SUNSCREEN IS MAGIC
This is probably the most important beauty secret I've learned. Using SPF on your face, neck and chest on a daily basis - especially in the summer - will keep you young for what seems like forever. Honestly, it has me looking better in my early 30's than I did in my early 20's. It's like Benjamin Button serum. I currently use Mineral Fusion daily, after applying moisturizer but before foundation. Your skin will thank you.
SLEEPING IN YOUR MAKEUP IS NEVER WORTH IT
I know those nights after you've partied hard and stayed up way too late can make you so lazy. But always, always, ALWAYS take off your makeup. When you're 37 with dull skin, you'll wish you did. On those uber lazy nights, I soak a couple of cotton balls with Simple Micellar water and wipe off with ease.
WARMING UP YOUR MAKEUP REMOVER WIPE IS AN INSTANT SPA
My mom taught me this trick. When you're taking your off your makeup with remover wipes, - my faves are Simple Makeup Remover Wipes - pop them in the microwave for about 15 seconds. The warm wipe on your face is not only comforting but handles heavy duty foundation like it's nothing!
POINT THE WAND INWARD FOR BETTER MASCARA APPLICATION
I really like mascara and on those days I don't want to wear fake lashes, I love to make sure my mascara (my go to everyday option is L'oreal Voluminous Million Lashes) looks awesome. Any time I've intentionally pointed the mascara wand inward towards the corner of my eye, my natural lashes look longer than ever. And I don't bump the wand on the lid of my eye and get mascara everywhere.
CONTOURING & HIGHLIGHTING ARE A GAME CHANGER
Once I learned how to contour and highlight my face properly, I. CHANGED. MY. MAKEUP. GAME. FOR. EVER. I realized that my face isn't all one color so my makeup shouldn't be either. I learned my face and then applied contour and highlight accordingly. I look so much better - in my opinion - when I wear makeup now.
MOISTURIZE DAMP SKIN (WITH OIL)
When I get out of the shower, before the towel hits my skin, I moisturize with grapeseed or coconut oil. Applying oil to damp skin literally takes it to a new level. Because your skin is like a sponge and do you ever put soap on a dry sponge? The same attitude should be taken with oil on your skin. After rubbing in the oil to my damp skin I pat dry with a towel. For super moisturized skin, I (sometimes) apply lotion afterwards.
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR NECK
When washing my face, I realized how important it was to include my neck in there. Especially when I moisturize. Your neck is one of the first things to tell that you're aging especially when you neglect it.
FIND A RED LIPSTICK THAT WORKS FOR YOU
Not only is finding a red lipstick that works for your complexion (and that makes you feel confident!) important, keeping it in your purse at all times is imperative. Whenever an impromptu event (or even date!) comes up without time to head home to full makeup, some bronzer, mascara and red lipstick go a long way.
SHAVE YOUR LEGS WITH A CREAM, DOWNWARD + EXFOLIATE 24 HOURS LATER
Once you shave your legs with a cream, you'll never go back to a gel again. EOS Ultra Moisturizing shave cream is so fantastic - especially in Vanilla Bliss. A day later, I exfoliate (I use brown sugar, honey & olive oil) my legs to get them extra smooth and to avoid any ingrown hairs.
YOUR EYEBROWS ARE FIRST COUSINS
I can't tell you how many times I've obsessed over making my eyebrows identical and just never quite pulling it off. It's so funny, because the days I think I'm having an "off brow day" is when I get the most compliments. I get it, you want them to look alike, but they'll never be Tia and Tamera. They'll be more like Beyonce & Solange.
YOU DON'T NEED THAT MUCH BLUSH
I was sooooooooo heavy handed with blush back in the day. When I didn't highlight and contour. *shudders* A lot of the time you just need a light contour and a light brush of blush for a flush of color. NARS Orgasm is fantastic - especially on brown skin because it has gold undertones that serve as a great bronzer/highlighter.
LEARN HOW TO GIVE YOURSELF A (GOOD) MANICURE
On those months where your budget is tight because you're saving for your annual girlfriends' trip or a new car, knowing how to do your own nails will be clutch. Find a cuticle oil and nail file/emery board you like and get to work. I like to opt for a soft pink shade; what me and my bestie refer to as "rich girl pink." The right pink can make an ok manicure look fancy.
GET CONSISTENT ON YOUR SKIN CARE ROUTINE
Some people who have good skin are born with it. Everyone who has great skin has a consistent skin care routine. Washing your face in the am and in the evening is imperative. Your skin deals with so much whether or not you wear makeup. The pollutants in the air alone is reason to wash your face at least twice. Find the cleanser(s), moisturizer(s) & toner(s) that work for your skin and stay committed to them at least for 3 months before switching them out.
LEAVE CERTAIN THINGS TO PROFESSIONALS
Coloring your hair. Microdermabrasion. Foot massages. Listen, certain things need to be left to those who have been trained to do them properly. I've heard too many sob stories from people with yellow hair that they should've let a professional dye their hair blonde. For extreme beauty changes or maintenance, make the investment.
YOUR DIET WILL TELL ON YOU
If you are eating like crap and dehydrated, your skin will suffer the most. I try my best to keep my diet balanced while drinking ample amounts of water. Even after a girls night out, being hydrated keeps my skin plump and lively. Taking a vitamin like E, Biotin, Flax Seed Oil, Omega 3 and/or Fish Oil will also benefit your skin in the long run. Whatever is going IN your body, your skin will reflect.
GET A SATIN PILLOWCASE (OR BONNET)
When you wear a satin scarf/bonnet or sleep on a satin pillowcase, your skin and hair reap the benefits. With the natural tossing and turning we do through the night, we tend to rub our skin and hair back and forth on textures that aren't so gentle. Certain fabrics can even break your hair. Taking the time out to find a satin scarf for bed has greatly benefitted my natural hair.
FIND A GROWN WOMAN FRAGRANCE
As someone who was notorious for wearing Victoria's Secret "Lovespell" throughout her high school years, as soon as I smell it now I think of being a 14 year old girl. It was cute then, but I had to graduate to something a little bit more sophisticated like Tom Ford's Black Orchid or Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet - two current favorites.
NEVER MASK THE DAY BEFORE
While masking is a great skin care move (a couple of times a month), doing it before a big event - like your wedding or graduation - is a no go. When you mask, you're pulling the toxins out of your skin and bringing them to the surface which causes a temporary breakout 1 to 3 days after you mask. If you want to rejuvenate your skin with a mask for a special occasion, give yourself a good work week - 5 days - to let your skin fully recover and replenish.
GOOD MAKEUP BRUSHES ARE A MUST
Even if you use inexpensive, drugstore makeup, using a great makeup brush can make it seem like you've had your makeup done professionally. Now, good doesn't always equate to more expensive. Real Techniques has fantastic brushes that blend well and make your makeup look flawless. MAC has good brushes as well as Tom Ford who is certainly on the pricey side.
EFFORTLESS BEAUTY ACTUALLY TAKES EFFORT
I know we see celebrities in magazines and people in real life who are gorgeous and it seems so effortless. But don't be fooled, these people take caring for themselves seriously and prioritize it. The entire point of putting a valiant effort into your beauty regimen and techniques is so it comes off natural and looks effortless. But anyone who takes beauty seriously knows that it indeed takes much commitment and consistent effort to look "together" on a daily basis.