Saturday, May 12, 2012

What I've Learned Over the Years

Now that I've turned 23, I've been officially wearing and experimenting with cosmetics and skincare for a decade. Wow, time sure does fly by. I still remember a lot of my first beauty purchases from the drugstore! While my taste in beauty products has certainly changed, my love for experimenting with such products definitely has not.  I am not a professional make-up artist nor a beauty expert, but I am a consumer and lover of the topic.  From my experience reading/watching beauty bloggers/youtubers, I've learned that some of the best beauty advice comes from everyday individuals.  No one is more relatable than someone who reflects you: a person with inner & outer beauty, including the quirks (and so-called imperfections) that make you human.

Here are some of the beauty tips and tricks I've learned throughout the years:

  1. There's a time and a place for just about every make-up look.  While I tend to focus on wearable, everyday make-up, it's always fun to experiment with something bold, whether it be colorful eyeshadow, winged eyeliner, a new blush, or a bright lip color.  Which brings me to my next point...
  2. Choose one feature to accentuate & balance the rest of the face.  My favorite feature to accentuate is the eyes, but when I do bold eyes, I tend to keep the cheeks and lips more natural looking.  When I do a bold lip, I like to balance out the eyes with either earth tones or a coordinating smokey eye.  Some days I just like to focus on the skin, which means a bit more blended out blush, a light contour on the hollow of the cheekbones & forehead w/ bronzer, and a highlighter on the tops of the cheekbones.  The rest of the face is balanced out with a natural eye look (consisting of a natural highlight on the inner corners of the tear duct and brow bone, light mascara, & maybe subtle eyeliner on the upper lash line only).
  3. Healthy skin is the top priority.  Skin is awesome.  It's the largest organ of the body. It's what protects us from infection, UV rays, & pretty much everything.  It helps maintain the basic structure of the body (I don't know about you, but I love when my organs stay where they're supposed to!). And of course, skin is a big part of beauty. As someone who definitely does NOT have perfect skin, I can attest to the struggle of trying to rid my skin of acne, under-eye circles, uneven skin tone,  dullness, and extreme paleness (Ok, I'm not trying to get rid of my paleness, I just find that it prevents it's own challenges). But at the end of the day, it's just skin. As long as it's working as it should, it's best to try not to worry about it too much. But when you want to improve your overall look...
  4. Find a good concealer.  Don't like foundation? Many people don't; it's your body and your own prerogative.  I tend to primarily prefer concealer and a light to medium coverage mineral powder foundation (I personally find liquid/cream foundations to be too heavy on an everyday basis, but that's just me). Anyways, concealer is a helpful thing. While finding concealer that works for you can be a challenge, it really is worth it.  Have a big zit? Concealer is your best friend. Haven't slept much? Concealer assists in lessening under-eye circles and bags.  In fact, on days when I'm in a rush or don't want to wear make-up, a quick dab of concealer is really all I need, bare minimum.
  5. Cosmetics don't have to be high-end to work great. In fact, drugstore cosmetics have really improved since I've started using make-up! I have a drugstore version of just about any type of make-up that works well. I even prefer certain drugstore products to higher-end items that cost twice the price or much more!
  6. Drugstore mascaras have it going on. No seriously, drugstore mascaras are the best! I prefer Covergirl's Lashblast mascara to just about every other mascara on the market. While I have tried out higher-end brands, I just haven't been nearly as impressed; higher-end mascaras can and do work well, but NO BETTER than a drugstore one!  Especially when you consider how short of lifespan mascara truly has: approximately 3-4 months; MAYBE a bit longer, if the mascara isn't frequently used.  After that the quality of the mascara tends to decline, whether it be drying up, becoming a clump-fest, or just plain running out.  So why spend more money, if you don't have to?
  7. If it works out in your budget, have a splurge item. Live a little, if you can. Or ask for a coveted item as a gift. And enjoy yourself! I personally love high-end eyeshadow from companies, such as Urban Decay, Too Faced, & MAC.  While I don't own a ton of any of these products, I really appreciate having them as a special item! I simply limit my choices to only the products I really want and will genuinely love & use.
  8. Natural-looking eyebrows are very nice!. No need to over wax & over pluck. I happen to be a big fan of natural-looking brows (think Brooke Shields circa 1980).  Get rid of the parts of the brows that are a bit too bushy (or out of place), and go with the natural shape of your brows.  Eyebrows, especially for those who wear glasses, give such a wonderful balance to the entire face!  If you have unruly eyebrows (such as myself), use a brow gel or clear mascara. On the other hand, if your eyebrows are sparse in some areas, fill in your brows a bit with an eyebrow pencil or matte powder eyeshadow w/ an angled eyeliner brush.
  9. Check out reviews, before making a purchase. Knowledge, is power! Some of the best resources include the internet.  No surprise there, right? :) Check out products at Makeupalley, a site which has product reviews from consumers such as yourself. Or even type in the name of the specific product on google and see what pops up.  It might direct you to a helpful blog or retailer.  If a product tends to have a majority of positive reviews from many people, chances are the product may also work for you.  It's not a perfect science, of course.  Some products you love might have bad reviews, just as products you dislike may have unusually good reviews.  Just use the internet as a guide in making your decision. And if all else fails, make purchases from a retailer with a good return policy!
  10. Be yourself! I'm not a big fan of trying too hard to change how I innately look.  I'm pale; but so what? Pale can be gorgeous too! Just like a tan (especially a natural one) looks so beautiful on many of family/friends. I also don't care for color contacts for daily use on most people, unless it looks natural. I also don't enjoy drawn-on eyebrows, obvious lip liner, or super heavy eyeliner. Nor do I prefer dying my hair, or even blowdrying/straightening/curling my hair on a daily basis. But that's just me. If you like what I don't care for, who cares what I or anyone else thinks?...Feel free to break the rules!  It's your face and body; own your look, no matter what that may be.
Have a nice day!

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