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Top Ten: Beauty Tricks I Wish I’d Learned Earlier

1 Sep

Sure, I have a beauty blog, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped learning about makeup! I’m learning new things all the time! I always thought in college that the professors who felt that they knew everything about their subject were (a) full of it and (b) usually wrong in this belief. There is always more to learn about your favorite subject. Well…maybe if it’s Latin…

Anyway, today I have a top ten of beauty tips and tricks that I wish I’d discovered earlier in my beauty career. Some may be glaringly obvious to you (perhaps #3 in particular), but hey, life is a learning process! Read on and learn from my happy surprises and frustrating mistakes!

10. Salespeople are called SALESpeople for a reason. They’re in the store to get that cash out of your wallet and into the cash register. Some are quite honest, some will convince you to buy the wrong shade of foundation in order to make a sale. Trust your own opinion (or a trusted friend’s) first.

NARS Night Star

Bummer...NARS Night Star eyeshadow, picture from kaboodle.com

9. On a similar note: in all department stores and higher-end beauty stores, the lighting is designed to highlight the product’s appearance, but not necessarily how it looks on you. I learned this the hard way in high school (before Sephora’s new and AWESOME return policy) when I bought NARSNight Star eyeshadow. I was seriously into sparkle then, and in-store, Night Star appears to be a flashy, glittery nude. At home, it was a mild, pearly match for my skintone. Lesson learned: try on what could be a fabulous product, and go outside into natural lighting to see if it is as wonderful as it appeared to be inside.

8. Olive oil is a great, inexpensive moisturizer that you probably already have in your kitchen. Be sure to use SPF if leaving the house!

7. Feeling like a yeti but can’t place why? Trim your eyebrows. Brush them up (with a toothbrush if you want), trim with a manicure scissor, and return them to their original position. Fill in your brows with matching powder or pencil as needed – there, you look well groomed with a crazy amount of ease.

6. Most people that know me are well aware that I’d rather stay up late and hit the snooze button (fifteen times) instead of go to bed early in order to seize the day. I only learned a few months ago that if I go to bed with wet hair and wake up with a rat’s nest on my head the next morning, I can blow it out straight with little difficulty and a paddle brush.


You again?! Visine rules. (picture from crazycouponsavings.com)

5. Did your pot of cream eyeliner dry out? Add a few drops of Visine and stir with a toothpick – it’ll be as good as new. I did this with my Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Eyeliner and it was like I had only bought it a few weeks ago. (And from now on, put the cap back on or place the pot upside down on your vanity between application to each eye to prevent the product from drying out!)

4. Letting your skin soak up a moisturizer before you apply foundation makes all the difference, but combining that with a foundation brush for the first time is pretty much a religious experience.

3. You really can’t – and shouldn’t – give yourself a Brazilian wax, no matter how high you think your pain tolerance is. It’s not that high. Sure it is when you’ve paid for it, but not when you’re the one applying the wax. Leave it to the professionals, even though you may not want to spend the money: some things are worth paying for.

3a: Things generally worth paying (prestige) for: good tools (eyelash curler, tweezer, brushes), skincare, intensive waxing and spa treatments. And, in my opinion: lipstick, eyeshadow, and blush.

3b: Things generally not worth paying for: foundation, mascara, nail polish, lipgloss, bronzer, trend items, minor waxing and spa treatments.

3c: Ambivalent: fragrance, eyeliner

2. (Continued from 3b) Once you master precision with your non-dominant hand, you can give yourself a much longer-lasting manicure (and pedicure!) than anyone could ever give you. And, oh yeah, it’s free. (Get someone else to give you the massage.)

1. If you wear crazy makeup – or even no makeup at all – with all of your confidence, I guarantee that you’ll be the most gorgeous one in the room.

Yes, I know that #3 was a bad idea. Sigh. Do you have any late bloomer beauty tips you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them in the comments!

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