Everyone’s beauty requirements are different – and what’s more, everyone’s taste is different, too, so I want to start this post with the quick disclaimer that these are tips, not rules, and this post is simply a collection of the beauty tips that have worked for me. Things like…
01. YOU DON’T HAVE TO WEAR MAKE-UP IF YOU DON’T NEED TO
This sounds super-obvious, and hopefully it is, but I see a lot of beauty advice out there telling people that it’s important to wear at least some make-up (especially for work, job interviews, dates, etc) in order to look “polished”, and I couldn’t disagree more. Actually, I think people almost always look their best when they’re comfortable in their own skin, and happy with their appearance: that might mean wearing make-up, and it might not, but if make-up just isn’t your thing, don’t ever feel like you have to wear it in order to fit in with someone else’s ideas of “style”. The truth is that badly-applied make-up, or make-up that doesn’t suit the wearer will make you look worse than you do without it, so there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the natural look! With that said…
02. DON’T FEEL EMBARRASSED ABOUT WEARING MAKE-UP, EITHER
The flip side of this, of course, is all those people who seem to have an almost moral objection to make-up, and who like to take a holier-than-thou stand, lecturing about how they’d NEVER wear make-up, and don’t think anyone else should either. I can’t be the only one who’s been on the receiving end of those comments (normally delivered while I’m sitting there with a full-face of makeup!), or who’s cringed over some article on why men don’t like red lipstick or similar. For me, this kind of attitude is just as ridiculous as the pressure some women get to WEAR make-up: we can’t win, either way, so we may as well just please ourselves, huh?
03. START A SKINCARE REGIME EARLY
Whether or not you want to wear makeup, we ALL have to look after our skin, and the earlier you start, the better. I’m not saying you need to slather yourself in lotions and potions every night (especially not if you’re still a dewy-faced youth), but at the very least, try to work out what type of skin you have (Oily? Dry? Combination?) and take it from there. Obviously everyone’s skin is different, and will require different products and treatments, but one thing we all need is a good SPF, which should ideally be worn daily – you only have one skin, so look after it!
04. BUY A SILK PILLOWCASE
Still on the subject of skin, as it starts to age, it becomes less resistant to wear and tear, and it takes longer to snap back into shape, top. One of the biggest causes of fine lines is the way you sleep: crushing your face into your pillow creates creases which disappear instantly when you’re young, but don’t disappear AT ALL when you’re older. (I can often tell which side a person normally sleeps on, just by looking at their face: once you start to notice those sleep lines, you can’t un-see them!). Sleeping on your back is the best way to avoid sleep lines, and probably one of the best beauty tips I can give you, but if you can’t do that, a silk pillowcase will help prevent then, and keep your skin looking younger: I have this one, which I swear by.
05. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
I know, I know: it’s the advice everyone gives, but hardly anyone follows. I’m sure you could’ve guessed that this would be one of my beauty tips (I almost didn’t include it because it just seems SO obvious), but bring though it may be, it does work. I, for instance, don’t drink nearly enough water, and when I DO make the effort to up my intake, I always notice a big difference in my skin. I just wish I could stick to it…
06. GET YOUR EYEBROWS SHAPED PROFESSIONALLY
More than anything else, eyebrows can totally change the appearance of your face, and unless you’re very skilled at shaping them, it’s best to leave this task to the professionals: or at least to have it done professionally once, and then try to maintain the shape yourself, if you really want to. Above all, avoid over-plucking: I spent years tweezing my eyebrows almost out of existence, and they’re now patchy, scraggy, and full of bald spots which never grow back: nice. As tempting as it is to tweeze, if you have had an eyebrow disaster, resist plucking them for as long as possible – instead, grow them out for as long as you can, then have them professionally shaped. I promise you won’t regret it.
07. GET A MAKEUP LESSON
If you’re the type of person who’s obsessed with makeup, and has your own You Tube channel or whatever, you can obviously skip this one (and you probably have plenty of beauty tips of your own, in which case, please share!), but if you’re an absolute beginner, a makeup lesson will really help you understand what products to use and how to apply them. This doesn’t have to cost much, either: actually, many of the larger beauty counters will do it for free, in the hope that you’ll buy some of the products they recommend, and it can be a really good way to get your makeup kit started, and find out what suits you. Many people don’t really know what colours and styles are going to work best for them, so they just buy the makeup they’ve seen their best friend, or favourite beauty blogger use, not realising that the colours might look completely different on them, and that you have to know how to apply the stuff to get the best results from it. Don’t just assume something will suit you – try it on, and if in doubt, ASK.
08. CURL YOUR EYELASHES
Eyelash curlers might look like ancient instruments of torture, but they’re your secret weapon when it comes to creating long, luscious lashes. Give our curler a quick blast with a hairdryer (make sure it’s not too hot!) before using it for added effect.
09. CHOOSE WATERPROOF MASCARA
Not only will it not smudge as easily, it also locks in that curl you just created, making your lashes look longer.
10. INVEST IN AN EYESHADOW PRIMER
Sick of your eye make-up disappearing by mid-morning? Use a primer first (I like either this one or this one): not only will it make the colours of your eyeshadow more vivid, it’ll also help it stay in place all day. Foundation primer is another one of those beauty tips you hear pretty often – it’s the step people often try to skip, in the hope of saving themselves some money, but it does make a difference!
11. CLEAR LIP LINER IS THE ONLY LINER YOU’LL EVER NEED
OK, maybe not the only one if you’re really into your lip colours, but I prefer to line my lips with a clear liner before applying lipstick: it stops it from bleeding or smudging, helps you keep within the lines (this is a big issue for people like me, who don’t have defined lip lines), and doesn’t create a harsh line, like you can get with regular lip liner. I swear by this one from E.L.F., which is also very affordable.
12. CINNAMON OIL IS A CHEAP ALTERNATIVE TO LIP PLUMPERS
Branded lip plumpers tend to be expensive, and, in my experience at least, they don’t normally make a whole lot of difference. You know what does make a difference, though? Cinnamon oil. I buy a small bottle of essential oil and dab a tiny bit on my lips before bed (And I MEAN “a tiny bit”!): I wake up with smooth, plump lips, which will stay that way for a few days at least. Of course, the secret to lip plumpers is finding one that irritates your lips – because that’s all most of them are doing: irritating the lips just enough to make them swell. This one works for me, but everyone’s skin is different, so please exercise caution if you’re trying it!