With my 21st birthday right around the corner, I’ve been doing some reflecting on my teenage years and how much I’ve grown mentally, socially, and physically (thank god) since then. I dug out some ancient notes I used to exchange with my friends during passing periods in high school, and they were mostly about boys, social gatherings, rumors, and my high school insecurities — suffice it to say, I began thinking of advice to my teenage self; that is to say, all the advice I'd bestow upon younger me with the wisdom of age.
My high school days are still fresh in my mind, since it was only six years ago that I was 17 and a member of a graduating class consisting of roughly 1,500 kids. I thought watching Clueless prepared me for high school, but my school was nothing like the film. Coming from a huge high school, fitting in and being popular wasn’t really a huge concern for me because if someone didn’t like me, there were 1,499 other kids I could become friends with.
For me, the major problems stemmed from an insecurity issue: I didn’t really have a grasp on who I was and it felt safe to blend in and do what everyone else was doing. Looking back now, I wish I was more daring to color outside of the lines and just do my own thing without worrying what everyone else thought of me.
So I reached out to some of my girlfriends and asked them for genuine beauty advice they would give to their 17-year-old selves. They were more than excited to help out, and here is what they had to say:
1. Don't Follow A Trend
"Don’t always follow a trend, make it your own and make sure to wear what is actually comfortable and right for your body type. You’ll feel less self-conscious and sexier. Deliberately clashing is better than coordinating and being boring. Style is about having no fear of standing out and not blending in. While it might be safer to blend-in in high school, in the real world it's all about being original."
2. Be Careful With Your Brows
"Eyebrows frame the windows to your soul so invest time into learning how to shape and maintain them. Perfecting your brows for your face and eye shape takes a lot of trial and error — it takes while for over plucked eyebrows to grow back. Start early and groom them, your early twenties' self will thank you later."
3. Take Care Of Your Jeans
"It's such a shame to see your favorite jeans that hug you in all your favorite spots wear down from age so turn your jeans inside out in the wash so they don’t wear down as much. This will make your jeans last longer and the color won't fade as fast. I also like to hang my jeggings so that the dryer doesn't make them stretch out in weird places."
4. Let Your Nails Breathe
"Just like any other part of your body, you have to let your nails breath! Constantly having polish on your nails will make them brittle and fragile. Let your nails rest without nail polish for a few days. There are plenty of ways to rock naked nails! Side note: Make sure to give your cuticles some loving. Just dab castor oil on your cuticles, super easy!"
5. Take Care Of Your Skin
"Invest in a quality skincare line to combat acne. It may not seem like a big deal when you're 17 with flawless skin but it won't last forever (or maybe you're blessed with amazing skin, and it will last forever). Eventually hormones and stress from college will get to you so make sure to moisturize even though you may not think you need it."
6. Always Wash Off Your Makeup
"Remember to wash morning and night, and never, never, never leave your makeup on overnight. Having clean skin for bedtime is crucial so your pores don't become clogged and you don't wake up to surprise acne."
7. Don't Forget Sunscreen
"Always wear sunscreen! You may like the warm, bronze skin you obtain from tanning but later down the road it'll cause sun spots, wrinkles, and discoloration. Not to mention sunscreen also helps in preventing cancer, but I hope you already new that."
8. Beware Of Bronzer
"Use a light hand when applying bronzer and make sure your neck is the same color as your face afterwards. Nothing is worse when you have a perfect face of makeup on and it doesn't match your neck, especially worse when someone points it out to you. Avoid this blunder and blend, blend, blend! Also go to a makeup store and have a professional choose your foundation and concealer shade, it's free and super helpful!"
9. Invest In Clothing You Really Love
"Start transforming your wardrobe for college, but think forward: Don't just buy clothes because they're trending; most likely the trend will be over before you even get a chance to rock it. Buy something that you can see yourself wearing two years later, or maybe even one day for a college party."
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