1. Wavy Celebrity Hair
I can't believe I didn't do a search for it sooner, but I've been craving long wavy hair forever and while my hair is naturally "wavy," it never looks like I should audition for ANTM. I honestly can't remember the site I found the instructions on, but they were super simple.
Prep: blow dry hair. Heat up curling iron. Spritz a little hair spray on to help the curl stay. Wrap hair around the barrel DO NOT use the clamp. [Simple step that I missed out on all these years. I thought the shirley temple curls would fall into gorgeous waves. Not so.] Alternate directions for more natural waves. You can set the curl by pinning them up with bobbypins but it's not a necessity.
Now that I have long hair (thanks to the wedding in October!) I think I'll be doing this all the time.
2. Black Eyeliner
Ever since I saw The Mummy, I wanted black rimmed eyes that didn't look like a raccoon's. I've realized more and more over the years that not every look works for everybody, and outlining my eyes with an eyeliner pencil or liquid liner doesn't end well. I think it's the sensitivity of my eyes and maybe the moisture in my eyes and skin, but it doesn't stay put for long.
I've tried at various times in my life lining the inside of my eyelids but I always felt like I was doing something you shouldn't, because jabbing makeup into your eyeball seems a bit counter intuitive.
That being said, I'm glad that my very expensive quest for wedding makeup led to laura mercier's black eyeliner. You add water to an eyeliner brush (I bought a cheap flat brush at target and have no complaints though I'm sure a makeup artist would be able to tell you some advantages to the real thing), and dab into the watercolor like block. You line the inside of the eyelids, and voila. The color stays in place and your eyes look amazing. I should probably take some pictures of the difference between lining inside and outside on me. Maybe this post will get an update.
3. DIY straight across bangs
Pretty sure I read this tip in Glamour or Elle, but to trim your bangs (which I have required on an off over the past few years by deciding, often in the wee morning hours, that I will once again have straight across bangs) you can simply take the hair you want to cut into your hand (dry) and trim off the end. Not short enough? Trim a little more off.
It's been magical for me, since I had bangs in middle school (it was the big thing, people told me I would look good with them, and I proceeded to have a big ol' velcro roller induced bang curl on my forehead that looked atrocious) and I made the mistake of cutting them myself inbetween haircuts. They were always uneven and I ended up taking too much off. Too bad I don't look like audrey hepburn with short bangs.
Something else I found funny, I went to a secret santa exchange with mallory and ginger, and ginger asked us to raise our hands if we'd ever dated a guy in a band. Garrett has been in bands before, so I did. Then she proceeded to tell us that Stuff White People Like has the theory that a girl with bangs has dated a guy in a band. Pretty sure they decided that solely based on Zooey Deschanel but I'll take it as a compliment.
4. Smoky Eyes
I knew the basic 3 colors (light allover, medium and dark close to the lash line) but I really think the quality of the eyeshadow makes a difference here. My benefit eyeshadow is so much easier to smooth on than my almay 5 color palette with various blue/grays and now I know to go a lot higher up with the medium and dark colors than I used to. Another benefit of going to a makeup counter for wedding makeup. They don't mind helping you out, so ask questions.
5. Clear Skin
Benzoyl Peroxide has been a friend of mine for years, and as ludicrous and online cultish as it seems (to me at least), there's a website, acne.org/regimen.html that contained the secret to getting the most out of it. It's pretty simple. I'd been using every benzoyl peroxide product I could find for years because it did more for me than salicylic acid and the like, but my skin was never perfect. I tried differin gel because I figured prescription meant better.
The basics of the acme regimen are a gentle cleanser (for example, the orange neutrogena bars), 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, and moisturizer. The most important part is the B.P. and unlike the on-the-spot product implies, you use a lot of it and everywhere you get pimples. It's kind of expensive ($6 for a little tube) and I found an off-brand at my college's pharmacy that I used for a while, but either way, it's worth it. You can even buy it on the acne regimen website. The key is that it is 2.5%, because the 5 and 10% are more drying and irritating on your skin.
Oh yeah, and it bleaches fabrics so I use white sheets and towels. Worth it, and I like white.