11 Real Women On The Best Beauty Advice They Ever Received

Photo: Graham Hunt

One of the best things about beauty and personal care is that it unites people. Entire websites have been built on discussions of product recommendations, beauty regimens, and new launches. Beauty videos account for an increasing number of YouTube viewers; new product categories coincide with huge growth at retailers like Target, Sephora, Ulta Beauty, and Credo Beauty; and a constant influx of new, local indie brands keep everyone guessing about what's next.

We're all always looking to tweak, improve, add, subtract, and upgrade—so we asked 11 real women the best advice they'd ever heard or experienced. Here's a compilation of the tips, tricks, and shifts that actually changed their lives:

1. Upgrade your diet.

"I have never been vegetarian or dairy-free. Well into my 30s I developed cystic acne. I was told it was most likely hormonal, went on a prescription with no results, and tried countless topical routines. After cutting out most meat and dairy (I still consume nonhomogenized) and occasional hard cheeses), all of my acne has completely cleared. I'm a food lover and cook every day, but after these results, it has been easy to stay away from food I thought I'd never imagine giving up." —Kimi

2. Don't overlook the details.

"The best beauty advice I've ever received was to start getting my lashes and brows tinted!" —Rachel

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3. Consider hair color, eye color, and skin undertones.

"The best advice I’ve ever received was from a friend’s mom in high school who told me that I should be wearing makeup that complimented my coloring and undertones (fair skin, super-red hair), not just what everyone else was using. At the time I was a little offended...but I was using a ton of black eyeliner and had no idea what I was doing, and now when I see photos, I cringe. I always think of what she said when I buy products, and it's how I came to my simple everyday makeup look of brown mascara, a little white eye shadow, and cool pink blush." —Melissa

4. Consistency matters more than products.

"I was told by a skin care expert that it matters far more to have a routine that you do consistently rather than what the products specifically are. Many products offer similar benefits, and sometimes we drive ourselves crazy asking if we should get this moisturizer or that, so I find comfort in knowing that if I wash my face, apply some type of serum, and moisturize it, I'm doing OK." —Liz

5. Bare your fresh face.

"My mom has always said that your skin will always look better without foundation." —Emma

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6. Listen to your body.

"The best beauty advice I've received was 'Listen to your body.' Whenever I am experiencing an outbreak externally, I check in with the internal: What have I been eating or drinking too much of (and too little of), and I try to regain some balance before I go off to buy the latest product or before I call my dermatologist." —Jeré

7. Give makeup a rest.

"The best skin care advice I ever got was from my Korean girlfriend’s mom. She told me that it’s important to 'let the skin rest' and not overwork it: Give it time to breathe without makeup, never do more than one mask a week, and be kind to it—no pulling, no tugging, no rubbing." —Amy

8. Stress less.

"My grandma, who just turned 80 and is in phenomenal shape, swears by long walks, hats for sun protection, and minimal stress." —Krysten

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9. Approach breakouts like inflammation.

"When getting a facial at CAP Beauty, I recently learned to completely shift the way I approach breakouts and think of a breakout as inflammation that's just crying out to be soothed. It's a game-changer. So instead of overcleansing and overdrying my skin when it breaks out, I actually add more moisture and more oil so that my skin is hydrated and it can heal itself!" —Laura

10. Protect your skin.

"My mom taught me one of the simplest, but most important, beauty rules: Wear sunscreen and reapply often! This has kept me from many painful burns and has kept my super-fair skin looking good!" —Melissa

11. Smile.

"'You don't need all that stuff on your face!' My mom is a minimalist when it comes to makeup, and I'm a big believer in her routine: wash your face with cold water and a very little bit of plain soap. Go to bed earlier, wake up earlier, drink more water. Smile." —Rosemary

If you're in the market for new makeup, find out whether you have warm or cool undertones first.

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