5 Things I Wish I’d Known About Beauty in My 20’s

5 Things I Wish I'd Known About Beauty in My 20's

In our teens and 20’s we don’t think of skin damage, wrinkles and diminishing collagen as reality. Our parents and grandparents have told us stories for years of their youth and preventive ways to reduce aging however we cannot relate to what doesn’t seem real. Seeing is believing and we have only seen them as adults. Until our appearance changes we don’t think about how age will affect us. Now in my late-thirties, looking back at my younger self, there are 5 things I wish I’d known about beauty in my 20’s. Things that would have boosted my confidence and helped my mature skin age more gracefully.

I have always thought of myself as a self-proclaimed beauty enthusiast. I routinely color my hair monthly. Get manicure and pedicures weekly. Swear by a list of beauty products and only use the best cosmetics. I feel good about myself. Sure I fuss over nick picky things like wanting exceptionally perfect teeth, a smaller nose and thicker hair, but I’m not going to undergo surgery or take a risk to permanently change something so I’ve learned to accept my flaws. It was just last year at the ripe age of 37 that I learned I wasn’t obsessed with healthy skin care habits and beauty but fascinated with looking good. Vain? Extremely! I partly blame Los Angeles for constantly needing to look better.

From this experience I developed a genuine interest in skin care and beauty and no longer obsess over vanity. Which might be how I fell into beauty blogging accidentally. A beauty brand contacted me for a partnership and that peaked my interest. My hobby became a career. I quickly learned about new products and tips to look better. These are the 5 most valuable tips I’ve learned in my beauty career thus far.  

1. Water is your best friend 

Hydration is key to healthy glowing skin. Aside from the benefits attributed to water, applying water to beauty blenders, brushes and directly to your face before applying makeup increases your “glow” factor or luminosity. Water has changed how my makeup sets and finishes. With water you can increase pigments or tone them down. I use rose water to apply my foundation and spread it more evenly for a sheer appearance, but I also apply water to my eyeshadow (especially metallic) to make them pop! Water is also critical for maintaining optimal cellular functioning. If only I’d thought more about that in my 20’s. Drinking plenty of water is key but using the right skin care is also beneficial. I use a sheet mask 2-3 times a week. I see a noticeable difference after I use them because of the hyaluronic acid (apply to damp skin not dry skin for best results) that locks water into your skin. My makeup always looks flawless with moisten skin. I love Ponds hydrate + glow sheet mask. 


2. Concealer shades and brands matter 

Beauty has changed a lot since I was first introduced to makeup and skin care. For years I purchased the most expensive brands. In this case concealer brands. Anything that claimed to be the best I tried. What I noticed overtime when I started to pay attention was concealer aged me. Throughout the day as my makeup set in so did my wrinkles. My concealer wasn’t masking my flaws but enhancing them. I noticed this happening with my foundation too. At first I didn’t think anything of it. But after enough time it didn’t make sense how I looked 10 years younger without makeup which left me in question why these products were advertising to do the opposite. After a little digging I learned I was using the wrong shades and the wrong brands. Concealer is meant to be used to conceal troubled areas. The right brand and the right shade will make or break your appearance. What I found in Marie Claire Magazine is this: “Orange-tinged concealers counteract blueish under-eye circles. A green concealer hides redness. The idea is that concealers act as neutralizers.” I was using the wrong concealer the whole time. I also learned how to apply it properly. It’s important that you don’t mix your concealer into your foundation. It counteracts both applications and creates the appearance of caked on foundation. Takeaway: Find the right brand and shade for your skin and apply it to problem areas where needed. My favorite concealer is Maybelline Instant Age Rewind in Ivory. It’s affordable and does exactly what it says it does.


3. Serum should be part of your skin care routine 

By now we all know serum is extremely hydrating giving us noticeably younger skin. What you may not know is that serum contains the highest concentration of active ingredients that you can get without a prescription. My college roommate, Heather, first introduced me to serum. She sent me a serum from Rodan + Fields. Several months later brands also starting sending me serum. I use them to brighten skin but they also even skin tone, reduce fine lines and get rid of dark spots. Serum has Vitamin C which is an antioxidant that helps reduce skin inflammation and keep the skin firm by promoting healthy collagen production. Vitamin C also helps strengthen the immune system. It is a must for women 30+ but great to use preventively in your 20’s.  


4. There are great self tanners that look natural 

At one time in my life I applied baby oil to my skin and laid out in direct sunlight hoping to get a tan. I also had a membership to a tanning salon aware that skin cancer was a possibility. Amongst many potential harmful effects of my carelessness, it wasn’t until my late twenties that I said goodbye to tanning for good. I don’t recall the specific year but it must have been around 27. I learned self-tanners and spray tans can look natural. After years of experimenting with various products I discovered Nu skin Sunright Insta Glow and The Isle of Paradise.  Now I rely on self-tanners to give me a natural sunkissed glow without leaving orange streaks. Nu Skin is amazing! I use it after I shower and it works instantly. The shade darkens over time but it has immediate results which I haven’t found in another self-tanner. It also doesn’t have a terrible smell like some self-tanners so I use if for quick on-the-go fixes. If you procrastinate like me and rely on last-minute fixes this is your winner. 

 5. Prioritize your nighttime routine 

We all know to protect from UV rays and environmental stressors during the day with the right moisturizer, but night protection also matters. Nighttime is when the skin repairs itself so it is imperative that you invest time into your nighttime routine. This requires more than a quick face wash and should be different from your morning routine. Your focus should be on rejuvenation. Since your skin absorbs the nutrients in your products better at night it’s important to invest in the right skin care routine and products for your skin. I spend a solid 30-45 mins a night on my nighttime routine. In my 20’s my goal was to wash my face and apply moisturizer before bed, now it involves: Eye makeup remover, makeup remover, gentle non-foam (it can dry your skin out) face wash, followed by a toner. Then I layer my night products thinnest to thickest so they absorb fully into my skin. Serum, eye cream, retinol cream and moisturizer. After that I spend 10-15 minutes with my Michael Todd Soniceraser Pro Skin Firming Facial Massager or Jade roller. It’s a process however consistency proves results and is the reason I haven’t already gotten Botox

My growing concern for healthy skin care changed my entire perception of beauty and confidence. I am no longer vain: I am aware of my skin and diligent about protecting it. Beauty is skin deep so be mindful of how you treat your skin with the treatments and products you use. 




is the CEO of www.monikafreeman.com. She also works as a Creative Director, Writer, Brand Strategist and Fashion Editor.

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