10 Beauty Rules to Break


Whether you’re a teenager, a mom, or a CEO, there’s a certain thrill in breaking rules. If you’re itching to break some rules but don’t want to risk big consequences, take a look at these outdated beauty rules. How many of these can you break today?

1. You can’t leave the house with chipped nail polish

How many times have you been on your way out the door only to realize that your manicure is in need of some TLC? So you apply a quick touch-up then frantically blow on them until you think (hope) they’re dry enough to avoid smudging. Well, there’s good news: thanks to the resurgence of the grunge look, you don’t have to do that anymore. While you certainly don’t want to go out in public with a manicure that looks like its been chewed by small animals, you can stop worrying about a few chips.

2. Gray hair makes you look old

Gray hair carries an undeserved stigma. A lot of women start turning gray in their 30s – or even their 20s! More and more of them are choosing not to cover that gray up, especially when it’s a gorgeous silver. Gray hair only makes you look old if the rest of your look is frumpy; when combined with stylish clothes and flawless makeup, gray hair is a hot, trendy fashion statement.

3. Visible roots make you look cheap

This is another rule that has been given a well-deserved heave-ho. Darker roots can add depth of tone to your hair. The secret is that they shouldn’t look like they’ve been drawn on with a ruler. To make your roots look stylish and natural, have your stylist use a few different shades and apply them randomly at your part.

More: 10 Classic Makeup Looks to Try

4. Women over 40 can’t wear long hair

With stars like Sarah Jessica Parker and Courteney Cox leading the way, women in their 40s are choosing to keep their long tresses instead of following the arbitrary rule that the need to cut them off after that milestone birthday. Sure, frazzled, overly-processed hair should be trimmed, but that’s true regardless of the age of the wearer. Healthy, glossy locks look beautiful on women of any age.

5. Manis and pedis should match

Says who? The more intricate nail designs become, the less sense it makes to insist that hands and feet match. Try an elaborate design on your fingernails with a complementary solid color on your toes. Or try a sparkly polish on your toes with a matte of the same shade on your hands. Hands and feet shouldn’t clash, but they don’t need to match, either.

6. Always use makeup brushes

Sure, professional makeup artists use brushes, but that’s like saying professional bakers use industrial ovens: it doesn’t mean you have to. In fact, applying concealer and foundation with your fingertips warms it up, making it blend more smoothly. It’s also easier to control the amount when you’re applying makeup with your fingers, so that you don’t end up looking like you’re wearing a mask.

More: 10 Must-Have Beauty Products

7. Redheads can’t wear red lipstick

Sure, they can. The trick is to focus on skin tone, not hair color, when choosing a shade. If your skin has pink undertones, opt for a “blue red.” If your skin has olive or golden undertones, choose an “orange red.” And there are lots of variations within those two color families, so don’t be afraid to experiment to find just the right one.

More: 10 Dos and Don’ts of Wearing Red Lipstick

8. You should only use eyeliner on your top lid

There’s a grain of truth in this rule: completely encircling your eyes with liner makes them look smaller. But it’s all about technique. Instead of outlining your entire eye with the same color and thickness, opt for a lighter touch on your lower lid, with the line drawn at or just below your lash line, not above it. Another trick is to use a lighter shade of the same color you use on your upper lid. Still have reservations? Try using a white or nude pencil to draw a thin line right above that lower lash line to make your eyes look wider.

9. Always use lip liner

The idea behind this rule was to keep your lipstick from bleeding into your foundation. The unfortunate unintended consequence was “coloring book lips”: the look you get when your lipstick wears off and you’re left with nothing but a dark outline. The secret to using lip liner without looking cartoonish is to choose one in the same shade as your lipstick and to apply it all over your lips rather than just outlining them. You can then apply your lipstick over the liner.

10. Blush belongs only on the apples of your cheeks

This is one of those rules that works for some women but shouldn’t be applied universally. Instead of just highlighting the widest part of your cheeks, use blush to contour your face. If you’re not quite that adventurous, just apply it where you naturally flush, which is usually on the cheeks and, to a lesser degree, the forehead. A side benefit to breaking this rule is that it lets you get away with breaking another one: the rule about not wearing blush with bold lipstick. If you apply the blush farther back on your cheeks, there’s no reason you can’t wear both.

More: 10 Most Common Beauty Mistakes to Avoid

Don’t let old, stale rules dictate your beauty routine. Go ahead – be adventurous and break some rules. But don’t just stick to these. If there are other beauty rules you’ve always hated, it’s time to toss them out and make your own rules.