Using my face and body as my own beauty testing ground has taught me some valuable lessons over the years, including (but not limited to), “Don’t use three different exfoliators in one sitting unless you actually want your face to fall off”, “Don’t pour boiling hot Veet all over yourself because duh”, and my old favourite, “When contouring, it’s best to avoid setting the makeup gun to ‘drag queen'”. It’s not all bad news though – a little creative experimentation (combined with compulsive Pinterest trawling and Youtube tutorial devouring) has rewarded me with my own little go-to list of beauty tricks I use on a daily basis…
Lisa Eldridge is ever so generous with her makeup tips and this is one of my faves. When filling in your brows, if you brush the hairs on your arch down, rather than up, before drawing in the hair strokes (building up the colour behind the brow hairs), you’ll get a more precise shape, your brow will look fuller, and everything will still look nice ‘n natural. Thanks Lisa.
SPF before the clothes go on
It took me a shamefully long time to cotton on to this one. It’s so simple and oh-so-effective. It means you’re not applying sunscreen directly onto your clothes. Which is good, because they definitely don’t need it. And it also means that you don’t end up with bright red patches on your skin where you were trying to avoid applying sunscreen directly on your clothes. Win win.
Paw Paw ointment is a wondrous, magical thing
I’ve tried every pigmentation-blitzing treatment in the book (expect for chemical peels, because frankly anything with the word ‘chemical’ involved scares me a bit), and nothing kicks my acne pigmentation to the curb more effectively than Paw Paw ointment. And it’s not even the organic versions of paw paw that I’ve come to depend on, but the good old Lucas’ ointment, petro-base and all. Sorrynotsorry.
Keep a white lipstick in your stash
Yes, white lipstick. Yes, I’m aware Halloween was months ago. If I’m feeling a bold lippie is just that little bit too in yer face, cough Rebel cough, a layer of the lighter hue underneath will lift the darker tones and give the colour a softer look. I’m using Napoleon Perdis’ Pro Lips Lipstick in Blanc and it’s doing the trick perfectly. If you’re a pro at ombre lips, you can team it with the black version of this lipstick and put us all to shame with your sweet MUA skills.
Create your own skin saviour
As much as I love my face masks (Glamglow and Sanctuary Spa’s Thermal Detox Mask are two current faves), I also like to change it up occasionally by whipping up a tried and true aspirin mask. You may have seen this idea floating around the interwebs – grab about five uncoated tablets of aspirin, crush them with a little water, and mix with half a teaspoon of honey (I use an active 12+ Manuka honey), and voila, you have an anti-inflammatory mask which exfoliates, re-hydrates and zaps blemishes. Include your lips in the fun and pop some of the honey on as a lip mask. Remind me why I pay so many $$$ for off-the-shelf masks again? NB: Steer clear if you’re sensitive or allergic to aspirin!
Zapping dark circles is easy(er)
Something I struggled with for an inordinate of time was disguising my dark circles. No matter what I threw at them, they laughed in my face and kept on with their merry business of making me look like I was little too fond of late night Instagram scrolling. And even if I am, I don’t necessarily want to look it! I FINALLY came across Bobbi Brown’s Corrector in Light Peach, and it’s become a can’t-live-without staple. Whacking this under my eyes every time I do my makeup is pretty much second nature to me now, and with a good concealer over the top, I’m always pleasantly surprised at how less ‘punched in the eyes’ I look.
Toner is actually useful
Controversial. Some say toner is useless, others would grab theirs first in a fire. I used to be on the ‘useless’ side of the fence and was quite happy there, but a kind soul sent me the Dr Alkaitis Herbal Toner* and now I probably would actually grab it first in a fire. (Just kidding, it would actually be my Emma Hardie cleanser) (I obviously have no children or pets). It calms any redness, helps heal up blemishes, clears up any residual trace of my cleanser, is non- sticky/burny/stingy, and makes me my morning coffee. Well, if it did, the hubz would definitely have something to worry about.