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When this post goes up it'll be the eve of my 29th birthday so it seemed like a good time to look back on how I did my makeup in my early 20s vs. how I do it now in my late 20s! Let's dive in...
In my early 20s I was really into these mauve-y sorts of shades: think Hourglass Mood Exposure or Tarte Exposed on the cheeks and something like MAC's Soar or Twig on the lips (and I often went for light and cool-toned shimmers on the eyes). Those were the sorts of colours that the beauty gurus I followed talked about so I bought them and wore them too. In retrospect, did they suit me the best? Probably not! I did experiment with colour a little but ultimately I settled on warm browns and golds suiting me best with the occasional muted rosy tone thrown in for good measure. After racking up numerous, barely-used colour palettes that subsequently expired (having been barely touched), I kind of realised I wasn't super into colour and I'm ok with being boring! I have one or two colour palettes in my collection now for when I feel like having a bit of fun, but I realised how long it takes to finish something like an eyeshadow palette and that curating a well-loved smaller collection was the way to go for me.
The other thing that jumps out at me is that the complexion products I used are so different to what I reach for now! I used to wear a proper, at-least-medium coverage foundation every day and a full-coverage concealer like Tarte Shape Tape. I don't think I was super-comfortable with my skin at the time, though it looks perfectly nice in hindsight! It's really not as though I had acne or anything like that but as I left my teenage years behind, I think my hormones settled down and I'm sure removing my makeup properly at the end of the day probably helped... I still have pretty visible dark circles and I still use concealer, but I cake it on a bit less and it doesn't feel like the end of the world if they're not 100% covered for a day at the office! I also don't think freckles were considered a visually-appealing thing at all back when I was younger so I don't think I was as confident using products that still let them show through so much. I personally save the foundations for when I want to glam up and day-to-day I'm more of a tinted complexion product person now.
Another thing that jumps out is the eyeliner! I personally think winged liner is still lovely but back in my early 20s I didn't leave the house without a slick of Soap & Glory Supercat or Stila Stay All Day. I think it's a combination of factors that changed this, to be honest. Firstly, in 2016 I got hay fever for the first time and it's been a regular fixture of my summers ever since. With my eyes prone to streaming at the slightest waft of pollen, it was a practical choice to save a thinner, neater version of my winged liner for special occasions and nights out. Then COVID kind of killed those occasions off! I don't consciously choose not to wear it now, it just tends not to cross my mind, though I do like creating a lifted look using my eyeshadow.
I also noticed such a difference in how I do my eyebrows! I don't think I felt they were at the time, but looking back they're kind of blocky and not very natural. I'm pretty sure I was either using this often-blunt Rimmel pencil or one of those 'wax and powder' kits at this time. I do much prefer the look of my brows now: the aim is no longer to fully fill in every gap but just to create individual additional hairs. It's a bit elaborate but I do really believe in the Refy method: it looks a lot more realistic and hopefully my technique has also improved a bit!
Lastly, I thought I'd touch on one of the biggest changes which is that I just don't really use powder bronzer, highlighter or blusher any more, instead opting for creams, sticks and liquids. I used to hate cream blushes; they disappeared after a few hours of wear, they were patchy and they made my cheeks look excessively shiny. However, since I around about when I turned 25, I've found my skin has definitely got drier and of course I'm now getting those early fine lines so creams give me a fresher, dewier complexion and actually also look a lot more flattering on my slightly-older skin!
How has your makeup style changed as you've aged?