I have worn makeup in some shape or form since the tender age of 11, so as you can imagine I have made some hideous beauty mistakes along the way! I sometimes look at my current ‘face’ and wonder if in 10 years time I will laugh at my photos…although I have come such a long way since the age of 11 that I don’t think so. I was always encouraged to experiment with makeup and taught myself what looked good and what didn’t. You do have to take into account that I first started wearing makeup in the 1980’s and I swear it was really really fashionable at the time! 😉 Now with access to the internet there should be no more mistakes, ever! Here are a few tips that I wish I had known sooner…
1 – When applying foundation, less is more. Back in the day I used to go through a tube of Avon heavy coverage foundation each month and I had serious cake face! I remember once walking to school in the rain and by the time I got there the rain had destroyed my foundation and left big holes in it. Foundation is supposed to enhance your skin, not cover it like a mask…even heavier coverage ones. I love a heavy coverage foundation but applied in the right way (I use a beauty blender) it should blend well into your skin and make your skin look fabulous. My current top picks are Revlon Colourstay Foundation for oily skin, Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation and L’Oreal Infallible Matte foundation.
2 – Make sure you blend foundation down your neck and onto your ears to avoid a tide line. It sounds kinda obvious right? Wrong! I certainly used to think that foundation stopped at my jawline, and a quick look around a crowd of people tells me that this may still be a popular belief. Blend, blend, blend…and when you think you’ve blended enough then blend some more. A Beauty Blender is excellent for this as it does not deposit too much product on your jawline and neck as foundation-stained clothes are not cool.
3 – Use a face primer, it makes your foundation last longer. Yes really! It’s not just a fad or a way for the beauty industry to pry more cash out of your wallet, it really does work. If you don’t believe me try putting a primer on half your face only and seeing the difference at the end of the day. You don’t have to spend lots of money, in fact my new favourite primer costs around £5…review here! There are so many different types of primer, just make sure you choose one to meet your particular skin needs. Some of my favs are Laura Mercier, Max Factor Facefinity and Smashbox Photofinish Primer.
4 – Apply a dry shampoo to your hair the night before and DON’T brush it out. It will have chance to soak up the oils and your hair will feel fresher when you wake up and brush it out. I used to spray it in my hair, brush it out, then wonder why it wasn’t working and then apply more which left big white patches in my hair. It turns out that the product actually needs some time to work…who knew? 😉 I like Batiste, Co Lab and Herbal Essences dry shampoos at the moment, but to be fair any will do.
5 – Blend concealer under your eyes by patting (not rubbing) with your finger or a beauty blender. That way it won’t get stuck in your creases/lines. I have literally spent YEARS trying to find a concealer that does not sit in my lines and wrinkles before I realised that it had a lot to do with my technique…although don’t get me wrong, as your skin ages some concealers will never blend (*sob*). My current favourite concealer is the Urban Decay Naked Skin concealer, blended with a Beauty Blender it gives a perfect finish.
6 – Use a lip liner to fill your whole lip area in before applying lipstick. It will make your lipstick last so much longer. I never used to use lip liners, but I am now fully converted! It makes a massive difference. Not only does a lip liner stop your lipstick from bleeding, but when used all over the lip and with the right lipstick on top, it could survive eating a full meal consisting of most things except the greasiest of burgers or pizzas…and let’s face it, nothing lasts through that! My current favourite long-lasting lip liner and lipstick combo is MAC Pro Longwear lip pencil in ‘More to Love’ and NARS satin lip pencil in ‘Yu’. I wore them last night, ate a full Thai feast and was left with an even pigmented pink stain all over my lips. Win! 🙂
7 – Use tape to achieve a winged eyeliner look. It will give you the confidence to have a go and save the pain of wonky wings. I used to avoid winged eyeliner until I learnt this little trick. It was Marlena from Makeup Geek who first alerted me to it. Check out her winged eyeliner tutorial for a great demonstration of how it works. If I can rock a winged liner after watching that video then anyone can! I use these little Scotch strips which are really handy and compact to carry around in my makeup bag.
8 – Know your skin type and don’t try to wear products your skin hates! I have combination skin with a super oily t-zone. At times my skin is an oil slick, at others it’s an arid desert (go figure?!), I have breakouts…oh and it’s ageing too! No matter how much I want to use the latest fancy rich moisturisers I know that my skin will just hate them so I have to be very specific about what my skin needs so that I keep it looking the best I can to minimise texture problems and breakouts and so that my makeup sits well on my face. I love this Monu Refining Capri treatment oil specifically designed for hydrating my skin type, La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense eye gel as I have dry under eyes, REN T-Zone Balancing day fluid so I can look after my oily T as well as the rest of my face, No7 Protect & Perfect intense advance serum which is infused with hyaluronic acid and Caudalie Polyphenol anti-wrinkle protection fluid which helps my fine lines. I do change the products I use but I am always careful to listen to my skin and give it what it wants.
9 – Acid exfoliants are your best friend! There will be no more scrubbing at your face and your skin will be baby soft. These terrified me at first, now it’s acid all the way! I use the Paula’s Choice 2% BHA liquid every night and Pixi Glow Tonic whenever I feel a need a bit extra in a morning, but not daily as exfoliating morning and evening on a daily basis is a bit too much for my skin. I rarely reach for traditional grainy exfoliants as I find them too rough on my face, but with these I have no problems.
10 – Embrace face oil, even if you have oily skin! I spent years avoiding oil thinking that it would make my oily t-zone and breakouts even worse. How wrong I was! All I ended up with was dehydrated skin the rebelled against the enforced dry conditions. Now I have learnt the error of my ways my skin is so controllable. I love the Body Shop Vitamin E overnight face oil, the Nude ProGenius treatment oil and the MONU Refining Capri treatment oil. I use an oil every evening which helps me wake up with baby-soft hydrated skin. It’s a winner!
I would love to hear the tips and tricks you have learnt along the way, comment down below if there is anything that you think I have missed and really need to know.