Time Hop Pep Talk

Beauty advice you wish you had back in the day

Most of us would agree that the phrase, “hindsight is twenty-twenty” definitely applies to beauty. When we are young, we don’t have the wisdom or knowledge to foresee the beauty challenges to come. I asked women of various ages and in different stages of life what advice they would give their 15-year-old self and this is what they had to say:
#1: Sunscreen is King
Almost all of the women polled cited sunscreen as the #1 piece of advice they would advise their younger selves. Suzanne, a mother of 2 in her 40s said, “I would tell my 15-year-old self not to lay out in the sun so much and to wear sunscreen every day, especially on my face.”
Shana, an executive in her 40s advised, “Wear sunscreen and don’t go to a tanning bed unless it’s for a spray tan!” In hindsight, I also wish I’d worn sunscreen when I was a teenager. Now, I am paying the price with sunspots that could have been prevented. So remember, women of all ages and skin colors should wear sunscreen every day to protect their skin for the future.
#2 Prevention is Key
Another piece of advice Shana had for herself was, “Learn to sleep on your back and never on your side. Sleeping on your side causes wrinkles!”
Carrie, a mother of 2 teenagers in her 50s said, “Sunglasses are a must and look chic!” Wearing protective eyewear has been proven to not only protect your eyes, but also to prevent wrinkles from forming that are caused by squinting at the sun. Paige, an executive in her 40s told her younger self, “A beauty regimen is preventative, so starting young keeps you looking young.” Say it again, sister!
#3 Less is More
Another tid bit of wisdom was the idea of wearing less (or at least an appropriate amount of) makeup in your more formative years. Dessa, a 50 year-old mom of two advised, “When I was 15, it was the 80s and three things were happening to me; a big, bad perm, too much blue eyeshadow and too much pink blush! I would tell myself not to wear too much makeup, keep my hair in a more natural state and find ways to work with my natural hair.”
#4 Perm is a Dirty Word
Hello, my name is Nina, and I am a victim of the giant perms of the 80s and 90s.  Coincidentally, almost every woman polled advised their 15 year-old self NOT to get a perm. While the perm trend may have slowed down over the years, permanent and semi-permanent hair treatments, like keratin straightening treatments have grown in popularity. Many of these treatments were found to contain formaldehyde, which can be hazardous to your health, so the advice still holds true to embrace our natural hair instead of chemically altering it. Use hair products specially formulated for your hair type to bring out the best in your tresses.
#5 Eyebrows, Eyebrows, Eyebrows!
Another piece of advice echoed by almost every woman polled was not to over pluck your eyebrows. Full, thick, natural brows are the epitome of youth, and once they are over plucked or waxed, it can radically change the look of your face. I had my eyebrows waxed when I was 16, and they were never the same again. Now, my main focus daily after sunscreen is to fill in my eyebrows. If I had only known to leave them alone then, I wouldn’t have to spend so much time on them now.
#6 Don’t Rush
A very important final piece of advice from this poll of women is to enjoy being young. Dessa explains that she would tell herself, “Not to be in such a rush to grow up. Dress and wear makeup that’s more suitable for a 15-year-old.” Anneke, a mom in her 40s said, “You are the boss of your own body.” (Well put, Anneke!) I would tell my 15-year-old self to enjoy being young and to embrace it, because before you know it, 30 years will pass! Now I’m left wondering what advice my 80-year-old self will have for the moments I’m living right now…

Nina Sutton is a TV host, spokesperson and beauty/lifestyle expert. She specializes in mommy beauty and style.  She is also one of the winners of People Magazine’s “Real Beauty at Every Age” contest and was featured in the April 2012 “Most Beautiful” issue. With an MBA and a business background in beauty, fashion and consumer packaged goods, Nina brings real world expertise to audiences around the country. 


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