Every girl with a blog thinks she can dole them out, it seems. I don't; I’m not a girly girl, trends confuse me, I didn’t have older siblings to teach me things, or younger ones to
torment practise on. Or dolls. Never understood the attraction of dolls. Even at an early age I think I was somewhat disgusted that girls were automatically given smaller versions of themselves to teach them how to look after children or whatever.
Here is some evidence of the stylistic seedlings which produced the now sturdy oak of glamour who brings you these words you never asked for.
Although talking about one’s own appearance with anything other than criticism is generally, um, met with criticism even I with all my borderline dysmorphic hang-ups finds it safe to say I look a little better now. Some people have also confirmed this. The ones who accepted the bribes, that is.
It’s all smoke and mirrors of course. I’m still the same frizzy-haired, four-eyed midget with blotchy skin only now there’s more hair, stretch marks, cellulite, scars, patches of ink and a few more holes.
Anyway, you don’t live nearly 30 (oh fuck.) years on this planet without picking up a few tips from friends, magazines (look past trends and you’ll find the same old beauty adages oft repeated – with good reason), one's own trial and error, and YouTube videos...yep I’ve sat through those. I even watched all 16 minutes and 39 seconds of Guardian columnist Sali Hughes' video about eyeliner flicks. Then proceeded to carry on doing it the same way I’ve been doing it for the past decade or so.
Here are my top 10 tips and please feel free to share yours in the comments.
1: Urban Decay Liquid Eyeliner in ‘Perversion’.
If I’d known they were going to change EVERY SINGLE THING ABOUT THIS PRODUCT (except the tantalising name) I would’ve stocked up with a lifetimes supply. Good handle, brilliant brush for doing either thick or thin lines, when you’re about to run out you can tell as the lower half of the bottle is semi-transparent and it has the ultimate staying power. It’s designed to look like an inkwell, how fucking cool is that?! They’ve since changed the bottle to a standard boring cylindrical design, the brush is thin and flimsy and hard to control and they’ve altered something in the liquid because it flakes off within minutes. Sort it out, Urban Decay! And have words with your staff who wouldn’t offer a refund or exchange when I tried to return it (unused; a friend had kindly collected it for me and on being presented with it I thought there’d been a mistake).
Tip within a tip: apply all over the eyelid as a longer-lasting substitute for black eyeshadow. If you can get hold of one of the discontinued versions, obviously.
Anyway, that’s practically a blog post in itself so let’s move swiftly on.
2: Use hairspray to keep your make up in place.
Forget primer and ‘official’ make up setting mists, just use hairspray. A dude actually taught me this one. Thanks, dude.
3: Lip Balm.
Waste. Of. Time. Just nibble off the dry skin and try to leave the new, fresh healthy layer alone. I’ve never used a lip balm that hasn’t exacerbated the problem. It’s like they create this shit knowing it’ll make you worse so you vainly buy more of it.
Magazines normally tell you to go for a deep lip colour and keep the eyes nude or vice versa. Because if you keep it light on both you’ll look, Christ, NATURAL or something (the horror) and if you pile it on on both your lids and your lips you’ll run the risk of looking like a goth.
5: Heat protection spray.
I reckon it’s pure H2O. Got some in my eye the other day (that’s what she said!) and it didn’t sting and I need the reassuring pain of harsh chemicals!!! Don’t bother. If you’re worried about protecting your hair from hairdryers and straighteners I’d recommend a hair moisturiser instead such as Lush’s R&B or just letting your hair dry naturally for a while then finishing it off with le tools. Which brings me to...
Yet another topic I could write a whole blog post about. Everything I’ve tried from here is wonderful, apart from maybe some of the lip balms (please refer to Tip No.3). Their products are fresh, natural, handmade with vegetarian ingredients (but don't eat them). They hold strong ethical values - as well as not testing on animals they actively campaign against it. Particular favourites of mine include the Ultra Bland cleanser, and the lip tint ‘A Million Kisses’, which I’m wearing here.
Good band too.
Well of course No. 7 on this list has to be No.7. Put off for years by the plain packaging which lends the brand a certain mumsy image in my eyes, I eventually caved and spent some of those vouchers that Boots rain down on you like confetti whenever you set foot in the shop. I discovered they do moisturiser exactly like the Lancôme stuff that I used to have, yet half the price. They make the only lipstick that's not resulted in me having chapped lips. Mascara that actually lengthens lashes!
8: Blackhead StripsYou can probably pick up 10 rolls of sellotape in the pound shop which would do a better job. Waste. Of. Time. Perhaps I should’ve compiled a list of what to avoid, rather than things to use. In this instance use a clean fingernail instead.
I’m sure the surviving members of TLC wouldn’t say no to these scrubs. They may not banish cellulite as well as they promise, but they do leave your skin softer. Ensure you rinse all that shit off before continuing your showering routine. The amount of razors I’ve buggered up because they’ve been blunted by sand granules...
10: Be a Chorehorse.
Not tested this one myself, but like the hairspray trick it’s from a guy so I'm including it because of equality or something. And because I ran out of tips.
If you apply nail polish like a drunk octopus with Parkinsons, do some washing up afterwards, which should remove the excess splodges whilst leaving it on your nails. Nail polish remover, on the other hand (boom-tish!), is indispensable when it comes to removing hair dye stains from your skin. Another tip within a tip! Don't say I never give you nuffink.