Since the age of sweet sixteen, I've poured over the latest glossy and indulged in everything their beauty pages had to offer. Swooning over fancy lipsticks, sophisticated skincare and effortless editorial looks, I drank up the fountain of knowledge that Glamour magazine had to offer. Fast forward a few years down the line (or try ten) and I like to think I've mastered the art of my beauty routine.
Sure my eyeliner flicks may look a little drunk sometimes and my ankles will never be pals with my fake tan, but having rounded up a few tips and tricks along the way (and without going all too buzzfeed on you) here are my trustworthy hacks that are worth giving a whirl.
1. Clay masks are one of my all time beauty indulgences, they draw out all the impurities, offer five minutes of pampering bliss and are a living godsend when your hormones go crazy. I religiously slather mine on right after stepping out of the shower, the heat and the steam work wonders to open the pores so that the mask is able to get right in there and work it's magic.
2. In this day and age, pillow creased nails should be a thing of the past. Shimmy over to the wonders of Seche Vite top coat (my ultimate beauty must-have) or the Sally Hansen Insta-Dry polish.
3. The saying goes - 'you don't know what you're missing until it's gone'. Apparently, my brows did not receive this memo. Having being blessed with extremely fair brows, it wasn't until I tinted them a darker shade that I realised I DID have eyebrows, they were just invisible. Armed with a home dye kit, tweezers and three hours of a whole lotta sneezing later (just me?), my brows have never looked better. The Eylure home dye kit is my fortnightly Sunday evening ritual (completely fool-proof), however if this sounds a little too daunting swing by your local Benefit counter who also offer this savvy service.
4. It's a timeless tip that surely every lady should know, but I was quite surprised when one of my girl friends looked completely puzzled when I mentioned it. The classic finger in puckered pout tip to remove an excess lipstick, ensuring the no dreaded lipstick on teeth look. As kindly demonstrated here.
5. My hair is a magnet for split ends, it's fine and thin texture is major bone of contention and the sole reasoning for my costly hairdresser bills. However, after religiously slathering on a hair oil to the ends of my hair, it has certainly helped to keep it in tip top condition. My current favourite is the Macadamia oil, it can do no wrong.
6. We've all had a painful run in with those under the skin spots that never come to a head, but throb so badly every time you move a facial muscle. Otherwise known a blind spot, you can relieve the pressure by repeatedly applying a hot (but but not boiling) wet flannel on the little terror and bringing it to the surface by smothering on a clay mask.
7. Hair feeling weighed down and constantly looking lack lustre? Introduce a clarifying shampoo into your routine each Sunday evening and watch your do' bounce back to life. Follow up with a deep conditioner on the ends to ensure it doesn't strip your hair of moisture.
8. Invest in your tools. You wouldn't think twice about splurging on the latest make-up product, but why bother if your beauty weapons of choice are crap? A cracking pair of tweezers (I swear by Tweezerman) will last you a lifetime, a good quality hair dryer will have your do' looking smoother and dry in next to no time and a glass nail file may seem a tad fancy, but you'll thank yourself when you can't find that worn-out - basically useless - emery board floating around your handbag when you've snagged a nail.
9. When washing your face nothing beats a good old fashioned flannel. Cheap as chips, they retain the heat better than muslin cloths and work well to effortlessly remove make-up and grime without being too abrasive.
10. Having had quite the double-digit number of fake tan disasters, my ultimate fake-tanning savours happen to be exfoliating gloves (yes you feel a little Michael Jackson-ish, but they are so easy to use and they reach those pesky hard to reach areas on your back), body oil / lotion (for those dry skin areas that show the world you are a fake-tan failure) and mitts (because streaks never look good). Wham, bam, you're good to go bronzed mam.
11. Come the summer there's nothing more delightful than switching your cream blushes into your make-up bag. That is however if you know how to apply them without looking like aunt sally. A flat top foundation brush works wonders, applying the perfect amount of product in a paint like motion, et voila!
12. Got an uncontrollable mane? Get a Tangle Teezer in your life. It doesn't matter what age you are, whether your hair is thick or thin, long and flowing or neatly bobbed - these bad boys are holy grail beauty stuff that glides through your hair to untangle, whether wet or dry. On the flipside, for an added touch of va va voom, invest in a simple back-combing brush for an instant hit of glamour. I picked mine up from Primark for a mere two pounds.
13. A sultry eye look often brings a shed load of shimmer and glitter fall-out. Avoid having to re-do your foundation all over again and gently stroke a brow spooly across your cheeks to pick up annoying chunks of glitter. Or simply, fold a sheet of tissue and hold softly under your eye when applying shadow to catch the fall out - how sassy!
14. Forever committing that summer sin and forgoing the body moisturiser after showering? I know it's pesky, but after-shaving moisturiser is essential in the warmer months. And I've found buying a body moisturiser with a pump, I'm much more encouraged to pump, slather and go - rather than faffing around shaking the bottle like a pair of blimmin' maracas! Body Shop are my go-to for pumped lotions.
15. Last by but no means least, when it come's to perfume (my scent of choice is the darling Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede), I always make sure to spritz my perfume just behind my ears and on the nape of my neck for when I swish of my hair, I get a sudden hit of scent.
So there you have, my preachy beauty tips and tricks. Sharing is caring after all, so I would love for you to leave yours in the comments below!