Youth should be a carefree period in your life – but let’s face it, ageing brings along a certain insight that allows us to only focus on what’s truly important. Many of the problems that would have once caused hours of deliberation with friends will barely register as problems now. What would your younger self like to know?
Dear Jane, make sure to take your makeup off every night. Use makeup removers for sensitive eyes, drink lots of water and protect your skin from the sun (that includes your ears and lips). Pack your sunscreen, conditioner and hair mask even when going on a hike. Don’t be scared of red lipstick, it suits you. Do not try to pluck your eyebrows at home, and tell your beautician exactly what you want. One day the 1990s look will be back, but you don’t have to follow every trend. Get a proper pedicure so your feet don’t look like little hooves.
Do not dye your hair! Your hair has a lovely natural shade of brown with many undertones that have a gorgeous gradient. Your daughter’s hair will be of the same dusty blonde shade, and people will keep asking you if your five-year-old has highlights. Of course she doesn’t – and neither should you. Don’t try experimenting with orange, blonde or black. They’re not your colours. Love your natural hair, skip the colouring and invest in a good shampoo and conditioner that will keep your hair healthy. Life without colour-treated hair is so much easier!
For the love of God, use a cleanser every night! Your young skin is beautiful, so stop caking on the cheap makeup that you don’t even take off half the time. Wiping your mascara off in the morning? Unacceptable! If you want to avoid destroyed eyelashes, clogged pores and nasty skin, you better stand in front of the mirror every night and repeat this mantra: first cleanse to take the makeup off, second cleanse to clean the skin.
Do not dye your hair green. For a fortnight you’ll be the coolest person at school, and then you’ll spend ages trying to grow it out. Your eyeliner can be subtle – there’s no need to look like Dracula. And stop eating potatoes with sugar, even if it’s just a pregnancy craving. Breastfeeding won’t help you get the weight off.
Find out what you really want and live your life on your own terms. The sooner the better. Also make sure to set firm boundaries and don’t be afraid to say “no”, or even “sod off”. Forget about what everyone else thinks. There’s only a handful of people whose opinion should matter to you. Stick with them.
Use sunscreens with a high SPF. Always. It doesn’t matter that people always ask you why you’re so pale, even after you’ve come home from a holiday. Experiment more with your hair. Try going blonde, short, long – anything. If not now, when?
Avoid weightloss diets. They’ll just mess up your relationship with food and your own body. Cleanse your skin properly. Every day! Don’t shy away from bright lipsticks. You only live once, and it would be a shame to limit yourself in something as fun as lip colour.
Always tell people you love them. Hold them close. They might not be around as long as you think. And again – use sunscreen! Obviously.
Don’t use makeup removers with alcohol. Who told you that was a smart thing to do, anyway? Take your makeup off, even after you’ve come home late at night and was sick in your mum’s flowerbeds. Don’t slap tons of makeup on your youthful skin and use your lip liner to outline your actual lips, not the ones you wish you had. Also, read up on sun protection now and use products with a high SPF every single day in all the places where your skin is not covered with clothing.
Don’t dye your hair at home and find a good hairdresser. Don’t just book the one that’s two blocks away because it’s easier. Otherwise you’ll lose half your hair while you’re still in your twenties. Research some anti-hair loss products. And stop being always so nice – live in the present and let everything just flow naturally. That’s it.
Can you relate? What would you say to your younger self?