Just as a music producer would be expected to have a back catalogue of all the most influencial artists of our time, and you would make the assumption that a fitness instructor would follow his own regime of healthy living, as beauty bloggers we’re often elevated as individuals with a flawless self-care routine. But the truth is we’re only human; most of us have the same naughty habits as you do and frequently become disappointed in ourselves on your behalf, the only difference being we know what we’re doing wrong and are often too ashamed to admit it publicly! So many times I look at my messy dressing table with a feeling of doom, or skip over a step because I’m in a rush, and wonder if I’m a bit of a fraud – but this site is all about providing advice, insight and support for you to use at your will, rather than preaching about what’s right or wrong. So here are ten things I’m guilty of doing (or not doing) in the interests of transparency. Don’t judge me.
1. NOT CLEANING MY MAKEUP BRUSHES
I know, I know. It’s rule number one in my book to keep your brushes clean and your tools performing perfectly, but sometimes weeks can go by with me thinking “I really should do a deep clean of those” before getting around to it. I’ve been known to just start using new brushes rather than clean the dirty ones (the benefit of having product samples arrive on your doorstep daily!) or have quickly washed my foundation brush rather than spending an hour cleaning the whole lot. I deplore using dirty tools and the performance they offer is so horrendous that I should know better, but the truth is I’m often so short of time that it slips my mind until I do it on impulse – probably at 10pm on a Sunday evening when I should be in bed. (If you need some top tips on how to clean your brushes effectively, check out this post.)
2. USING A FACE WIPE WHEN I’M KNACKERED
Honestly, I hate face wipes with a passion. I’ve written frequently about why face wipes aren’t the cleansing solution many think they are, but truth be told I always have a stash of them underneath my dresser for emergencies (and mainly cleaning up makeup spills.) Although cleansing with a proper oil or balm only takes a few minutes and very little effort, when you’re so tired you can’t even manage a walk to the bathroom then a face wipe is better than nothing. Sure I pay for it a few days later with an almighty pimple, but realistically about once a month I rely on a little saturated cloth to see me through.
3. FORGETTING TO EXFOLIATE MY LIMBS
Scrubbing away my sins is a great cathartic way to start my day, as well as being a great way to keep skin looking and feeling super healthy. (Read all about my current favourite scrubs and the benefit exfoliation can bring here.) Once I’m into a routine I tend to get out the exfoliator once or twice a week and buff away dead and dull skin, but often I’ll completely forget and wonder why my limbs have seen better days. On mornings when I really need to jump in and out of the shower with barely enough time to condition my hair, exfoliating takes a back seat – which is really rather naughty when I know how important it is for keeping legs and arms smooth, healthy looking and prepped for moisturiser. Note to self: must do better.
4. FAKE TANNING REALLY BADLY
We all know that we should be exfoliating (see point above) and prepping our skin before we apply any fake tan, as well as understanding the key to success is all in the application technique, but it’s oh so easy to go wrong. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stepped out with streaky, orange or forgot-the-hands tan – even though I’ve written about the best ways to apply numerous times. (Want to know ten top tips for applying the perfect tan? Click here!) Sometimes it’s a dodgy formula or an old mitt, but other times it’s because I was watching Eastenders and not paying proper attention to the task in hand. What’s even worse is when I apply my tan perfectly, only to sweat around my feet on a hot summers day and end up with a sandal imprint where it’s worn away. Total tan fail.
5. NOT USING CUTICLE OIL
One of the best tips I’ve ever been given by a nail technician is to apply a good quality cuticle oil around the nails three times a day. Not only does it help condition skin and keep the nail bed looking healthy, but it aids growth of the nail itself. When I remember to do this it’s all hunky dory, but I can go weeks between applying it and only have myself to blame when my hands look horrific. Right now the skin around my nails is flaking and damaged, while my actual talons are splitting and peeling like it’s going out of fashion. I know a little cuticle oil is all I need to rectify the issue, but I seem to like making things much harder for myself than they actually need to be.
6. AVOIDING WASHING MY HAIR FOR ANOTHER DAY
What did we do before dry shampoo? I remember when I used to wash my hair daily and wonder why I was always running late, but now I work from home I honestly try to get the most out of each and every hair wash – mainly because there’s little point in spending an age tousling my hair for only my boyfriend to see me. I’ve become far too reliant on a messy ‘do and a can of dry shampoo, but if it saves me time and prevents the need for even more electrical damage then I’m in. (Want to know why you’ve probably been using dry shampoo wrong all this time? Check my post out here.)
7. PAINTING OVER NAIL POLISH CHIPS
Possibly the most embarrassing of all these confessions, but probably the one most of you do too right? Although I’ve made it my life’s mission to find the most hard-wearing and long lasting nail polish, it’s inevitable when I have to be somewhere or look the part that my polish chips. There’s nothing that makes me feel more unkempt than dodgy polish, but the effort required to remove it all and start again is sometimes just too much; filling in the chips and topping up with a thin coat over the top has those talons looking as good as new – until the next chip at least.
8. SKIPPING STEPS IN MY SKINCARE ROUTINE
I’m all in favour of an expansive routine that keeps the wrinkles and imperfections at bay, so much so that I’ve been known to undertake about eight individual steps in one morning alone. However, those essences and oils that I profess to love so much? Yep, they don’t come out every day; sometimes not even every week. I stick to an eye cream-serum-moisturiser-spf regime religiously, but anything else sometimes just means additional minutes that I just don’t have. I do love an essence, a lotion or an oil, but realistically none of us have the time every morning to give ourselves a spa-like pamper.
9. FUDGING UP MY WINGED EYELINER DAILY
I’m not embarrassed to admit it took me thirty years to actually learn how to create a winged liner look, but I am slightly embarrassed to admit sometimes I just can’t get both eyes even. One starts off looking so perfect, only for the other to look a bit wonky; when I go to even them up I end up making the whole situation worse, leaving one eye looking like an Avril Lavigne impersonator rather than the Alexa Chung look I was trying to achieve. Someone needs to invent a way of creating effortless and (more importantly) even cat flicks every single time. It’s a billion dollar business model.
10. FORGETTING TO USE HEAT PROTECTION SPRAY
With all the intense heat we use to style our hair on a daily basis, it really is important that we use a heat protection spray to prevent breakage and excess damage. Regardless of the fact I’ve been preaching this since my very first job over at Paul Mitchell ten years ago, it’s still the one thing I forget to use 99% of the time. I automatically dry and style before remembering to put product in, which by that stage is rendered completely useless. Opting for gentler tools and those that feature technology to protect from within is my personal preference, mainly because I always ruddy forget to spritz in some protection. I really need to sort that out.
What other beauty mishaps or secret naughty habits do you have and make?
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