The Need: The best beauty compliment I’ve ever received was when a hair stylist called me “messy hot”. He meant it in a somewhat pitying way (a “bless your heart” of the cosmetic world, if you will), but I took it as a good thing. Apparently, I could be a hopeless Type B mishap… but still get a cool nickname. Does this make me a little bit vain? Probably (what ballerina isn’t?) Am I completely obsessed with everything girly as a beauty writer, yet horrible at following my own advice? Tis true, I confess. But when it comes to actually putting effort towards my aesthetic disposition, I normally fall flat on various levels (roots included). I skip makeup nearly every single day- save for an occasional weekend or special event… wash my strands every few days… and literally always forgot to put on lotion, or shimmer, or a combination thereof. Fortunately, I have perfected a few sneaky tricks for amping up my routine and techniques, without losing my “I’m too cool to care, but I really, super duper care” status. Here it goes…
Get Big Hair: It has taken me awhile to get my disruptive, rebellious hair to slightly presentable order, but now I have it down to a science. One of the first things we miss when prepping our hair is what time of day we are actually washing it. Play around with this notion, and figure out what’s best for your hair cuticle (for example, mine becomes frizzy and wild if left to dry all day, but a lot more shiny if drying overnight). Also, did you know that you can shampoo your roots, add conditioner to your ends, and rinse all at once if you’re in a hurry? Yes, it’s a real thing and it totally works. That being said, it’s best to learn the “plop” after washing. Some ladies use a towel, others a headband or hair tie: whatever floats your follicle boat. For me, I comb everything in the bath using a wide tooth comb, flip my head over, gently scrunch with a towel until less wet, and then “plop” to a high, Tinkerbell bun. Basically, I spread my hands wide, and smash my hair to my head until it can be twisted and folded into a weird, lose, messy bun amalgam of sorts. The key is not having a smooth, ladylike bun akin to those on Pinterest, because your roots will fall flat later (we want messy!) Feel free to take it out periodically, shake your head around, and then re-plop for the best effect. Finally, you have to befriend a little lady named “mousse”. She may seem old fashioned, but she does wonders for waves when scrunched in wet (right before you “plop”), and later when everything is dry. I used the Herbal Essence Naked line personally, but their dry shampoo spray is great for lifting Day 2 roots too. Honestly, I’m forever a fan of mixing Hershey’s cocoa powder with baby powder, and massaging to roots every morning for lift, but adding a spray to the mix only increases your perks (so feel free to mix, match and layer).
Get Whiter Teeth: I feel like I have tried every whitening product under the sun (including the sun), and the results are always good… but about the same. You know those whitening kits where you squeeze gel on a mouth tray and wear it around for 30 minutes? I recently learned I’ve been doing it ALL wrong. Why? If you squeeze the gel directly on your teeth- gently massaging in to the cracks and crevices with your finger, making sure to leave a thick coat overall- before slipping on the protective tray… it works noticeably better. We are talking an actual noticeable difference. The upside is this means that even if you use a cheap gel, or a random mouth tray, or a mix of different brands- your results will always be better, just by improving your approach. Another thing I’ve never tried? An automatic toothbrush (ah, so many inappropriate Orange is the New Black jokes to be had, so little time). I tried this new Truly Radiant line from Arm & Hammer, and even though it took awhile to adjust to the intensity of the spinning brush, the toothpaste had zero ‘weird after taste’ or ‘chalky whitening feeling’. Only downside? The husband has henceforth stolen the toothpaste for himself… grrrr.
Get Bigger Eyes: I love Tarte Cosmetics (always have, always will), and I love Amazons (meaning, really kick arse women), but I hate taking forever on my eye makeup. Although the new Amazonian Clay line has little to do with powerful ladies and more to do with healing, nurturing ingredients, I think their eyeliner has a dichotomy of both. Since I often over-do-it with my eyes, I tried a new trick for getting bigger looking eyes. First, you waterline them (meaning, apply right underneath your upper lash-line and between your eyelashes), and then you trace just the outside line of your lower lashes. Finally, you connect the two with the slightest of sweeps to the side, but make sure to blend and smudge a bit so that it looks very subtle (a thick connection of your lower and upper lash-line would only box your eyes in and “corner” their appeal). This eyeliner was pretty straight forward- no tricks or gimmicks- but their new mascara was really on the ball. Again, if you want those eyes to look bigger but don’t want to coat every lash, simply layer in all directions on the top lashes. Meaning, tilt your head back and start by pressing them upward towards your eyebrows (like you’re curling them through sheer force)… brushing downwards on top of them… traveling over them at an individual, vertical angle… hit them from all sides, and then call it a day.
Get Glowing Skin: So, I’ve been talking about this a lot. I bought a $1 cold cream (“cleansing cream”) from Walmart on a whim, and decided to use it on my driest areas so I could feel retro, chic, and like Elizabeth Taylor. I don’t know if E.Taylor actually used cold cream, but it feels like something she would do. Anyways, aside from my T-zone (which is bi-polar, and needs a simple swipe of teenager style acne pad instead), I gently massage it in to my cheeks and forehead both morning and night, and wipe with a warm rag to remove makeup and grime. It sounds so simple, but seriously… I’m a new convert. My skin has literally been glowing (which is not something my skin innately likes to do), and has never felt more smooth in my life. In turn, makeup is going on smoother, and oddly… I’ve even had less breakouts? Also, if you don’t have time to put lotion all over your body, try hand cream (yes, really). I’ve been using a fragrance-free hand cream from SEED, and applying it to all the places we don’t want to age first: chest, neck, arms. Extra hydration is always a good thing!
Which trick will YOU use the most? Have any of your own (pretty please?) Let’s chat!