beauty rules I always break

Back when I was in my early teens, I was given a book about beauty. This book would probably have been a little dated even then (It was called ‘Miss Petersham’s Beauty Rules for Young Ladies of Good Breeding’, or something like that.) (It totally wasn’t, but you get what I’m saying.), but nevertheless, I pored over it, until I knew it almost off-by-heart. I was quite obsessive about stuff in those days. If I was going to do something, you better believe I was going to do it RIGHT, and by God, I was going do ‘beauty’ RIGHT. Just as soon as my mum let me start wearing makeup, obviously.

Anyway, this book was full of so-called “rules” about beauty. Most of them I’ve long-since forgotten, but some have stayed with me, and I stick to them pretty religiously. I don’t think I’ve ever gone to sleep wearing makeup, for instance, I’m careful to the point of paranoia about suncreen, and … er, that’s pretty much it, actually. Damn, I could’ve sworn there were more of these!

Other beauty rules, however… well, I’m not so good at sticking to those. Not at all. For instance…

Throw products out as soon as they reach their expiry dates

I’m always reading about how every product has an expiry date, after which you should throw it straight into the bin, as if you’re THROWING AWAY MONEY, but … yeah, I don’t always do that. Because it would be like THROWING AWAY MONEY. Foundation and mascara both get used up long before their expiry dates, as does skincare, so I’m not too bad with those, but seriously, you don’t even want to know how old some of the eye shadows still in my stash are. Hell, I don’t even know how old some of them are – my memory doesn’t go back that far. As soon as I finish writing this post, I’m going to go and throw out all my old eye-shadow. I’m serious.

Use hand and body lotion every day

Nope, and nope. I have a huge collection of body butters and various other creams (Er, I should probably throw those out too, while I’m dealing with the eye-shadow situation…), and I always have the best of intentions to use them morning and night, so my skin becomes lovely and soft, and not rough and scaly, like a dragon’s. The reality is that I hardly ever use them AT ALL, because there just never seems to be a good time to do it. I don’t want to get my clothes covered in sticky lotion, after all, and I don’t want my bedsheets to get covered in it either, so unless I want to wander around naked for a while (Which, just for the record, I don’t. I feel the cold too much…), there’s just never a good time. Same with hand lotion: it has to be one that sinks in INSTANTLY, or I just won’t use it. I need my hands, people!

Wash makeup brushes after every use

OK, so maybe The Rules don’t require you to wash them after EVERY use (Actually, The Rules are pretty vague on this one: I’ve heard people recommend everything from washing after every use, to every couple of months…) (This is not a request for advice, by the way), but I’m fairly sure you’re supposed to wash them more regularly than I manage. I know, between this and the ancient eye-shadows, I’m an absolute disgrace. I DO wash my foundation brushes regularly, because they’d be gross otherwise, but powder brushes… well, not so much. I’ll do them as soon as I’ve finished with the eye shadow and the body lotions, OK?

(In my defence… er, I haven’t ever died from this? Or had an eye infection or anything? I know, I know: first time for everything…)

Drink lots of water

Does ANYONE actually drink enough water? Because pretty much everyone I know is all, “Oh, I really need to drink more water! I know! I’ll buy a 2 litre bottle of Evian, put it on my desk, and make sure I drink it by the end of the day! Because that will totally work!”

It. Never. Works. Or not for me, anyway. Even if it’s right in front of me, I forget to drink the water, because, coffee. Coffee has water in it, right?

Only use high-end hair products

Every time I see a hair stylist, they always:

a) compliment me on the good health of my hair, and ask me what I use on it.


b) totally freak-out when I tell them I use whatever happens to be on special offer when we do our grocery shop, even it’s one of the OMGEVIL products which coat your hair with silicone, and are like a ticking timebomb, just waiting to explode, and also to make your hair fall out. Then they recommend a salon-only product instead, and it’s always something like £20 per bottle, which, just, NO.

Look, I have long hair: it takes a lot of product, and I can easily get through a regular-sized bottle of conditioner a week. £80 per month is way more than I’m willing to spend on hair products, which is why I take my chances in the beauty aisle of the supermarket. I’m also always a bit dubious when people tell me cheaper products are going to damage my hair, because if that was the case, shouldn’t my hair be, well, damaged by now, given that I’ve been using them for years? I don’t think it is, so as much as I’ve love to be able to only ever use fancy, high-end products, it’s probably not going to happen. I mean, I could buy two bottles of expensive conditioner, or I could buy this dress. I’m obviously going to buy the dress, aren’t I? No, seriously: I am totally going to buy that dress…

So, now that you’ve heard my shameful beauty confessions, you can feel free to either share yours in return, or scold me for my lack of sense/provide me with unsolicited advice. (I’d prefer the first option…)

the beauty rules I always break

  1. Water in coffee counts. Unless you’re drinking pints of espresso the diuretic effect of the coffee you drink won’t negate the volume of water in the coffee. The water in food counts too. You don’t actually need to glug 2 litres of drinking water a day, humans are good at using the water in things to satisfy the need.

    1. I break some of these rules too (though I did wash my makeup brushes last night, for the first time in …um, awhile!). I spend a lot of money on hair care but only because my hair is a curly temper tantrum throwing mess without it. I completely relate to the lotion thing, too, I do not have time for body butters to soak in! The Nivea Irresistibly Smooth absorbs quite quickly and is cheap and actually really moisturizing, also the Body Shop oils or even faster Sanctuary dry oil spray are pretty instant even for we impatient lotion types! I force myself to do a makeup clear out now and then but I do have tons of stuff I know I should get rid of,

  2. I’m guilty, I have some rimmel Eyeshadow from my early teens and an oil of Ulay before they changed the name to Olay lipstick in a lovely bright red… amongst others. Also I’ve never had any problems ☺

  3. I so agree with you about the whole lotion scenario! I really would love the silky smooth skin that comes with daily moisturising, but I need to get on with life!!!

  4. I’m totally the same. Mascaras and foundations are always used up but I have quite a few palettes of eyeshadows that are surely past their expiry date – and again, never had an eye infection, which seems to be the major problem. I don’t really want to chuck them away!

    I also don’t think I’ve ever used hand cream for that exact reason – too sticky! My hands don’t really need it, I don’t think, but maybe I’ll be cursing my younger self when I’m old and have wrinkled hands.

    I’m usually quite good about skincare, but I am bad at haircare. Definitely don’t get my hair cut as often as I should and have never really worked out which products I need.

    Rules are there to be broken though, right?

    1. Oh, regular haircuts are another one! I know I’m supposed to have it trimmed every 6 weeks or something, but I normally put it off until I just can’t ignore the raggedy ends any longer!

    1. OMG! Actually, shampoo isn’t so bad, because a bottle of shampoo can last me quite a while, so I don’t mind paying a bit more for it… Conditioner, on the other hand, I go through so fast I’d feel like I was *literally* pouring money down the shower drain!

  5. Oh yes, I’m guilty in having a lot of “old” eye shadows and blushes, not washing my brushes regularly and never manage to drink enough water. But at least I’m using my bodylotion every morning, to me it’s like cleaning my teeth, I got used to do it.

  6. Body lotion – I go through phases of using it religiously every day (usually in warmer weather!) and then in the winter when I basically want to jump out of the hot shower then immediately clothe myself or jump into a warm bed it totally goes out the window!

  7. I don’t sunscreen religiously. I do if the day involves serious sun–at the beach, on a boat, going to the polo or a field day or whatever–because I’ve had sun poisoning, thank-you-very-much, and not again, but for general running-to-the-mailbox purposes, the only screen I get is whatever they probably didn’t put in my foundation. Of course, now it turns out we’re all vitamin D deficient because of our computer-centric lifestyles, so perhaps, in the end, my negligence will be vindicated. Until then, I’m the one with the tan on the left side of her face only, from driving.

  8. You want confessions? You get confessions 😉
    Apart from mascara I use every product until it looks weird, smells different of gives another hint of “You will regret using me!” I only try to throw out the mascara after about three months because I am a bit paranoid because of my eyes. But I use a quite cheap one (to lazy to google the exchange rate but it is 4€ so I won’t starke because of new mascara).
    Body lotion is often forgotten but I use hand lotion several times a day. After doing the dishes, my hands feet horrible without lotion…
    I cannot even remember when I washed all my brushes last time (maybe before I moved to my own flat two years ago?) and I should really drink more water. The water is the only point I am ashamed of…
    And I think most hair dressers would get a nervous breakdown after hearing my hair routine. I use soap, rinse with a bit of vinegar or lemon and use rarely conditioner. As a deep treatment I soak my hair in oil before washing. Works great for me, my hair reaches my buttocks and the new hair dresser was delighted.

    Okay, these should be all of my confessions 😉

  9. Trimming my eyebrows. Never done it myself, I just can’t stand the pain.
    I got them trimmed for my wedding and it bleed and hurt and I just decided then and there to never try that again.

    Apart from the salon products I can agree to everything on the list. And I buy the salon products because I can’t stand the smell of most shampoos (no, I don’t want to smell like coconut, strawberry and lemon at all).

    For the hand lotion I can recommend the Eucerin 5% Urea. I only use it if my hands feel dry, I find its a really great product and it sets in about a minute. And its perfume free, jay for me 🙂

  10. Body butters. Can’t resist them but they do nothing but sit there and glower at me for not using them. Because who has the time for those? Hand cream I need as I do lots of washing up but lotion, nah

  11. Also, I don’t trim. I go once a year to the hairdressers, grow it really long then cut it all off again. Trimming, who has time and money for that?

  12. Skinny Jeans + Body Butter = never getting dressed, I resolve to moisturise my arms and legs more often, but seriously, that’s never going to happen. And as for washing brushes- I try and have enough so I can have a clean one each week, and only need to wash them once a month, but am I the only one who finds it harder to apply my (mineral, loose powder) makeup with a clean brush than one that’s been used 2-3 times already?!

    1. Yes! Sometimes when they’re freshly washed they’re just a bit too fluffy – that said, another of my crimes is that I don’t buy special brush cleaners, so that’s probably why! And yes, if I’m wearing skinny jeans, there’s just no way body butter is going to be happening!

  13. Interestingly enough, I recently made a pact to clean my makeup brushes more often. I have cleaned them once in 2015. Oops! Tossing old makeup is for the birds! My Ruby Woo is over 4 years old but I paid 16 USD for that! I’ll keep using it till it’s gone thanks. But really, the thing I am super bad about, is sunscreen. YES I KNOW. I really should use it but a few years back I had a severe vitamin D deficiency so I couldn’t wear sunscreen for a summer and I got out of the habit. At least it’s in my foundation, right?

  14. If I got rid of all my outdated eye shadow I wouldn’t have any. I figure since it isn’t opened everyday and therefore is not exposed to the air it is still good.

  15. I am so bad about throwing away beauty products! Confession: I still wear my blush I got for my wedding I have only been married 5.5 years… I don’t think I have ever cleaned my make-up brushes, but I am currently looking up tutorials on how to do that… 😉

  16. Ahh, I’m guilty of pretty much all of these! I do need to go through my make up…I’m sure there are eyeshadows in my collection which are like 7 years old or something…ouch!
    As for washing make up brushes, well, that has been on my to do list for longer than I care to admit! I’ll do it tonight, for sure..! *hides face*

  17. Oh my god, do I have confessions! But not throwing out eyeshadows or washing hair in cheap condition doesn’t make me feel as bad as my “neglecting beauty routines” does. Like – WHO shaves their legs every other day, has pedicured feet (and painting your toenails twice a month doesn’t count) and always washes off their makeup? Who? Not me.

  18. I’m really bad about expiration dates. I don’t use mascara enough to finish a tube in the 3 months it’s supposed to last, so I keep using them until they’re too dry and then I do toss them! 😀 I don’t care about expiration dates on powder or dry products, I feel that’s more of an excuse to make you get rid of them and buy more (unless they’re 20 years old, then obviously don’t use them), but liquids do certainly go bad, if not by the expiration date, around the 2 year mark.
    I’ve made it a habit to always use body lotion after showering at night and hand cream right before bedtime, that way it has time to absorb and do its work before I wash my hands again. I have dry hands and my skin cracks during winter unless I moisturize 🙁

  19. Definitely guilty with not throwing away makeup when I should! I have some nail polishes that are ridiculously old xx

  20. Tee hee, this all makes me feel good about myself. Let’s see, I do use body lotion as I get scaly dry itchy skin otherwise. But certainly don’t manage to wash makeup brushes, throw away old eyeshadow or *whispers* shave my legs more than once every few weeks in the winter. I need the extra warmth!!

  21. Expiration date for makeup is generally just an advice. They put it because they have to, and it’s the period they have tested the product and therefore are sure that it won’t create any trouble. It doesn’t mean that if you overcome that date the product is expired, but just that they haven’t tested it longer. As long as it doesn’t smell funny or change colour or consistency you can keep on using it!

  22. Amen to everything you’ve said!

    There’s definitely never a good time to use body moisturisers. Mine always end up inadvertently being saved for “best” i.e. they just get left gathering dust until they’re chucked away. The last time I used body butter was when getting ready for a job interview. I wanted to look my best even though my legs and arms were going to be completely covered by a trouser suit. (Yeah, doesn’t make sense to me either but somehow I thought it’d make me feel more ready!)

    And on the subject of haircare – years ago I used to use some brilliant Tesco’s own-brand shampoo and conditioner which I’d discovered was made by Mitchell Haircare and was the exact same product sold in salons for around ten times the price. I was gutted when Tesco discontinued it. Since then I’ve also stuck to the supermarket/drugstore offerings and would love to find out some more of the cheaper products which are simply rebranded premium label products. As you said, I also can’t justify salon prices for something I seem to get through by the gallon.

    I’m guilty of breaking loads more beauty rules but I’m no ‘Stepford Wife’ type and my skin and hair seem to forgive me so I’m not too precious about it. If I’m in a hurry I don’t always use a base coat nail polish, especially with light colours. I trim my nails with proper scissors, not those metal nail clipper contraptions you’re supposed to use, because the clippers scare the hell out of me and the noise they make makes my stomach go funny! (Like nails down a blackboard and that kind of thing.) If I spot the odd grey hair on my head I will always dare to pluck it out, even though ‘The Rules’ state that another two will grow in its place (probably more of a myth than a rule, that one, and not one that I personally believe although apparently many people do). I am quite vigilant with sunscreen but never usually remember or bother to apply after-sun, despite buying loads of it. I never remember to store my perfumes in a dark place, or in their boxes, as you should. I own loads of lip pencils but rarely remember to use them when applying lipstick unless it’s a special occasion (and never end up looking like Coco The Clown, thankfully). I could go on. Life is too short, and my salary too small, to worry about being a slave to all of the rules. Over the years I’ve worked my way through enough beauty products to figure out which rules are important and which just aren’t. And besides, it feels good to be a rebel! 🙂

  23. I have unfortunately gotten an eye infection from an old eyeshadow palette before. I had beautiful eyes one night, and the next day? Oh you can bet I had a pair of swollen eye lids. Don’t throw old powders out though, just do what make up artists do to their kit, spray pure alcohol on the eye shadow. It won’t damage the powders if it’s pure and it sanitizes it for future use 🙂

  24. Do beauty products have expiry dates in the UK? In Germany they don’t. (One company has recently begun to put them on their own-brand products, but they are the only ones I noticed so far.)
    I don’t think most of the products need an expiry date, actually. I mean, what is going to happen to dry stuff like eye shadow and kayal pencils?
    But I do recommend throwing out liquids like body lotion or sunscreen regularly, as they can actually collapse and “go sour” after a while. (I once got a really bad rash from old body lotion. Not pleasant at all…)

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