I live and work by a total of four different high schools. This means that just by going about my daily routine, I bump into a lot of teenage girls. And as much as they chatter,  giggle and behave just like me and my group of friends did when we were at school, two main differences stand out.

The first being that they are glued to their mobile phones (mobiles had Snake and were calls only when I first got one back in the dark ages,  so no You Tube gurus for me.) The second being that their make up looks absolutely amazing. Although, I have to admit they tend to look identical (same eyebrows, cheeks and lips) but nonetheless, they look good. Seeing them reminds me of all of the beauty errors that I made as a teenager.

I was a teenager in the 90s. When my mum finally relented and let me wear make up, it was all about thin eyebrows, badly coloured foundation, hair mascara and Impulse O2. I thought I looked and smelt sophisticated! Nowadays, girls are contoured to perfection with perfectly groomed brows and Kylie Jenner lip kits. A lot has changed.

8 Beauty Mistakes I made as a Teen

Seeing the teenage girls of today makes me think of the numerous beauty errors that I made all those years ago! Looking back at pictures,  I now think that I looked awful but I reassure myself with the fact that we all did. It was the 90s. I should be grateful I’m not a touch older and a teen in the 80s. I shudder to think what I would’ve looked like…

My 8 Beauty mistakes

Picking spots

It sounds disgusting now, but I did this. I ignored my mum’s advice and did this all the time.  And now I have the acne scars to show for it. It just goes to show that mums are always right.

Wearing the wrong foundation

In my defence, as a mixed-race teen it was not easy to find a colour match where I grew up. But I’m not sure how much I actually tried. I wore what I could find and afford. Collection 2000 Natural Beige was my holy grail. My foundation was often the strangest colour and almost never matched my skin-tone. Or the wrong type for my skin type and just looked horrendous. I’m much choosier now and never wear foundation with added SPF if I know I’m going to be photographed. I have too many photos from my early twenties of me looking like a ghost to let that happen again.

Forgetting to cleanse and moisturise

Now, I’ve always bought expensive cleanser, toner and moisturiser. I was the 16 year old asking for Clinique and Liz Earle at Christmas. Whether I used the right products for my skin remains to be seen. Pricier doesn’t always mean better. And even La Mer skincare will do nothing for your skin if it sits on your bathroom side untouched. Choose the right products. Establish a good routine.

Makeup brushes 8 Beauty Errors


Over plucking eyebrows

There were no such things as You Tube tutorials to show us the way forward. And my mum’s generation were the ones who shaved their eyebrows completely off in order to draw them back on. (Why? I just don’t get this.) So lacking in guidance, I plucked and plucked and plucked. It has taken me years of patience and determination to grow them back to a more natural and normal shape. The moral of the story. Don’t over pluck. Thin eyebrows suit nobody.

Nail Biting

A real bug bear of my Mum’s. I often don’t even realise I’m doing it. It’s a comfort thing. It’s something I do when I’m anxious but I hate the appearance of bitten down nails. Sohave spent a small fortune over the years on acrylics and Shellac. If only I had never started, I could probably purchase a rather nice car with the money I’ve spent on my nails over the years.

Not embracing colour 

For years I was a neutral eye and a nude lipstick kind of girl. It’s only the last year or so that I have realised that colour suits me. I should have experimented more before the fine lines started to appear and made me a little more apprehensive about shimmery eyeshadow.

8 Beauty Errors


Wearing heavy eyeliner

Now, I can’t lie, I love black eyeliner. Anything from a thin line for work to a full on Amy Winehouse style flick for the evening but what I never do anymore is draw a thick line underneath my eyes. It made me look much older than I was and never stayed where it was anyway ensuring that I looked like a panda in school uniform by 3pm.

Listen to other people’s opinions 

As a beauty blogger, this is a bit of a weird thing for me to say but I used to listen to other people’s opinions on make up and take them as gospel. It is good to get advice about make up. I love reading beauty magazines and blogs but, I also like to experiment and find out for myself. What works for others might not work for me and the other way around (although I do love it when a friend loves my recommendations.) Make up is supposed to be fun. Enjoy it.

Tell me I’m not the only one. Which beauty mistakes did you make when you were younger? 



32 thoughts on “8 Beauty Errors I Made As A Teenager”

  1. Some of these I can relate to, but I was a low-key makeup girl back then for the most part. I never felt like I got eyeliner “right” so I didn’t wear it much – still don’t, actually. But I always wore mascara. My biggest makeup fail that I did all the time was wear like brownish lipliner (I’m super fair-skined – like sometimes “fair” makeups are still too tanned for me) with clear pinkish lip gloss. I loved my lipliner with a Strawberry Lip Smacker – thank goodness there was no social media back then, huh?

  2. Wow, I did a lot of that myself. I’m no master of makeup now, but I feel like I have a better handle on it.

  3. It’s easier now as there are so many resources to help us. 20 years ago it really was the blind leading the blind! I’d like to think I’ve got better too.

  4. I know that my errors were not exactly in the beauty category, but I do know that I learn best when I make my own errors, for good or for bad. The only person who can change things is me, and it’s hard to make changes based on other people’s mistakes. So I learn on my own.

  5. This post made me think of all the beauty errors I’ve made in my life!
    Thinking about the 90s as well. What a weird time for beauty and fashion.
    I still remember my lip smackers addiction lol

  6. It never fails to amaze me how teens these days go from child to flawless, made-up mini-woman! They seem to be skipping the awkward fail stage! I wore frosted coral lipstick, blue mascara and crimped my hair when i was 14 – EPIC FAIL! love this, you are so right!

  7. I know!!! They need to have the makeup fails to have the true ‘teenage girl experience’

  8. I was in college during the 90’s. I remember all that stuff! The eyeliner, especially! Blue eyeliner — yuck! Kids are lucky to have tutorials online now (although that doesn’t mean that I love all of the makeup choices my kids make!).

  9. Could agree me. Not sure how fond I am of this excessive contouring trend at the moment.

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