Another year is coming to a close and it’s no secret that beauty reigned supreme in 2019.
Exactly how did anyone do anything before Google? We heard about the yellow pages, the library, phoning a friend — but how did anyone ever find the time? And what did you do about a question you were too embarrassed to ask someone? Just never ask it? Luckily, we don't ever have to know these woes anymore because magical Google will answer anything for us, with absolutely no judgement (though we can't say the same for the targeted ads that may follow).
This year, we relied heavily on our trusty friend Google to answer all of our burning questions. And just in case we needed any further confirmation on just how beauty-obsessed we are, Google has announced the top 10 biggest searches across trending beauty topics – including ‘how to apply’, ‘how to make’ and ‘celebrity style’. The only hitch? Not every immediate result is as straightforward as the question posed.
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So we've done the hard work for you and are providing all the answers to your most frequently-typed queries, ahead.
q: How to Apply Colour Street Nails?
A: Is it just us or was Colour Street only a craze in America? Colour Street is a company that produces nail polish strips. A pack contains 16 double-ended strips, which might sound complicated, but the process is not as hard as it may look, thanks to YouTuber Melissa Haole's tips whose help we enlisted because we're yet to experience Colour Street:
Step 1: To start, wipe your nails with a prep pad and select your nail size. Take off the strip cover and the backing. Hold the centre of the strip to get the most flexibility.
Step 2: Place the strip at the bottom of your nail, down on your cuticle line. The goal is to have the nail strip as close as possible to where your cuticle line is. Then smooth the base back and forth, go up the centre and over the sides.
Step 3: Pinch the nail strip at the end of your nail. Don't forget to leave a little bit of the product under your nail, as it shrinks when dry.
Step 4: Pinch the product under the nail and break it. Remove the excess.
Step 5: Repeat this process on all the nails.
q: how to apply fake lashes?
A: There's a reason "how to apply fake lashes" was one of the top-searched beauty questions of 2019 because it is not nearly as easy as the internet would have you believe. Though the top result promises lashes in just four steps, it can take us 32 tries spaced over multiple sessions to get falsies to align with our natural lashes. While our sole suggestion is to google "guided meditation for patience" when taking on this challenge, here's our guide to mastering fake eyelash application, almost everytime.
Step 1: In order for falsies to look like your own, they need to blend with your natural lashes. Curling them creates a base that will seamlessly support the lashes.
Step 2: Mascara before or after is the question dozens of beauty gurus argue over every day. But in our experience, mascara should always be applied before putting on fakes because putting on mascara after could result in clumpy-looking lashes. That's not to say we aren't against another layer after finishing if the whole beauty look calls for it.
Step 3: Next, measure the lash against your actual eyelid and trim off the excess (not while it's against your eye, good lord). Then, apply glue strategically meaning, don't just glob it on and immediately stick it to your eyelid. You've got to wait and let that glue dry a little — but not too much. About 30 seconds should do it.
Step 4: OK, game time. The hardest part for is actually plopping the strip onto your lash line close enough so that it's right on top but not tangled up in your lashes. However, if you place a mirror under your face nearly to a perpendicular angle and look down, your eyelid will extend, almost like you're closing your eyes, but you'll be better able to see exactly where to place the strip. Whatever you do, don't close your eyes when applying because it changes your eye shape. This is kind of difficult to do at first, but you'll get it. We believe in you.
Step 5: Now that you've got your lashes on, here's a crucial step to make your strip lashes look less obviously like you're wearing strip lashes. Take your trusty liquid liner (or gel liner with an angled eyeliner brush, if you prefer) and draw a line extending the band from where it begins to the inner corner of your eye. You can also flick out the end if you want a winged effect, but this is mostly just to blend the line of the band to your lash line.
Step 6: Finish, and move onto the next eye. What fun!
q: how to apply blush?
A: Blush is one of the first makeup products many of us ever get our hands-on. All it took was a quickly stolen swipe of Mom's bright pink powder for us to see ourselves as glamorous adults, and we've been into blush ever since. You'd think after all these years of applying blush we'd have our technique down pat but according to Google, we're still clueless. So, once and for all, this is how to apply blush.
If you have a round face shape or are after an instant lift, you can create an elongated look by applying the blush on the cheekbones, pulling it up and out toward the temples. To define your face even further, top off with bronzer on the hallows of the cheeks and right under the jawbone.
If you have a long or oval face shape, apply the blush just under the apples of the cheeks to add dimension and the illusion of roundness. You can also emphasise bone structure and square out your face by applying blush right below the apples of the cheeks, blending it up and out.
q: how to apply liquid foundation?
A: For this one, we’ve called on the experts to break it down for you. Whether you wake up flawless and fresh-faced or you need a little help faking it on occasion, nailing your foundation is as vital to your everyday no-makeup makeup look as it is to you fuller-coverage face. Here's how the world’s biggest makeup artists go about building a second-skin base.
Step One: Let's start at the very beginning. Colour-matching your foundation to the back of your hand or a tiny swatch on your jawline just won't cut it when it comes to perfectly matching your shade. Blend a decent amount of the foundation from your cheek right down to your neck and get yourself out into the natural light. This will help give you an accurate sense of how it’s going to look in real life, but better still, if you’re shopping at a counter with an experienced artist to hand, get them to colour match you. They'll know exactly how to handle crypt-keeper complexions and self-tanner enthusiasts.
Step Two: A bad workman can always blame his tools, but after reading the below, you won't be able to get away with that excuse again. Liquid Foundations are ideal for drier skins, liquid foundation goes on best using a buffing brush, or one with short, dense bristles. Use it in circular movements for a light-to-medium coverage, dabbing over areas that need a little more camouflaging.
Step Three: Even on our worst skin days, it's rare that we need full coverage foundation all over our faces. The best way to avoid looking like you were shot with a makeup gun is to apply your foundation where necessary, and then zero in on blemishes with a concealer. And if you're using foundation to warm up or tan your face, again apply a light layer and go back in with a bronzer.
Step Four: Once you have your base done, step back and allow it to ft for a couple of minutes. It can take some time for the makeup to adjust to our skin; i.e. it's natural oils, acidity level and the humidity in the air. All of these factors can play a part in how real your foundation will look, so give it all time to settle and then see if you need to add more or take some away. If the application feels cakey, gently patting your skin with clean and warm fingertips to help melt the makeup into the skin making it look more natural. Or if you've overdone the powder, try misting the face with a little water spray - this will bring back some much-needed life.
q: how to apply mascara?
A: There are so many mascaras on the market currently that will give you the full and far-reaching lashes but without the correct technique, you may as well as be applying lip gloss to your lashes. After you choose your mascara, tilt your head up slightly and look into the mirror. Now, decide which part of your eyes you'd like to emphasise. If you focus on the outer lashes, you can lengthen the eye a bit to get a cat-eye effect. But if you want more of a wide-awake lash look, focus on the centre lashes instead. Start at the roots and use a zigzag motion all the way upward toward the ends. This way you'll fully cover the lashes while keeping them separated. To add length, roll your wand on the top of lashes to coat the ends. Once the first coat is dry, move on to the second coat.
q: how to apply SELF-TANNER?
A: Admit it: Your skin hasn't seen the sun in what feels like about two years. Whether that's because you've finally listened to your dermatologist and stopped laying out, or you just rarely emerge from the office for your hourly dose of vitamin D, your skin now looking as grey as the skies above. You miss that healthy glow, we miss it too. So to bring that glow bag, we asked He-Shi tanning expert, Shelley Martin to share her rather ingenious tips that prove it is possible to add a little warmth back into the skin without your desk buddies suspecting a thing.
Step One: It may sound obvious, but if you want your tan to stick around, you need to prep your skin. "For flawless skin you need to remove dead skin cells that sit on the top layer of your skin," explains Martin. Applying colour over skin that hasn't been exfoliated will only fade as the cells shed, leaving you with a patchy tan. You should be gently exfoliating your body "2-3 times a week, concentrating around the knees, back of arms and elbows" recommends Martin. After scrubbing leave the skin clear of oil and moisturiser. These are what cause streaks and blotches. Clear, clean skin is all you need.
Step Two: First, choose your shade. If you have fair skin, opt for a light-to-medium formula, and if you have an olive-toned complexion, use a darker formula. Next, choose your brand. "When looking at tanning brands be selective and always choose a brand that has added skincare benefits. The better condition your skin is in, the longer your tan will last. He-Shi is a tanning brand that prides itself on offering skincare benefits containing rich moisturising ingredients that will work on the skin whilst offering a natural golden colour," says Martin.
Step Three: Don't use your bare hands unless you want your palms to look like they belong to an Oompa Loompa. For seamless application, get yourself a mitt which will make light work of bronzing your back. Using a mitt ensures an even, streak-free finish. "Apply the tan in a circular motion, leave hands, knees, feet and elbows till the end and use the remaining product left on the tanning mitt," recommends Martin.
Step Four: Now your tan has developed and you’re happy with the results, the work doesn't stop there. Stay glowing for longer by keeping your skin hydrated. "Apply body moisturiser daily after showering, this will help with the longevity of the tan. To maximise the benefits of your moisturiser, apply to damp skin. Your moisturiser will glide across the skin and be more easily absorbed," advises Martin.
Q:how to make your nails grow faster?
A: So, you've ditched the acrylics and taken a much-needed break from the gels, but your nails are still weak, brittle, flaky and parched. We feel you, which is why we went on a mission to try out all the hacks in a bid to make our talons grow longer, stronger and healthier.
Step One: Use cuticle oil daily. Ragged cuticles are one thing, but dry, brittle nails will only lead to splitting and chipping - not cool when you've spent an hour or so primping, perfecting and painting - so a daily slathering of cuticle oil to repair, nourish and moisturise is essential.
Step Two: Consider taking a biotin supplement. Studies show that brittle nails prone to peeling and breakage could be a sign of Biotin deficiency, so it might be a good idea to supplement your diet with an extra dose of the essential B vitamin.
Step Three: Invest in a soft nail file. You might have heard that glass nail files are better for filing with, but while they're pretty, longer-wearing and easy to clean, it pays to invest in a 'soft' file.
Step Four: Say farewell to your acetone-packed nail polish remover. When your manicure shows signs of chipping, it's all too easy to pick up any old bottle of nail polish remover - guilty as charged. But those containing high concentrations of acetone (the potent solvent that is responsible for dissolving nail polish quickly) is super-harsh on fragile nails and can dry them out almost instantly - cue peeling, splitting and those unsightly white, mottled marks. Your best bet? To go acetone-free, but don't underestimate them, because there are heaps of gentle yet effective formulas out there with the muscle to whip off remnants of polish in moments.
Step Five: Use a nail strengthener packed with keratin. Nail strengtheners can be hit and miss, often making nails so hard that they end up completely breaking off - but that's where keratin comes in. Found naturally in nails, it's responsible for making them flexible - but don't let that word put you off. It doesn't mean they'll be thin, fragile or bendy, but fortified and much less likely to chip.
Q: how to make your eyelashes longer?
A: Lash serums are obviously one solution, but they don't come without their own side effects; redness, irritation and itchiness being the most common for users. But we say all you need is to perfect your mascara technique.
Step One: First, you need to purchase some castor oil. Found in most pharmacies (often behind the till with no need for a prescription) for, under a fiver, this little beauty is the key to strong and sustained lash growth. Beautifully big bottles of the stuff can also be found in Middle Eastern supermarkets. Castor oil is the main ingredient in some of those ferociously expensive lash serums one can purchase from Instagram. It's a hair growth stimulant – with hundreds of years of praise – that some women even massage into their scalp in times of hair loss. Keep it beside your bed. Clean off an old mascara wand/purchase a spoolie and coat both your lashes and brows in it each night. You'll notice compliments within a fortnight. However, DO check that the product is 100% pure castor oil to avoid irritation.
Step Two: A good eyelash curler is key. For those of you who are afraid of them – fair play, they are terrifying. Tiny little eye-opening contraptions that look like they should have been done away within the Elizabethan era. However, they are entirely necessary to make lashes appear longer. There are very few things we are confident enough to herald about in our lives – but the perfect eyelash curler is one of them. We have tried, quite frankly, a stupid amount of them and we can confidently say that the one we carry in my bag every day is the best. Kevyn Aucoin's eyelash curler is worth the hype. Perfectly curved, sized and with more punch than any other – this curler doesn't even need to be heated to provide an all-day structured curl.
Step Three: Quite obvious, but you need a great mascara. We're going to go against the grain here and say that you don't need to spend a lot of money on your mascara. The tubes we buy time and again fluctuate in price but more often than not, they're under €8. It mostly depends on what look you're after, quite frankly, and avoiding ones that crisp and smudge at every turn.
Other questions heavily googled included: 'how to apply primer', 'how to use coconut oil in hair', 'how to make scrunchies', 'how to make rice wate'r, 'how to make lip scrub' and 'how to make temporary tattoos'. (Is it 2009? ) As for our the most googled celebrity style icons, Billie Eilish, Audrey Hepburn and Kylie Jenner all made the cut.
Main image by @ohuprettythings on Instagram