Friday, 29 December 2017

7 Beauty Lessons I Learnt in 2017

As we come to the end of the year, I wanted to share with you some discoveries I have made during 12 months of wearing makeup and being an active part of the online beauty community. 

1. MAKEUP FOR PHOTOS IS NOT THE SAME AS MAKEUP FOR REAL LIFE
I share a lot of beauty-related pictures on Instagram, and have learnt that makeup looks I am comfortable to wear in real life do not translate well into a photo. In order to show off a lipstick or blush colour, it needs to be applied a lot more heavily than I would normally. Lines need to be more defined and much sharper, otherwise it looks as if there is barely any product on my face. This has always been true for celebrity looks or stage and film makeup, but I have come to realise that even the casual, "spontaneous" photos we see everywhere of apparently relatable people are manufactured, filtered and staged. So don't compare yourself harshly with the glossy images on social media which promote themselves as unguarded, candid shots but are actually today's equivalent of film-star or magazine-edit looks. 

2. A LOT OF ONLINE RECOMMENDATIONS ARE ACTUALLY ADVERTISEMENTS
As I scroll through Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram, I see influencers recommending products which they describe in very flattering terms, only to read further and realise that they have not even opened the items let alone tested them out. Makeup and beauty brands send out a shocking amount of free products  to a shocking amount of people (which we pay for in the cost of these same products on the high street). I am lucky enough to even receive some items myself, but am careful to give honest reviews and to make it clear that I did not spend my own money on the products. It seems so clunky, obvious and boring to me when a brand sends out the same package to a huge list of people and my social media feed becomes an endless string of carbon-copy photos. It doesn't entice me to buy that product, but actually makes me rush past those posts in irritation.

3. YOU CAN FIND GREAT QUALITY MAKEUP AT CHEAP PRICES
Many favourite makeup items I have bought and used in 2017 have cost less than £3. Essence at Wilko has some fantastic quality products, particularly mascara, lipstick and blush. Lidl sells a lovely blush and bronzer for less than £2 each which are just as good for me as any other brand. One of my most-used mascaras this year was Natural Collection's which costs £1.99. Home Bargains also brought out an excellent range of makeup this year with the stand-out items being lip gloss and cheek colours costing 99p each. A lot of the money we spend on beauty items pays for packaging and advertising, rather than the formulation of the actual product. I have found that it is not always true in 2017's world of skincare and makeup to say "you get what you pay for". As a side note, I feel strongly that beauty reviewers in general need to be mindful when they use words like "affordable" and "budget", sometimes in the context of products way above the average person's price range. With pound stores and supermarkets offering great, own-brand cosmetics at £1 a piece, you CAN buy good products at reasonable prices.

4. QUALITY NOT QUANTITY
When I first joined the online beauty community, I fell into the trap set for me by companies and people who earn a living by reviewing makeup, of thinking I needed to own it all! If you like a particular formula or product line, why not buy the whole collection in every imaginable shade to line up in your photo? I did actually purchase every available colour of Maybelline Velvet Lip Pencil a long time ago. Guess how many of them I still own? None. Some of the shades did not suit me at all, some of the pencils didn't feel comfortable and I gradually gave them away as new items caught my eye. I will not make that mistake again. I have learnt this year which colours and styles work for me, and I will not be spending my money buying every shade on offer. In the past, I also used to browse bargain makeup websites and buy a lot of products at discounted prices. I used to enjoy looking in pound stores and felt elated when I found branded products available. But I have admitted to myself that none of them ever turned out to be favourites! I now have a smaller collection of products which I really love - some more expensive, some less expensive - but I don't need to keep a drawer full of strangely-coloured eyeshadows I found for £1 each which I will never use.

5. LIP LINER IS A LIPSTICK-LOVER'S FRIEND
I didn't bother much with lip liner in the past, but I have realised this year that they provide a really great, long-lasting base for any other lip product. I had negative associations with the dark, over-lined lip look of my youth and also the dry, scratchy formula of pencils I had tried. But the lip pencils available now are smooth, hydrating and extremely useful to give shape and definition to the lips. They help make lipstick application easier and can change or amplify the colour of any product you layer over the top. Lip liners can also be worn alone or with a gloss or balm over the top for a long-lasting colour. Some favourites I have tried this year are Rimmel's Exaggerate pencils and also ones from Barry M and Makeup Revolution. 

6. THE SAME STYLES DON'T WORK FOR EVERYONE
Just as some fashion shapes and styles work to enhance particular body shapes, some makeup trends are more suited to different face shapes, eye colours, skin colours, skin types and so on. Of course it is fun to create any look or be inspired by any trend, but in terms of day-to-day quick and easy makeup, there are some makeup styles or products which just do not make me look my best and some which work really well. YouTube is a huge source beauty of ideas and information and I have learnt a lot in 2017 by researching looks to suit my particular skin type and face shape. 

7. YOU DO YOU
To round up these beauty lessons, I have learnt that what works for you might not work for me, but that we should all strive to be happy in our own skin. So in 2018, join me in embracing your age, your skin, your size and shape, your imperfections and your beautiful features. Use beauty and makeup products however you want to, to make you smile, to boost your confidence and to look after your own, unique skin. Don't feel pressured to keep up with new trends or with anyone else's purchases because in truth, nobody else ever needs to know which particular brands or specific items you have used. Comfort and confidence will shine through, whatever else you are wearing. You do you. 

Thanks for reading and for all your support throughout the year. See you in January,
highstreet_beauty


24 comments:

  1. I absolutely love this post and agree with every single word you've written here! I've learnt so much by cutting down my collection and spending on makeup products...I used to rush out and buy every new thing at Boots but now I have learnt think and assess each new launch more carefully. I am also one of those people that gets reviews out way after the hype has passed because I need to make sure I use it sufficiently to have an actual reliable opinion on it xxx

    UmmBabyBeauty

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    1. Thank you so much. I am going to be much more careful about what I add to my collection in 2018 xxx

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  2. These are all so true! I like how these were not necessaraly tips for makeup but more about it...
    Coco| pjsandstuff.wordpress.com

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    1. Thank you so much! I really appreciate that!

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  3. What a great way to start the new year! Have taken some inspiration from this and will definitely be reviewing my quality over quantity and clearing out the make up kit x

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  4. I totally agree! I enjoy finding out what's new and what brands are sending out, but I've got more selective now and trust people a lot more if they're honest about not liking something once in a while!

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  5. Love this post, you did good. I definitely agree with all of these, especially that you can find really good products for affordable price, there is so many gems at drugstore and other affordable places. xx

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  6. These are all great lessons to learn! They will help you find your personal style instead of trying to look like everyone on Youtube or Pinterest. :) And absolutely agree that you can find makeup and beauty products cheaper. My rule is to never buy something I'm not totally sure I'll use, I get samples first! And wait for coupons! Love the post.

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    1. Yes, everybody on YouTube and Pinterest looks the same! Thank you!

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  7. Wow! Your lessons are similar to what I realized in recent months also! Seems like a lot of us are waking up to the company’s and unethical influencers!

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  8. I agree with everything you've said! I think a lot of people especially when their just starting out feel that they have to buy all the products they can. I think like you say, everyone just has to be themselves. I know that I'm much happier now talking about the products that I actually wanted to buy compared to before when I felt I had to have what everyone else was featuring on their blog.

    I've seen so many people lately saying that they love a product but you can tell it hasn't been used. It's a shame as it just makes them come across as inauthentic and makes me less likely to trust their opinions.

    She's Looking at the Stars

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    1. So glad that you feel that way too. Thanks so much for commenting!

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  9. This is a great post- I've only really learned the lipliner tip recently. I used to never use lipliner but now couldn't use lipstick without it!

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  10. Loved this post! Some of these are lessons I’ve also learnt in the past year x

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  11. What a great post. Im so with you on this. I use lipliner daily and just could not use lippy workout it now. I got a few makeup bits for Xmas but I don't intend on buying any this year. I have drawers of it to use up. I stick to the same look now as it suits me. X x

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    1. I'm aiming to use up my stash too this year xx

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  12. Such a fab post! I totally agree with you on every point. Im still very lazy with lip liner, but your post has kicked me up the butt to use it more! I also learnt that I dont need to buy so much make up, shopping my stash for two months during the year really taught me a lot. Enjoyed this post very much lovely xx

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  13. I love this:-) such an inspiring post. Well done lovely xxxx

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