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ADVICE I WOULD GIVE TO MY ONCE TEENAGE SELF

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Knowing what you know now, what beauty advice would you give to your once teenage self?

My eyebrows were plucked within an inch of their life. Blush consisted of 2 clown-like pink dots on my cheeks, both unblended and harsh. And let’s just say the more black eyeliner I had on – well, the better. These are just some of the things I remember most about my make up techniques and skills as a teenager and to be quite honest, I’d rather not remember them at all.

Today I thought I would sit down and somewhat reminisce on my serious make up malfunctions and horrendous hair-styling habits. Being a teenager is already a difficult and challenging time in any young woman’s life. The stress of exams in school, the pressure of trying to look good for boys and basically just trying to fit in and find your own way in life. Let’s face it – It’s a stressful time. Throw in a few hormones and you can start to feel like it’s all a bit too much. If I could go back and tell myself a few home-truths or even just give myself some advice, this is probably what I would say.

Try not to care so much about what others think of you.

It’s understandable, you’re young, a little bit naive and you just want everyone to like you. So you try to fit in by wearing what everyone else is wearing, do what everyone else is doing and peer pressure is so easy to give in to. You start to really care about what you look like, wanting to be known as ‘popular’ and the fear of having no friends or no one liking you really sets in. If I could give my 16 year old self some seriously good advice, it would be not to care so much about other people’s opinions or thoughts on you. So what if I want to go out without any make up on? Or who cares if I don’t go to the party because I know I really need to study for exams? I seriously cared way too much about what other people thought of me when I was younger and didn’t care enough about the important things, like my education or preparing for my future. Being a mature (ish) young woman now, you start to realise the more important things in life and look back on your younger self and laugh: ‘Why the hell did I care so much about these material things?’

Always pick a foundation shade that matches your skintone (or at least near enough).

One of my all time pet hates – the orange face (and white neck). Although I never really had the problem of missing my neck when applying my make-up, I still remember wearing a shade of foundation that was 10 times too dark for my pale Irish skin. Not only that, I would never tan the rest of my body to match up with the dark foundation, meaning I went around sporting a seriously orange face with pasty white arms and legs – not a good look for anyone.

Leave those eyebrows ALONE.

Naturally my brows were always quite fair and sparse and back in the early 00’s big, thick bushy eyebrows weren’t really perceived as being a ‘good look’. Nowadays though, I curse myself for becoming a victim of the dreaded over-plucking. Why couldn’t I just put down those tweezers!? Seriously girls, If you’re a young woman just starting out in make-up – a big tip I give you, do not over pluck those brows, you will seriously regret it!

The less make-up, the better.

I think one of the main reasons for not having a good knowledge of make-up application when I was younger was the fact of there being little or no beauty blogs online or even advice in magazines to guide you. You see other girls wearing make-up and you end up thinking ‘Why doesn’t my make up look as nice as hers?’ With this attitude in mind, I think my attempt at trying to achieve a flawless, airbrushed type of look was to slather on the most foundation and eyeshadow that I could find. Why didn’t anyone ever tell me that less was more?

Concealer is for spots and blemishes, not for your lips.

Ah, the good old concealer lip. I was a major fan of this look as a young 16 year old girl. I don’t know why I was so obsessed about the colour of my natural lips. If anything they were a perfectly normal colour which had good, strong pigmentation. I was determined for them to become almost invisible, and by applying concealer all over them I pretty much thought I had achieved ‘invisible lips’. Did somebody say Casper the friendly ghost? If I could go back a few years I would slap myself silly and say ‘Rachel come on, your lips look fine just the way they are, and if you hate them that much why not try out a nude lipstick instead’.

Drink lots of water. Your hair, skin and nails will thank you.

As a teenager I suffered with dry skin and eczema. Spots were not really a major issue for me but I did get a few ‘teenage pimples’ as I like to call them. I never really suffered from bad skin nor was my skin an issue growing up but I can’t help but wonder now just how great would my skin actually look if I had drank lots of water throughout my teenage years. Drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day sounds like a challenge to any 16 year old, but if I was to go back again this is something I would have definitely done.

What advice would you give to your teenage self if you could go back?

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