So often we think of beauty as an exact set of instructions that you have to follow down to the tiniest detail, so you can get the EXACT outcome you've seen on celeb A or fashion show B. While this can be true — we love all forms of inspiration, and often what separates great makeup or perfect skin are tiny but meaningful tweaks to what you're already doing — beauty should also be about personal experimentation, whether it's throwing makeup colors together and seeing what works on you or trying a new skincare routine and coming out glowing.
Which is why I'm not a fan of rules. If it looks good on you — do it! If you're in an experimental mood, go crazy with it. Here are the top ten rules I hear ALL THE TIME, and am putting to rest, once and for all....
1. A Bold Eye Or Lip Should Be Worn Separately, Never Together
Rubbish! There’s a time and a place for playing up both your eyes and a bright smile. Just work with complimentary colors and make sure the look is balanced out — don’t let one element be screaming for attention over the other.
2. Lip Liner Is For The Olds
Without you even realizing it, lip liner became the most multi-functional product in your makeup bag. Gone are the days of just tracing a ring around your lips and praying the line wasn’t noticeable. Today the pros use lip liner to completely fill in the entire surface of the lip before applying lipstick, guaranteeing a better hold all round.
Another great tip is to apply the liner again over the top of your lipstick sheen, to mattify the color and seal it on so it lasts longer.
3. You Can’t Wear Lipstick Without Liner
On the flip side, some beauty fanatics swear up and down that you can’t leave the house without lip liner. The horror! This is just not true. If you're not in the mood, pass on the under-liner. If you want an extra muted, natural look, tap your lipstick onto your lips using your fingers, Thandie Newton style.
4. Always Cleanse Your Face Until It’s Squeaky Clean
Wrong. That "squeaky" feeling happens when you’ve over cleansed and stripped away all the natural oils from your face, leaving your skin open to irritation. Aim to be "slippery clean." Any more scrubbed and scoured than that, and you may need to switch to a gentler (milk, cream or gel based) cleanser.
5. Never match Your Outfit To Your Makeup
Throw the rulebook out and take notes from Lupita Nyong’o — this look she wore at the LoveGold's pre-Oscar party in her honor is perfect. She’s also rocking the aforementioned bold eye’n’lip combo. See? The rules were made to be broken.
6. Brush your hair 100 times before bed
Marcia Brady types, it's time for some real talk. Your hair isn't going to grow back thicker, healthier or shinier if you brush the magical 100 strokes before sleep. While it’s true that brushing daily helps to distribute your hair’s natural oils, it’s not necessary to brush that many times. According to renowned trichologist Phillip Kingsley, this just leads to split end damage and breakage.
7. Blondes Need To Match Their Eyebrows To Their Hair
Not anymore. As Cara Delevingne demonstrates, It’s way cooler to have slightly darker (or lighter) brows than your hair color, which keeps your look natural. It'd be a challenge to bleach or lighten your eyebrows to your exact hair color match, and the regrowth (yep, dark roots coming back through) wouldn't look great.
8. You should have one concealer for your whole face
Think again — you actually need two concealers: one lighter formula with brightening abilities that will reflect light away from your dark circles and a heavier full coverage concealer that will hide blemishes.
9. Redheads can’t wear red lips
This is one of the oldest rules in the book, and thankfully, redhead celebs are doing a fantastic job disputing it. The rule is probably a response to the fact that ginger-haired girls usually have fairer, porcelain skin tones, which some red lipsticks can wash out. Cooler toned, blue-based lipsticks work best for this skin tone, as Jessica Chastain proves.
10. Only wear bright lipstick colors in Spring and Summer
Okay, so Camilla Belle lives in California, where winter doesn’t exist, but the premise still holds true. There are no rules anymore, so if you want to wear tangerine lipstick with your beanie and snow boots, you go for it. We’ll applaud you.