your skin looks fine, but it could look better if you used cleansers targeting your main concerns. “Re-evaluate your skin—
do you have lines, is it dryer, do you still get breakouts and consider seeing a dermatologist or skin specialist to get their recommendations,” says Carreiro. Then switch your usual cleanser for one more suited to the skin you have right now.

More ways to shake up your spring beauty routine on the next page …

You powder your entire face automatically

Concealer, foundation, powder—you don’t even think about it when you’re in front of the mirror. But makeup has come a long way in terms of advances in formulas and your skin has evolved. “Do you even need a full coverage foundation, or would a tinted moisturizer and a bit of concealer work better for you?” asks Carreiro. Also, if your skin has become drier, which it does do as you age, you perhaps don’t need to powder your entire face or even at all. You may only need it in your T-zone if it’s just a bit of shine you’re dealing with.

Your haircut hasn’t changed since your glory days

“One big beauty rut women fall into is trying to hold onto a time in their life where everything was perfect, and not letting go of the hairstyle they had at that moment,” says Greg May, owner of Greg May Hair Architects in Toronto. “I believe this is heading into epidemic proportions with a large part of the generation Xers hitting their mid-40s. I’m seeing more and more people from this generation with feathered sides, middle parts that are worn in a non-current way,” he says. Today’s centre parts are not worn in the same way – there’s less layering with it.

But here’s where it might get confusing: you may have already found a signature haircut that works on you, and so you should stick to it. Think Anna Wintour’s signature bob. “There are some styles that are classic: the bob, the graduated bob, the long flat layers and the one length with framework,” says May, adding that it’s due to the minimalist architecture and simplicity of these cuts that make them timeless.

You line your lips every time you apply lipstick

“Not many makeup artists still line lips,” says Carreiro. It can look too harsh, she says, adding that many women use lip liner too often. She admits that some women will be the exception and will benefit from it in helping lipstick not bleed, but for them, she suggests a lip primer or a clear lip liner that you wear on the skin surrounding your lips (such as the one from Mary Kay) that fills in the fine lines—“this creates a softer looking lip.”

Read more:

Skin care: Eye creams that fight signs of aging
Skin care products: The best exfoliators and scrubs
Sensitive skin: Summer prep
Do you know your skin type?