You learn a lot of things in your 20s—how to get over that jerk who ghosted you, how to cook for yourself and not burn your place down (maybe), and, hopefully, how to be a happy, well-adjusted individual (well… getting there, at least). And sure, you’ll make plenty of mistakes during this decade too, but we’d like to think that the lessons learned outweigh the growing pains. In the interest of making the journey just a little bit easier, we’re sharing 20 life-changing beauty tips every woman in her 20s should have in her arsenal.
“But they’re just beauty tips,” you scoff. “How could they change my life?” Ah, young grasshoppers—you have so much to learn. These tips and tricks are powerful enough to save you in the face of many a hungover morning, or when you’re running late for a meeting with your boss with no time to look polished. Trust us—you’ll thank us for these later. After reading, feel free to go back to your regularly scheduled programming of documenting every moment of your life via social media. #millennials
Keep scrolling for 20 life-saving beauty tips for women in their 20s!
Your 20s may be a period of late nights and early mornings—in other words, dark circle central. The key to covering those annoying bags is a peach-toned concealer. The warm tones will cancel out the bluish-purple tones of your eye bags in one sweep; if they’re especially noticeable, try layering your favorite yellow-toned concealer on top. You can also read more about how to use every shade of concealer.
When it comes to makeup, don’t be afraid to play mixologist. On mornings when your skin is looking (and feeling) dull and pasty, give yourself a dewy makeover simply by mixing a bit of liquid highlighter with your favorite foundation. Your skin will instantly look lit from within instead of zombie-ish.
Feathering and fading are the biggest enemies of wearing a bold lip—which is why you should take a cue from Dita Von Teese and prep your lips with concealer or foundation first. Your lipstick will adhere to the matte surface and last way longer. If you really want it to last all night, fill in your lips all the way with lip liner before applying lipstick.
If you’re suddenly in the mood to rock a matte lip but realize all your formulas are of the satin or shiny variety, employ this trick: Apply your lipstick, place a tissue over your lips, and lightly dust translucent powder over the tissue. Pull the tissue back and voilà—DIY matte lipstick.
So your hair doesn’t naturally fall into model-off-duty waves—we got you. To fake the slightly tousled, perfectly textured strands of the likes of Lily Aldridge and Suki Waterhouse, employ a lazy-girl trick. When your hair is damp, simply pull back into a loose braid. Wait around 10 minutes (give or take, depending on how quickly your hair dries), shake out your strands, and then spritz a texturizing spray for instant beachy waves. (You can also get the same effect using this bun trick.)
Feeling (or rather looking) exhausted? Two words: nude eyeliner. Every woman should have one in her arsenal. Why? Lining your bottom waterline with one is the easiest (and quickest) ways to appear bright-eyed in a pinch. If you don’t believe us, try it—you’ll see the light.
This tried-and-true makeup-artist tip is one we use often. When you’re having a particularly good skin day, why not let your skin breathe and lighten up on the foundation? Just mix your favorite a dab of your favorite moisturizer in with your foundation—like a DIY tinted moisturizer. You’re welcome.
You know that mini eyebrow razor you have? You should be using it on your face. Why? Gently (key word here) swiping it across your face acts like an at-home dermaplaning treatment and leaves your skin silky soft. And no, we promise the hair won’t grow back thicker or darker. You can also read more about how to shave your face for glowy skin.
Kristen Bell once told us that she refers to her eyes as “small and ferret-like”—and then proceeded to share a trick that has since been makeup artist substantiated. To make small eyes pop, swipe a fan brush across your mascara wand to pick up product, then wiggle it from root to tip, starting at the very base of your lashes. This will lift up your lashes as well as accentuate their roots and give you a wide-eyed effect.
You may or may not have heard of “strobing”—it’s basically the opposite of contouring and involves highlighting key points on your face for a super-glowy, angelic effect. We’ll break it down for you: Take your favorite liquid highlighter and swipe it above your cheekbones, down the bridge of your nose, above your Cupid’s bow, and right below your brow bone, making sure to blend as you go. Skin compliments will follow, trust.
Parched, thirsty strands? Give them a big dose of moisture… by heading straight to your pantry. Coconut oil makes a great hair mask (among many other things). Just slather it on, and depending on how damaged your strands are, either wait a few minutes then jump in the shower, or place a shower cap on your head and sleep with it in before washing it out in the a.m. Or, pull a lazy-girl move and apply it before your next workout, twist your hair in a bun, and rinse it out afterward for soft, shiny strands and accomplished feelings.
Silk pillowcases might seem excessive when you've got bills to pay, but satin will work just as well. Basically, any soft, slippery surface to lay your head on will be better than cotton, which can tug at your strands and cause breakage, as well as those unsightly sleep wrinkles.
If you blow-dry your hair by pulling your sopping wet strands taut and blasting your blow-dryer at them, we have news for you: You’re doing it wrong. Try rough-drying first; it’ll make your life so much easier and give you more-voluminous strands. For the unschooled, rough-drying just means drying your strands with your fingers, fluffing as you go. Want more tips? Check out how to make your hair dry faster.
Lauren Conrad, she of an enviable Cali-girl mane, shared a trick with us that has forever changed our wavy-hair game. For those with fine strands that don’t hold a curl, here’s a game changer: Wrap your hair up after you curl it, then use a clip or pin to hold the curl in place. This is called “setting” the curl, aka allowing it to dry in a curled shape, which will ensure its longevity. Click to read more about Conrad’s beachy wave technique.
The best things in life are free—and that includes the ice in your freezer right now. Gabrielle Union submerges her face in ice water to wake up her skin in a pinch, but an ice cube wrapped in a paper towel and glided across your skin will work too. Check out exactly how to use ice in your beauty routine.
Every beauty editor keeps a spoon in her fridge. Why? Because it’s the first thing that’ll depuff swollen eyes after a night of sushi bingeing or too many shots. Press it over your eyes and instantly look less tired—like magic.
By now, you know that SPF is your first line of defense against premature aging. Good job! Now, it’s time to evaluate your technique. If you’ve been slathering on your favorite SPF right before you head out the door or, worse, when you’re already soaking up the rays, it’s time for a wake-up call: If you’ve been using a chemical sunscreen, you’ll need to wait at least 20 or 30 minutes after application for it to start protecting your skin. And don’t think you can get by if your foundation has SPF in it—you should still apply a layer before your face makeup.
Why? Because makeup with SPF just isn’t reliable in terms of protection, and can smudge or smear, which decreases its power to protect.
Waking up with a puffy face is no one’s idea of a good morning—but luckily, a simple facial massage will instantly tighten and tone. Done correctly, it can stimulate blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, as well as give you a post-spa glow. We firmly believe every 20-something should know how to do one, for those late nights followed by early nights. Learn how, in GIF form.
If you've been sticking to your fitness goals and hitting up the gym every week, you're probably feeling pretty good right now—your body, in the other hand, is probably just very sore. We'll let you in on a little secret our wise and knowing co-founder shared: Take an Epsom salt bath. Not only is the experience itself incredibly soothing, but it will also heal soreness better than any kind of balm or even stretching.
Are we saying that there's a right and wrong way to shower? Yes, yes we are indeed. To keep things like bacne and breakouts at bay, make sure you're cleansing and rinsing in the right order each time you step into the shower. Here's exactly how to shower, the beauty editor way.
Did you know all of these tips already? Tell us your can't-live-without beauty tips below!