If You Could Instantly Be Better at One Beauty Skill, What Would It Be?

The majority of xoVainers strongly suspect we suck at blowdrying our hair.

New York Fashion Week is underway, and let me tell you, there is nothing quite like seeing a bunch of models with perfectly-done hair, makeup and nails to make you wish you were more skilled at certain beauty techniques.

Luckily, you don't have to be "good at" beauty stuff to love it, like dancing or sex. But we've all been in getting-ready situations where we've attempted a look we'd love to wear only to find we are woefully underqualified for the job. Sometimes practice makes perfect; sometimes practice yields literally no improvement after three-and-a-half decades.

See: me and braids.

I can do a decent basic braid on anyone with enough hair, as long as that person isn't me. As soon as I try to braid my own hair, it becomes very apparent that I did not inherit the self-braiding gene.

So the struggle felt particularly real last night when I went backstage at the Phelan presentation. As soon as I arrived, I was surrounded by a flurry of willowy teenage girls (I know most runway models are young, but I swear this batch was almost entirely middle-schoolers) wearing beautifully sleek French braids.

The look by hairstylist Tomo Jidal was done entirely with Phyto products. First, the hair was prepped and saturated with Phytokeratine Repairing Thermal Protectant Spray. They combed and smoothed the hair, spraying Phytovolume Actif to keep the look a bit wet. It was then French braided and secured with an elastic, allowing for a few little wisps around the ears. Flyaways were wrangled with a leave-in conditioner, and then the whole creation was sprayed with Phytolaque Soie Hairspray.

But even with the expert's instructions, I don't think I can do this to myself. Hell, each model had at least two or three people working on her braid at once!

So I asked xoVain's contributors...

If you could instantly be better at one beauty skill, what would it be?

Morgan: "Knowing where to put blush on my face!"

Hannah L.: "Applying liquid lipstick without having to take it off three times before I get it right!"

Christina: "Blowdrying my own hair as well as the hairdresser can do it!"

Mari: "I agree with Christina. Blowdrying!"

Tamara: "Applying false lashes and doing a cut crease!"


Kelly: "Seconding Tamara: applying false lashes. It never comes out looking right on me."

Annie W. D.: "Wearing more than one eyeshadow at a time."

Maura: "Knowing how to do minimal makeup! And blowdrying my hair, too."

Allison: "Eyeliner! I would love to be able to perfectly draw on a cat eye all casual and walk out the door instead of spending 20 minutes getting my flicks to match. Or getting my lip line right on the first try."

Samantha: "My god, I wish I was better at styling my hair. My current look is 'bedhead' so... it could be better."

Kim: "Everything to do with hair. I can't style my hair besides the basic curl I do everyday."

Maricar: "Nail art. There are so many designs I want to do, but I can never get my nail art to look professional."

Kara: "Using a blowdryer. Not gonna happen."

Rachel: "I wish I was better at shaving my legs. I cut myself almost every damn time, and I've been doing it for, like, 15 years and I still haven't figured it out, I guess. (I am aware that the answer to my struggle is "patience" because I just do it way too fast but, like, honestly, who has the time?)"

Speaking of patience, I encountered a model last night who apparently had very little of it for the whole fashion-show experience. Granted, you see a lot of bored, blank stares and glazed-over expressions — even a few pouts — on the understandably stressed-out models during Fashion Week, but in every single picture she appears in on my memory card, this gal is full-on scowling and side-eyeing everyone. She is the McKayla Maroney of modeling, and I celebrate her.

Your turn! Amongst any other topics you feel like talking about, let it be known: If you could instantly be better at one beauty skill, what would it be?