How I Fixed 5 Beauty Mistakes I Made in My 20s

April 3, 2017

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When it comes to beauty products, I was a late bloomer. I remember wearing foundation in middle school and then I just stopped caring. It wasn’t until I graduated college and was about to start my career that my mom suggested I visit the Clinique counter and learn how to use makeup.

My knowledge of haircare is just as bad. It wasn’t until I was modeling in a high school prom fashion show my junior year that I learned about hair straighteners. The art of scrunching your hair to make it curly wasn’t a skill I developed until freshman year. And if it wasn’t for the Beachwaver curling iron, I still wouldn’t know how to curl my hair.

My 20s were all about experimenting with makeup and hair products, and I’m glad to say I’m confident with my beauty and hair care routine today. But along the way I made quite a few top beauty mistakes and learned theses lessons:

Mistake #1: Picking Shampoo and Conditioner Based on My Desired Hair Style, Not My Hair Type

During my 20s, I had two shampoos and one conditioner in my shower. One shampoo for when I wanted to wear my hair straight, and one made for “curly” styles. Forget a shampoo/conditioner duo. I thought I didn’t need to condition and if by the off chance I did, I could use any old conditioner lying around the shower. I didn’t realize that a specific shampoo and conditioner is formulated to work together. I also didn’t evaluate my hair needs when picking out a shampoo.

What I’m Currently Using: After having a baby, I noticed my hair was extremely dry. It didn’t help that the first few weeks home, I just shoved it into a ponytail the moment I got out of the shower. My gorgeous, pregnancy hair turned into a rat’s nest filled with knots and tangles. In my 20s, I would have selected a shampoo based on how I wanted to wear my hair. Now, I diagnosed that I need a moisturizing shampoo. I’ve been using Finesse Restore + Strengthen Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner. This shampoo is specially formulated for hair that is dry, frizzy and damaged (read: my hair), and since it is infused with active proteins, after a few washes, my hair returned to its natural self. Running a comb through my hair has been much easier and after styling it, my hair feels silky days later. I always worried a moisturizing shampoo would make my hair feel greasy, but 72 hours later, I can still run my hands through it without that salad dressing feeling. A favorite of Kendall Jenner, this shampoo and conditioner is widely available at retailers like Walmart, Walgreens, Rite-Aid and grocery chains such as Kroger, Shoprite, HEB, and Publix for $3.99 ($1.99 at Walmart).

With my little guy – and day 3 of my hair style, thanks to Finesse!


Disclosure: I received a sample of this shampoo and conditioner for free. Opinions are my own. 

Mistake #2: Overplucking my Eyebrows

In the early part of this century, skinny eyebrows were on trend. For hours, I sat in front of a magnifying mirror, shaping my own eyebrows. When I headed to get my eyebrows threaded for the first time a few years ago, I quickly learned that my eyebrows were overplucked and not in the best shape. For months, I patiently waited for my eyebrows to grow back in.

Funny enough, as we flipped through photos from ten years ago at a sorority reunion over the weekend, one of my sister’s first comments was, “Wow! Look how thin our eyebrows were!”

What I’m Currently Using: I waxed my eyebrows once, and ended up with bumps all over my face. Threading, however, has been a much better experience for me, and when I lived in Astoria, Queens, the women at Dawa Threading Salon were responsible for shaping the eyebrows I have today. Now that I live in the ‘burbs and work in the Financial District, I often visit Thread for maintenance. Unfortunately, the overplucking days of my 20s still haunt me and I have to color in the bald spots in my brows every day.  I recommend Covergirl Eyebrow & Eyemakers. It’s affordable and goes on smoothly! I also love that you receive two pencils in a package, perfect for your makeup station and your purse.

Mistake #3: Waiting until My Skin was Dry to Moisturize

I had a fear of anything labeled moisturizing in my 20s. I was using (and still am) a tinted moisturizer as my foundation – wasn’t that enough? I was often afraid to put on a dedicated moisturizer for fear of looking oily, and wouldn’t moisturize until it was the dead of winter and there were visible flakes all over my face. I’d exfoliate, and slather on moisturizer in hopes I’d quickly reverse the damage.

What I’m Currently Using: Entering my 30s meant there was a list of skin products I should be using – anti-aging creams, skin serums, moisturizers and more.  It was hard enough for me to remember to use makeup remover, face wash, toner and moisturizer – I couldn’t add more products to the mix. That’s why I love products that are multi-purpose. I’ve been using eXO’s Perfection Moisturizer, which is a one-step product that combines serums, moisturizer, and anti-aging cream into one. What makes this moisturizer different is it uses human exosomes — powerful molecules derived from human stem cells — as the active ingredient. There’s a whole science behind it that you can read here, but the results are that your skin feels soft and hydrated. I’ve been using this moisturizer at night and in the morning, and as I settle into my new routine of being a mom, I often find this is the only face product I wear all day. My skin has reacted beautifully to it. I used this moisturizer throughout my pregnancy and giving birth, and as my hormones fluctuated, I only have had one zit (coincidentally after I ate pizza three days in a row). Our house is extremely dry with the heat blasting now that we have to keep it warm for our little one, and my trusty exfoliating scrub, which I used to use weekly throughout the winter, has only been used once all season, thanks to this cream.

Disclosure: I received this moisturizer for free. Opinions are my own. 

Mistake #4: Ripping Out My Eyelashes with an Eyelash Curler

I was in the middle of curling my eyelashes, when my vanity mirror started to swing open. I lifted my elbow up to stop it, and a huge chunk of my eyelashes came out. I spent the next 10 minutes googling, “Will my eyelashes grow back?”

How I Fixed It: If you found this blog by googling this question, yes, your eyelashes will grow back. But for the next few weeks, there will be a noticeable bald spot. I tried mascara, but the bald spot – from the bridge of my nose to a third of the way across my eyelid – was even more pronounced. The solution? Eyeliner. I used this L’Oreal eyeliner so at a quick glance, it was hard to distinguish my missing eyelashes because you could see a continual dark line.

Mistake #5: Not Washing My Face

Once I started wearing makeup, I got into a routine of removing my makeup with all my fancy new products from the Clinique counter. But if I wasn’t wearing makeup or had too much to drink after a night out, often the last thing I wanted to do before bed was wash my face.

What I’m Currently Using: I don’t know what it is about foaming soap, but when it comes to washing my hands or my face, foaming soap is my favorite. I love that the lather is already there. I’ve been using this foaming facewash from Bliss. I’m rarely leaving the house these days, but with a foaming facewash, I’m not falling back into my old habits!

Tell me – have you ever made any beauty mistakes? What were your solutions?

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