Five Beauty Musts for the New Year

Sigma Beauty Brushes
While others are counting calories or sweating to the oldies, why not resolve to try something new in the beauty department this year? Relax—no one’s suggesting you experiment with electric blue eye shadow or Botox (not that I oppose either). These are get-pretty products and services you won’t regret.

1. Vinylux is the new Shellac. What manicure lasts seven to 10 days (no, really), looks like gel polish but costs half as much, and can be removed at home? Vinylux, the new nail treatment from the makers of Shellac. Otherwise known as one less thing to worry about in 2014. $30, from Sue Blanchard at Thomas Charles Salon, 4008 Minnetonka Blvd., Mpls., 952-925-4277,

2. Mousse is back in a big way. Bumble and Bumble’s Thickening Full Form Mousse, for example, makes strands look fuller and blowouts bouncier without the ’80s crunch. $29, from The Beauty Room, 4300 Chicago Ave. S., Mpls., 612-724-4111,

3. Scent enters the sampling game. It’s been a few years since beauty-sampling programs like Birchbox began satisfying our insatiable desire for product discovery. Now a subscription to Bergamot will get you a deluxe-sized whiff of three boutique scents each month, including testing papers. Starting at $16/month,

4. The must-have massage. Last year at this time I lost my beloved, wildly gifted massage therapist, Olaf, to cancer. While no one can take his place, I’m happier, calmer, and more relaxed to report that I’ve finally met my match in Tif at Phresh Spa Salon. The former NFL bodyworker is tiny but all tough love—just what Olaf ordered. Phresh Spa Salon, two Twin Cities locations,

5. Sigma brushes. It’s no secret that New Brighton–based Sigma has taken the beauty world by storm with its social media strategy (Ali reported on its rapid rise to success in July), but here’s the real reason to try these professional brushes: They’re better than any department-store version I’ve used, for a fraction of the price. $12 and up, Mall of America, 952-405-6684,