I'm back with an update, plus some (unusual) beauty tips!

Hey, lovelies! I’ve missed you.

So….my hiatus lasted a little longer than I planned. Life is like that. This year hasn’t gone quite as planned, either. But the good news is that life is good, I’m working at a new and fulfilling job, and I defend my thesis in just a few weeks! WHAT! (Better late than never, right?)

It’s been so long since I’ve really had time for my hobbies that my camera battery is fully dead, and I don’t even know where my charger is. Yeah. So while I wait for a replacement from Amazon, we’ll need to be cool with bad iPhone photos that I take in the after-work darkness. Hence the Snapchat filter in the photo above—I can only dream of my makeup and skin situation being that good after a day at the office! No one wants to see the aftermath.

I’ve been working on some ideas for blog posts, and this is one I’ve been thinking about for awhile—I’m hoping to move beyond the typical ho-hum product reviews. Everyone does those. And does ANYONE really need a new eyeshadow palette? I know I’ve reached critical mass—that is, if I buy any more, they officially won’t fit in my eyeshadow palette drawer. Yes, I have a whole drawer just for palettes…

But I digress. I want to write the kinds of posts that my girlfriends want to read. Not just “You need to buy this.” More of “Here’s how to make makeup WORK for you.”

Tonight, I’m sharing five unusual beauty tips I’ve learned (mostly) through trial and error.

1) Don’t overcleanse.

Struggling with “problem” skin, including breakouts? If you’re over 30, RUN from most of the acne-fighting skincare products at the drugstore. Most are designed for adolescent acne, which is not the same as adult acne. (Side note: Avène has a good line for adult acne.) Our skin is more delicate, more sensitive, and thinner than teenaged or 20-something skin, so using harsh, acne-fighting products all over your face can make things worse. Stripping your skin of its oils and natural goodness will actually send your oil glands into overdrive. If you must treat a spot, treat just the spot—and be as gentle as you can. Additionally, think of an extracted spot like an open wound. It needs TLC—not another layer of benzoyl peroxide.

Not sure whether you’re overcleansing? Pay attention to how your skin feels after you wash and before you moisturize. Is it really tight and uncomfortable? Chances are you could do with a gentler cleanser. Ditch the foam and try a cleansing milk, or even micellar water. I strongly recommend Bioderma Senisbio. I can’t even tell you how many bottles of this I’ve gone through. It’s a bit pricey, but you can get it at Shoppers Drug Mart—so Canadians, use your Optimum points!

2) Getting oily by mid-day? Moisturize and hydrate. Really.

If your makeup looks greasy by mid-day, it might not be your makeup, or that you’re “just oily.” It might be your skincare. As I wrote above, if your skin does’t get the moisture or hydration it needs, it will freak out and start producing more oil. (And just when you figure out a skincare routine that works, the seasons will change and your skin will annoy you again.) You may need a heavier moisturizer—especially in the winter. Bottom line, if you get oily, don’t just cake on the powder. Consider the source. If you’re really not sure, get a facial—a pro can tell you more about what your skin might need.

3) Go easy on the dry shampoo.

This is less a beauty tip than a sanity tip. I know dry shampoo is a modern miracle, up there with running hot water and delivery pizza. I make good use of it, washing my hair less frequently than I actually should. (Who has watched and identified with this clip by Baroness Von Sketch?) But you guys…I’ve gone overboard. And it’s not nice. It itches. It flakes. It leads to gross buildup. And it smells…musty. Do your scalp and the people you love a favour and wash your hair at least twice a week. For the days you do need dry shampoo…remember you don’t need to spend $30. I suggest Batiste. A final word to the wise: If you use the dark brown stuff, for the love of all that is good, SHAKE the bottle per the directions before you spray. Don’t be like me and get smeary brown fingerprints on your forehead.

4) Try double-removing your mascara.

Frustrated that your eye makeup remover doesn’t remove every trace of gunk? It doesn’t have to—at least not if you use a residue-free, rinse-free remover like my beloved Bioderma (linked above). Remove almost all of your eye makeup with your eye makeup remover and a cotton pad or two. Then wash your face with cleanser and water, making sure to splash/gently rub some on your closed eyes as you’re comfortable. That will remove a lot of what remains. Then, after washing your face, go back in with another cotton pad and some Bioderma. That will remove 95 per cent of what remains, and you won’t need to scrub and risk irritating your eyes or losing an eyelash. Full disclosure: Bioderma is no good for waterproof mascara. Just be aware.

5) Want a sheer, stained look on the lips? Apply your lipstick over your balm.

I’ve been doing this one since high school, when I thought lipstick made me look like a clown. I don’t remember what made me try this, but I would apply a layer or balm, and rub a bit of lipstick over top. The colour mixes with the balm and sheers it out. No need to spend $40 on a separate, sheer lipstick when you want a more casual look.

That’s it for today’s wisdom! Did you know any of these? Have you tried them? What are some of your tried-and-true beauty tips that no one else in the beauty community seems to talk about? Let me know in the comments—and also let me know if there’s other content you’d like to see here.

Good to see you all again, lovelies! Cheers.