EOY roundup of beauty "realizations." (Image Credit: Kylie Jenner via YouTube)
Remember at the start of the year, when we all watched a teenager with a mouth full of Juvaderm bizarrely reclining in front of a fire that looks like a green screen, assuring us that this would be the year of “realizing stuff?” And oh, how we laughed and laughed. And yet, the more of 2016 that has happened, the more Kylie Jenner’s prophesy seems to have come true. This was our year of realizing stuff. How strange that it took a reality star famous for Instagram and lipstick to tell us.
I’m sure we all realized quite a lot of important things this year, about how fear seems to trump love (that’s a pun), and the like. But luckily for all of you guys, I’m not a political commentator. So here is something I’m actually qualified to talk to you all about: the beauty things I realized in the year of realizing stuff.
Firstly, this was the year I spent with bleach in at least some of my hair, all of the time. And what did I realize? Bleaching is an absolute nightmare for your hair. I’ve loved being blonde, but I think I’ve done my time now. I’d do it again, but I’d go in with full knowledge that you can’t do white blonde without seriously damaging your hair. Next year will be the year of realizing that growing out a damaged blonde mop is really annoying and difficult: mark my words.
I made some skincare realizations this year, too. One was that if I want to avoid pregnancy, I will have to accept some level of birth control-related face menacing. I wish the male contraceptive pill would hurry up, because I’m wasting the hottest years of my life with occasional, stubborn, hormonal acne. But better than with a full time, stubborn, hormonal baby, I guess.
But I’ve also realized that there are three boring things that really help my skin out. One is … water. I know, stop the press. I’ve noticed that when I make a concerted effort to drink three pints of water a day, my skin is clearer, and I generally feel about 67% better. It’s the easiest, cheapest, most boring thing ever, and yet sometimes I still fail to do it. Try it for two-ish weeks, and I’d be mega-surprised if you didn’t notice a difference.
The other two are product related. One is that I think I’ll be a slave to benzoyl peroxide for life. Whenever I stop diligently applying it to my chin, all hell breaks loose. I’ve tried going without it, tired of ruining every towel and pillowcase I own, but I always come crawling back. Clean and Clear Persa Gel 10 and the Acne.org Benzoyl Peroxide are, for me, the most effective spot treatments.
The other thing I’ve realized is that my skin simply loves CeraVe products. The Hydrating Cleanser is my most dependable friend. The Moisturizing Lotion is probably the one beauty product I would take to a desert island. The Healing Ointment is a highly effective lip balm and a stunning face and eye gloss. If you want something that’s cheap and works, seriously look no further than this brand.
Makeup wise, this has been a year of realizing not to be afraid of color. I’ve always preached the doctrine of wear what you want, be adventurous, there is nothing to fear but fear itself, etc.
But I think this year I’ve really embodied that philosophy in my makeup. Having always been fairly adventurous at lipstick, this year I’ve particularly been into more vibrant and crazy eyeshadow. Top recs are the Urban Decay Moondust Range, the Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows, or for a cheap thrill, the L’Oreal Paris Infallible 24H Eyeshadows. Paired with a bare-ish face and a balmy lip, a bright eyeshadow is a surprisingly cool look.
A more general realization, and perhaps one that is still ongoing, is that sometimes, you just don’t think you look good. You can do everything right and still end up with a chin breakout. You can tone, wash, masque and treat and still have hair that feels like straw. The good thing is, no one really cares. Nobody notices your “imperfections” half as much as you would suspect they do. And even if they do, it won’t make them like you any less. Unless they’re an asshole, in which case, you’re well shot of them anyway.