I think now is a good time to appreciate how far we’ve all come in terms of makeup. Who knew an egg-shaped sponge, not far off the ones in mum’s kitchen, could blend a skin-toned liquid to perfection? Non-surgical nose jobs are achievable with just a few lines of concealer and to top that off, our cheekbones can be seen from Space. Not being funny but those three points alone give me enough reason to continue splashing out on beauty products to accentuate and enhance my imperfectly perfect canvas that I call, my face. That’s right, love what you’re born with, always, yet don’t be afraid to let your creative juices flow – makeup is an art form in my books. I wouldn’t say that I’m anywhere near my prime in terms of makeup and beauty overall. However I have for sure learnt a thing or two along the way that I feel could help you to skip a few blunders and contribute to your knowledge within beauty by learning from a few of my mistakes, so here goes.
1. Not washing my egg-shaped sponge as often as I should
By now, I’m assuming you’re all well aware that I’m referring to the god-sent, Beautyblender. If not, surprise and you need it in your life. It is a little pricy I suppose but in the same way as buying £200 worth of clothes online and then finding out delivery is £6.99 – in other words, you’ll complain but pay for it anyway because it’s worth it. In my opinion, it’s well worth the little splurge as I use it for nearly e-ver-y-thing. Dampen it and it’s your best friend when it comes to applying foundation, concealer, translucent powder to bake under your eyes or clean up underneath your cheek contour; you name it. I guess the downside to it’s multi-purposefulness is that you really MUST have it clean before EVERY use. There’s no two ways about it, no matter how much you want to let one day slide, is it really worth a pimple or even worse, a breakout? Oh the horror, I think not. It really does make a noticeable improvement in the application and finish of your makeup too. If you’re like me and understand the importance but absolutely dread the thought of sitting there massaging and rinsing it a million and one times, my little tip is to take it in the bathroom with you and get it done before your morning shower. If you choose not to shower in the morning then, sorry. I find that it’s the best time though because I have to have a morning shower whether I like it or not, same as having to wash my Beautyblender so I’m killing two birds with one stone. Oh, and if you’re looking for an affordable and effective cleanser to use on your own, baby shampoo works wonders.
2. Doing my eyebrows after my face makeup instead of before
I wouldn’t say this is necessarily a “mistake” as I know people do either one and neither one is right or wrong. Recently though, I’ve started to do my brows – with either a pencil or pomade depending on the amount of time I have – before I apply my foundation, concealer etc. Since doing this, I’ve found that my brows don’t look nearly as harsh or “done” if that makes sense. They just appear a lot more natural and subtle alongside the rest of my face makeup instead of looking overly highlighted or artificial as I believed they used to when I’d do them after. I think it mostly comes down to the whole step of using concealer to carve out my brows which actually contains another change in itself that I’ve implemented which I’ll come back to in a second. The fact I and I’m sure a lot of you use concealer typically in the shade of your exact skin tone or maybe a shade lighter means that you can sometimes end up with a bit of a halo effect if you haven’t blended it all out completely. Having this on top of your even base created from your foundation just defeats the purpose of your foundation as it creates an uneven complexion. Doing your brows first however means that your foundation can do it’s main job – evening out your complexion – across your whole face and this way it’s able to include the space around your brows to get rid of that harsh drawn-on look. The change I was referring to previously was that I now only use concealer under my brows instead of on the top and bottom. This again comes down to personal preference. I find it makes my brows again less harsh, naturally full and defined.
The brow pencil and pomade that I have been switching back and forth between lately:
I use the shade “Spiked” for the pencil and the shade “Ebony” for the pomade.
3. Not using a primer and setting spray
These two bad boys make a world of a difference honestly. I was once one of those people who thought priming was just an unnecessary step that brands were trying to get people to buy into for marketing and money-making purposes. Guys, priming will change the game. I thankfully don’t suffer with large pores or particularly oily skin (let’s not jinx yourself love) but if you are one of those people, Benefit’s Porefessional is amazing for pores and I know Smashbox do some brilliant primers for a range of different needs as well as the loads of others on offer out there. Even though I don’t suffer from large pores, I do have some form of texture on my nose and beside it and I occasionally will get oily in my T-zone so for those reasons, I use the Porefessional primer. It has quite a thick and more creamy than silicone feel to it so it glides over my skin and just gives me a much nicer and smoother base to apply my makeup on top of. I place it on and around my nose and in my T-zone to also combat any oiliness and it does the job perfectly. If you’re still not entirely sold, don’t worry I wasn’t as easily swayed either, priming will 100% increase the longevity of your makeup.
Setting spray has the same effect. Being at school, college, uni, work or wherever you are for a long period of time will guarantee that your makeup will definitely not look as polished as it did before you dashed out the house to jump on the next packed train filled with hot and bothered work go’ers. So giving your face a nice spritz before your day ahead will basically keep everything in tact for longer. Sold yet?
My go-to primer and setting spray:
4. Not giving my face a good scrub at least once or twice a week
Exfoliating was, for a while, one of those things I knew were beneficial but wouldn’t do often enough at all; kind of like going to the gym, I’d do it for a while then fall off. Anywayyyyy (there’s always 2018’s new years resolutions), once I made the conscious decision to use a face scrub at least once a week on my face, the glow was addictive. I used to use one from St. Ives however I heard from many different sources that it wasn’t too good on the skin so I had a little rummage around and gave the Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Daily Scrub a try, I love it. For those who don’t have any major skin issues that need specific focus on, this is a good all-rounder option. It claims to help eliminate and prevent spots and blackheads, unclog pores, prevent future breakouts as well as to clean deep down yet gently purify the skin without overdrying it. I’ve found it to be one of the only scrubs that don’t actually irritate or trigger my skin into breaking out which I was pleasantly surprised by so whether or not it does all that it claims to down to a T, I would recommend it solely based on the fact that it does everything a face scrub is meant to with no extra bits and bobs in my opinion. My skin feels so soft and plump afterwards and genuinely brighter and more luminous which is something I could tell from my first use. Exfoliating pretty much gently sheds your top layer of skin in order to create a smooth and brighter new surface and so if you don’t already include it in your skin care routine at least once a week, twice or three times if you can, please do as even your bummy, no-makeup days will be taken up a notch after being good to go after applying simply your favourite moisturiser, easy.
5. Choosing bathroom or bedroom lighting over daylight when applying makeup
If you can confidently say you’ve never had a bad makeup day, not to rain on your parade or anything but, you’re lying! A lot of the time back when I first stared wearing makeup and I’m talking tinted moisturiser, some mascara and a bit of lip balm, I often left the house with two different skin tones on my face and neck. When I really became pro, my touch of blush became a stamp of pink powder on each cheek but you know, you live and you learn. The point I’m getting at is, if you can, please do avoid bedroom or bathroom lighting when doing your makeup. I feel as though many of you already know this from similar shock horror moments caused throughout the day from your once perfectly matched foundation looking like a masked mess, literally. If not, to avoid any dramatic lines of demarkation or badly blended concealer or blush situations, daylight is key. I found my makeup to improve tremendously once I made it mandatory for me to sit in front of a large mirror as it most accurately resonated with outdoor lighting. If you’re doing your makeup for nights out or don’t have anywhere that you’re majorly accessible to daylight, avoiding extremely yellow or orange light is the way to go. It saved me and if you haven’t already made daylight your go-to source of light when doing your makeup, save yourself girl.
What beauty hacks or tips have you discovered that have made a noticeable difference for you?