Nine Truths Every 20-Something Needs To Know About Beauty

And yes, there is a red lipstick shade for everyone


by Sali Hughes |
Published on

Everyone in the world looks better with concealer

There is not one woman (or man) that isn’t visibly improved by concealer. It brightens dark circles, covers spots, conceals hangovers, snogging rash – even regrettable tattoos. It is brilliant stuff. But don’t confuse it with those clicky highlighting pens. Those are not for the same job and in photos, make you look like you’ve been skiing in goggles for a fortnight. In my opinion, the best concealers are Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer(£22) and Clarins Instant Concealer (£21)


Bust gels and cellulite creams don’t work

Enough. Seriously, this shit needs to stop. Firstly, the beauty industry is creating problems where there are none. Boobs are just A Good Thing and no one getting a private audience with yours gives a toss if they’re big or small. And I have never met a man who could identify cellulite if his life depended on it. Secondly, these products cannot work. It is not scientifically possible. Spend your money on gin and coats (mmm, coats).


Be honest about your grooming levels

Whether you like a scrubbed look or a face so full of make-up you can barely blink, it’s a good idea to show your hand at the very beginning of a romantic relationship. By that I mean: don’t pretend you’re low maintenance if you’re going to keep him/her waiting three hours while you fake tan and glue on three sets of falsies. It’s safer and less annoying in the long run to be up front.

READ MORE: Why Are We Still Making People Feel Guily For Wanting To Wear Make Up?


Your skin and hair does not ‘get used’ to products

I hear this all the time. Women claim they need to change out their routine because existing products have stopped working out of familiarity. This is balls. Shampoos become a drag because your hair has become loaded with silicones over time. Skincare loses its effect because the weather has changed, you’ve gotten older, you’ve been going out a lot. But your face, hair and body do not become bored of the product itself.


You need to spend money on foundation and perfume

You just do. Scrimp on pencils, mascaras, lipsticks and nail polish if you like, but your base and scent needs money throwing at it. I have never met a cheap foundation I liked and with very few exceptions, cheap perfume smells like air freshener (which is the worst smell in the world). And don’t go near celebrity perfumes unless by Elizabeth Taylor. They are reliably horrible and have about as much hands-on celebrity involvement as your weekly refuse collection. You’ll be safe with Guerlain, Chanel, Dior, Diptyque...


There are some things best left private

I’m all for public transport makeovers, but obey these rules: no shedding, plucking, spraying, dusting, fuming. So that’s no nail painting and inflicting solvent smells on fellow passengers, no gassing them with perfume, no drenching the man next to you in Elnett. It’s neither polite nor cool. Lipstick, eyeliner, mascara, pressed powder = fine. But keep your elbows to yourself.


Life is too short for daily contouring

I blame Kim Kardashian for the world’s current obsession with contouring. Sure, it’s fun to play with your face shape for a big night out, but do you really want to fall down the hole of spending 45 minutes changing your bone structure every day of your life? The moment you start taking fundamental issue with the shape of your head, you need to regroup. It’s like spending your life wearing coloured contact lenses.


READ MORE: Meet The Sisters Calling Bullshit On The Idea That Redheads Can’t Wear Red Or Bright Lipstick

Everyone can wear red

Red is not a colour, it’s a state of mind. It’s not that it doesn’t suit your face, it’s that it may not suit your personality. I urge you to give red lipstick three goes. The first time, you may feel everyone is looking at your mouth, the second time, less so. By the third time, there’s every chance you’ll be in love with red and never, ever leave it. My favourite reds are Nars Jungle Red (£18.50), Chanel Gabrielle (£25), Rimmel Kate Moss 01 (£5.49), Tom Ford Firecracker (£36) and Nars Lana (£18.50).


No one looks at you in the same way as you do

When people see your face, they don’t scrutinise. At best, they glance in your direction, think ‘she looks nice’ then go about their business. At worst, they don’t regard you at all. I say this because women spend hours scrutinising their own faces, worrying about enlarged pores, obsessing over tiny facial hairs in the assumption that others will do the same. We are wrong and wasting our time. As women, we really need to let that stuff go.


PRETTY HONEST: THE STRAIGHT-TALKING BEAUTY COMPANION by Sali Hughes is published by 4th Estate, £22

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Follow Sali on Twitter @salihughes

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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