Rule: Always wear lip liner with lipstick.
How to bend: According to renowned makeup artist Bobbi Brown, this rule’s outdated equivalent is wearing panty-hose with heels. Clearly, it’s OK to adjust! Essentially, lip liner is just too much for daily use. Instead, apply your lipstick with a lip brush, and use it to trace your pout.
Product pick: In addition to a lip brush, the Stila Brush Set contains everything you’ll need for your makeup application: blush, shadow, liner and crease.
Rule: Change your foundation color with every season.
How to bend: You probably won’t need to change the shade of your foundation. Nowadays, most women prefer to use self-tanners and slather on sunscreen (thereby your complexion’s color doesn’t change much), according to Self, so most likely you’ll want to change your foundation’s finish. You may opt for a matte finish in the summer but a hydrating foundation in the winter, when chilly temps and mad winds dry out your skin. Or go light with a tinted moisturizer.
Product picks: With built-in sun protection (it’s still vital to wear sunscreen in the wintertime!), Stila Sheer Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 includes hydrating ingredients like sweet almond oil and provides barely-there coverage. It comes in five shades, from bare to tan. In the summertime, consider Illuminare Ultimate All Day Foundation/Concealer, which also comes in an array of colors and provides an oil-absorbing matte finish.
Rule: Avoid exfoliating dry skin.
How to bend: Unless your skin is super-sensitive, every skin type should exfoliate both the face and body. Why? If you don’t slough off the dead skin cells, your skin ends up looking dry, dull, rough and uneven. Dead skin also clogs pores, contributing to acne. Plus, your skincare products will sadly stay on top of the thick surface, without sinking into the skin. With dead skin cells forming a barrier, any moisturizer you use won’t be able to effectively hydrate your skin. Using an exfoliant lets products penetrate the skin and reveals newer, healthier, more radiant skin. Keep a gentle scrub for your face and a tougher-acting one for the body.
Product picks: Philosophy When Hope Is Not Enough Omega 369 Hydrating Body Scrub gently exfoliates the skin, leaving it soft and smooth. Bliss Lemon and Sage Body Scrub lifts dead skin cells pre-shower. Just apply it before your routine rinse, and after five minutes, wash away.
Rule: Wash your face twice a day every day.
How to Bend: Is your skin dry or sensitive? Then it’s typically best to wash your face once a day to prevent further dryness and irritation, dermatologist Sonia Badreshia-Bansal, M.D., F.A.A.D., tells the American Academy of Dermatology. To stave off stripping the skin of its natural oils, wash your face at night when it’s the dirtiest and rinse with cool water in the morning.
Is your skin excessively oily or acne-prone? You might need to wash your face three times a day, says Dr. Badreshia-Bansal. Just be sure not to over-wash with an abrasive cleanser or scrub harshly, which can exacerbate oiliness and acne, triggering more breakouts and excess oil. How can you tell how often is best? If skin is tight, cut down washing to twice or even once a day. Still not helping? You may need a richer lotion. Or you might be using an overly drying acne product, so reduce use.
Rule: Bronzer is best left for summertime.
How to Bend: Actually, it’s great all year round. Bronzer helps boost your complexion, making you look rejuvenated and as if you’re radiating from the inside out. The reason many women avoid bronzer is probably because they’ve been buying the wrong one or applying it incorrectly. When we think bronzer, many of us think dark spots that tend to look more dirty or orange than golden.
According to About’s beauty expert, Julyne Derrick, pick a bronzer that’s a shade darker than your natural tone. (The problem many women run into is coveting a skin tone that’s several shades darker than their complexion. And buying it! Embrace your skin color and go for shades that are close to your color.) Using a larger brush, apply the bronzer to where the sun would naturally hit your face: your forehead, nose, chin and cheeks. Then, apply a “pink-toned blush” to the apples of your cheeks. For more on choosing and applying bronzer to your face, see our simple, step-by-step guide.
Wearing an open top? Be sure to apply bronzer to your neck and chest. For more on creating an all-over flawless, sunless tan, see here.
Have a porcelain complexion? Even bronzers and self-tanners that are super-light will likely look unnatural on you, Bobbi Brown writes in Prevention. Instead she suggests a soft pink or apricot blush.
Product picks: Stila Sun SPF 15 is the brand’s bestselling bronzer and comes in two shades. It gives skin a luminous, light glow. With six colors to choose from, Colorescience Retractable Bronzer Brush SPF 20 provides a healthy, subtle, sun-kissed radiance. bareMinerals Rose Radiance All Over Face Color boosts your complexion, and can be used on lips and eyes.
Whatever skincare and beauty rules you’ve abided by, it may be time to re-evaluate. There are tons of misconceptions and old wives’ tales that, at first glance, may seem to ring true (get the facts here). So whether it’s always wearing lip liner, washing your face twice a day or tossing bronzer out of sight when summer’s over, remember that some rules are meant to be bent!