It took me many years of my adult life – and many experiments with coloured eyeshadow – to realise that the makeup gene isn’t something you’re born with, it’s something you learn.
And you don’t need to go far to find brilliant teachers: your mum, your gran, your friends, or the amazing woman who manages to ride the bus and apply eyeliner (we bow down to your greatness).
Every one of us has a lesson that we’ve learned the hard way, the messy way, or the over-blushed way, such as: do not apply false-eyelash glue after wine.
So here’s a list of some more best-ever beauty discoveries from me and the beauty geniuses in my life – and some are game changers.
We’d love to hear yours, too.
1. Always wash your face at night
Even if you don’t wear make-up (but especially if you do). Your face still gets dirty. Doing this helped to clear the acne problems one of my friends was having.
2. Do your make-up in an area with even, natural light around you
Sunlight is best. I’d been wearing the wrong shade of foundation for years until a friend came round and told me how terrible the lighting I was using was.
3. Don’t agonise over trying to make your face look 19 again
My mum always told me that these women who ages best are those who accept ageing, and own it. I try to love the lines around my eyes because I get them from smiling a lot.
4. Spray hair extensions or hair pieces with dry shampoo
Removable pieces will blend in more naturally with the tone and texture of your own hair if you spray them first.
5. Blend eyeshadow
Oh my god, it makes a world of difference. Any brush that's fluffier than your normal basic shadow brush should do the trick. Move it from side-to-side in wiggly motions between colours to make the lines less harsh, then use stiffer small circles to blend out the edges into the skin around your eyes. It makes an eye look seem a lot more finished.
6. You don’t need to spend hours tweezing your eyebrows
If they aren't symmetrical naturally, don’t put lots of effort into making them perfectly even. This is what's known as 'character'!
7. Make a fish face when applying blusher
When I was at school, my dance teacher taught me this trick. No more clown cheeks.