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The Very Best Beauty Tips, According to a Seasoned Editor

After ten years in the industry, beauty editor Laura Kennedy has gathered countless tips from the pros. Here she shares her handy beauty hack guide
By: Laura Kennedy

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The Very Best Beauty Tips, According to a Seasoned Editor

The Very Best Beauty Tips, According to a Seasoned Editor

After ten years in the industry, beauty editor Laura Kennedy has gathered countless tips from the pros. Here she shares her handy beauty hack guide

By: Laura Kennedy

Beauty editors never lose their enthusiasm for shortcuts. We are always looking for the next big product launch, or an exciting new way to use an old favourite. Anything that makes life easier or getting out of the house in the morning quicker. You’ll catch us snooping around backstage at fashion weeks, notes app open as we watch the makeup artists and hairstylist, asking countless questions. After years of being a professionally nosy in the beauty industry, you pick up more than a few top beauty tips from the experts.


Apply Dry Shampoo Before Bed for a Longer Lasting Blow Dry

As someone with oily roots, I’ve tried every means of squeaking by for one more day with a blow dry. Aveda's Creative Director Michael Lendon once advised me to apply some dry shampoo before sleeping to ensure that my finer hair is still clean and bouncy when I wake up the next morning. It works.

Try: Hair by Sam McKnight Lazy Girl Dry Shampoo 250ml, £19

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That’s Not Enough Perfume

One or two winsome spritzes won’t last. None of us want to reach the heights of teen boy levels of cologne overapplication, but odds are you aren’t applying enough. Fragrance and beauty expert Alice DuParcq recommends spraying liberally, spraying your hair too, and applying perfume to the tops of your wrists rather than the bottoms so that it won’t disappear when you wash your hands. Clever.

Try: Byredo Mumbai Noise Eau de Parfum 50ml, £130

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Foundation Isn’t for Coverage – That’s Concealer’s Job

Makeup artists never stop making this point, and they’re right. The key to makeup that looks like great skin rather than a mask is revealing the best areas of your skin and keeping coverage to a minimum. Opt for a lighter foundation and rely on concealer to provide full coverage only where it’s needed – on blemishes and areas of hyperpigmentation or darkness.

Try: Bobbi Brown Instant Full Cover Concealer, £25

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If You’re New to Retinol, Buffer Buffer Buffer!

Vitamin A, or retinol, might be the single most effective skincare ingredient we have, but it can also be challenging to use. After struggling with the peeling, redness and irritation it’s known to generate on sensitive skin, I sought expert advice. Dermatologist Dr. Sam Bunting told me to apply a rich night cream to cleansed skin – even my eye area – wait ten minutes, and only then apply my retinol over the top. It slows the action of the retinol so there’s less irritation, but it doesn’t curtail the ingredient’s great results.

Try: Medik8 Intelligent Retinol 3TR Serum, £37

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Azelaic Acid is a Lesser-Known Hero Ingredient

Azelaic acid is the most effective skincare ingredient you’ve never heard of. It works incredibly well to minimise pigmentation left behind by sun exposure and breakouts, while decongesting the skin and increasing cell turnover. It’s a top-tier glow giver often used in the treatment of rosacea and acne.

Try: Paula's Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster, £40

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Change Your Pillowcase Regularly

A grimy pillowcase contributes to breakouts. Skincare, sweat and sebum are in contact with your pillowcase for hours every night, so it makes sense to change it for a fresh one as often as you reasonably can. When I have an active breakout that I’m trying to manage, I’ll change my pillowcase nightly, but the rest of the time, I’ll aim for twice a week.

Try: Liberty Betsy Tana Lawn™ Cotton Standard Pillowcase, £40

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Ditch Your Powder Brush

Unless placed with precision, powder can be unflattering – lingering and caking in and around lines, pores or areas of dehydration. Swap your large powder brush out for a small fluffy eye brush. This will allow you to distribute powder in the places where you may need it – on top of undereye concealer, around the sides of the nose, centre of the chin and between the eyebrows – without losing glow or ending up with an unflattering finish where you don’t want it.

Try: Trish McEvoy All Over Face and Eye Brush, £27

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Smudge Your Lip Liner Gently After Application

Makeup artist and queen of the chic but exciting look Katie Jane Hughes advised me to smudge lip liner gently with a clean finger before applying my lipstick. It pushes the liner into the lip border, ensuring that it will wear for hours like a stain, but it also keeps the appearance of fuller lips without that obvious, harsh line of lip liner. This trick makes everyone look better instantly – I never skip it.

Try: Uoma Beauty Badass MF Lip Liner, £14

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Don’t Forget Your Cuticles

Hand cream is all well and good, but many creams are too rich and thick to properly penetrate the cuticle area, so they leave hands looking moisturised but nails still looking scruffy. Ask any nail tech and they’ll tell you - cuticle oil is a handbag must-have to keep nails looking their best. Frequent use of cuticle oil allows your manicure to look just-done every day, but it also prevents cuticles from getting bitty or ragged, reducing any temptation to pick or pull.

Try: Margaret Dabbs PURE Cuticle Oil, £18

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Clean Your Phone

Most of us are pretty fastidious about hygiene, and yet we carry our phone from tube to work to (let’s be honest) the bathroom and seem to forget how covered in bacteria it is. This is generally undesirable, but dirty phones can also transfer bacteria to your hands and face, which can contribute to breakouts and other skin issues. Keeping some alcohol-free antibacterial wipes in your bag will allow you to clean your phone without damaging it, but if you can’t clean your phone on the go, some hand sanitiser will clean hands in a fix.

Try: Noble Isle Rhubarb Rhubarb! Hand Sanitizer, £7

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Wipe the Tip of Your Mascara Wand to Prevent Clumps

I’ve seen countless pros scrape the tip of the mascara wand against the lip of the tube to get rid of excess mascara. Neglecting to do this is the main cause of clumping as mascara pools at the tip of the wand and then distributes unevenly through the lashes. For a clump-free finish every time, ensure that there’s no blob of product sitting at the tip of the spoolie brush. It takes a second and makes a huge difference to your finished mascara.

Try: Westman Atelier Eye Love You Mascara, £54

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