The Best Beauty Advice I Learned In 2014

The best beauty tips I've learned from xoVain in 2014.

Since my August 4 debut on xoVain, I’ve taken my beauty game to the next level. Coming up with and executing my stories has given me the best excuse ever to experiment with tools and tricks I’ve always wanted to try. And between my incredibly talented co-contributors, all-knowing editors, and lovely, super smart commenters, it’s safe to say I’ve learned more about the beauty world this year than just about anything else.

In appreciation for this opportunity, I'd like to share the most valuable beauty tips I’ve picked up, and the ones I’ll carry with me for years to come.

Fantastic skin doesn’t always have to involve a dermatologist.

After years of struggling with acne, I finally decided to give the drugstore skin care aisle one last shot. Through my story on Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10, I learned that perfect skin can come in a $7 tube.

You can totally prevent your nail polish from chipping.

Alle just about exploded my brain when she wrote about only painting her nails once a week, and only because she wants to switch up polish shades. You see, her lacquer almost never chips, and thankfully, she was enough of a generous goddess to share her tips for, well, long-lasting tips. Thanks, Alle. Sally Hansen Insta-Dri is now my ride-or-die, too.

There are a TON of ways to care for damaged, platinum hair.

Call me silly, but for a long time I thought my only real means of caring for my damaged, post-bleach hair were moisturizing hair masks. Samantha showed me a multitude of other options, including protein treatments, scalp treatments, and hair serums.

There’s no need to panic when your roots get the best of you.

I almost didn't go platinum because of the inevitable rootage that would come knocking on my door. Sable and her genius colorist, Kim, came up with an insanely gorgeous solution that also allows for a subtler way to grow out of all that peroxide. I know that if and when my platinum days end, I’ll be prepped with Sable’s technique.

At the end of the day, it’s just hair.

When I first cut my hair into a chin-grazing bob this summer, I just about lost my shit. But, as with any other kind of loss, I got over it, and was proud of myself for trying out something new.

You can miss out when you turn a blind eye to underdog drugstore brands.

Jordana? N.Y.C.? Black Opal? Who would’ve ever known that these brands make products comparable to ones by MAC and Urban Decay? Tamara, apparently, that's who. My wallet and I thank you!

Loose powder pigments aren’t nearly as terrifying as they look.

I couldn't walk past the MAC counter without swooning over their gorgeous loose pigments, but I was way too unsure of how to use them them to ever fork over the cash for them. That was until Alle provided the lowdown.

Beauty inspo can come from a simple change.

Coming up with fresh takes on holiday makeup for the site wasn’t as easy as I’d initially hoped. Ultimately (duh!) all I had to do was put it in reverse: coppery eyes and metallic lips. Fellow party-goers won’t even know what hit 'em.

Ideas can also come from your favorite painting.

I nearly slammed my head on my desk for not thinking of Mari’s ingenious “art-as-beauty-as-art” look. Irises from Monet’s Garden on your eyelids? Simply gorgeous! Plus, her step-by-step made it oh-so-easy to do on my own.

…Or even your favorite feline friend.

I’m not even gonna front: I have the greatest cat ever (love you, Bigglesworth). And I’m obsessed with the fact that Karl Lagerfeld was so inspired by his own kitty, Choupette, that he collaborated with Shu Uemura on a line dedicated to her, cleverly named Shupette. Wendy took my excitement about the line to the next level, offering up real, wearable looks using the products.

Finally, beauty is so much more than meets the eye.

My boyfriend of three years and I recently split, and, wow, this business is not easy. That’s why I basically worship Alyssa for a piece that proves that I’m not alone, and that beauty and wellness are very real ways you can land on your feet. Beauty isn’t just about lipstick and hairspray. It’s a place for all us super creative, unabashedly kind, and downright hilarious souls to get together and just be.

xoVainers, I love you. Thanks for an incredible few months. I can’t wait for more! Now, it's your turn.

  • What's the best advice you’ve learned from xoVain this year?
  • Any beauty lessons you’re looking to tackle in 2015?