Ladies — what’s the best beauty advice you’ve ever heard? What advice has changed your routine, and what tips do you always follow? For my $.02, here’s the beauty advice that I think of most often:
Put real sunscreen on your face, neck, clavicle/chest, and hands as often as possible. The skin there is far thinner than the skin elsewhere on your body. (By “real sunscreen” I mean like SPF 50 — not the “moisturizer-with-SPF-15-added” stuff I used for years!)
Psst: Don’t forget sun protection (especially face, hands, and chest)! Sunscreens readers have loved over the years are pictured above: Elta MD, Supergoop!, and this $17 sunscreen (Kat’s favorite). If you’re hunting for cute rash guards, check out J.Crew, Boden, Coolibar, and Athleta.
Visine gets the red out — whether your face is blotchy from crying at a inopportune time, or you’ve got a pimple that’s bumming you out.
Some products are best applied at night — from skin products to dry shampoo to deodorants, and more!
Don’t wash your hair too often. Maybe your hair only needs conditioner rather than shampoo. Maybe you only need to wash the front of your hair or your bangs. (This is also handy if you’re trying to fit in a lunch workout!)
If you always wear your hair curly, go all in and get a “curly cut” — this often means getting tons of short little layers so your curls can do what they want. (There are tons of posts on this around the web — here are a few.) The con that I learned the hard way: It’s often difficult to get a blowout if you have a curly cut, and possibly even to pull your hair back if you’re going for a run or something.
So if you’re like me and you have curly hair but get blowouts for anything important, just stick with a “straight hair” cut. (Here’s our older post on how to make a blowout last for days.) (Just to be 100% clear, there’s nothing unprofessional about curly hair or anything wrong with it, and that goes for natural hair too; my own curl pattern is just really uneven, and there’s a straight bottom layer for some reason, so my personal preference is to wear my hair straight.)
Psst: As of 2022, these are some of Kat’s favorite hair products (she largely follows curly hair routines)… but she loves this $30 brush/blowdryer!
Wear a padded bra!
HA! Totally. :)
My dad gave me the best advise, and that is to MINIMISE the amount of makeup I use b/c men find when I use to much, I look cheep. And dad does NOT want me to attract the wrong kind of guy. He said he did NOT pay for me to go to college and law school to wind up on the back of a Harley grabbing the tuchus of some guy who hasn’t showered in days, or EVER washed his jean’s! He is right! FOOEY on men that smell bad and do NOT shower or wash their clotheing!
By MINIMISEING the amount makeup, I also think men will see what I realy looke like and take me as they find me. Dad says that with a littel to much to drink and a littel to much makeup, I could wake up in a place I did NOT want to be with some fairley GRIZZLEY biker’s! The stench might be to much for one girl to bear! DOUBEL FOOEY!
See a dermatologist, sooner rather than later.
If dermatology does not work, it may be an endocrine issue. Don’t give up!
If you only have time for one cosmetic, mascara will actually make you prettier, more so than anything else.
Really!? This is good to know!
Assuming you buy into the concept that longer, thicker eyelashes = pretty. I believe this to be true on both men and women.
I agree with this, but tbh my first priority is concealer if needed because no lashes will compensate for an obvious blemish or dark circles if I have them that day. Then mascara, blush, and brow gel (in order of priority) if I have 2 mins instead of just 1.
For me, this product is undereye concealer. I think it’s different for everyone.
Unless you wear glasses and no one can see it.
Personally, if I’m going to just do one product (which is frequent), I go for lipstick
Question re:real sunscreen: I am using the moisturizer-with-lowSPF-added. Real sunscreen (plastic bottle with beachy pic on the front) just leaves everything greasy. Is there a trick? Applying on wet skin, waiting for ages to let it sink in?
Do you have recommendations for real sunscreen that doesn’t make my face goopy? Do you use it over/under some other skin moisturizer?
I use neutrogena ultra sheer dry touch- spf 55 in the winter and 70 in the summer. I put it on after my normal moisturizer with a few minutes in between if I can. I don’t find it greasy. I do have to make sure to rub it in so I don’t have any white streaks though.
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer LIQUID (its new, its made just for faces, and its WONDERFUL).
I have used the Neutrogena Sheer Liquid, and while it’s good, I prefer CeraVe SPF 30 face lotion. It’s a touch creamier and I find it easier to rub in.
I’m using Tarteguard by Tarte and I love it. It’s not greasy at all.
Anon in NYC
I use EltaMD sunscreen (find it on Amazon), and layer that under makeup. I apply it and give it barely half a minute to sink in (if that) before applying makeup. In the summer, I often do not need a moisturizer. But in the winter, I apply sunscreen, then moisturizer, then makeup. I don’t think it’s greasy.
Rebecca in Dallas
I love SuperGoop’s City Sunscreen (I think I’m remembering the product name right, something similar anyway). Super lightweight and un-greasy.
I’ve actually heard otherwise in that 15 is nough for most days … But agree on all the locations
Actually, it’s really not enough for most people if you’re commuting while it’s light out. Even worse, most of us don’t apply enough so you’re looking more at a SPF 6 due to incorrect application.
I use Aveeno Protect+Hydrate. It’s very sheer aND doesn’t have that suntan lotion smell. I buy it at CVS.
cotz. a little pricey but it’s just for the face and is MATTE
I love the Misscha All-Around Safe Block Soft Finish Sun Milk SPF 50. It’s a Korean company and I buy it through Amazon. It is so thin, almost more like a serum than a moisturizer, and is definitely not goopy or shiny or greasy or anything. It works perfectly under my primer (or moisturizer in drier weather). I have sensitive/reactive skin and it has never affected me negatively.
I’ve stopped buying american sunscreens for that exact reason. None of them are good for layering under makeup. The Koreans and Japanese are SO much better. This article actually has some good background on why the US is so far behind. https://fiftyshadesofsnail.com/2015/03/18/review-the-new-2015-biore-uv-aqua-rich-watery-essence-spf-50-pa/
Also, I didn’t realize Amazon carried Missha. I’ve been wearing Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence for the longest time for the same reasons as Ee but have been looking for a non alcohol alternative as I have super dry skin.
I love Fiddy Snails! Have you heard the podcast she does with several other Asian beauty bloggers? It’s called the Snailcast, I have learned so much about Asian beauty products.
Highly recommend Shiseido Senka in the yellow tube. Great for drier skin and I think it’s less alcoholy than the Biore.
Use a sunscreen specifically made fir the face, foe example from Bioderma, La roche posay, vichy. They have high protection ones that won’t break you out like body sunscreen meant for the beach. And won’t stay sticky either, there even are mattw formulas.
This sounds ridiculously basic but: don’t brush curly hair. My mom did not have curly hair, so she had no idea how to care for it. This led to a childhood of frizzy, brushed out curly hair. My stylist in college taught me how to take care of my hair, so the story has a happy ending.
Never brush curly hair (finger comb it when it’s wet) and don’t get a cut with a bunch of short layers like this post suggests. That’s a recipe for frizzy disaster and kind of an outdated style.
What cut to get? No layers so you get a big triangle? My curly bob has many layers, and is not frizzy because I use the right products in it, so I get bouncy defined curls. I really can’t think of a better cut to show off my hair’s texture and thickness.
Can you give me more details on this? For example, should you use a wide tooth comb instead, or not comb it at all when dry?
Anon in NYC
I use a wide tooth comb in the shower, when I have conditioner in my hair. But I never brush (or comb) my hair when dry.
any tips for drying? I like to wash it every day and don’t really have time to let it dry naturally … do I try a diffuser?
anon a mouse
Yes! A diffuser will work wonders. Even better if you can diffuse it to be “just damp” but not all the way dry; air-drying the last bit will help keep the curl smooth.
I’m a curly girl and I wash at night and sleep on it wet. I usually wash it fairly early in the evening (like 8pm) and go to bed around 11 or midnight, so it’s not soaking wet when I go sleep. Honestly, it sounds weird but it’s the best method for my hair.
For sleeping, do you wear it down/tie it up? And how do you comb or dampen it in the morning? So many questions, lol. Thanks all for the replies.
I de-tangle my hair in the shower with my fingers as I’m applying conditioner. I wrap my hair in a towel downwards (rather than flipping my hair upside down and wrapping it upwards).
I am your mom! I have straight hair and my toddler has curly hair. And I just discovered this! Wash and don’t brush. Not obvious at all. My nanny brushes and pulls hair back with elastic to get it out of her eyes. On weekends I realized I could wash her hair and pin back and just go.
My mom also has curly hair but has always straightened it. I like to wear mine curly and I can remember quite clearly the day when I was 17 and someone told me you shouldn’t brush curly hair. So many years of awkward, frizzy, awful hair!
I haven’t owned a brush in over a decade. I comb it with conditioner in. Makes such a difference in the curls.
keeping eyebrows well shaped and groomed makes your face look so much nicer overall. It’s the single easiest way to look put together.
agreed! Also, investing 10-20 bucks for a proper tweezer (not the one that is included in the old-fashioned nail care faux-leather kits that are floating in parents’ bathroom drawers). Tweezerman brand works for me.
2nd this rec
And if you are fair-haired, brow color (applied with an angled brush) gives your face more definition.
Moisturise every night. It doesn’t have to be with anything expensive – I’ve found that plain old Ponds cold cream works better than many high-end creams – but just do it. Your skin will thank you.
The best foolproof, get of the house in under 30 seconds makeup routine: concealer, blush, and mascara.
Red or irritated eyes? Line the inner rim of your lower eyelid with a pinkish/white pencil (Tarte makes a great eyeliner for this).
After applying blush, pull it down a little bit towards the bottom of your face with a gentle swipe of the leftover product on the brush to make it look more natural (thank you for this one, Bobbi Brown).
A swipe of highlighter or a white/cream eyeshadow in the inner corners of your eyes will make your eyes look bigger and farther apart.
Also, save all of your little Sephora samples or the freebies you rip out of magazines for when you travel. You will never need to buy an overpriced 3oz TSA-approved version of a beauty product again. Also, trying new products or pampering myself with a sheet mask makes solo business trips in lonely hotel rooms a little more fun.
To get rid of clumps in your mascara: Wash out an old mascara brush and use it to “clean up” your application.
The Pioneer Woman recommended a Covergirl concealer for under eye circles.
That stuff is magic.
I don’t often wear makeup to work but I always fill in my eyebrows. It makes the biggest difference.
100% this. I’ve just started doing this over the last year or so and it makes a huge difference for me.
Eyebrow shaping and filling in with powder can make a world of difference. I think of eyebrows as the frame of your face.
Sunscreen v. Vitamin D
How do you all balance the absolute need for sunscreen versus needing vitamin D? I just found out that I have a vitamin D deficiency. I always wear sunscreen, cover up, stay in the shade, etc. And this is in the midst of summer, the season that has more than 8 hours of daylight! I am going to begin taking a supplement but was just curious if anyone else has dealt with this?
About once a week I run errands or do chores outside without makeup or sunscreen for about 20 minutes. Also, vitamins and food!
Sunscreen on your face, chest, and hands and then run around in shorts!!
Getting 10,000 IU per day requires something like 10-20 min of uncovered/unsunscreened hands, face, arm exposure for even a fair skinned person. Longer for darker-skinned people. In much of the US, you can only get that in the summer months – the sun doesn’t even provide a way to get 10,000 IU in the winter months (I’m mid-Atlantic and that’s the case here), which may be a contributing factor to SAD.
Supplements are how my family deals with it.
Spoolie brushes (i.e. clean mascara wands) – they have them to take at Sephora or Nordstrom, etc. I stock these babies and use them on baby hair, flyaways at my part and eyebrowssss. They live in almost every bag/purse I have. I also believe that good brows really pull your face together.
Eyebrow grooming is clutch, but if you can’t clean up or are trying to grow them out, the pink pencil by Anastasia is great at not only covering them neatly but opening up your eyes.
If you are doing a smokey eye at home, add a little bit of a brown/red-based shadow to the crease before the smokey stuff, even if you are going mostly black in the lid color. Something about this helps it blend making the shadow of your crease/socket look like a shadow and less sallow/raccoony.
I layer two mascaras if I have time for extra wow. A dry-er/older one first and then a wetter/newer one. The newer one coats nicely on the texture the old/dry one has created. (This is not an every day, but it really makes them look great.) Also bonus that you have a use for older mascara!
Sunscreen every day on all of those places mentioned above. I love Kiehl’s, Elta MD, La Roche Posay, Neutrogena, Skinceuticals for every day under makeup.
You probably don’t need to wash your hair as often as you do. Also, no amount of creams, masks, or conditioners will help your skin, nails, or hair, if your nutrition/vitamins are lacking. Drink lots of water, too.
Re hair, I am amending this to say don’t mess with it too much. I have straight/wavy hair and almost never use a brush, mostly my fingers or a wide tooth comb sometimes. (I use a brush probably 6 times a year.) I wash my hair probably every 3-4 days (sometimes it has gone longer!) and will use a wide tooth comb with conditioner if it’s tangly, but only then.
My derm said that the most important things to do for your skin are 1) sunscreen and 2) retin-A.
My personal advice is: lots of water (no soda ever), fish oil capsules, incorporating walking into your daily routine, and lots of laughter. :)
Ugh, this sounds like what some starlet would say in a magazine. As if 50 people weren’t working full time to make her prettier.
Dry shampoo is a miracle worker – sometimes my hair looks better after a couple days + dry shampoo than when it’s first washed.
Work with your hairstylist to get a cut and products which work with your natural texture so your hair can look good with minimal effort. If you’re pulling your hair back every day, it’s time for a consult.
Any mascara recommendations for sensitive eyes? Looking for something that doesn’t flake, and doesn’t irritate my eyes.
Blinc – it’s a tube mascara, and coats the lash. It never, ever flakes or smudges, but comes off easily with water and the slightest bit of pressure.
LOVE Blinc! I have sensitive everything and it’s awesome. I buy them 2 tubes at a time now (to incentivize myself to switch it out more often).
Loreal also has a cheaper version of the tubes. Can’t remember the name but it is red top and white bottom.
Clinique Lash Power. Also a tube mascara. Super sensitive eyes and contact wearer and I have no problems with this.
I just bought one of those heated straightener brushes I’ve been seeing on amazon. I have thick and voluminous hair and don’t need to full-on straighten my hair but often I’ll sleep on it funny and there will be parts sticking up in the back. Or a big kink where I wore a ponytail. A few brush strokes with the straightener brush helps – doesn’t make it stick straight like a blowout, but just makes it neater overall and generally pointing in the same direction.
Do you like it? Now, I straighten my wavy – curly hair using flatiron. But I have been looking for at straightener brushes. Can you please post the link?
Japanese ionic straightening. I just did it for the second time and it’s the best beauty choice I’ve ever made. (My hair is naturally straight-ish in the front/poodle wavy in the back, so if I didn’t spend at least 30 mins on it, it looked like I’d straightened half my hair and got lazy. And the back would always re-wave over the day.) Love, love, love being able to air-dry my hair and have it still look polished. Lasted about 2 years the first time, until a major cut, because it’s a perm.
Mine is the simply straight ceramic hair straightener brush from amazon for ~$32.
I think there are different brands and am not sure if there’s much real difference between them. It will definitely not straighten as well as your flatiron, mainly because having the 2 plates to press hair against gives it a base. It is a very quick and dirty version of that for days when you dont need it flat ironed, but just looking fairly neat and presentable. Works if your hair is fairly straight anyway and just needs a nudge.
The FDA has not approved a new sunscreen formula since something like 1999. UVA and UVB protection are usually only in sunscreen sold overseas, but now you can buy them on amazon so its not such a big deal. I wear biore watery essence sunscreen (Japanese) on my face/neck every day and it has no white cast or greasiness.
I have also given up on all those pretty nice smelling fancy lip balms and masks and things, no vaseline or aquaphor, just pharma grade lanolin. It’s sort of an extreme thing because I have BAD awful habit of peeling my lips and it would be a much worse looking situation if I wasn’t using lanolin.
Biore Watery Essence is my secret weapon. Best stuff I’ve ever put on my face – and it smells like citrus! Love it. :D Japanese and Korean sunscreens in general beat the pants off of American ones.
Can you post a link to the lanolin you use? I’ve never heard of it but I, too, have the horrible habit of (constantly) peeling my lips and no amount of Aquaphor or fancy lip treatment balm has helped.
Aquaphor. It’s the only thing I can put on my lips that doesn’t get all gunky, and it’s just the right consistency (not too sticky or shiny). In a pinch it also works as a spot moisturizer. I buy it by the tub and don’t travel anywhere without it.
Seconded. I used to get very flaky lips in winter (dryness + stress eczema), and now if I just apply it at night before bed, my problem is solved.
Any recommended concealers for under eye area?
I like Nars
Two words: retin a
Anyone else use lanisoh (nipple cream) for lips and tidying up eyebrows?