5 Beauty Rules That Were Meant to Be Broken

April 27, 2016

Rules, rules, rules. If Katniss Everdeen had followed them, she wouldn’t have become the “girl on fire” who took down an entire dictatorship in “The Hunger Games.”

OK, in real life, it might not be practical to break all the rules, but when it comes to beauty, some rules are meant to be broken. There’s no need to stick with the status quo if it doesn’t make you look or feel good, right? Here are five beauty rules you shouldn’t be afraid to break.

Rule No. 1: Don’t sleep with wet hair

New rule: DO sleep with wet hair

Don’t know about you, but I distinctly remember my mom warning me never to sleep with wet hair—or else it would fall out! Somehow I escaped the childhood trauma of that old superstition and summoned enough courage to test it myself. Nowadays I sleep with wet hair every single night, and guess what? Never have I ever woken up with loose strands all over my pillow. Not only is my hair still very much attached to my head, but I’m also very into the effortlessly tousled results. It was a game-changing discovery—no need to blow out my hair every morning to get  textured, full-bodied waves. (FYI: My hair is long, medium-thick, and naturally pretty straight.) Here’s the trick:

  1. Wash or wet your hair before bed.
  2. Comb to detangle.
  3. Run fingers through from roots to tips to separate and create space for volume.
  4. Scrunch hair.
  5. Lay your head down with hair splayed up and over the pillow.
  6. Wake up and go!

For a little frizz control in the morning, just add one to two drops of argan oil to your palm, rub hands together, and then gently run them through hair, scrunching all the while, avoiding the roots. Done and done.

Note: Keep in mind that this method may work best on longer hair types. For really fine hair, twisting wet hair into a high bun or braids may generate more waviness.

Rule No. 2: Wash your face morning and night

New rule: If dry skin is a problem, wash your face just once, at night

Twice-daily face washing is a habit that can do more harm than good—it can leave skin parched. Definitely be sure to cleanse off all makeup and dirt from the day each night, but come morning, it might not be necessary to repeat. A splash of water should suffice for a quick skin pick-me-up before smoothing on some moisturizer. If you’re oily and want to cut any excess buildup that may have happened overnight, instead of reaching for face wash right away, simply dab some witch hazel onto a cotton ball and swipe it over the face for a clean slate. See how that works for you and you might find that your skin stops overproducing oil.

For a luxurious DIY cleanser that’s cheap, easy to make, and gentle enough for all skin types, try this coconut milk concoction:

Rule No. 3: Use oil-free products if you have oily skin

New rule: Give beauty oils a try even if you have oily skin

Oil-free skin care was all the rage in the ’90s, when thick mineral oil was demonized for its tendency to clog pores and cause acne. But nowadays, we’re wising up to the benefits of certain types of oils, even on acne-prone skin. Overloading on oil-free cleansers, for instance, can dry out even the greasiest skin too much, causing it to produce even more oil, which then leads to breakouts. Lighter beauty oils like jojoba, grapeseed, and rosehip can break the cycle, moisturizing and rebalancing the complexion, while providing skin-saving antioxidants. Simply massage a two to three drops into skin after washing.

Rule No. 4: Choose a concealer that’s one shade lighter than your skin tone

New rule: Use a concealer that matches your skin tone

Ever been tagged in flash photo on Facebook that exposed ashy spots on your chin? That concealer blunder was not your fault. For years, makeup artists have advised going one shade lighter with concealer, to brighten up dark circles under the eyes as well as help lighten up spots and scars from bygone blemishes. While it might make sense in theory, from personal experience, lighter concealer can look really unnatural—the same goes for too dark—especially in the wrong light. Since you most likely don’t have a crew following you around and bathing you in the most flattering light all day, every day, play it safe and search for a trusty concealer that matches your skin shade as closely as possible for the most natural, fresh-faced look. To know for sure, test it directly on your face rather than on the back of your hand.

Rule No. 5: Tweeze your eyebrows to keep them “on fleek”

New rule: Let brows grow and embrace their natural shape

Here’s a lazy-girl tip you’re gonna love. Tweezing is another ’90s-era trend that can go. When it comes to facial features, bold brows make the ultimate statement, somehow giving an instant facelift. If it’s good enough for Sofia Vergara and Cara Delevingne, it’s good enough for us!

If you’ve gone a little tweezer-happy in the past, there’s hope. Some say applying olive, castor, or vitamin E oil onto your brow can help stimulate regrowth. It may take several months and a lot of patience, but cool it on the tweezing for a while—it’ll be worth it. Once your natural brows have come back to life, avoid plucking anything but the odd stray hairs for maintenance.

Got any other beauty rules you love to break? School us in the comments below!

Photo credit: Alicia Cho

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Dana Poblete

Dana's love for all creatures under the sun (bugs, too) drives her in her advocacy for ethical eating, environmental sustainability, and cruelty-free living. A natural born islander, she surfs when she can, and writes, always.

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