'I'm a beauty editor. Here are the 9 most surprising beauty tips I've learnt over the years.'

When I first started out as a beauty writer, I wasn't a 'beauty gal'. I loved beauty, sure - but I had zero idea what I was doing. Didn't know where to put bronzer. What a concealer did. Why my skin felt tight and red after scrubbing it with apricot shells. It was all a bit confusing.

And then I found out that I was... right. It IS confusing. Even if you're someone who's really, really, obsessed with beauty. But you know what? It made walking through the maze that is the beauty world SO much more interesting.

I started to learn things! Try things! Try not great things!

Watch: While you're here, want to watch me use lube on my face as primer? Go on, treat yourself! Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

Over the years, I've learned a lot of useful information from the people that know best - from makeup artists to dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons.

Meaning? Like most other beauty editors in the game, I now have a big ol' sack of tips and tricks that I like to inject into my own personal beauty routine.

Wanna hear some of them? 

1. There's no magic cure for pimples. 

There isn't! Really. And sometimes you can make it a lot worse and end up with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation ¯\_ (ツ)_/¯  


Just ask my best friend, Molly. (Hey, Molly!). 

The other week she had a giant under-the-skin chin shiner and wanted to know how to get rid of it - quick. Now, this is one of the most common questions I get asked - and one of the hardest to answer. Because, while there are many products that can help lessen the appearance and angriness of spots - nothing is going to *completely* make it vanish overnight.

If you would've asked me a few weeks ago for one of the most effective treatments that anyone can use, I would've said a pimple patch. I swore by them.

This has... changed. Because as it turns out, they don't work for everyone.

Not ideal.


After recommending a specific brand of pimple patches that worked well for me, Molly used them on-and-off for three days - and ended up... burning her skin. The result? A cute red patch where her spot once hung out. (Relevant: She was also using vitamin C micellar water for cleansing, which may have aggravated it). 

Moral of the story: While some products work really well for minimising the appearance of spots, there's no magic cure - and what works for some skin types, might be too hectic for your skin.

Also, maybe... don't listen to me? IDK.

As much as it pains me to say it, sometimes it's better to let your spot do its thing.

2. You don't always need a separate day cream and night cream.

If your day cream doesn't have any active ingredients and can work at night - use it! But if you want something richer or with retinol, that's okay too!

There's no one correct answer, here - but it's worth knowing that you don't always have to spend money on two separate creams - a 'day' cream and a 'night' cream. It all just comes down to what ingredients are in them. 

Save that money, girl.


While you should obviously steer clear of using day creams with SPF and vitamin C at night, and night creams with retinol etc. during the day, if it's not packed with active ingredients - you can use it for both.

It sounds kind of wanky, but it's all about listening to your skin and figuring out what it needs. For example, some nights I'll slap on a thick balm or an overnight mask when my skin is feeling extra dry and angry.

Read more: Mia Freedman: My skin's the best it's ever been. Here are the changes I made to my routine in my 40s.

3. Using a setting spray between your layers of makeup is wonderful.

Spritzing a setting spray in between your 'layers' of makeup is the one makeup trick I rate for making everything look really seamless and natural and, y'know, 'your-skin-but-better'.

I'm a cream makeup product girl, and will spritz setting spray (I use a few different ones, but Morphe Continuous Setting Mist, $26, is great), after applying foundation, concealer, bronzer, blush, etc. 


In between layers, I gently bounce a beauty sponge over my face to make it all melt in. 

Try it! 

4. Face wipes won't cleanse your skin properly.

You guys, face wipes do a very bad job at cleansing your skin. Like, they're really not good at it. 

While they can be used as a last resort (had too many fun juices, etc.), they shouldn't be a replacement for a cleanser because it won't give your skin the cleanse it needs to stay healthy and happy.

Face wipes kind of just drag your makeup around your skin, pressing it into your pores. And if you're not removing makeup and SPF properly, you'll just build back on top of it the following day.

Still a die-hard face wipe fan? I wrote a whole article about it here.

5. The best way to get rid of dark circles is concealer.

Unless you're going down the cosmetic route, dark circles are SUPER tricky to get rid of with skincare. We know, it sucks. But it's true.

Sure, there are some powerhouse products out there that can help hydrate and brighten the area, but you're not going to get them to vanish completely. 

The one product that will do this? A concealer.

And there are tons of good ones on the market. My fave right now is this Bobbi Brown combo - the Skin Corrector Stick, $54 and the Skin Concealer Stick, $55.

Just while we're on the concealer thing: Make sure you apply it after your foundation - so it doesn't end up sliding around your face.


6. Always apply your serums to damp skin.

Your damp skin, to be exact. This is one of my favourite learnings, ever - and you'd probably know, because I remind you of it at least once a week. 

Applying serum to damp skin is a game-changer. Think of your beauty blender - it works better when it's damp, yeah? Same thing goes for your skin. If you apply all your products to damp skin, it's going to slurp up all the goodness so much more effectively than if it were dry.

I love and recommend Avene Thermal Spring Water, $25.99 and Go-To Prep Step, $29.

So, dampen that cute face pre- skincare application! It's an absolute mist. (Sorry).

7. If you have dry skin, ditch powder makeup.

I wish I could go back in time and tell myself that layering 20 kilos of powder on top of my liquid foundation isn't necessary, but - here we are.

If you have dry skin or you're 40 and beyond, you might find that cream products work way better for your skin than their powdery counterparts. And that's because they do! 

I'm not saying you have to completely skip powder formulas if you have a dry skin type (it's your face! You do you, etc.), but I think there's something in being a little more strategic about placement. I'd opt for something lightweight and only use it where you need additional coverage.

For old Flake Face over here (me. I'm old Flake Face), creamy makeup products have been game-changing - and I won't ever go back to powders.

8. Mascara is meant to enhance your eyes - not your lashes.

This is a trick I learnt when Mia Freedman interviewed legendary makeup artist Rae Morris. Instead of slapping on lashings of mascara willy-nilly, try thinking of mascara as a tool to enhance your eye shape - not change your eyelashes. 


For example, applying mascara just on your outer lashes will help created an elongated, wide-open effect. And you don't always have to apply mascara on your bottom and inner lashes. If you want to make your eyes appear more rounded - go for it! 

Otherwise, leave them bare and just stick with the outer lashes for a more wing-like effect.

9. If you're dealing with persistent skin issues, see an expert.

Do this! Please. If you're dealing with a niggling skin concern - see a dermatologist or medical skin expert. 

Because beauty editors aren't skin experts. I can tell you how things work and what products I really like, but what works for me, might not work for you (see pimple patch situation in point number one).

For anything like acne, rosacea, psoriasis, etc., a professional is your best bet for having your skin thoroughly assessed and finding the correct treatment for you.

Wanna hear more from Erin? Oh, nice! You can follow her on Instagram.

Do you have any beauty tips you'd like to add? Go on, share 'em with us! Pop them in the comment section below.

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