We all have our own beauty horror stories to tell! Back in my day when I was growing up, I didn’t have YouTube to teach me how to create the perfect eyeliner flick, or how to apply bronzer properly. It was a guessing game, you just applied and hoped for the best. When I look back at some old photos I am horrified at some of the looks I used to wear outside the house!
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Here are a few beauty tips I would share with my younger self if I could.
Turn the heat down
Now I am in my early 30s, I am always looking for products that will put moisture into my hair. For the most part of my 20s I was drying and straightening my hair pretty much every other day; the damage I was doing at the time has eventually caught up with me, and unless I treat my hair well, I end up with A LOT of frizz and very dry, brittle hair. Nowadays I prefer to let my hair dry naturally whenever I can, and if I do use the hairdryer, I turn the heat down and use the cooler middle setting. This does mean that it takes slightly longer to dry my hair, but it is worth it. I am also better at drying and styling my hair at the same time so that I do not have to use my straighteners all the time. I think this just comes with practice and time!
Less is more
Less is definitely more when it comes to makeup, especially foundation. I used to just cake the stuff on to cover up all my blemishes and problem areas, but then I would end up looking very cakey and unnatural; not a great look! Now I like to start small and build up my foundation layers. After you have done this a few times, you realise that you don’t actually need as much foundation as you thought you did, meaning your bottle lasts much longer! The same applies for eye shadow; I like to start small and build it up. Blend, blend blend! This makes the end result so much nicer and less harsh.
Apply makeup in natural light
Have you ever left the house thinking your makeup is perfect, only to look in your car mirror and realise the horror?! Positioning yourself in natural light when you apply makeup ensures you can see exactly what you are doing, and you won’t get any surprises when you step out into natural light. This tip is also especially important when you are buying new foundation. Swatch it in store then walk outside to see how it really looks – it will look very different to how it does in the artificial lighting in store. Swatching and just hoping for the best means you could end up wasting money.
Always sample first
Getting samples to try out new products is really important, especially if you are going high end. I really advise you to take your time when you have your eyes on something that is expensive. I know it is too easy to get excited about something and just want it straight away, but it really pays in the long run to take your time. When you can, try and obtain samples of makeup, particularly foundation, so you can try it out for a few days and see how you feel about the colour, the wear and anything else you find important with your foundation, For me, long lasting is an absolute must, so I need to know something is going to work for me before I splurge. Try before you buy, you will save yourself money in the long run. You don’t want to thrown £30 at a foundation only to find that a few days later it just isn’t for you. Take your time!
Don’t cut your own fringe
Just don’t, unless you are a trained hairdresser or you have the technique nailed and have done it many times. I have attacked my fringe before with the scissors, just a little snip here, another there, and before I knew it the damage was done and I was sporting a very wonky, thick fringe. It took me ages to grow it out and get it reshaped. Never again! Most hairdressers will trim your fringe for free between cuts, so take advantage of that.
Take off your makeup EVERY NIGHT
Now I am in my early 30s, I wish I had taken skincare more seriously in my 20s. Taking makeup off before bed is the number 1 tip you hear all the time, but my god it is so easy to ignore that advice and just jump in to bed at the end of the day when you are tired! I know this and have done it many times. But when I really put the effort into my skincare routine, cleansing, toning and moisturising twice a day, it makes a huge difference. I wake up with great skin, and I am gradually reversing the damage I did in my 20s (lake of SPF, lots of spots from not cleaning properly, scarring) Focusing on skincare and getting the right routine for you really pays off in the long run as you find you do not need to use as much base products on your skin. I live for the day I can go foundation free!
I would love to hear your lessons that you have learned the hard way!