I've had my fair share of beauty challenges over the years: from a very unfortunate shade of yellow blonde (and an even more unfortunate shade of bright green, after an uplifting morning swim) to the obligatory orange foundation (bless the '90s) and the too thinly plucked eyebrows (that made me look a little bit surprised all.the.time). Luckily, after walking around like a ripped-off version of Blondie for too long and years of picking up the tips & tricks of the pros, I know better. In fact, I think it's one of the main perks of getting older to actually master your skincare and make-up routine. Yes, it's a bit sad that this is simultaneously accompanied by the emerging of wrinkles, but hey, that's life. Sooo here goes: the most important beauty lessons that literally changed my life for the better! :)
1 / EMBRACE YOUR SKIN TONE
As someone who was raised with the idea that a tan is IT (again with the '90s), it took me a really long time to embrace my skin tone. I have a very fair skin by nature, that doesn't easily adopt that golden hue, even after being exposed to the sun for a while. After applying a too dark foundation for years, it finally got through to me that that's quite simply not flattering (not to mention it's quite obvious when your head doesn't match your legs). I now like the idea of a light skin tone, and know that that doesn't necessarily mean you look pale or washed out, as long as you pair it with the right colours (white and bright shades are a yes, beige neutrals a no). I'm obsessed with sun protection (I always carry around my favourite SPF 50 from La Mer!) and if anything, I'd advise getting a foundation that's a bit lighter than your natural skin tone, or a BB or CC cream that adjusts to your skin and blends in easily. No more orange for me!
2 / LET YOUR SKINCARE PRODUCTS ABSORB FULLY BEFORE APPLYING YOUR MAKE-UP
I have a pretty dry skin, that can get really dry when it's exposed to certain challenges; I definitely have to make sure my skincare game is on point, especially in sub-zero temperatures or highly air-conditioned places such as airplanes. The main challenge here is to not end up with blotchy make-up that accentuates dry spots or lines. My no. 1 trick for this is to mix a drop of organic coconut or argan oil into my go-to day cream, rub this in gently, and let it fully absorb before applying any make-up. The same goes for powder: make sure your foundation is fully dry before brushing it on, as this will make the end result look so much smoother.
3 / INVEST IN GOOD-QUALITY BRUSHES
As with everything in life, having good basics makes all the difference! High-quality beauty tools are a must, and especially brushes (or sponges, if you prefer) are key to creating a great beauty look. The brushes from M.A.C and Dior are my faves, and while they may seem like an investment, they will last you for so long that it's totally worth it.
4 / A GOOD CONCEALER IS A LIFESAVER
I'm often asked what my no. 1 beauty product is, and I always end up referring to this Dior Fix It concealer. I'm pretty self-concious about the dark circles below my eyes, and a good concealer (and eye mask from time to time) is the only thing that works to cover them up. Another awesome little trick is rubbing an ice cube onto your under-eye area (and rest of your face even) to diminish swelling, and to look more awake. It's my favourite thing to do during Fashion Week...
5 / GO MAKE-UP-FREE AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK
This is a tip I got from a dermatologist, who told me about the importance of letting your skin breathe at least once a week, by not applying any make-up. Sunday is my preferred day to go make-up-less and just embrace that all-natural look (including comfy loungewear and a Netflix marathon of course!). If you're not up for going entirely bare-faced, opt for only applying a light layer of a 2-in-1 (day cream + light coverage) BB cream. Just keep it to the very minimal, so no eye shadow, powder or blush!
6 / APPLY MAXIMUM 2 COATS OF MASCARA
I don't have super full lashes and used to think this would be solved by applying a lot (like, a lot a lot) of mascara. The funny thing is that this actually had the opposite effect of creating really dark really short lashes. Now I like to curl my lashes (with my Shu Uemura curler) and apply maximum 2 coats of my favourite DiorShow mascara; it looks more natural and lets the mascara to its job without clumping.
7 / DON'T UNDERESTIMATE THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR BROWS
Filling in your brows used to come as an optional addition to my usual make-up routine, until I saw a picture of myself without filled in brows: it just seemed like something was missing! And that's exactly how I feel about filled in brows: it's not super obvious but it adds so much depth to your face. I really consider it as an effortless way to enhance your best features! I prefer to use a light brown powder, but I've heard some really great things about the iconic Anastasia or Kevyn Aucoin brow kits too. Your choice! :)
8 / THE 1-OUT-OF-2 RULE IS AWESOME
We've all been there: you're 18 and you think that the only thing that will make you look totally spectacular is adding a really punchy lip to those smokey eyes (it worked for Kristen Stewart, right?). But the thing is: while it may look good in some cases (such as a Hollywood red carpet situation), it's usually just too much, especially if you add a sexy party dress to the mix. So I suggest opting for one or the other: if you go with a beauty look that enhances your eyes, keep your lips neutral and vice versa. And hey, it's less work!
ps: I'm also still fully on board with my previous advice to stop washing your face!
What are your favourite beauty lessons that you picked up over the years? I'm very curious to hear!