5 beauty tips you wish you knew sooner

Your beauty routine needs a few ground rules.

Harper's Bazaar India

Whether you take the minimalistic beauty approach or go down every skincare rabbit hole, the bottom line is that we’re all looking for a few practices that give us glowing, radiant skin. Of course, everyone knows the basics—apply sunscreen and never sleep with make-up on—but everyone should add a few beauty commandments to their must-follow list. And considering we live in a world where beauty advice is dolled out like candy at a candy store, having a few ground rules and handy hacks can be a good idea. You can thank us later. 

Apply your foundation before your concealer  

This might sound like something taught at a ‘make-up for beginners’ class, but you’ll be surprised how many people need to hear this. One of the easiest ways to level up your make-up is to apply your foundation before your concealer. While there is no set rule, the foundation creates a smooth field for all your other products to do their job effectively. It also minimises redness and discolouration, so when you go in with your concealer to treat your dark spots and zits, you end up using lesser product than you generally would. 

And remember, no matter how hard you try, make-up is rarely flawless. Unless the skin Gods have shone down on you, it’s natural for your pores, dark spots, fine lines and all other “faults” to show. 

Make your actives work for you 

This is where social media leads us astray. There is so much information about active ingredients floating, and it’s easy to get your AHAs, BHAs, and everything in between confused. It’s crucial to untie that knot because the key is targetted exfoliation. In a nutshell, AHAs (for eg. glycolic acid and lactic acid) cleanse the impurities on the surface of our skin, while BHAs (for eg. salicylic acid) deep dive into our pores and dissolve excessive sebum and fight acne. 

Don’t just slather products on your face; take the time to understand what your skin needs. 

Pinch-test your dark circles 

Did you how you care for your under eye area should depend on what is causing your dark circles? Causes can range from hyperpigmentation, ageing, and skin thinning, to genetics. Try the pinch test to know what is causing the bags around your eyes. And no, it doesn’t hurt. Very gently pinch your under eye area with two fingers. If the darkness momentarily disappears, then your dark circles are most likely caused by skin thinning. But if the darkness stays, the cause is hyperpigmentation. With a better understanding of your dark circles, you can tackle them more effectively instead of applying cream after cream and wondering why nothing works. 

Exfoliate your lips before putting on lipstick 

Using a lip scrub followed by a moisturising lip balm before applying lipstick will give you a smooth base. Your clean pores will be able to hold on to the colour for longer and exfoliation will prevent the product from clinging to the dry patches of your lips and emphasising the cracks. One can easily argue that lip care should be a religious part of your skincare routine, and exfoliation is especially needed when wearing a dark shade or a super matte lipstick. 

Clarify your scalp 

When we talk about beauty tips, the skin on our scalp is often treated as a neglected child. But scalp care is as essential as skincare because nothing is ickier than a scalp that feels like an oil spill. It’s natural for your hair to get greasy if you haven’t washed it in a few days. However, if your scalp tends to get oily immediately after a wash, the reason is a build-up that is unreachable by your regular hair care routine. It would help if you used a potent clarifying shampoo once a week; do not use this product every time you wash your hair, or your hair will feel like a fallen leaf in autumn.