I’m 29 years old, and I’m still figuring out that I’ve been doing what I thought were basic beauty routines all wrong.
I remember the day that I first learned that the wavy side of a bobby pin actually had a purpose. (That bumpy texture is meant to grip your hair! Always use them wavy side down for a better, more secure hold. #TheMoreYouKnow.) Same with understanding how the right base coat makes a difference for manicures. Mind. Blown.
Despite the fact that I’ve technically been a grown-up lady for nearly a decade, I’m still finding out that I have a lot of misconceptions when it comes to the best ways to do beauty.
So, if you’re anything like me, this post is for you. Here are five beauty things that we’ve been doing all wrong.
1. Using Dry Shampoo in the Morning
I was guilty of this for years until a stylist friend clued me in.
As it turns out, the trick to making dry shampoo work for you is to spray it on your roots at night BEFORE they get unbearably greasy. Letting the dry shampoo soak up excess scalp oil all night means that your hair will look fresher and fuller than if you just sprayed it on and immediately brushed it out in the morning (which I still do sometimes).
Bonus tip: Instead of using a brush or your fingers, use a soft T-shirt to gently massage the dry shampoo out of your roots. This is especially helpful if you have curly hair.
2. Applying Body Oil to Dry Skin
Whether you love or hate body oils, you should absolutely try applying them to soaking-wet skin in the shower.
Before I learned that I was using body oils all wrong, I hated how greasy and slippery my skin felt. Yes, my skin was more moisturized, but the oil just wouldn’t sink in, so it didn’t feel worth the hassle.
Then I discovered in-shower moisturizers, and I decided to take a risk and use straight-up oil in the shower instead. It. Was. Perfect. Not only does the oil completely seal in all that nice shower hydration, but applying oil to wet skin helps it sink in so much more quickly!
I love using baby oil gel or just plain castor oil for the best results.
3. Towel-Drying Wet Hair
I can’t even remember the last time a cotton towel touched my hair, and that’s a good thing. Whether you have thick, fine, curly, or straight hair, towel-drying should be a last resort.
Regular bath towels are too rough for our hair cuticles, which means that they can cause frizz and damage. Switch to gently blotting your hair with a soft, absorbent T-shirt or microfiber towel for healthier, happier hair.
4. Putting Primer on Bare Skin
I stumbled across this trick a few years ago, and a variation of it has recently gone viral on TikTok. Instead of putting on primer, then concealer, and then foundation, you apply a few steps before the primer.
This change-up might not be for everyone, but it’s worth trying at least once! My skin tends to be somewhat oily, and I have very noticeable pores from many years of battling acne with terribly harsh products as a teen. This makes wearing base makeup tricky, because even the best pore-blurring primers don’t help my skin look smooth.
The primer trick works like this. Start with moisturized skin, and apply a light layer of powder. Set this powder with setting spray (or don’t! I’ve done it both ways, and it still works), and THEN apply your primer. These extra steps allow the powder to fill in some of those noticeable pores and give the primer a smoother surface to adhere to (instead of highlighting the huge pores you’re trying to hide).
You can think of it as a primer for your primer. The rest of your base makeup can go right on top of this, and you’ll get blurred pores and more mattified skin throughout the day.
5. Spritzing Perfume in a Cloud
Growing up, I thought that fancy ladies just enveloped themselves in a cloud of perfume right before walking out the door. Why? I really don’t know. Movies, probably.
Needless to say, that’s probably the least effective way to get that expensive perfume you love to last all day.
Instead of spraying indiscriminately or spritzing the air and walking through it, try applying a dab of Vaseline to your pulse points and then spraying the perfume directly onto those places. This gives the fragrance something occlusive and long-lasting to cling to, and you’ll get lovely wafts of scent far longer this way.
What Other Beauty Things Are We Doing All Wrong?
Do you have any other tips for better ways to do beauty routines? I’m always looking for new tricks to add to my arsenal, so share your favorites with me in the comments!