Above is me as a teenager, thinking I was rocking those Claire’s accessories beads and side fringe like the next big thing.
Last Saturday I was celebrating the 23rd birthday of an old friend. We sat, feeling positively ancient, complaining about our increasingly worse hangovers, early signs of wrinkles and the general ailments that come with that transition from teen to twenty something. As we got ready, said friend and I were talking about things we would have done differently to prevent further troubles in our present years and thus, here is a list I give to you, compiled of tips and tricks for our teenage selves. If you are lucky enough to still be in your teens, I hope you get some use from our wisdom (although I still don’t have my wisdom teeth – something else to look forward too).
Please note, all these tips are just things that we have taught ourselves through our own mistakes, we are in no means trying to be experts in the beauty field. However Mac and Benefit, if you are reading this, we take both cash and cheques.
1. Leave your eyebrows alone. Just seriously, stop right now with the tweezers. Nobody wants a mono brow, but stop at that. Luckily in 2015 Cara Delevingne has made it cool to have big eyebrows. When this trend stops, keep following it anyway. As a result of the invisible eyebrow trend of 2009, both me and friend have problems with over enthusiastic, misshapen brows to reckon with.
2. Always get ready by a window. The natural light will not lie to you, the kind dim lighting in the bathroom will. I cringe to think of what I must have looked like with non blended concealer lines, poorly drawn eyebrows and smudged lipstick – things you notice only after you step outside the house to face the world.
3. When you find a decent foundation, stay with it like a loyal friend. It will not let you down. I made the mistake of experimenting with new brands, colours (including a bright white powder, that didn’t match my tanned summer skin) and formulas. If you have sensitive skin like moi, so many cause break outs, rashes and many just look like you have thrown your face in a cake. When you find one that doesn’t do any of the above, it is gold dust.
4. Less is more. I am in love with the expression ‘I’m just painting on my face’, yet in reality, too much make up really does make you look like you’ve just stepped out of a circus. If you have a spot, just dab a spot of concealer over it and a bit of powder to your face. A full face of foundation makes it far more obvious your hiding it. If you want big eye brows, don’t then wear heavy eyeliner and lipstick.
5. Think carefully before getting a fringe (bangs). They come and go in and out of fashion as frequent as the latest iPhone, yet for me personally, they just never work well enough to last. While they are fun and can give you an instant new look, fringes either make your face look rounder, cause spots on your forehead, cover your eyes and take forever to grow out. If you do get a fringe, please make sure it is done in a country where you can speak the language fluently. I made the mistake of going to France asking for a fringe, and ended up with a spaghetti strand of hair left on my face. I have only just recovered now.
6. Stay away from home hair dye. Ok, so if you have brown hair and you want a darker shade, go for it! But if you are blonde, thinking black will look good, or have dark brown hair you hope will turn blonde – a £12 bottle from boots won’t do that for you! Save up and go to the hairdressers, and you will then look at your teenage pictures in years to come without cringing.
7. Make the most of your fast metabolism. Those 10 pizza slices you just ate, followed by two Mars bars – well enjoy the fact you can’t tell you ate them. And whatever you do, don’t diet. It’s boring (unless you have been told to by a Doctor of course, then do as they say). In years to come, the proof stays after the pudding (unless you are super lucky – in which I am slightly jelous of you).
Me and my wise friend Saskia, on her 17th birthday, and below on my 23rd.