Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Beauty Advice I'd Give My Teenage Self

Left: Circa 2007, aged 14 post eyebrow-plucking fiasco. Top right: 2009, aged 16, eyebrows starting to grow back a complete mess. Bottom right: (Not even that long ago!) 2012, aged 18, me wearing all the mascara.

Ah, hindsight is a fantastic thing isn't it? Around the festive season I tend to get all sentimental and start looking at old photos of past Christmases and so on. Along the way, I tend to stumble upon some interesting shots of me when I was younger. I'm sure I'm not alone in looking back on some of my photos from my teenage years and intensely cringing. I've always been obsessed with makeup. Straight up from the age of around 4 or 5, all I wanted were those cheap kid's makeup sets. Then I graduated onto some of the harder stuff: Boots' Glitter Babes range (who remembers that??) and a serious Lip Smackers Collection. The lip product obsession started early, I had a drawer where I kept all my glosses, balms and lipsticks and I vividly remember counting them when I was eleven years old and finding out I had over 100 different products in there. Sounds made up - it's not. Apparently I've always been a hoarder. Of course with all those products comes great responsibility - aka, knowing how to actually put them on your face. Which I did not.

I was reminiscing about all of this lately and thought that it would be really fun to write a post on the beauty advice I'd give my teenage self, because those were not my heydays. I hope some of this stuff is relatable and that I'm not the only weirdo who hoarded scented lip products well into their mid-teens.

1. Leave your eyebrows alone!!!! This is probably something on 90% of people's list of regrets from when they were younger, but I seriously plucked the s*** out of my brows. I've always had fairly unruly brows that were much darker than my blonde hair, so one day when I was around 14, I thought "sod it, I'm going to get those nice shapely brows everyone else seems to have". I then started doing what can only be referred to as hacking at my face with a pair of dodgy tweezers, until I had two, very uneven, very thin lined atop of my eyes. I remember my mum's sheer horror when she saw me (I thought I looked great) and she made me lie down so she could try and do some damage control and at least even my brows out a bit. The tails of my brows are still very sparse from overplucking so that's something I definitely resent teenage Sonja for, but hey, you live and you learn!

2. Stop trying to make blue eyeshadow happen, it's never going to happen. At least not for me it's not. This one is fairly self explanatory. I used to go hard on the blue eyeshadow with those little foam applicators that come in the cheap sets I loved so much. Not a great look, as it happens!

3. Figure out how to use mascara. This one's slightly embarrassing because until I was about 14, I was completely baffled by mascara. I remember being at a friend's house and her showing me how to apply it. I tried to mimic what she'd done and literally got it all down my nose and on my cheek. Hand-eye coordination has never been my forte. Most of the time I ended up just not wearing mascara because of lack of coordination and sheer laziness. I can only begin to tell you how weird it looks if someone's done up their whole face and stuck on some lipstick, but has left their eyes and brows completely makeup free. That was my go-to look for a while. Once, I did eventually start wearing mascara, I wore all of the mascara. Seriously, I'm surprised my lashed didn't droop fromt eh sheer weight of all that product. Also don't pile on electric blue mascara and wear it to school, you look weird.

4. Wash your face! It pains me to admit this, but I didn't have a proper skincare routine until one of my friends from Switzerland literally dragged me through Lush when I was 18. Up until that point I'd been "cleansing" with Nivea makeup wipes, slapping on some moisturiser and calling it a day. In fact, when I still lived in the UK (15 and younger) I'd often wake up, brush my teeth and just put my makeup right on my face. Ew, gross, I know. There are so many budget friendly options available in Boots now, so I think there are lots of skincare picks out there for teenagers!

5. Don't get so stressed about how you look. Ooh, we're getting a little bit deep here! I have always had the terrible habit of comparing myself to those around me and I think this is something that especially teenagers do. I was always measuring myself against other people and coming out of it completely dissatisfied with my appearance. Now that I've reached the ripe old age of 22, I've cooled down a bit and realised that I'm never going to look like I've walked right off a catwalk and that's fine. What other people think of you is pretty irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, especially if they're judging you off first impressions. So stop stressing about how you look and for goodness sake, put down the tweezers!

That last one may have been more along the lines of some general life advice as opposed to beauty advice, but you catch my drift. This was honestly such a fun post to write and it's a little bit different to what I normally do. Hopefully some of you guys have had similar experiences, and please let me know about some of your past beauty mishaps, they're so much fun to read about! I also hope you enjoyed some of the questionable photos of me in my teens. Unfortunately I didn't find any of me wearing weird colours of makeup (pretty sure I made sure none of those ever saw the light of day) but I still think I picked out some winners there. Happy Wednesday!



  1. This made me laugh! Ahh blue eye shadow.. I tried to make this work to. I also loved white eye shadow as well. I was lucky I never touched my brows but I did used to apply foundation over them to hid them. I literally looked like alien! Great post :)

  2. I can definitely relate to a lot of this! My brows where so SO unruly (and still are a bit) but I wish I'd just have trimmed the length of them down instead of letting my friends hack away at them - I believe they've been uneven since. Haha love the one about blue eyeshadow - why didn't the older generation tell us sooner :') x
    Charlotte's Road

  3. I can so relate to the blue eyeshadow thing, it's never going to work!


  4. Totally agree with the eyebrows! When I look at the old photos, I can't believe how thin I pluck them and now I can't seem to grow them properly. When I was younger, makeup wipes did the job for me so I didn't do much in terms of skin care. I wish I hadn't done that!

  5. Love this post! Sure most girls can relate, ha! I over plucked my eyebrows so much once when I was 18, that I had a photo taken in a club and you could see the half inch gap in my arch. It's embarrassing to admit, but I had to photoshop the photo, it was so horrendous!xx

    Laura | Lala London: Beauty & Lifestyle

  6. This was a great post, so true, especially about brows LoL

  7. Can completely relate to the blue eye shadow and way too much mascara times! I also used to wear way, way too much badly applied eyeliner! Number 5 is such a good point :) xx
    Chasing Belle 23

  8. EXCELLENT post!! These definitely applied to my teenage self. I could never learn to leave my eyebrows alone (I can't even look back at my HS photos because of how hideously overplucked they were, YUCK!).

    Jasmine | The Sixth Disney Princess


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