One of the best things about being in the beauty industry for over a decade is the overwhelming amount of knowledge one can acquire. And I mean that in a good way. I’ve had the honour of seeing innovative, iconic products being launched to the market that consumers can’t live without today, such as one-of-a-kind serums, unbeatable make-up products and beauty tools that provide a flawless finish. And I’ve been lucky enough to have seen the launches of incredible local and international beauty brands. I’ve also had the chance to speak to experts, who have shared their expertise and allowed me to collect a bunch of beauty hacks along the way.
But what must one do with so much information? Share it, of course! These are the top ten beauty hacks that I’ve accumulated over the years – some are personal, others are little nuggets of advice shared with me by industry professionals and readers who are self-proclaimed beauty enthusiasts. Enjoy!
1. Clash of the ingredients: learn which ones work well together
There are so many different ingredients that help our specific skincare concerns, but have you ever thought you could be using too many of them simultaneously? Use my quick guide to ensure you aren’t overwhelming your skin:
Vitamin C and antioxidants
Vitamin C and SPF
AHA/BHA acids and SPF
AHA/BHA acids and moisturising ingredients (such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides, petrolatum and glycerin)
Retinol and vitamin C
Retinol and AHA/BHA acids
Niacinamide and vitamin C
2. Never skip the sunscreen
SPF should be worn every day, come rain or shine. It’s the last step of your skincare routine and I suggest using nothing less than SPF 30. It’s the most effective product to give your skin daily protection from sun damage and skin cancer, so please include it in your routine. Find a formula that suits your skin and stick to everyday application.
3. Clean your make-up brushes no less than once a week
There are so many benefits to this often overlooked step. Weekly cleaning of your make-up brushes helps keep breakouts at bay and prevents bacteria that could lead to skin infections. Your brushes will last longer and your application will also become more flawless. Simply use a gentle cleansing shampoo in warm water to keep them clean and leave in the sun to dry naturally.
4. Skip the lash extensions and use a kick-a** mascara instead
I was always convinced that I needed lash extensions and that my natural eyelashes weren’t va-va-voom enough. Once I gave my eyelashes a break from the continuous extensions, I noticed how short and fragile they were and regretted not investing in a lash serum and mascara to enhance them. Once they gained strength and length, I realised that my natural lashes actually had perfect length. Always. Choose. Mascara.
5. Buy fragrances to mark your life milestones
Nothing says nostalgia like a fragrance. If your budget allows, purchase a scent for each milestone or important occasion – such as a wedding, first day of a new job or a special birthday. The fragrance I wore on my first day as a beauty editor was Narciso Rodriguez’ For Her Eau de Parfum. It brings me such joy every time I smell it.
6. Always keep a red and nude lipstick in your handbag in case of emergency
Please note: I’m referring to a glam emergency here. A red lipstick is the perfect make-up power tool to ace that last-minute presentation. It’s been proven many times to be a pick-me-up product. A nude lipstick will always help take your casual look to effortlessly chic.
7. Get a great dermatologist
Dermatologists are medical doctors who specialise in conditions that affect the skin, hair and nails. The skin is our biggest organ, so it’s important to have a trusted specialist doctor nearby whenever you have a concern or query. Feel free to ask your dermatologist anything – let them diagnose your skin type! They’ll also guide you with what products to use on your skin.
8. Invest in body care products. And use them!
We spend so much time fussing about the skin on our face, but what about the skin on our bodies? It takes up the biggest surface area, after all. Make sure your skin is hydrated everyday with a nourishing body lotion or cream and exfoliate once a week to keep it smooth and free from dead skin cells.
9. Use a cleanser to wash your face. Not facial wipes
Specialised cleansers are a lot gentler on the skin and more effective. Cleansers do a thorough job cleansing the face, ridding the skin of harmful impurities.
10. Always ask for a quote before having a treatment at a salon or spa
This applies to any treatment – from a colour treatment at a hair salon or a facial treatment at a spa – always ask for a quote beforehand. If they can give you an estimate of what it will cost, it’s a lot less stressful than being slapped with a hefty bill afterwards.