LEIGH CAMPBELL: After 15 years as a beauty editor, these are the 6 beauty rules I live by.


Like Andrea Bocelli said, it’s time to say goodbye.

This past week was my last at Mamamia as I prepare to birth and raise a very small person.

When I return, I’ll be (hopefully) bringing with me all new beauty tips and routine shortcuts as I navigate my way from having 15 uninterrupted minutes to do my makeup, to having 180 seconds to complete my entire beauty routine while bouncing a baby rocker with my left foot.

But before I go, I wanted to leave you with the beauty ‘rules’ I live by.

Side note – want to learn how to contour with zero effort? Check out this easy as contouring tutorial below, post continues after video.

Video by MMC

After more than 15 years working as a beauty editor and journalist, I’ve spoken to hundreds of experts and rubbed thousands of lotions and creams on the backs of my hands.

I’ve whittled my beauty rules down just six things I always find to be true (for me), year after year.

Regardless of life stage, these are the timeless tips I’ve seen really pay off.


1. Life will be a lot easier when you stop fighting your hair’s natural texture.

Curly girls want straight hair and straight-haired women spend ages putting waves in their hair every day.

Why do we all want what we don’t have?

Calling on a great hairstylist to give you a suitable cut and teach you how to best work with your hair’s natural texture will free you of time and angst. Life is too short to dread washing and styling your hair.

2. Your natural hair colour really suits you.

It’s true… the universe specifically made you with that colour skin, those colour eyes, and your natural hair for a reason.

Peroxide blonde or ink-bottle black might look striking, but straying too far from your natural colour will mean a huge amount of money and time in upkeep, and you’ll likely need to wear a lot more makeup to blend it all together.

Stay within three to four shades of your natural hair colour and it’s guaranteed to suit you.

"This will be my look for the next little while while on mat leave. Air-dried hair, a tinted moisturiser and a lick of mascara. Easy and quick." Image: Supplied/Leigh Campbell.

3. Always prioritise your skin.

Having a wardrobe of cult foundations like Fenty and Huda Beauty is all well and good, but not looking after the skin you’re applying it to will mean that pricey slap just looks, well... crap.

Caring for your complexion with a good skin routine (one you can realistically afford and will be bothered to do everyday) will mean your makeup on top will look so much better.

I’d much prefer good skin that only needs a lick of $15 BB cream on top.

4. Decide if you’re a nail person and live by that choice.

I used to get a manicure, or paint my nails DIY, but a few days later they’d inevitably chip. Or, I’d get Shellac but by the time I could squeeze in the next appointment half of them would have peeled off (or maybe I picked them off… shhhh).

Manicures only make you look polished if they’re neat and flawless - if they’re chipped and streaky they give the opposite message. Living by those rules, a few years ago I conceded I’m just not a manicure person, so instead I wear my nails short, bare and buffed.


We unpacked every type of salon manicure and which one is 'best' on this episode of You Beauty below. Post continues after audio.

5. Fake tan properly or don’t fake tan at all.

See above guidelines for nice looking nails and apply it to spray and fake tans.

Do it flawlessly or just don’t do it. For this reason, I’m definitely a gradual tan kinda girl - so much more forgiving.

6. Trends are great... in the pages of magazines.

I spent the good part of a decade writing about beauty trends for a glossy magazine.

At the end of it, I knew this to be true: trends are wonderful sources of inspiration. However, they should not make women feel intimidated, or confused, or uncool if they don’t partake.

Trends come and go, but you know your skin, you know what works for your hair and you know damn well you’ll probably look like you've got conjunctivitis if you attempt hot pink smokey eye.

So you do you - try trends if they appeal to you but otherwise just rock what makes you feel good.

Do you have a beauty rule you live by? Tell us in the comments!

You can also catch up on every glorious episode of the You Beauty podcast right here.

Want more honest, helpful beauty content? Read more below: