Who's Your Guru?


The New ‘Guru’

By Finola Austin


There’s been a shift in the beauty world. This used to be the realm of the goddess – perfect skin, silky hair, bottomless budget – and the science boffin, working hard in some lab run by L’Oréal to solve the problems you didn’t know existed (think free radicals, lower collagen production). They knew best (whoever they were). We read magazine reviews, always glowing, were seduced by the blurbs on bottles, were attracted by an endorsement from a favourite celebrity.

But now we seem more likely to turn to some fifteen-year-old girl with a digital camera reviewing an Elf or Mac haul on YouTube for advice on how to spend our cash. The new ‘guru’ is human, flawed, maybe even uniformed – so, not really a guru at all. That’s the appeal. Seeing products used by those who actually need them and reviewed by those who might not pick up the ‘keynotes of jojoba’ and might query the ridiculous and suggestive naming strategies of the big beauty brands (Are you wearing Nars ‘Orgasm’? Do you use Urban Decay’s ‘Naked’ palette? What about Soap & Glory’s ‘Glow-Job’?). 

Of course, bloggers and vloggers aren’t immune to endorsement and self-promotion. Brands are starting to cotton on that it’s the homespun accessibility which is appealing and the dodgy production values which scream authenticity. Marketing for beauty products should be like a lunch break chat with female colleagues, a personal recommendation, an invitation to be ‘in the know’. Lecture us about science and we probably won’t believe you.

So here’s a disclaimer: I am no make-up artist and have no pretensions to guru-dom. I won’t be recommending branded products and maybe you’ll like it that way. 

So here are my top 5 beauty tips of the day:

When curling your lashes, clamp, rotate 45° without pulling, and hold, just once on each eye. I used to squeeze ten times on each eye, but this works better.

Don’t grin like a chipmunk to apply blush or bronzer; when your smile fades, the highlight will sit too low. Apply to the upper apple with a neutral expression.

If your hair is in need of serious hydration, grab the extra-virgin olive oil from the kitchen, but use with caution. Apply sparingly, giving yourself plenty of time to wash it out and never ever apply to the roots (trust me!).

Products designed for babies are higher quality and go through more vigorous safety testing, plus you’ll smell adorable….

DIY pedicure? Apply lashings and lashings of moisturiser to your feet before bedtime, pop on some old socks, and avoid your boyfriend’s incredulous looks. Result: perfectly primed feet by morning.

Follow Finola on twitter @alonif01

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