My Beauty Do’s and Don’ts

I hope you all had a fantastic Monday! Ok, let me rephrase that…I hope you had as good a Monday as can be ;). I took Friday off so today was a catch-up for me. I find it takes a couple hours after a long weekend for my brain get all the way back up to speed!

I thought it would be fun to post about the things I do in the name of beauty–as well as what I nix. Just one thing before I start: some of my “don’ts” are not wrong or counter-productive to looking your best; they’re just things I skip because they require additional time. I’m all about getting the most out of the 5 or 10 minutes I have to get ready. I’ve discovered I can go from 0 to 9 in this time, but getting to 10 requires a  whole lot more. There’s actually an economic principal behind this called the “Law of Diminishing Returns to Scale”. Ok, ok, sorry– big nerd over here! (Look it up though; it’s a real thing and I’m telling ya it totally applies to hair and makeup!)


  • Use quality hair products. When it comes to shampoo/conditioner/hair masks, I’ve tried many pricier brands and just as many inexpensive ones. Unfortunately I find you get what you pay for.  Some of my favorite shampoo/conditioner/masks are here, here, and here.
  • Get my eyebrows professionally shaped and waxed. I go to the brow bar at Ulta every 6 weeks and it makes huge difference. Having the right thickness and shape to brows is probably the most impactful beauty secret I’ve discovered so far. I recently did a post on brows with my exact regime, here.
  • Use high quality styling tools. In 2012 I bit bit the bullet and got a T3 hair dryer. When I say this dryer is truly amazing, I mean it! It generates negative ions to eliminate frizz and noticeably increase shine. The SoftAire technology is also healthier for hair. Click here for my post on blow drying like a pro.
  • Invest in a good hair stylist. For hair that looks great with little effort, get a haircut that does all the work. This means finding the right stylist, which takes a little bit of research but is so worth it. If you live in the Charlotte area and would like recommendations, let me know!
  • Whiten my teeth. I get whitening gel from my dentist’s office for $35 and find  it’s much better than the “over-the-counter” options available. Plus it’s actually cheaper because it lasts so long!
  • Drink lots of water. I drink at least eight 8-ounce classes of water a day (the “8×8 rule”) and it makes such a difference for my skin.
  • Take care of my skin. I’ve dealt with acne since I was a teenager and tried just about every over-the-counter product available. Last year I finally sucked it up and went to a dermatologist. You guys, it was life-changing! I got a topical prescription but only needed it for a couple weeks for everything to clear up. Since then my skin has been dramatically clearer.
  • Experiment with makeup, colors, and my technique. I don’t wear the same clothes everyday , so why wear makeup the same way every time? Experimenting is how I learn new techniques and tricks to incorporate into my routine.
  • Work out regularly. I do Pure Barre 4-5 times a week. I’ve noticed working out regularly not only keeps me in shape, it also lowers stress, improves my mood, and helps me sleep better. And of course, they don’t call it “beauty sleep” for nothing!



  • Wash my hair every day. This dries out hair and actually makes it oily more quickly. I wrote all about my three day hair cycle here. Washing hair less also saves shampoo and conditioner.
  • Color my hair. Some people stand to benefit from coloring depending on natural hair color, grey, etc., but if you can avoid coloring your hair-I say do it! Colored hair is always more prone to dryness and breakage and then there’s an ongoing cost to keeping it up.
  • Tan. Ok, I have laid in a tanning bed in my life– but it’s once every several years to get a little color for a big vacation or other event. Regular tanning ages skin and carries the risk of cancer.
  • Use hair extensions. There are some great extensions out there and I’ve seen what they can do for others. For me though, I prefer not to spend the extra time to put in extensions. I like that my hair has enough thickness and body from caring for it and seeing a good stylist.
  • Wear false eyelashes. Again, these can look great- and even relatively natural- but it’s not something I personally like. I prefer my natural eyelashes, albeit accentuated with a great mascara like this one or this one.
  • Wear a lot of makeup products. On a daily basis, I only wear 5-7 products. I like to choose products that can multi-task, for instance this bronzer that also has a highlighting effect.

That’s a wrap! Let me know what you guys think in the comments below. And have a wonderful rest of your week!!

XO, Terra




Looking for Something?