It’s been almost a year now since I first dipped my toe in the water of the online beauty community. I’ve been an avid skincare and make-up fan for far longer than this, but as I believed I knew SO MUCH, it was clearly time to shout about it right? Wrong! My biggest lesson was just how much I didn’t know and how much there is to learn when it comes to beauty. However, despite never calling myself an expert, I thought I’d share a few learnings from my 2019 beauty journey. So here goes…
Don’t underestimate the power of ingredients & the lies brands will tell
My skin has always been very dry and very sensitive… that’s something I always knew. So when a giant brand (and beauticians in the branded spa) told me to use their products specifically for sensitive skin on my face why wouldn’t I? Well, said products are full of fragrance, which for me, has a habit of bringing me out in a colour somewhere between tomato and strawberry. I assumed brand messaging promising ‘for dry skin’ or ‘specifically made for sensitive skin’ would always be true… silly me! Having learnt so much about ingredients – from levels of alcohol to how clean a product is – I have a much clearer idea of the ingredients that do and don’t work for my skin. I also know that just because a brand says its products are ‘clean’ it doesn’t mean they are and just because I am told it will be good for me, I never really know until I try it!
Just because it’s free, doesn’t mean it’s good
When starting out with my Instagram, I was so thrilled to be gifted products… I still am btw and very grateful, but what that translated to back then was accepting / trying anything and everything. Some brands will happily send a product even though they have not read your skin type or are fully aware it’s unlikely to work for you. So, these days I turn down more products than I accept. I never promise promotion in return for gifting and I make sure I think the ingredients will be right for me before agreeing to review a product. It’s something to watch out for when you’re watching ‘influencers’ talk products – is it really that good or was it just a freebie they have agreed to promote?
What works for one won’t work for all
When I started out I felt very uncomfortable with writing negative reviews (I still do to a certain extent). I also still feel quite uncomfortable about advising people on their personal skincare – especially if they have very different skin types to me. I can show people what a product does for me and even if they have the exact same ‘type’ as me (sensitive and dry) a product could not work for them at all. I am not a trained professional. To see if something works you really have to try it for yourself, however being educated on ingredients and textures that work for you will always help with an informed decision.
You can’t rewind the ageing process with a moisturiser
No matter what any brand tells you, stopping the ageing process is impossible. However, slowing it down is the focus. Once you’ve started getting those lines on your face it’s going to be much harder to get rid of them, then to try to stop any more appearing. Trying to keep water in your skin and hydration is key as well as keeping the skin’s natural barrier protected and keeping your skin protected from environmental factors like (and specifically) the sun. So, wearing sunscreen EVERYDAY and keeping hydrated is the best prevention for ageing.
To be comfortable in my own skin
Finally, the most important thing I have learnt since starting my beauty journey is to be more comfortable in my own skin. Despite what many people will tell you about social media being toxic, I have been fairly lucky with my experience. When I started I was scared to show my face and the thought of showing my face with no make-up was absolutely terrifying. Now all that has changed. I do regular routine videos with nothing on my face at all. I have become more accepting of my natural beauty and realised that no matter what imperfections I think I have, everyone is in the same boat. This community can be incredibly supportive and I have definitely enjoyed that support and getting to know people more than anything else..