I’m Sarah and I usually blog over at SeriouslyShallow
about fashion and beauty things – all the pretty stuff in life!
Sally has kindly let me do a guest post while she’s off on her travels. I got to thinking about rules and tips, because I love a list. Now, we all know the basic beauty rules – we’re brought up with them. Rules make us feel safe and give us a playbook that says we can’t go wrong. But which ones are you better off breaking? Here’s the lowdown on the ten beauty rules it pays to break.
In the UK, there seems to be a culture that you have to wash your hair every single day. Each time you step in the shower, its automatically assumed that you should reach for the shampoo as well as the shower gel. But could you actually be over-washing your hair and causing all kinds of problems, including dandruff, limp locks and even grease!
Washing your hair every day strips away all the natural oils. The body tries to compensate by over-producing sebum, and then you get left with greasy, lank locks. So you…surprise surprise…wash it! And the cycle continues.
Time to invest in a shower cap? Step down to washing your hair once or twice a week, and once it adjusts, you’ll be left with healthier, better conditioned locks. For those days when you need an extra lift, well that’s what dry shampoo was invented for!
Those of us with an oilier complexion – and that includes practically every teenager on the planet – would usually avoid adding more oil like the plague. What good could that possibly do, we think? And I’ll admit it does sound a little counter-intuitive. Your body’s sebaceous glands housed beneath the skin produce a natural barrier substance. But when hormones and high temperatures are involved, this can get out of balance, and you can find yourself with an oil slick for a face!
To treat this, many people resort to harsh, astringent cleansers to strip away the oils, but these are actually the wrong thing to do in a lot of cases. They can irritate the skin and cause soreness, dryness and more oil production as skin stuggles to balance itself out.
But the oil your skin produces is very different than the pure, plant-based oils in a facial product. A quality oil will replenish your skin with essential fatty acids, meaning your sebaceous glands can take a breather and stop working overtime. Look for a quality oil – cheaper products often contain less refined ingredients with more fillers and additives. Pure, organic compounds made of rosehip, argan, macadamia, jojoba etc give the best results. Quality doesn’t have to be insanely pricey though- The Body Shop’s Beautifying Oil can be used on face, hair and body, comes in several different varieties and will leave problem skin glowing and soft – try it and see!
A few drops go a long way, and its usually best applied at night time for an intensive skin boost.
This is the number one beauty rule, right? If you’re wearing bold or dark eye colours, keep the lips neutral. And a bright pout has to be tempered with tame eye make-up, right? Well…actually….ahhh, you guessed it. This is a beauty rule its worth breaking. Half the fun of cosmetics is exploring, experimenting and trying things out.
But how can you rock bright bold lips with well defined eyes and not look like Coco the Clown? Turns out there are a couple of tricks to making this rule-breaking beauty work. Number one is to skip the blusher. More than two competing colours could really throw your look of track. You want to go for subtle definition, because the rest of your make-up has to hold its own. So the best way is to subtly contour cheeks with a shade of matte bronzer (for heavens sake, nothing sparkly), just a couple of shades darker than your natural skintone.
Next, keep skin matte. No dewiness, no highlighter. The other make-up are the stars here, so skin must be a blank canvas.
Finally, pay attention to the undertones of the colours you’re wearing. When you
use cooler undertones on the eye and want to pair a bolder lip with them, try reaching for one with similar cooler undertones. Look for
colors that will complement, balance, and play well together.
To get a perfect pout, especially a brightly-coloured one, you must always use a lipliner, right? Well, it turns out that isn’t neccessarily so. You can chuck out the twelve different shades of liner and array of lipbrushes in favour of a much simplier tool – your fingers! When you use a brush or even swipe your lipstick on straight from the bullet, you can end up with harsh lines and a saturated colour.
A much better option is to pat on some lipstick using your fingertip. You’ll have more control over the level of coverage and can build up from a faint wash to a bold statement lip far easier.
Plus, the heat from your fingers helps to melt the colour into your lips, so that flushed, natural look is much easier to master. And, pop the finger in your mouth and draw it out, and any errant lipstick on your teeth is also a thing of the past. Go digits!
We’re always told that the best way to make your eye colour pop is to wear an opposite colour - so blue on brown eyes and bronzes on blue eyes. And while there is certainly something to be said for a bit of contrast, I’d encourage you to look again at your palettes and grab a shade that matches your iris.
Using a colour close to your real shade gives the appearance of much larger eyes, especially on the lower lash line. Here I am showing some brown shadow on my brown eyes. It looks much more organic, and with a competing colour out of the way, you can play with shapes instead to really balance and re-sculpt the face.
I sometimes wear coloured contacts, and one of my favourite things to do when I’m ‘wearing’ blue eyes it to line my lower lashes with a shot of sapphire. It really perks your whole look up and draws attention to your colour.
Lipstick is for lips, right? That’s what they tell us. And while I wouldn’t recommend smearing your lipstick all over your forehead, there is a place on your visage that’s crying out for some lipstick love- and that’s your cheeks!
A lipstick is a perfect substitute for a cream blusher and can provide a natural and pretty flush to your cheeks. It’s best to use one with a creamy texture, for blendability. There’s also a beauty about using a lipstick with a glossy formulation, and this catches the light and provides an in-built highlight, defining your bone structure and adding a youthful flush to skin.
Using a lipstick on my cheeks is actually one of my favourite tricks, and its also great if you’re in a hurry. Here I’m wearing L’Oreal’s Rouge Caresse lipstick in ‘Lovely Rose’, a pale cool-toned pink, on my lips and its also bringing a subtle flush to my cheeks – perfect if you’re wary of stripy, unconvincing blushers!
As a sort of reverse of the above logic, there are other places on your face where eyeshadow can really work for you.
Eyeshadows are intensely pigmented and can really give your lip colour a new dimension. Plenty of make-up artists intensify a red pout by pressing red powder shadow or loose pigment on top of the lips, and this gives a glorious velvet texture as well.
And there’s a lot you can do with metallic shadows to really amp up your pout – a bit of gold or pink shimmer paired with a clear gloss and you have yourself a whole new look.
Here I’ve used an older trick - a bit of white shimmer shadow added to the very centre of your lips makes them look much fuller and really brings the skin to life. Bourjois Light Concentre de Lumiere was design to lighten and frost other eyeshadows, but pressing it into your pout makes your lips pop and your lipstick look about a thousand times better. So experiement with eyeshades and see what makes your kisser look good!
Lipgloss goes on TOP of your lip colour, right? Right? Well, you know by now that I’m going to say no. Of course, that is one way to do it. But using gloss as an undercoat can bring a different dimension into play and also make your lip colours do double duty.
Take the picture above. I’m using a Mac Frost Lipstick in ‘Costa Chic’, which is a really popping bright orange. Its a stunning colour, but what happens on days when you don’t want something that bright? Or when it doesn’t match your make-up?
Popping a coat of clear gloss on first results in a paler shade that’s pretty and fresh. The middle shot is the gloss on first method, and you can see that the colour transforms into a very pretty sheer coral.
And you can make lip colours go darker too by adding a plum or blue smile enhancing gloss under your chosen shade. Double the mileage from your lipsticks? That has to be good!
This is such a common myth and I reckon its the one most of us always get wrong. Not sure where this piece of erroneous advice even came from, but it seems to be in constant circulation and never goes away.
Almost without thinking, we swipe new foundations onto our jawlines to check whether they match our skintone. But stop just a minute. The angular shape of a jawline casts shadows, right? So it stands to reason that these shadows will affect the appearance of the colour, toning it down and cooling it off. Suddenly emerged from the shop with a shade that now looks orange and unconvincing? Oh yeah…
So, where should you be testing out base colours? The best place is actually your chest. The goal is to find a shade that seamlessly blends in to your natural tones and matches the rest of your body. That way tidemarks are a thing of the past.The chest is the only other area that’s exposed
to the same amount of sunlight as the face. By matching your base to
your chest’s skin tone, you won’t risk looking ghostly pale or
unnaturally dark. Finally!
This ‘rule’ is the one I always fall foul of myself. Everyone wants big, beautiful eyes, and most people are aware that lining all the way around the eye visually closes it up and makes your gaze look smaller.
As a result, I’ve been phobic about lining under the eyes for years, and yet I kept spotting pretty make-up looks that used lower lash-lining to beautiful effect. So how can you line under there and avoid an eye closing effect?
Couple of tricks. The first is not to use an eyeliner. Using a powder shadow under the eye gives a softer, more diffused effect that’s more flattering.
The second is to make the line thicker than usual - and use a colour that isn’t black. A thin, black line will make your eyes look piggy and small, but using a wider stripe that’s more diffuse actually does the reverse, opens the look of the eyes up and makes them look bigger. And experiment with dark shades that aren’t black – brown, taupe, navy and grey will all still have impact but won’t look as harsh.
Finally, tapping a little shimmer or a light colour into the inner corners with a tapered brush or your little finger will bring more light to the area and balance out the under line, ensuring you still look bright eyed and beautiful. Et voila, all the drama and none of the small peepers!
And that’s it – I hope you enjoyed breaking some rules with me and trying out a few tips to experiment with. Let me know what beauty rules you’ve been breaking lately!