I started writing for xoVain over a year ago. I started getting my beauty act together before then, and I'm still learning new things all the time, but it wasn't that long ago that I was completely clueless.
1. I never moisturized my face.
As a teen, I was genuinely afraid of putting any sort of lotion on my face in fear of it clogging my pores and giving me acne. I’ve always dealt with cystic acne on my nose, and was deathly afraid of it spreading to the rest of my face. To counteract this fear, I tried to dry out my face as much as possible. Now I can’t imagine cleansing my face and not following up with some sort of moisturizer, and the thought of my poor, dried-out teenage skin is horrifying!
2. I washed my face with OXY Pads.
Yeah. That's not technically a cleanser. I also loved to use things like scrubs with sharp bits of seeds in them. Nope. Nope. Nope. All bad, everything. Now I use the delicate head on my Clarisonic and a gentle cleanser like Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel. I get the exfoliation I want and it doesn’t tear up or dry out my skin.
3. I never used face masks.
All hail the glory of the face mask! If anything, they never fail to make me feel just a little more pampered. They force you to relax, which is one thing I’m absolutely terrible at doing, and leave you with soft, more balanced skin.
4. I hardly did hair masks.
I know, right? Who WAS I? I swear by mask treatments now. As a bona fide platinum blonde going on three years how could I not? I didn’t realize how important it is to have a decent treatment on hand at all times. Now I know they’re worth their weight in gold. It’s worth it. I’m telling you: colour-treated hair—especially platinum—is a full time job.
5. I washed my hair too often.
When I was growing up, people drove the idea into my head that if you didn’t shower and wash your hair once or twice daily, you were completely disgusting. Well, I have news, folks. I generally shower every day or two and only wash my hair once or twice at the absolute most every week, and I would never define myself as unclean.
I try to stretch washing my hair out as long as possible. Washing your hair too often is overrated. That, and my skin gets way too dried out if I shower twice a day; even once a day sort of kills me in the winter. I often opt for baths with soothing ingredients like shea butter, nourishing oils and the like.
6. I didn’t apply oil or lotion after every shower, so my skin was always dried out.
Lotion and oils are my best friends these days, but we weren’t so tight in my younger years. I never knew the power of a swipe of almond oil on my legs could make the world of a difference in appearance and softness, not to mention how damn good they look with that sheen it leaves. Glistening gams—I’m all about ‘em these days.
7. I didn’t use eye creams and slept in my caked-on makeup.
Yeah, I know. I’m cringing right now, too. It’s like everything to do if you want to ruin your skin and age it faster. I thought I was “badass” to fall asleep in my caked-on black liner, shadow and mascara for days, leaving marks all over my pillowcases. Now I think back to that and want to heave. Nothing feels better than a nice, clean, moisturized face hitting an equally clean pillowcase. Sorry, grungy dive bar nights, you’re over.
8. I’d never used a pumice stone.
As a girl whose main form of transportation is walking around the city, this is really gross to think about. No wonder I was so paranoid about people seeing my feet all the time! I didn’t take care of them. Scrubbing down my feet is one of the best things I could have started to do. My callused heels were gross.
9. I complained about how my skin looked in makeup, but I didn’t take care of it.
I know, you’re probably shaking your head reading this whole list, and I’m right there with you. It’s like “GUIDANCE, SAM. DID YOU HAVE NONE OF IT?!” And honestly, I didn’t. I complained endlessly about my gross, dry, flaky skin in the winters and how it didn’t matter what foundation I used, my face would always look grossly textured and subpar.
It wasn’t until my sister gave me a talking-to about how I needed to focus on my skin before any makeup could help me that I really clued in. I now have a skincare routine I stick to religiously, and my makeup has never applied better! Skincare first, makeup second.
10. I never wore sunscreen on my face. Or my body really.
This is a recent discovery, ashamed as I am to admit it. Pretty similar to the irrational moisturizer fear. I never wanted to apply sunscreen to my face because I was petrified of greasy sunscreen wreaking havoc. I thought sun protection wasn’t a thing I had to worry about. But I did my research and started to work SPF protection into my moisturizers and eye creams thanks to brands like Clinique, Clarins and Elizabeth Arden; I even started wearing straight-up sunscreen on my face, and not a blemish did they make. Myth busted.
- What do you regret doing before you got into beauty?
- Did you go through a heavy handed makeup phase you wish you could forget too?