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Image / Style / Beauty

10 things I would tell my younger self about beauty


by Aisling Keenan
03rd Dec 2020
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Travelling back in time to give your younger self beauty advice would be the dream – setting you up for better skin, fuller brows and more confidence as you grew into adulthood. What would you tell yourself about beauty? Here are my ten pearls of wisdom.


1: Don’t pluck your eyebrows

Kate Moss is a beautiful alien whose eyebrows will not be representative of the trend in 2019. You’ll need all the hairs you can get, in spite of what she’s currently displaying. Trust me on this.

2: Start using SPF ASAP

If I had known at 16 what I know now about the importance of SPF in anti-ageing, I’d have far healthier skin. I wish there was a module at school that taught young people the basics of it, from a sun-safety perspective (with the aesthetic thing as a motivator…)

3: Don’t sleep in your make-up

Start washing your make-up off every night. No exceptions. Yes, even if you’re tired. Oh, and while we’re on the subject? Baby wipes?? Not. For. Your. Face. Full stop. Get a good micellar water, it’s better than nothing.

younger self

4: Your keratosis pilaris won’t go away…

…but that’s okay! You can get a handle on it by focusing on moisturising rather than scrubbing the skin off yourself.

5: Invest in laser eye surgery

Okay, not strictly beauty-related, but as anyone with bad short-sightedness can attest to, it’s virtually impossible to see yourself while doing your make-up, and then when you wear contacts with heavy eye make-up it hurts. I spent thousands getting my eyes lasered and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life. Legitimately life-changing.

6: Stop picking at your fingernails

I still do often pick at my nails and cuticles when I’m stressed or anxious, and it’s such a terrible habit. I now have scar tissue on some fingers where I picked it so badly, but thankfully my nails recovered and are now one of my favourite parts of me. I would love to not have those pesky scars though…

younger self

7: Your eyebrows need to be pencilled

When I look back at pictures of myself ten years ago, not only had I overplucked, but I hadn’t done even a smidgen of pencilling to replace the lost hairs. Not one bit. My brows are blonde (invisible) and not shaped at all. Get thee to Shavata, STAT.

8: Okay, too far, your eyebrows are too dark

You went too far! Those brows don’t match your root colour. Pare it back, and fast!

9: Keep all your limited edition beauty bits

I was such a make-up limited edition fan girl that I bought (and was sent as press samples) SO many gorgeous once-off beauty products. And what did I do? I used them, reader. Instead of keeping them pristine and letting them be worth millions (okay, that’s an exaggeration). So, younger me, keep the boxes and don’t use the limited editions, please. Older me would like a mortgage.

10: Like yourself

The biggest beauty lesson I’d like to teach my younger self is how to accept what she looks like and embrace it. That has come to me with age, but knowing what I know now about confidence, self-acceptance and comparison to others, I’d shake my younger self and help her get to that realisation earlier.

What ten things would you advise your younger self when it comes to beauty?

Photography by Jason Lloyd Evans.


Read more: Why pared-back beauty is finally trending

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