1. Unfairly Inundate Your Lashes: I prefer to smother my eyelashes in co-dependent, unhealthy levels of love and mascara (until they’re dodging my phone calls and vaguely implying their need for space). Most people think they know how to apply eye makeup, without realizing how much touchy-feely tactic is truly needed. Ideally, you should apply a primer from root-to-tip (you know, the weird goopy, white stuff), let it dry only long enough to coat the opposing eye, and return with dark mascara. My routine goes as follows: press the wand into the base of your lash-line with you head tilted back towards the sky (as if you’re curling your eyelashes and “washing that man right out of your hair” at the same time). You press – again, the goal is forcing your lashes into perky submission- and wiggle outwards to the very tip as if you’re Ozzy Osbourne on albuterol.
Remember that vibrating mascara on the market awhile back? It had a point… as did it’s counterpart curly mascara, and thickening mascara, and de-clumping mascara. You want to turn your hand-eye technique to a fabulous amalgam of all of the above… and never let anyone see you doing this, because it’s wildly unattractive. Anyways, after pushing and wiggling, take your wand and swipe down on top of your eyelashes (with your eye pseudo closed in the process). Vary back and forth between this downward sweep and your upward, pressing movement, and top it all off with a few vertical swipes of individual lashes using the very tip of your wand. Once you have ‘caressed me down’ enough, you’re ready to reveal fake looking eyelashes. Don’t worry, you’ll get the system down to a creepy little Clockwork Orange science! (Get it? Because you’re pushing your eyes open super wide? Anyhoo…)
2. Become a Bactine Fiend: I used to date someone with a beard… and it destroyed my face. That’s right, I said it. Beards are bad business for pretty complexions, even if they look oh-so-good with tattoos and suspenders. The only way I nursed my schizophrenic skin back to health was through the weirdest trick of all: Bactine. Ok, so I’ve written about this before, yes, but it bares being said again: Get spray happy with Bactine. I use mineral foundation almost everyday, and literally coat my makeup brush in Bactine before touching my face. The Bactine saturation mixes with the powder foundation to create the perfect mashup of makeup- going on wet and silky, but drying smooth – and my skin has completely cleared up. Even if I skip my foundation in favor of something else, I give it a squirt of Bactine on my hand before applying, or do a light mist over my face as a whole. I know this sounds insane- because trust me, my skin is prone to drying out from harsh chemicals or acne clearing treatments- but this works differently, and there is nary an irritation or dry spot in sight. I don’t know how it works, exactly, but there is something magical happening here. Just believe.
3. Sleep In Your Makeup: This is the number one faux-pas of conflictedly complected people (and something I’ve written about before as well), and something I’ve never subscribed too. Even in my “hay day” (you know, that one time I got a babysitter when I was 22, and almost got tipsy, and almost knew what a hangover felt like before going back to being a responsible mother the next day?), I can be seen washing my face lazily at 3 AM, before crashing out like the rest. However, lately I’ve been applying a tinted moisturizer in lieu (or in combination with) my nighttime moisturizer, and loving the effects. I use a product that’s a little bit darker during the daytime (so I get a fake “glow” going), and something a little bit lighter at night. Somehow this gives an ethereal look- even when my cheeks get rosy from hitting the pillow- and hasn’t caused a single issue with my skin. In fact, I’ve even done a dusting of foundation with a heavy dose of Bactine spray (so, again, it brushes on like a wet, sheer foundation) and had zero qualms. My skin is better then ever – knock on wood!- and my dusting is so light that my pillowcase looks spotless. It’s weird, I know, but it’s worth a try!
4. Rain On Your (Hair) Parade: So the downside of this tip is that it only works for wavy or curly haired girls (or anyone who’s hair tends to get bigger or frizzier with water). You know how when you get stuck in the rain, your hair often becomes enormous and unruly… but later, looks as if you’ve washed it again? The same thing for when you go swimming or hang at the beach for awhile? Recently I’ve noticed that if I fake my hair out- wetting it just enough that it’s akin to getting stuck in the rain or a quick swim- I can rejuvenate droopy strands and drag out my time before I need to wash again. This keeps hair healthier for longer, and promotes laziness in general (yes!) The key is mastering the “drop and plop” bun, which basically involves wetting your hair quickly (especially the roots), leaning your head upside down, smushing your hair from the tips to your scalp in big handfuls (so you’re sort of “plopping” hair against your head), awkwardly twisting said hair into a messy, lose bun with a tie… and waiting. You don’t want a soft, smooth bun because it won’t create the texture you need (and you’re not Kerry Washington in this scenario). Once hair is dry, shake it upside down again, scrunch a few times, flip back and leave it the heck alone. You should have insta-fake-volume at your roots, texture throughout… and no need for shampoo. (Still not working? Massage baby powder or cocoa powder into dry roots- flipping your head around like an extra in Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and going to town at all angles).
5. Go Heavy On Your Brows: I used to ignore my eyebrows. I was a vaguely olive Floridian from a super Irish looking family with a really, really Von Trappe-looking mother. My mom is amazing, but her only beauty experience had been with fair skin, tiny eyebrows and paper-thin, straight hair (clearly, her youngest two daughters didn’t get the memo). Recently, my Dad told me we have some Greek in the family somewhere… and suddenly, it all made sense. The years of torturing my hair (bristle brushes attacking curly, thick strands, while conditioner absorbed like there’d been a follicle drought since 1986)… dying it to submission (I totally look good as a bleached blonde)… and over-plucking my brows. Now I know that genetics had other plans, and my Scot-Irish matriarch is possibly not the person to ask (rubber bands in curly hair? Do you know how much that hurts?)
Biology seems happiest with huge lion hair, dark coloring, tan skin (how does it hold on to color for so long?), and brows that are more Demi Lovato then Kerry Washington (yep, going to reference her twice). So, even though tending to brows might seem a little high maintenance, never under estimate the power of a little powder… even if you’re skipping makeup that day. I take a small brush and super cheap drugstore eyeshadow which vaguely matches my coloring (or a little darker), and carefully brush along the natural arch until they thicken up ever-so-slightly. The goal is not to look like you have big fake eyebrows, but to “plump up” or “encourage” what you already have. Eyeshadow sounds insane, for sure, but it’s the best thing in the world (again, trust).
Which trick will YOU use the most? Have your own wisdom to add? Let’s chat!