Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ten Beauty Truths I've Learned the Hard Way

In the past 9 months, my makeup collection has gone from rather modest to this:

I'm equal amounts proud and ashamed. I have spent a lot of my hard earned money on face paint, but I have enjoyed every second spent making up at this vanity. There's nothing I love more than getting ready here and playing with all of the treasures and things I have collected. I really do use everything in this space. In my adventures becoming a "Beauty Girl"...here are some things I have learned about taking care of your face and making yourself up.

1. Your Tools are Everything: The right brushes and applicators can make a heck of a difference in applying your makeup. You don't need expensive brushes (you can buy some really cool ones at the drugstore and at Target. Hello? Some are crap, but a few are really great) and you don't need a Beauty Blender (if you want to buy one, more power to you, but it's a $20 sponge.) Even your finger can be the right tool in a given situation. Your tools can make a difference between a great makeup application and one that looks not your best. And while we're at it...

2. Wash Your Brushes (and your hands...and ALL your tools!): Listen to me and listen good. If you're new to makeup and haven't used it very much...TRUST ME ON THIS ONE: Wash and sanitize all your makeup tools. I keep a spray bottle of alcohol at my vanity to sanitize things like my eyelash comb, etc. Every time you touch your brush to your product and then touch your brush to your face, you're depositing a little bit of oil, dirt and dead skin cells from your face, moisturizer and what else was on your face onto your brush...your innocent clean brush. Don't want to clean your brushes after each use? Fine; You're opening up your poor facial epidermis to clogged pores, acne, blackheads, whiteheads...you name it.

TRUST ME. Buy a spray-on brush cleaner and wash them at your vanity or your makeup area daily AND give them a deep clean maybe every two weeks? Every week ideally. Don't listen to me and make your skin breakout. You don't need anything fancy to wash them with...some baby shampoo will do just fine. No, it's not fun to deep clean them. Sorry. But it needs to be done if you want your face to be beautiful.

Don't know how to do it? Read how here:
  • http://www.xojane.com/beauty/makeup-brush-washing-tips
  • http://laurenconrad.com/blog/2013/06/beauty-school-how-to-clean-your-makeup-brushes-tips-tricks-ilana-saul-june-2013/

By the way, this applies to your fingers and any other non-brush tools that touch your face too. Always touch your face only with clean fingers.

3. Wash Your Makeup Off Your Face Every Night...ALWAYS
Need to go to bed? Tired? Wash your face. Drunk? Wash your face. Not doing this has the same consequence as applying your makeup with dirty brushes. This is a way of being...

4. Be Kind To Your Skin
Because I have oily skin, I have been treating it like it needed to be punished. I have been using pretty harsh cleaners to try and strip the oil and completely dry my face out before applying my oil-free moisturizer. I have also been scrubbing the living daylights out of my face. Everyone loves a good exfoliation, but if you treat your skin as if it's "sensitive" skin...it will like you much better. Use a gentle cleanser that doesn't strip your skin and make it feel tight and make sure it gets adequately moisturized. I used to think that "tight, squeaky clean feeling" meant that my oily skin was really clean, but I really just didn't hear my little skin cells screaming. Be kind to your face. It's the only face you have...treat it well.

5. Products Expire
Admittedly, powder products last the longest, but all of your products that you use on your face have a shelf-life. Mascaras last the least amount of time. If it smells, throw it in the trash, no matter how much you paid for it. Also...in case you didn't know...a lot of beauty products come with a little "Best Used after Opening" symbol on the packaging that looks like this:

The M stands for months. It's a guideline of course...if you take care of your products (especially your eyeshadows and blushes) you can probably safely use them for longer. But be careful with products that you are putting on your eyes...mascara and eyeliner are particularly hairy. Replace these often.

6. Apply All Your Powders With A Brush
You know that little sponge all your pressed powders come with? That little round one or square one that comes in the compact? Go get it right now and throw it in the trash. You heard me: THROW IT IN THE TRASH. Applying your pressed powder or whatever with that thing can make your powder look cakey but more than anything...it's gross. It's the same as using an unwashed brush...plus, the oils on your face contaminate the sponge, you put the sponge back on top of your powder and then your powder gets oil and grossness in it. I've had several pressed powders that have had their lifespans shortened by oily sponges. Let's take a moment to weep over the money I lost buying new pressed powders.

Don't use this sponge!
7. Making Up Takes Practice
Liquid Eyeliner? You need to practice that. Gel Eyeliner? You need to practice that too. Perfect blush? Take your brush and give it a go! Know this...you are not going to be good at everything right away. I am still struggling with eyeshadow and blending and all that, but I'm a hell of a lot better than I was 6 months ago. Put on your eyeliner and looks like crap? Grab some remover, take it off and try again. That's the great part about makeup. You messed up? You ALWAYS get a do over. When to practice? Before bed! You're going to wash it off anyway...right? RIGHT? (Do you need to read number 3 again?!)

8. Serum Is Actually Worth Using
I have been in a box all my life...wash your face, put on moisturizer. Done. All the sudden, these serums started getting popular and I am like, "Why do I need to add another step to my skincare routine? When I'm ready for bed, I can barely get it together to wash my face."

Stop: About a month ago, I started using a Vitamin C serum and my skin has been in a good mood ever since. Coincidence? I think not. My skin looks brighter, smoother and is less prone to breakouts. Can't stop, won't stop. Yes, it's a pain in the ass to put on the serum after I cleanse and before my moisturizer, but it's worth it. It's not a dumb fad, it's not a craze, it's legitimately beneficial for your skin to apply topical Vitamin C and other things like hyaluronic acid in the form of a serum. Consider one.

My current favorite serum! Thank you Boxycharm
9. Good Quality Makeup is Everywhere
If you haven't shopped for cosmetics at the drugstore since the '90s, you will be shocked. Drugstore brands have stepped up their game. You don't have to spend a lot of money to look pretty. Some of my favorite products are from the drugstore. Although the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara is pretty much my favorite, I happen to think L'Oreal mascaras are to die for and can compete with high-end brands any day. Wet N' Wild and E.L.F. also make fabulous affordable products that you can buy at the drugstore. Not saying you shouldn't buy Urban Decay or Dior...just saying you don't have to spend a million dollars to look like a million dollars. Product quality varies in EVERY BRAND from color-to-color/product-to-product. Just read some reviews and try things out. You may like a $2 lipstick more than a $30 one...or vice versa. Don't be a snob and don't be closed minded. After all...life is funny. L'Oreal owns the YSL Cosmetics line...hmmm...

10. A Primer is Actually Worthwhile
Just as you may put a primer on a wall before you paint it, a primer is a worthwhile step if you want your makeup to last or to get the biggest color payoff from eyeshadow. The primers you can put under your foundation or wear alone can smooth your skin's texture and place a barrier between your skin and your foundation. Eyeshadow primers (or a base) allow colors to appear more vibrantly and last longer. It's worth it.

So there you have it! Those are the 10 hard lessons I've learned the hard way this year. Do you have any more you can think of? Do you agree or disagree? Let me know!


Post a Comment