As a youngster, my mother was my make-up guru, what she said was as good as law as far as I was concerned, however some of her methods were and still are a little bizarre - "foundation is like paint, you need two coats for an even coverage". Thankfully YouTube has all but taken the place of the seemingly well meaning but perhaps bizarre methods of a relative; with tutorials for just about every beauty query you may have or skill you may want to master and more. Now that I am in my 20's, I like to think that along the way I have gleamed a little beauty knowledge over the years and without a YouTube channel (I'm working on it, bear with me) to share, I thought I'd kick it old school and share the grooming tips that have yet to let me down...
1, If it smells or feels different let it go - I fully understand that a, make-up doesn't come cheap and b, sometimes we unintentionally become more attached to a limited edition product than we are willing to admit. I get it, I truly do, but take it from someone who has had an allergic reaction from a questionably aged blush (damn you MAC Ripe Peach and your sexy, apricot allure), it just isn't worth the risk. If any product you own: cream, liquid, powder or otherwise, begins to change in scent or texture it is time to part ways; this couldn't be more important in regards to eye products, please, please remain vigilant in regards to mascara expiry dates - anything older than 6 months or dried out has to go. I know it might sound odd but if you do keep a daily diary, create a quick and simple key code for whenever you crack open a new tube of mascara and never will you doubt yourself again.
2, If it makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, again let it go - this works two ways: one physical discomfort and two a lack of confidence when wearing said product. The old adage "it is only make-up" rings true in both instances; if you feel a burning, itchy, painful or general unpleasant and not typical symptom, when applying your make-up (or skincare), it is a warning sign that all is not well and that something is irritating your skin. Quickly remove all traces of product and if necessary seek medical advice - your skin will thank you in the long run. I also say if a product makes you doubt yourself in any way, then don't just remove it but chuck it out or pass it on; life is too short for lipsticks that make you self conscious about the shade of your teeth, or highlighters that make you question if it is indeed pores not paddling pools you have scattered across your face. Girl, bye.
3, Setting powder is your secret weapon - as a teen, I never as much as looked at setting powder and yet grumbled about the lack of make-up present on my oily face, come the ring of the lunch bell. I have since discovered that not only is setting powder often the secret to make-up longevity but the right one will also sop up excess oil, and in some instances even blur imperfections - heck some will even illuminate your overall complexion, if you ask nicely enough. My only rule of thumb is: loose powder is not your friend when travelling: be that on a flight or the bus to work, one leak, crack or spill and you'll be sweeping translucent powder out of your handbag/suitcase for the entirety of this lifetime and the next. Pressed powder travels a little better - I'm not promising that it won't one day smash but for on-the-go applications, it is less tedious to apply.
4, Concealer a close second - everyone raves about the prowess of foundation but really the star of any make-up bag is concealer. Yes it will cover blemishes, dark circles and anything else you would like to mask for lack of a better term but did you know that if used sparingly - and with a sponge of some of calibre - most concealers can be used in place of a high coverage foundation. You can also use concealer in place of eyeshadow primer and of course to highlight.
5, Natural light is your best friend - this goes for both make-up application and testing/swatching products in-store. Bright, artificial light will bleach the colour and finish of products meaning you may apply foundation that is several shades too dark or simply slap on more make-up than you ever intended. If trying out a product in-store, don't be too shy nor proud to step outside and check the shade/finish in natural light - you'll thank yourself in the long run, when you don't own six bottles of unusable, too deep foundation. When at home, look for the room with the most natural light, grab your mirror and kit and set up camp - sure the rest of your household may not appreciate your methods but sometimes you need to think outside the box and blend. Always blend.
What is the one beauty tip you wish someone had enlightened you with before you set out on your own make-up discovery quest?