beauty

If you’ve had the same beauty routine since you were 16, you need to read this.

If you came of age in the ’80s or ’90s, there are a few things you’ll know to be true: Spiral perms are never a good idea, scrunchies will never be anything more than a fad, and Cher’s sheer leotard in If I Could Turn Back Time is one memory you can never erase.

You’ve been around long enough to experiment with makeup – a.k.a blue eye shadow in high school – but you keep coming back to the same skincare and beauty products you grew up using.

So what if your beauty routine hasn’t moved on since Scott and Charlene were a thing? Well, nothing, except there are a few things you could be doing that are prematurely ageing your skin. But these six tweaks to your beauty routine will make a huge difference to your skin’s overall health and appearance.

Start: Wearing sunscreen every day.

These days it’s rare to see a kid on the beach who isn’t coated head to toe in 50+ sunscreen AND wearing a full body rashie. But for you and I, beach days used to mean coming home with an entirely new layer of skin, after peeling the top few ones off. You can’t physically turn back time (last Cher reference, I promise) but you can help make up for it by applying sunscreen daily.

To get the best sun protection, the Cancer Council recommends applying sunscreen after cleansing your skin and before makeup. The easiest way to incorporate SPF into your daily beauty routine is to use a moisturiser or primer with sunscreen.

"To get the best sun protection, the Skin Cancer Council recommends applying sunscreen after cleansing your skin and before makeup."

Stop: Using harsh facial cleansers.

Many cleansers- especially soaps, foaming lotions and exfoliating washes- are drying and damaging to the skin barrier. Dullness, dryness, irritation and flakiness are all symptomatic of dehydrated and damaged skin, which contributes to premature ageing. If you’re still using the cleanser you used on your pimply teenage skin, you should make the switch to a gentle, non-soap cleanser like Dove Bar, which contains ¼ moisturising cream.

Start: Using Retinol.

Yes, everything you’ve ever heard about Retinol is true. The use of Retinol (Vitamin A) in skincare can, over time, increase collagen production and prevent wrinkles. It’s also extremely effective in treating sun-damaged skin when used in conjunction with an exfoliant that contains Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs).

In short, Retinol is a game-changer. Start using it now, and if you want to up the ante, a Retinoid cream, a more potent form of Retinol, can be obtained with a doctor’s prescription.

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"In short, Retinol is a game-changer. Start using it now."

Stop: Lining your inner rim.

As a beauty editor I don’t like to be prescriptive about makeup, but unless you’re Pat Benatar it’s best to avoid thickly lining your inner rim and bottom lash line.

When you apply too much liner underneath the eye, it makes you look older, narrows the eyes, and drags your entire eye downwards. Ditch it from your day-to-day beauty routine and save it for when you try a smoky eye shadow look on special occasions.

Start: Experimenting with makeup.

If the last time you bought new makeup was from an Avon catalogue circa 1997, stop, collaborate and listen. Heavy-handed eyeliner aside, there’s no makeup that’s off limits as you get older, you just have to know how to apply it correctly. Don’t be afraid to try new colours - a bold pop of colour on the lips can take ten years off your face. So now’s the time to use that red lipstick you’ve been carrying around forever.

If you have no idea where to start and want to avoid visiting the makeup counter, most well-known beauty brands now have a YouTube channel filled with how-to videos. Go forth and Google.

"If you have no idea where to start and want to avoid visiting the makeup counter, most well-known beauty brands now have a YouTube channel filled with how-to videos. Go forth and Google."

Start: Investing in makeup brushes.

So many women I know wonder how they’ve gotten to a certain age without having ever learnt how to apply makeup properly. Ask any makeup artist and they’ll tell you the key is to blend, blend, blend, and blend again.

Blending is a skill you can’t do well if you’re solely using the eye shadow sponge applicators or tiny blush brushes that come with the product. Invest in four or more good quality brushes and you’ll be surprised at how much easier (and less damaging to your delicate eye area!) it is to apply makeup.

A good starting point is two eye shadow brushes: a crease brush and a flat shader brush, a cheek contour brush that you can use for depositing blush and a lip brush. But if you couldn’t pick those products out of a lineup, ask a professional at your nearest makeup counter.

How do you care for your skin?

Here are a few other top tips for skincare:

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