1. You’ll always be more critical of yourself than anyone else. People around you don’t notice all the little things. (But they always notice lipstick on your teeth. Get a handle on that.)
2. Wash your face every night. No, seriously – or try your extra-hardest. Keep some of those handy-dandy face wipes near your bed for the nights you’re too exhausted or wasted to even consider SOAP AND WATER.
3. No amount of hair dye is going to convince a boy of anything. If he didn’t want you as a blonde, he isn’t going to want you as a redhead.
4. That said, boys will always think you’re pretty no matter if your eyebrows are done or not. At least the good ones will.
5. If “done” eyebrows are key to your confidence, though, then by all means, do them every day. I recommend Benefit BrowZings.
6. Observe the women in your family. This is where you came from. This is how you’ll look when you’re older. Learn from them.
7. Maybe water isn’t quite THE cure-all magazines claim, but it is helpful. Drink a lot of it. You’ll feel better in general.
8. Take an Advil or two with a huge glass of water before you pass out after a night of drinking. Your face won’t be as puffy the next day.
9. If you’re acne-prone, don’t dehydrate your face trying to dry out your zits. Be gentle.
10. If your skin is stressed out, DO NOT do one million things at a time to fix it. Don’t over-medicate, over-exfoliate, over-anything. Clarisonics are fun, but you should only use them a few times a week.
11. Blush. Seriously, a flush of color on your cheeks can change your face.
12. A red lipstick is a powerful thing. A very powerful thing. Learn to wield that power.
13. Coconut oil is awesome for pretty much everything. I use it as lotion, as a deep-conditioning hair treatment, even in my coffee.
14. Get used to your hair texture. You really can’t change it, and chances are someone out there is super jealous of it.
15. Tanning beds are bad for you! This is a lesson I’m still in the progress of learning; nothing feels better in the middle of winter than a warm, humming tanning bed. But baking away is no good for your skin.
16. Make friends at makeup counters. The best ones help you find products that actually work for YOU, don’t try to sell you anything, slip you samples and make you feel pretty every time you visit.
17. Spend money on what matters. For me that’s haircuts, skincare and Lancôme mascara. Once you’ve found something that really works magic, stick with it!
18. Moisturize. Even if you’ve got oily skin, you need moisture. It’ll keep you looking younger longer. (For oily skin, I recommend Dr. Hauschka Normalizing Day Oil. Personally, I use Mario Badescu Honey moisturizer and I love it!)
19. If your perfume suddenly brings back bad memories, GET RID OF IT! It’s OK to change perfume when you change boyfriends.
20. Platinum blonde hair is a LOT of work, but damn is it awesome. Eventually, you can do your own roots and tone it yourself! That’s a huge accomplishment! (Says the girl who is currently platinum again after a two year absence.)
21. In addition, dyeing your hair is fun … but seriously, do not do it under emotional duress. How do you think I’ve ended up brunette twice?
22. Tom Ford lipstick is not worth $48. It’s just not. Unless you’re really in the mood for a splurge and nothing else will do … and then I’ll recommend Lipstick Queen’s Velvet Rope.
23. Don’t give in to a super-popular beauty trend unless it really suits you. For example, if full brows aren’t your thing, stick with what you like. It’s obvious when someone is uncomfortable in her makeup.
24. There’s beauty all over the place. Every so often, remind yourself of that and appreciate it.
25. Once in a blue moon, go out without makeup. If you wear a full face every day (I do! And I usually love it!), it’s freeing to see that people will still (usually) treat you the same even when you’re not made up. It’s really tough to be confident in your skin, but you can do it.
26. Smile. This is BEYOND Pinterest-y and I am actually squirming as I write it, but Audrey Hepburn said the happiest girls are the prettiest girls, and I’ve found that she was right.