There are thousands of Dos and Don’t’s when it comes to makeup and self-care and we have all been tempted by the latest craze in skincare at some point, but how much of it is true and how much of it is just a passing phase? I’ve been looking into a few old wives’ tales and a few popular new trends when it comes to our beauty routines to see just what stands the test of time and what myths we are best off not listening to.
Anti-wrinkle creams alone can stop those dreaded wrinkles and fine lines.
While not entirely an advertising ploy, there is only so much anti-wrinkle creams that you can buy from your local beauty counter can do! Once the damage has been done, it can be hard to come back from it. Ageing of the skin can be caused by too much sun exposure, smoking and dehydration as well as just general (and very normal) ageing. If you have found the perfect anti-wrinkle cream, it must go hand in hand with self-care so that you can stop the effects from taking hold as fast and help hydrate and plump up the skin to reduce fine lines from appearing. The best thing to do? Make sure you use sun creams and sun screens, try not to over-expose your face to the sun as the skin is very delicate there, adopt a healthy diet and always stay hydrated. Then at night after cleansing your skin with a water-based cleanser, it’s time to apply the anti-wrinkle cream and let a good night’s sleep do the rest.
Sun exposure is bad for you
So this one isn’t true but it isn’t a myth either. The sun has both damaging and beneficial properties that like everything in life, needs balance to be able to reap the benefits. We’ve established that the sun ages the skin faster than usual, but if you look after and protect your skin properly you can enjoy a sunny afternoon down at the beach! Vitamin D is activated by the sunlight and it is something we all need for a healthy immune system. Diet is of course also important and Vitamin D intake does not just come from sunlight, but the sun and being outside in it can change mood receptors and help to reduce stress. Getting 30 minutes of time out in the sun can be really beneficial both physically and mentally. Just remember to apply that sun cream in advance of going outside, and make sure you top up if you stay outside. A little sun never hurt anybody!
Sleeping in makeup won’t hurt your skin
This one is definitely a myth. Sleeping in your makeup might seem like the easy thing to do after a long day or a night out. It is a thought we have all had – It won’t hurt. Well the truth is over time this will hurt your skin, eyelashes and lips. Firstly, any make-up that coats your skin can stop the skin from breathing, so keeping foundation and powders on 24/7 can act as a barrier stopping the goodness getting in. Secondly, its can clog your pores and mix daily dirt and oil build up which then adheres to the skin and stop the bad from getting out. Let your skin breathe every day and it will treat you kindly later.
Mascara is mostly oil based and can do harm to your eyelashes quite quickly if not removed. As well as the lack of hydration, the layers of mascara can lock in unknown dirt and lead to infection in your follicles. If you have ever noticed redness or slight puffiness around the eyelids, it is time to change up that mascara and make sure you are not using an old brush, and make sure it is cleaned off nightly with a gentle cleanser.
Mascara and waterproof mascara even more so, is designed to hold eyelashes into a nice lengthy position. This can also cause breakages and quicker loss of eyelashes than the growth cycle would usually allow if left on overnight. So take the pressure off your skin, and eyelashes and let them breath for a while. Let’s put this one to bed, sleeping in makeup is a definite no.
Beauty is pain
Well this one depends! Self-inflicted pain due to tweezing, waxing or threading comes with the territory, but when talking about cosmetics, beauty should not be painful. If we ever feel the need to go to extreme lengths with our look and it turns out to be uncomfortable or painful, it Is probably best to remove it and evaluate. For example, eyelashes. It is extremely common now for lash extensions to adorn eyes, and why not! If it helps to extend and elongate our lashes with little to no risk, then it sounds good to me. The issue is the adhesives that are used can cause reactions in people that were unaware they had any allergies in the first place. The good news is, the allergic reactions are very rarely due to the lashes themselves, so it doesn’t mean the end of your dream eyelashes.
If any beauty treatment or age-defying lotions cause redness or swelling, this is not a pain you should ignore and you should always remember to seek medical advice if symptoms continue after removal. Always check ingredients when trying a new product and don’t just go with what could be just a passing beauty fad that may end up being harmful to you.
You should pump your mascara brush
Definite myth! It is a common misconception that if you pump your brush in and out of the tube, you get more mascara on the brush. I know we are all fighting for longer lashes, and will sometimes stop at nothing to get them, but actually by pumping the brush in and out of the tube, you are probably getting more air into the mascara which will result in it drying out faster than you would like, and also causing early damage to the brush. The best thing to do is apply in layers, with little mascara on the brush. You will avoid clumps from transferring from the brush to your eyelashes and you’ll notice a smoother and more streamlined flow when applying it to your lashes. And if you are that set on longer lashes without the hassle of getting eyelash extensions, why not try an eyelash growth serum. It won’t be instant, granted, but after a month or so of regular applications, you’ll find your eyelashes are not only longer and fuller, they are smoother and easier to apply mascara to. You won’t even need to overdo it with the brush!
Makeup lasts forever
Absolutely false. You may not realise it but make up, like food and drink has a use by date. It not only loses its efficiency in the job it is supposed to do but it can also be harmful or damaging to your skin. Anything in make up such as foundations or lip balms that have SPF, will be less effective at protecting your skin once it has been open for a long time. If you use this to rely on protection from the sun, you may find that it is not doing that job anymore and you can cause inadvertent sun damage. Expired or old makeup is also the perfect ground for harbouring bacteria. Especially makeup brushes, sponges and palettes such as shadows or contour. Over time, this can build and if used could cause infections to you skin. This could be in the form of break outs or even swelling and redness. Makeup to really look out for is anything that goes on or around the eyes. The skin is very thin and sensitive here and the last thing you want is to cause an infection near your eyes due to old makeup. So, I know you don’t want to part with your beloved mascara but try to replenish it every 3-4 months and other eyeshadows or eyeliners within 6 months. You should be able to find out quite easily the recommended use by dates of your cosmetics from the manufacturers packaging or ingredients list. Time to go check out that makeup bag and make sure you aren’t harbouring any harmful bacteria!
Eyebrows should match your hair colour
This one is a myth. At the end of the day, there are certain “rules” we are all told from fashion and beauty edits that dictate colours we should adopt and avoid, as well as shapes that suit our face. While these rules are great to follow to ensure you flatter your features as much as possible, you aren’t going to get arrested by the fashion police if you don’t stick to them. Every face is different, so what may work for one brunette may not work for another. Take Cara Delevingne for example, her eyebrows were famous before she was for being so full, thick and dark. Now, not everyone can pull this off, but if you were born with it, flaunt it! Lightning eyebrows can be a risky path to follow, as it can damage the follicles, and dry out your brows stunting the growth of the individual hairs. Colouring your eyebrows using kits and pencils to make them darker is a lot easier and can enhance your brows if you want a stand-out look. The benefit of this is it is temporary, giving you the freedom to try out different colours and shades that suit you and your face and compliment your hair colour. Figure out what is best for you and go with it with confidence. That sounds like a better rule to me.
Plucking eyebrows will stop the hairs from growing back
Well while this is not entirely true, the follicles can become damaged from over-plucking over a long period and time and prevent the eyebrows from growing back as thick or as full as they once were. Stray hairs under the brow and toward the temples are quite easy to pluck away, especially if you aren’t into the whole waxing and threading routines.
The issue with heavy plucking is it can just delay the growth process if the follicle is damaged and it can take anywhere between 4 months and 12 months to see proper regrowth. The best time to pluck your stray eyebrows hairs is after a shower when the warmth of the water helps to open the follicle ups a bit more, if you invest in a great pair of tweezers with good grip and pull the hairs in the direction of growth, then apply a cooling gel or aloe vera afterward, you can eliminate most of the pain as well as help to keep the follicles as undamaged as possible for the regrowth cycle to not be interrupted.
And remember to never go too far with those tweezers. It is easy to get carried away, but you are essentially just grooming, not trying to create a thin line that you may later regret!
Not everyone can rock red lipstick
I don’t know about you, but I love red lipstick! I get that it is a bold colour and can scare people off but the trick with red lipstick is to find a tone and texture that you like and that you can wear confidently. It doesn’t have to be the brightest or the glossiest red, but there are toned down colours that can really accentuate your mouth in all the right ways. The best bet with red lipstick is to try and compliment your overall look. Darker hair can really play with the brightness and really vamp up any look with next to no effort. Having lighter hair is better suited to lighter shades, but again, this is one of those makeup rules that is meant to be broken. Next time you are shopping for a new shade, try out a red for size and see just how it makes you feel!
Makeup causes spots
This one is more of a myth than a fact due to the fact that it isn’t just makeup that can contribute to break outs on and underneath the skin. It is a misleading thing to believe as there are so many contributors to the reason for spots or blemishes. Pores produce sebum naturally and when pores are blocked, this process doesn’t stop. It just means that the sebum has no way to escape and can cause inflammation under the skin. If you wear makeup all day and forget to take it off at night, then your skin isn’t getting the cleansing it needs to clear your pores. So, makeup on its own shouldn’t be a factor in break outs.
If you have recently changed your makeup and start to see sudden break outs in the skin on your face, then this could be an indicator that your skin is not happy with some or all of the new ingredients and it will cause a reaction. Testing makeup like foundations and concealers before fully applying is always wise if you have recently switched it up.
Another thing that can cause a break out of bad skin can be your brushes. They sit there in your makeup case silently each day collecting bacteria and build up of old skin and makeup that are just waiting for you to brush them all over your face. Always wash your brushes and invest in good brushes that you can wash. If you don’t you will find your skin does not react well and spots may appear. If you have just bought some new makeup, it wouldn’t be a good way to waste your new product by finding out the hard way!
So there you have it. Ten myths debunked. Remember the Dos and Don’ts regarding style is all subjective and you should always work with whatever is best for you. But when it comes to your skin, eyebrow and eyelash health, keeping things clean and protected can go a long way to ensuring you have a great base to work from for years to come. Now we have looked into the myths, lets just check out our list of things you should do or things that can benefit you.
- Do protect your skin from the sun. Keep it moisturised, clean and covered in direct sunlight and you can still get a nice glowing tan without going all the way to wrinkle-ville.
- Do wash your makeup brushes. As mentioned above, these can be the responsible culprits for harbouring harmful bacteria that can cause breakouts or infections in your skin. Keep them clean and make sure they are going onto clean skin and you will be onto a winner.
- Do have fun with your makeup. There is a time and place for everything, but you should not be confined to rules that say you should or shouldn’t wear certain colours or styles. Experimenting can be the best part as that is where you find out what works for you. Also bright colours can really bring out your confidence so go wild and get your colour palette out!
- Don’t wait until it’s too late to start thinking about wrinkles. Waiting until the wrinkles are there won’t make any anti-wrinkle cream more effective, and in fact, keeping your water intake, diet habits in check and skin care routine in shape quiet early on, will help your skin for years to come.
- Do invest in good moisturisers and serums that do what you need them to do. If you find that your eyebrows have started to look sparse due to years of plucking or waxing, you could look into an eyebrow growth serum that can help repair follicles faster, recover your skin and help your eyebrows grow back thicker than they have recently. Sometimes we rely so heavily on make up to cover up patches of sparse hair regrowth that we forget there are remedies out there that can help for real.
Overall the best thing you can do for you is to follow your own rules and have fun with your look. Everyone has a style and a preference when it comes to makeup, but sometimes it can be so beneficial to change things up and see just what you are capable of. Maybe you can discover some myths to bust for yourself!