7 Beauty Lessons I Wish I Knew 7 Years Ago

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When I look back on photographs from my teens, college and university years I can't help but cringe ever so slightly. And I think that's pretty normal when you're looking back at pictures from your past, of course, it doesn't always have to be in a self-loathing way either although there is a little bit of that too I can't deny it. But the first thing that comes to mind is that there are so many beauty tips and tricks that I wish I knew at that point of my life. And nearly everything that I know now, all the things that have saved my skin and my hair are mostly all down to blogs. So if I could go back in time and tell my 20 something self a few things about her beauty routine this is what they would be.

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WASH YOUR FACE PROPERLY

As much as we may not like to admit it, we've all used face wipes, haven't we? I was a big fan of them and then I never followed up with anything else after, a face wipe was my only cleanse when it came to taking my makeup off before bed and it wasn't until the morning when I showered would I use some sort of face wash. Washing my face properly would have done me so many favours, I highly doubt that it would have got rid of my teenage acne but in general, it would have improved the overall appearance of my skin that's for sure. Fortunately, one thing I never did was go to bed in my makeup, mostly because I'm sure my mother would have scolded me for getting Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse all over my pillowcases as well as a huge smear of eyeliner. Thinking about it now as I buy and wash my own sheets I would have scolded me too. And I don't think I'd go back to tell myself the importance of the double cleanse, although I may mention it. I'd probably just push myself in the way of a cream or milky cleanser. Something gentle that doesn't really do anything but cleanse and hydrate the skin ever so slightly.

STOP WASHING YOUR HAIR EVERY DAY

I was told this so many times, every hairdresser I would go to would tell me the same thing every time they saw me but I never took it on board. I'm not sure why I never took it on board but I didn't and I really should have because it would have changed my hair so much. And not only was I washing my hair every day but I was also using super hydrating products on it, which it really didn't need. I didn't dye my hair until I was 19 so it was in beautiful condition in my teens. Now I rarely wash my hair, every 4 days is what works well for me and it's completely changed the condition of my tresses. It's no longer sad and lifeless and one the second and third day I can really achieve the hair I've always dreamed of. Re-training your hair is a slightly gross process but it's something I would recommend to anybody who is trapped in the daily hair washing cycle. I never thought that I'd be able to go so long as my hair is so fine that it can turn into a grease ball so easily but I'm glad I tried. It seems to be something that those with thicker tresses tend to be able to do but fine haired girls it is possible with patience and the right products.

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AND IN GENERAL LEAVE YOUR HAIR ALONE

Like I said, I didn't colour my hair until I was around 19 as my mum had always been wary of me doing it before as like she warned me it's not something you can do just once. And I still remember the beautiful shade that I coloured my hair, a box dye of course but I absolutely loved it but like any redhead will know it's an absolute nightmare to maintain and on a university student budget it wasn't possible at all. From going red I then tried to go back brown, obviously didn't quite work and I ended up going a very dark brown almost black shade and then from that I decided I wanted to go white blonde/grey. And I repeated this process twice in my twenties. The problem is with going blonde is that's it's very addictive and you always have the urge to go lighter and lighter. Obviously getting to that lovely grey shade really damaged my hair and it resulted in me chopping it all off and going back to brown. I think having fun with your hair is important to some extent because ultimately it is just hair. It will grow back but getting to the point where your hair is falling out is not so good and if you can avoid it then it's probably for the best. And even if I did mess around with my hair investing in some really good hair care at least would have been a great step. As even though we know that you cannot reverse damage [don't ever believe something that can say otherwise] you can certainly help minimise it.

STOP SHOVING EVERYTHING ON YOUR FACE WHEN YOU GET A SPOT

Once I started to really get interested in skin care I'm not ashamed to admit that I went over the top ever so slightly. Because everything was so new and exciting I wanted to try it all, everything was full of such hope and promise that I thought it would be the answer to all my skin woes and obviously, it wasn't. During my twenties I went through a really rough patch with my skin, I had terrible cystic acne and every time something new would erupt I would slather everything on that promised to get rid of spots and obviously that didn't work out too well. And it's still something that I can fall into the trap of doing now, I panic and think oh crap I better put something on that. When really one of the best things you can do is make sure the area is clean and then leave it alone. There are a few products that can help to reduce the redness of things and take the sting out of them but nothing can get rid of something immediately. 

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LEAVE THE BROWS BE

Being a child of the nineties that meant I was privy to some very questionable beauty trends that's for sure. And one of those trends were really thin brows, naturally, I followed in the foot steps of my elder sister and wanted really thin sperm like brows. Although unlike her I never shaved them off so that was a bonus at least, I over-plucked them for years. Growing them out has been quite the experience and even now I'm dealing with the quite literal fall out of getting tweezer happy. Having big thick brows were not a trend when I was a child and I wish it was. Teenagers are so fortunate these days that they will never have to endure eyebrows no bigger than a couple of strands of hair.

MAC SHY GIRL DOES NOT SUIT EVERYBODY

In general, I can't say enough good things about the blogging world and the advice and recommendations that circle it But one thing I wish I'd never listened to is that MAC Shy Girl is a shade that suits everybody. And this phrase, in general, is very problematic because it is not possible that there is one shade out there that works for every single skin tone. If you're not aware of what I consider an infamous lipstick shade from MAC, it's a very nude tone with undertones of orange and brown. For some, I imagine it looks absolutely beautiful and whenever I saw it online it did but on me, it just didn't look great. Of course, I tried to convince myself that it did but looking back it was terrible. I wish I'd had the courage to wear the lipstick shades that I absolutely adore now and know suit me. And not even trying to bother with those really pale nudes which on an already pale complexion obviously looked awful.

You don't need to wear eye liner to show you like pop punk music

When I was in my late teens it's when I really started to get into pop punk and metal music. So obviously my beauty and style choices followed suit and I applied thick heavy eyeliner like there was no tomorrow. And some people, look absolutely incredible with this type of makeup, which is why I wanted to do it obviously but on my eye shape it was not a good look. Not only did it look dire but I wish I had the confidence to know that just because you're into a certain type of music that doesn't mean you have to wear it on your face. I still like the same type of music now but my dress sense doesn't reflect that in the slightest and that's ok.

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What beauty lessons do you wish you had known when you were younger?

Rebecca WarrinerBeauty