We all know what it feels like — looking in the mirror as you’re getting ready for work and realizing your face just isn’t quite right. You’ve got some pimples or sunburned patches here and there, so maybe you need foundation and/or concealer. Maybe you should try something new with your eyebrows. Or maybe you want to make sure you have enough time before someone else sees you.
Whatever the reason, sometimes looking good takes more than putting on a fresh coat of lipstick and moisturizing cream cleanser (though they can help!). There are plenty of people who spend their days working hard at being healthy, well-groomed and generally pretty, but then show up everywhere from red carpets to movie sets looking flawless. But even though these individuals may be pros in the realm of appearance, there are still lots of ways regular folks could improve their daily beauty game if only they tried harder.
It might seem impossible, especially considering our modern obsession with all things Instagrammable and Snapchatable, but I’m willing to bet most of us aren’t always our best selves every day. In fact, many of us probably don’t give ourselves much thought until somebody points out an imperfection. And once that happens, it’s often too late because by then we feel self conscious. So instead of waiting around for those moments where you start thinking “I wish my eyeliner was thicker,” why not take matters into your own hands? Try changing up your routine a little bit, and see what works for you!
Here are five easy tips anyone can follow to keep themselves looking great no matter what situation they find themselves in.
1) Her eyes:
If you were already doing this perfectly naturally, congratulations — you deserve extra credit for taking initiative. Your eyes play such a huge role in creating an overall youthful glow, and since you obviously care about them, it makes sense that you’d want to invest in the healthiest version possible. That means keeping your lashes long and full and using nourishing eye creams regularly. Also, having nice eyebrows helps frame your whole face nicely, so go ahead and get yourself professionally groomed.
But if you haven’t been giving your peepers their due yet, now is the perfect chance to change that. Choose a mascara formula that offers both volume and length while staying cruelty free. One brand worth trying is Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara. It comes off as very thick and clumpy during application, which will allow you to create dramatic catlike effects while also making your lashes appear fuller. Another popular option is Urban Decay 24 Hour Eyelash Extension Mascara. This product allows you to set your own curl pattern, rather than relying solely on the brush applicator. If you prefer waterproof formulas, Benefit Cosmetics’ Pro Longwear Waterproof & Ophthalmologist Formula has earned high praise from reviewers online.
You’ll notice that none of these products contain alcohol, silicone, parabens, phthalates, gluten, talc, formaldehyde, synthetic fragrances, mineral oil, petroleum, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, dioxane, DEA, TEA, PBA, PBDE, BPA, SLS, SLES, DMDM hydantoin, glycerol, FD&C Yellow No. 5, Blue 1, Red 40, Green 3, Black 6, Tartrazine, Arbuturazole or Benzocaine. These ingredients tend to irritate sensitive areas including your eyes, scalp, nose, throat and lungs. They can cause rashes, hives, headaches, breathing problems and other adverse reactions. However, companies do produce alternatives containing less harmful chemicals. For example, NYX Professional Makeup’s Double Wear Liquid Lipstick contains dimethicone crosspolymer, purified water, beeswax, cetyl stearoyl lactone, methylparaben, propylparaben, triethanolamine, benzoic acid, disodium EDTA, trisodium citrate, tetrasodium EDTA, polyacrylic acid, ethylene vinyl acetate copolymers, simethicone, titanium dioxide, iron oxides, mica, zinc oxide, bismuth oxychloride, pearlescent pigments, ultramarine blue pigment, yellow ochre pigment, orange chromium oxide, white lead carbonate, cerulean blue pigment, fuchsia magenta pigment, green copper chloroplatinate, violet malachite green lake, indigo carmine Lake, coppery brown Lake, cadmium selenide, cobalt aluminate, pyrrole palladium chloride, iridium(III) oxide, manganese phosphate, strontium ferric sulphate, cuprous iodide, aluminum potassium sulfate, magnesium silicate, lithium metasilicate, calcium salts, zirconium titanate, tin dioxide, tungsten carbide, barium plumbum zince, antimony triselenide, vanadyl sulfate, nickel nitride, nishikoline hydroxyapatite, benzotriazoles, coal tar, phenols, resorcinol, salicylic acid, sorbitol, thiazolidines, quaternium 15, imidazolidinyl urea, and octocrylene.
2) Her lips:
When it comes to applying lip balms and glosses, remember that you shouldn’t use your fingers. Instead, use clean fingertips and apply sparingly. Afterward, blot away excess moisture with tissue paper. A primer first would definitely benefit your luscious locks, but it won’t last through the day. To achieve maximum longevity, choose a highly concentrated serum with SPF 30 sunscreen built in. Use two or three layers depending on your preference. Some brands include Avène Skin ID Hydrating Primer ($40), MAC Fix Plus Matte Finish Lipglass ($22), or Lancome Quattro Glossy Stain Foundation ($26). For a sheer finish, try NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($28), YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stix ($37), or Revlon ColorStay Super Lustrous Serum Multi-Finish Lipcolor ($18). Apply clear gloss over top of matte finishes for shine.
And speaking of glossy lips…let’s talk about whether or not you should ever wear false ones. While nobody likes seeing another person fake their lips, I think it depends on your personality type. Personally, I believe everyone deserves to enjoy their true innermost desires, regardless of external appearances. On the flip side, however, wearing a complete stranger’s real lips on your own face is kind of weird. But if you’re going somewhere where there will be tons of pictures taken throughout the event, then I say stick to the trend. Just avoid anything super obvious, like Kylie Jenner’s infamous duckface pose.
In addition to following proper skincare routines, eating foods rich in antioxidants, drinking lots of water, and avoiding smoking cigarettes, stress plays a major factor in causing premature aging. Fortunately, there are several simple steps you can take towards reducing your levels of anxiety. Practicing meditation, yoga, journaling, spending quality time alone, exercising, practicing deep breaths, and laughing are all proven techniques that reduce feelings of tension.
Lastly, don’t forget to shower. Not washing your body wastes away causes dryness, flakiness, dullness and irritation. When soap scum builds up along your elbows and armpits, try shaving them with warm water rather than hot water. Hot water strips away oils faster than cold, resulting in dry, irritated skin. Showering after exercise improves circulation, allowing nutrients to reach muscles better, as opposed to soaking immediately afterwards. Rinse thoroughly under running water, patting your skin dry with soft towels. Avoid rubbing vigorously, as vigorous rubbing dries out your skin further. Towels can harbor bacteria, so don’t share them. Wash your pillowcases frequently to prevent dust buildup. Lastly, wash your sheets weekly to remove dirt buildups.
3) Her skin:
Your skin absorbs everything you consume, drink, breathe, touch, rub against, etc., so it’s extremely important to pay attention to its wellbeing to stay healthy. If you eat junk, smoke, sleep poorly, skip workouts, expose yourself to excessive UV rays, neglect your nails, cuticles, and feet, etc., you can end up causing damage that will require medical intervention later down the road. Luckily, there are countless options available today to protect your skin from the inside out. Using organic, unprocessed food, consuming adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables, limiting sugar intake, managing caffeine consumption, engaging in moderate physical activity, minimizing exposure to environmental pollutants, utilizing broad spectrum sunscreen whenever outdoors, and seeking professional advice from dermatologists are all helpful measures to consider.
Also, make sure to maintain a consistent level of humidity in your home. Too much water evaporated overnight can leave your skin feeling tight or dried out, leading to wrinkles. Dry air promotes dehydration, which leads to wrinkling. Keeping your bedroom between 50% and 60% relative humidity prevents this problem completely.