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Be a Beauty Rebel!

Updated on December 3, 2015

All those do’s, don’t, musts and shouldn’ts – who says you have to be a faithful follower? Go ahead and break a few rules. Here are 18 you can thumb your nose at. You’ll feel – and look – great.

Makeup: 7 Rules to Snap

  • Play up your eyes or your mouth – not both

Break it because You can do full-face makeup that’s not overkill by using products that let your natural skin tone show through. Try clear, light washes of color on eyes (I like barely there Rimmel WaterCook Shadow) or shimmering sheers on lips (such as Origins Service With a Smile lipstick). Blondes will like pink or taupe on lips and eyes, brunettes can go with plum or burgundy and redheads with peaches or pinks.

  • Wear lip pencil to “contain” your lipstick

Break it because A natural-looking mouth doesn’t have a hard edge. New stainlike lipcolors (such as Clinique Colour Surge Lipstick) go on and stay put and look best smudged on with fingers (also try Chantecaille Lip Gloss). A tip: Oil-free foundation around lips makes color even less likely to escape.

  • Skip white after Labor Day

Break it because OK, this is a fashion rule. But the new view applies to cosmetics as well: White “is a year-round staple in the latest makeup wardrobe. Don’t save it for summer. Whiten and brighten your eyes now. Try Calvin Klein Eye Color Wash in Cloud.

  • Always wear foundation with powder

Break it because Using powder to “set” makeup makes you look about a thousand years old. Natural skin is in, and these days, base is meant to even out your skin tone, not mask it. If you’re going foundation-free, use powder to make occasional shiny spots matte.

  • Curl lashes before applying mascara

Break it because That metal clamper is just so darn scary! Try an especially easy shortcut to getting va-va-voom lashes: lash-curling mascara formulas. I like Chanel Super curl Lengthening Mascara.

  • Never put on moisturizer over your makeup

Break it because Times have changed. Back in the days of old-school pancake makeup and heavy blush, it was important to put on your face in unvarying stages. But the newest sheer oil-free moisturizers are so lightweight that you won’t risk “melting” away the colors by applying a little lotion here and there for extra dewiness. A bonus: Help your skin even more by making that moisturizer one with sunscreen.

  • Don’t wear shadow the same color as your eyes

Break it because Conventional thinking was that matching makeup turns your eyes into one big, distracting blob of blue or brown. In truth, it can actually bring out your eye color (the way an aqua sweater plays up your baby blues). If sweeping shadow liberally across your lids makes you feel a little overdone, use it as a liner, smudging it along the lash line only.

Nails: 4 Rules to Break

  • Red nail polish is a no-no in the summer

Break it because Nothing is sexier than a warm golden glow (faux, of course) paired with red, another warm color. Choose red polish with an orangish hue rather than cooler (more wintry) blue tones.

  • File your nails in one direction only

Break it because There’s a better way to file. One-way filing does prevent splits, but rather than filing straight across the entire nail, you should gently file from an outer edge to the center of the nail, moving the file in one direction, then start from the other side and file toward the center again. (Yes, technically that’s two directions). Sawing back and forth across the entire nail or using too much pressure can cause little tears in the tip that will prompt your polish to crack and flake later.

  • Let your nails “breathe” between manicures

Break it because Lungs breathe, not nails. Keeping nails polished actually protects against cracks and breaks. Check nail health between polishes by looking for yellow, white or green spots on or under the nails. A fungal infection starts small and grows slowly, but once it takes hold, it’s hard to get rid of. Going for days without polish is not necessary. If your nails show minor yellowing on the surface, it’s probably staining from dark polish; use a protective base coat in the future.

  • Always match your nails to your lipstick

Break it because These days, it just seems old-fashioned to match. In fact, she encourages the contrast. You don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard. Why not be more creative, less obvious? So go ahead – mix papaya-orange fingers with rose-pink lips or beige lipstick with bronze-red nails. After all, isn’t beauty supposed to be fun?

Hair: 4 Rules to Brush Off

  • Women over 30 should have short hair

Break it because It’s boring. This rule dates to a time when longer styles generally looked heavy, shapeless or girlish. Style today is about being an individual and doing what makes you feel good. Plus, new layering techniques give you good-looking long locks at any age.

  • Never let your roots show

Break it because When slightly darker roots are done deliberately, they add dimension and look like the result of nature, not neglect. Visible roots work best on a longer cut with lots of movement (for example, layers or curls), so the two-tone look isn’t too stark.

Elle Macpherson
Elle Macpherson | Source
  • Use a comb after shampooing your hair

Break it because You’ll break it! Wet, swollen hair is less flexible. Skip the comb and instead spritz on a protective detangler. Then separate strands with your fingers to create a natural texture.

  • Let grays grow unplucked

Break it because It’s a myth that 10 will replace the one you pluck. Each hair grows independently. Tweezing a few silver strands won’t cause them to be fruitful and multiply (but as plucked ones grow back, they may poke up Alfalfa-like).

If your hair is wet, leave your comb on the counter.

Skin: 3 Rules to Skip

  • Exfoliate frequently with grainy cleansers

Break it because You exfoliate to get rid of skin-dulling dead cells. But using potentially gritty cleansers containing fruit pits, sugar, salt or synthetic beads too often can scratch your skin or cause breakouts. If we were meant to use sandpaper on our faces, our skin would be made of wood. Instead, he suggests weekly exfoliation with a product containing a low concentration of fruit acid. Yves Saint Laurent Instant Pur Self-Foaming Cleanser uses papaya to speed up the shedding of dead skin without abrasion.

  • Don’t use washcloths on your face

Break it because All cloths are no longer created equal. New disposable facecloths of specially woven, supersoft fibers are already infused with a dose of cleanser as well as moisturizer or specific treatment, such as salicylic acid or another acne fighter. They allow for gentle cleaning with minimal abrasion. One to try: Biore Blemish Fighting Cleansing Cloths. Cleanse with one side and exfoliate with the other.

  • Use daytime moisturizer only in the day

Break it because Non-comedogenic facial lotions work whenever you put them on (even those with sunscreen won’t clog pores if worn overnight). Most moisturizers contain a good hydrating ingredient, which is what you need. There may be times when you want to use a night cream, like when your skin demands a hydrator that’s too thick to wear under makeup (try Clarins Multi-Active Night Cream) or you pick a formula (such as Vichy Reti-C Intensive Corrective Care) that contains retinol or another ingredient that triggers sun sensitivity.


  • Never pop your pimples

Blemishes are temporary intruders, but the scars from meddling with them could be permanent. Hasten the healing with a warm compress on the area and, later, medication containing salicylic acid.

  • Never trim your own split ends

Those desk scissors you’re using are blunt and can shred the ends of hair, making future splits worse. Keep shagginess in check with regular haircuts every four to eight weeks.

  • Never clip your cuticles

The cuticles protect your nails from infection. Soften them with cuticle cream (try BlissLabs Nail + Cuticle Super Groom) and push them back with a finger wrapped in a soft cloth.

  • Always wear sunscreen

There’s still a hole in the ozone, and the resulting blasts of UV radiation make us vulnerable to sunburn and skin cancer. It’s never too late to protect your skin from wrinkles and worse.

  • Less is more

Because you’re beautiful just the way you are.

Give conventionality the kiss-off: Who says you need to apply lipstick straight from the tube?


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    • Michaela Osiecki profile image


      3 years ago from USA

      I thought this was about actually being a beauty rebel and doing your own thing, not breaking the "rules" just because someone else tells you to do so.

      For rule #1, your advice doesn't play up eyes OR mouth but rather keeps them both simple to begin with, thus negating the rule breaking. The real loophole here is to actually use dramatic colors or shading on BOTH the eyes and mouth.

      Most setting powders are made to be rather sheer and only act to keep your makeup in place for the day. It's not like the cakey stuff of days yonder...

      And I always trim my own split ends. Hair trimming scissors cost $5 at any beauty supply shop, which is a lot cheaper than shucking out $30 just for a damn trim every few weeks. Then again....I've been cutting my own hair for years.


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