Beauty Rules That Aren’t Meant To Be Broken
I’ve always thought of myself as a sort of low-maintenance girl. You know, the one who washes her face with hand soap and gets ready in 15 minutes. Yep, in the gloriously turbulent days of my 20’s, moisturizing to me meant occasionally putting some Nivea on my skin, and a hairbrush was something I was only frequently acquainted with.
But now I’m officially in my 30’s, that sh*t just doesn’t seem to work anymore. Worse still, there’s no longer any magical-unicorn-buffer between what lifestyle choices I decide to make, and their glaring effects on my skin and body. If I drink, I will 100% be guaranteed to wake up with dark circles under my eyes. If I go a week without brushing my face with a decent skin brush, it WILL be dull looking and clogged up and grey.
Which is why I want to impart the following wisdom to you:
The 10 Beauty Rules I Wish Someone Had Told Me About In My 20’s
CLEAN YOUR SKIN, LIKE NOW
Learn how to clean your skin. No silly, I’m not talking soap and water (*guilty face*) I mean learn how to REALLY clean it with a SkinMedica cleanser (or Ole Henriksen does a cool $9 African Tea Rose Cleanser) and a face brush.
God damn – I wish Clarisonic brushes had been invented in my teens and 20s. As an oily skinned kind of girl, I’ve learned that cleaning pores = removing gunk in pores = small pores = celebrity style skin.
It sounds simple but you HAVE to be disciplined with this stuff, and buff your skin like crazy (check out Sephora’s Dual Exfoliating Facebrush for $18) or a supersonic Clarisonic Mia2 brush. Put the TV on and brush for 3 minutes. Done. That’s it! Now any products you put on top of your clean skin will actually be able to work and not be c*ckblocked by a bunch of pore gunk (#ew).
I LOVE THE SUN – I DO NOT LOVE THE COST OF LASER RESURFACING HOWEVER
Tans look killer but I promise you, when you reach your 30’s, a single day in the sun will add to those not-so-tiny-anymore lines. Don’t get me wrong, it feels amazing to lie out by the pool. In fact, in my 20’s it was all about getting a tan and wearing that killer white dress and turquoise jewelry combo.
However, now I’m paying for my 20’s with horribly expensive melasma correcting cream, and soon – lasers. I promise you, it’s much cheaper to mix a little Clarins UV Plus (such a cute little bottle!) in with your foundation NOW, than pay for over-pigmentation later. No amount of Botox or laser work can replenish that papery skin to the side of your eyes once it’s thin and wrinkled up
FAKE TAN IS AN ENIGMA THAT IS WORTH CRACKING
Fake tans work – but only after a sh*tload of experimentation. Number 1 rule? Be strict. Don’t let your tan fade like a creepy orange snakeskin. That’s when it gets patchy and weird and looks…well…CHEAP.
Invest in one of those long brush things that you thought were just for old people to scratch their backs with in the shower, and scrub that fake tan off your body every 4 days. If you’re vigorous (you’ll burn calories!), this should only take 5 mins of scrubbing.
Now you have the perfect base to put on a good fake tan. Don’t even think of going for something unscented or from CVS or Riteaid. Do you want to spend your 20’s with ginger skin, smelling like soggy Digestive biscuits? No? Because I did and it’s not cool.
Vita Liberate fake tan smells so YUMMY that my boyfriend doesn’t mind me coming to bed looking like I’ve wrestled in mud because he gets to spoon the sweet scent of vanilla all night. Xen Tan also does different scented fake tans though I don’t recommend using the regular body tan. Buy the XEN face tan and use it on your body. For some reason the color comes out super natural this way.
EYEBROWS – HAVE MORE TO PLAY WITH
Eyebrows! Leave ‘em the fudge alone already. Honestly. Do you WANT to have to pencil them in every freakin’ day? Bushy gives you more to play with. And I swear, if they need help shaping them, it’s worth getting on Yelp and paying an expert to do it for you. I like Mirta at Voda Spa in Los Angeles. She knows I have a thin eyebrow phobia and does a very l.i.g.h.t. brow wax. Also, please remember that your eyebrows are SISTERS not TWINS. They should not be identical. Chances are, both sides of your face aren’t identical. Your eyebrow sisters should compliment each other.
WAXING vs SEXY TIME:
Don’t bother with waxing your vag if you’re getting regular sexy time. I wish someone had told me this early on, before I bared all and went through the torturous rigmarole of getting everything ripped off by a professional.
Waxing is truly great in theory but let me tell you: at some point a man (or lady) will be moving in with you and he or she won’t appreciate your ‘hedgehog-growing-out-phase’ and neither will you. When you live with a man you could be called to ‘action’ at any moment. Waxing everything and LTRs are simply not compatible. Shaving or hair removal is more practical.
Bliss @ Sephora has the best hair removal range.
VITAMIN C and VITAMIN A CREAMS SMELL GOOD
Hitting your late 20’s? Sorry, but it’s time to invest in some Retinol (aka Vitamin A cream). Yes, that’s the stuff that old ladies use. But it’s a good’un. This stuff smoothes skin, unclogs pores and increases collagen production – yippee! Smother this stuff on your skin at night. I like Dr Brandt’s 2% Glow. I think it’s the highest concentration stuff you can buy in the US. It’s amazing for disguising a late night… If you can whack some Vit C cream on beforehand, even better. Ole Henriksen Vit C cream smells like your dumping fresh oranges on your face. Mmmmm.
MAKE EXERCISE YOUR FRIEND WITH BENEFITS
I try not to be too preachy about exercise, because in your 20’s you shouldn’t really be obsessing about this stuff too much. I’m going to get real though. Even naturally slim ladies will notice that in their 30’s, their metabolism isn’t naturally what it was in their teens and early 20’s. It just isn’t. Because I grew up slim, I didn’t really think that all this metabolism nonsense would affect me. But listen, it affects eeeeeveryone.
My advice? In your late 20’s, start being friends with exercise. Begin flirting with it a bit each day. Buy something cute for your dates with exercise. (Forever 21 does the BEST range of affordable cool workout clothes). Slowly build your relationship with exercise; don’t rush it or your relationship will be doomed to fail. Make it part of your life. Get some good tunes on your iPod. Build your relationship with exercise in your 20’s in a friendly, gentle way because by the time you get to your 30’s, you and exercise are going to need to be pretty familiar and pretty pro.
In your 30’s, exercise is going to be your freakin’ SAVIOR. It’s going to be your time to get away from your chaotic life, and demanding job and perhaps even your kids. It’s going to keep your bod nice and tight (if you do your weights) and allow you to still love eating the food you love to eat. So say ‘Hi!’ to exercise today because tomorrow, you’re going to need it…
NO SMOKING PSA
I used to smoke. It made me rockstar aloof cool. I didn’t wheeze or cough and I didn’t even really smell that much. I certainly didn’t see my teeth falling out or have icky skin.
Yeah, well, all that has changed.
Don’t smoke, and if you’re in your 20’s and still have peachy skin, don’t expect it to last forever. In your 30’s, one cigarette will leave its mark on your face.
If you can give up before you hit 30, you’re doing your face a serious favor. Less crap to try and fix later in life. I seriously only quit for vanity reasons (and I found out that it was shriveling up my ovaries which really creeped me out).
I want to punch Millennials who #hashtag pics that say “Sleep when you dead! #yolo” No, no, NO! I will not sleep when I’m dead! I will sleep in my 30’s so that I can nurture my aging body.
Most people say their number one beauty secret is water. I say it’s sleep. Getting 8 hours of sleep will do WONDERS for your skin in your 30’s, you’ll wake up with a flat belly (it really works!) and you won’t have crazy amounts of stress hormones (from too little sleep) circulating in your body. These crazy hormones will f*ck up your appetite. One study found that people who slept too little ate on average 22 percent more calories than the group who got adequate amounts of shut-eye.
So honestly, find a way to factor in a good night’s sleep at least a few times a week. You’ll have a whole load of energy and glowiness to you that you didn’t have when you were staying up for that extra drink or episode of GOT.
IT’S EXPENSIVE BUT IT’S WORTH IT:
Basically, looking good long term is not only time consuming but it’s expensive too. But I promise you, you will save yourself a headache when you reach your 30’s if you start cherishing yourself NOW.
So start budgeting. Why bother buying shoes and bags and clothes? If you spend your money nurturing your body and your face, exercising and sleeping up a storm, you’re going to look fabulous wearing a garbage bag.
And as weird as it sounds, nurturing yourself now is a great platform for beginning to TRULY love yourself on the inside too…
Trust me. I’m old.
This fabulous post comes from The Dating Department’s reader, Alice HS from Los Angeles, California.