Ah to be young again (says the 22 year-old). Bright eyes, bushy tail – generally squirrely demeanour. Being a big fish in a small pond. The world, being my lobster. Other animal-related things.
Except it wasn’t really like that, was it? My younger self was hopelessly angsty – obsessing for weeks over whether that guy I liked had actually meant to hit me in the head with a rugby ball* (exact quote from my 14 year-old diary: “WHY DOES HE HATE ME?!” All caps.) – and hilariously clueless when it came to make-up and skin care. So I’ve thought of 10 bits of advice that I would have benefited from when I started out on make-up and skin care.
When everyone’s talking about some great new product, it’s easy to get sucked in to the point where basically you think your life is incomplete until you get a konjac sponge/BB cream/Hakuhodo brush/Seahorse highlighting powder.
2. The things that do live up to the hype completely depend on your personality
It’s no secret that I love Hakuhodo, but I don’t expect everyone else to feel the same. The hyped products that did revolutionise my make-up were products that appealed to me on many levels (e.g. I love Hakuhodo brushes for – among other things – their performance, their craftsmanship, their aesthetic appeal, their connection to a really exciting time in my life) or products that offered solutions to problems I’d been having for ages (e.g. Bronzer being too orange – solved by Rouge Bunny Rouge).
In general, younger self, if you have to ask yourself ‘What’s the big fuss about?’ before you buy something, you’ll end up asking the same question afterwards. Just because everyone else loves it, doesn’t mean you will as well.
3. Always always always go out into natural light after trying a new product in store
I used to get kind of embarrassed about this. Either I was worried the sales assistant thought I was making excuses not to buy anything, or I was worried that people on the streets would see me peering into a mirror from every angle and think I was crazy.
BUT I really should have done because the 4th thing I’d say to myself is:
So you’ve bought your first high-end foundation, but it’s Bobbi Brown’s foundation stick in the shade ‘Warm Ivory’. Just because it was the lightest shade available (at the time), it doesn’t mean it’s your shade. Try something 4 shades lighter and 10 times less yellow next time.
5. Those aren’t blackheads, they’re sebaceous filaments. Stop abusing them
You will get your first blackhead at 22 and it will really annoy you.
6. The warm vs. cool debate is kind of redundant
When I first got into make-up I devoted a lot of time to determining whether I was warm-toned or cool-toned, and now I realise that it’s crazily over-simplified. Even when broadening the spectrum (warm-neutral, cool-olive, muted, spring, high contrast, high visibility, mountain goat), it’s hugely difficult to find an exact formula to define one’s skin and colouring. When buying colour make-up nowadays I tend to stick with the colours that I know will suit me, or experiment with some inexpensive products to find new shades that work.
7. Step away from the epilator
Congratulations on your high pain threshold, younger self! However, your epilator use is going to wreck your legs, and they’re not going to recover for two and a half years. Yay! At one point, when you are crying over how painful and itchy they are, your boyfriend will resort to rubbing ice on them to make you feel better.
8. Stop using excessive amounts of alcohol on your skin
And most importantly…
9. People don’t pay nearly as much attention to you as you think they do
So stop worrying that everyone is going to obsess over your sub-par skin or your badly-placed eyeshadow.
*22 year-old conclusion: No he did not, it ricocheted off 3 walls before it met my head. He was not that talented a ball-thrower.
What make-up (or other) advice would you give your younger self? Were you savvy from the start, or in dire need of some make-up assistance?