You live, you learn – and hey, if you get the reference, you most definitely have. Here’s a curated compendium of timeless tricks to looking fresh-faced and fabulous:
1. The lightest touch is all you need. Modern makeup isn’t about blanket coverage. When it comes to foundation, the first course of action is to even out your canvas: Skip heavy formulas and veil your face with a sheer layer of tinted moisturiser instead. It might take some getting used to, but you’ll look more youthful if your visage isn’t caked over with pancake product.
2. Anti-ageing isn’t for the ancient. Age-delaying serums and salves can serve as preventative poultices if you use ‘em early enough. Don’t wait until you’re a geriatric geezer to start!
3. Remember, dry shampoo on dry hair. The starches in the product will “pill” and create unsightly dandruff-like clumps when doused on wet hair. Damp equals dank! To maximise the mileage from your dry shampoo, give it time (five minutes ought to do it) to sit and sponge up excess oils, then use clean fingers to tease out the leftover powder from your locks.
4. The ultimate under-eye hack? You want to avoid the terribly unflattering “reverse panda” look at all costs. Here’s how. Start by stippling on your concealer in tiny dots that decrease in size as you move out from the inner eye corner. Finish by blending well with a damp sponge so that the product disappears into your skin at the outer edge of your eye. Top takeaway: Always apply judiciously, and only on the shadowy inner area where you need it the most.
5. Hold your head high. Pulled one too many all-nighters and have the swollen cheeks to show for it? Chin up, please. Try propping up your head with a higher pillow if you’re prone to puffiness in the morning; the extra elevation will aid in overall fluid drainage and circulation.
6. Nail it with a nude nail. Save the sparkles and scarlets for the weekend. Nudes are your best beauty bet if you’re on the hunt for a workaday hue that’ll inject instant poise, polish and pizazz. It’s slenderising, for starters: In much the same way that flesh-coloured stilettos can lengthen your limbs, nude lacquer lends the illusion of longer, more delicate digits, plus it boasts the entirely welcome benefit of concealing chipped bits and blemishes on your nail bed. Have fun getting naked!
7. The only eyeliner you need? Not blacks or browns, and certainly not a trendy tint. Instead, go nude. A beige-to-butterscotch hue is an absolute essential in my beauty books, at least when it comes to disguising discolouration and fending off signs of fatigue. Use an angled sponge to lightly smudge the triangular corners next to your tear ducts – the nude eyeliner will do double duty as an inner eye highlighter – and use a decisive hand to deftly trace around the contours of your lower waterline. Blink rapidly to transfer some of the pigment to your upper waterline for a soft “halo” effect.
8. You can squeeze a spot. To pop or not to pop? Pop, I say! Truth be told, a pus-filled pimple that isn’t relieved of its toxic load has no chance to heal. To bust blemishes the right way, only squeeze spots that are “ripe” and throbbing with “juice” in the form of a visible whitehead. Hold a warm washcloth against the zit for a few seconds to soften it for easier extraction, then gingerly and gently – and I do mean gingerly and gently! – use the fleshy pads of your fingertips to press around the sides of the offending spot. Once the gooey gunk flows clear or if you see blood, stop and follow up with an acne-alleviating treatment gel.
9. And finally, some things are best said in song. Remember that ‘90s smash hit by Baz Luhrmann that opened with this unforgettable line: “If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it”? Yep, pretty much. Sun protection is absolutely non-negotiable if you want to forestall freckles and fine lines – not to mention melanoma! – so always cover up with an SPF product of some sort. I trust this has been an enlightening “ray” of a read. Cheers!
10. Learn the real trick to long-lasting lippie. We’re all familiar with that old chestnut about blotting your lips for budge-proof lipstick, but hey, whatever works. After you’re done with blotting, the rest is standard procedure. Apply a second layer of lippie, then dust your lower and upper lips with translucent face powder; the talc helps in “grabbing” onto the tint. Now go over your powdered puckers with a third layer of lippie, then finish with a final pat of tissue paper. And you’re done! Lips that will last until the end of time … or at least until you’re done with your last flute of bubbly.