What did we do before Google? I actually have no idea how we lived. In the past 2 days alone Google has helped me navigate my way to a new destination, pick a place to eat, told me I’m not dying from a cold and helped me find many hilarious GIFS. THANK YOU GOOGLE GODS. Now Google Trends have made Christmas come early for nerds all over the world, releasing the, well trends Google has seen in all sorts of topics and categories throughout 2016. One that caught my eye (because I have the substance of a Kardashian) was the most common beauty questions asked in 2016, because that’s something I can actually help you guys with! How to play Pokemon Go? Not so much.
How the bloody hell do I do a blasted fishtail braid?
Ok well that’s obviously not what people typed into Google but ‘how do I do a fishtail braid’ sounds way more boring.
I happen to be a master of the humble fishtail braid (I’m also quite good at bragging) and I promise on Herbie’s chubby little hooves that it’s SUPER easy.
We did a ‘how to’ video a few months back on braiding but here are step-by-step instructions:
- Use a spare hair tie to collect your hair in pony wherever you want the fishtail to begin. I think they look best on the side, at the base of your scalp. Braids also look better the fuller they are so if you have a few clip-in extensions laying about, pop em on in!
- Separate the pony into 2 sections and starting at the hair tie, start to bring pieces from each section to the front, as demonstrated by my super helpful GIF below.
- Continue this method the entire way down and then secure at the bottom.
- Cut the hair tie at the top and loosely pull the braid to create that desirable boho look.
- Add a light spritz of hairspray and you’re done!
How do I make my hair grown faster?
LOL. Girl, who you think you are, Rapunzel?
Although nutritionists or questionable herbal gurus might bang on about vitamin concoctions GUARANTEED to make your hair grow, plus the plethora of terribly intoxicating infomercials selling all sorts of drugs and devices – nothing is actually scientifically proven to make your hair grow faster. Of course, taking care of yourself is great and you’ll reap benefits left right and center, but will it actually make you sprout faster? Don’t hold your breathe. Your best bet is to take really good care of the hair you have so it doesn’t break off once it reaches a certain length, tips below:
- Get trims. And not just ‘oh just a cm please’ trims, like actual trims where your hairdresser lobs off the wispy ends that shouldn’t even be classified as hair. Short hair isn’t the worst look your hair can sport (quite the opposite actually, short hair is chic AF), the worst hair has ratty long ends that look like they belong to a 10yo misused barbie.
- Use a good quality hair mask 1-2 times a week in replace of a conditioner. This will keep your hair soft, healthy and strong. Head to bhave, Kevin Murphy or Morrocanoil for a good hair mask, no point in scrimping out when it comes to this beauty product.
What exactly is balayage?
Something heaps of models seem to have and it looks good.
BASICALLY, it’s a very popular technique used by hairdressers to highlight the hair in a way that looks gradual, slightly worn in and natural. If done well (trust me there are some bad jobs out there), the effect is really soft and pretty.
How do I curl my hair?
With a curling wand you noob. JKS! I’m sorry, my sass pants are on. The struggle to get that ‘effortless’ curl is real. I mean, is it THAT hard to ask for curls like a Victoria Secret Angel (and the rig)!?
The easiest way to master your curl game is by watching someone else do it and then practicing. Practice makes perfect amirite! Desi always slays her hair so watch her (minus the incredibly long and tacky extensions – only Desi pulls them off cos’ she bomb). I’ve never used the curler she recommends but she’s an affiliate so might not necessarily be the best one, I personally don’t think you can go wrong with a ghd curling wand; they work magic and they last forever.
How do I get rid of blackheads?
Blackheads are equal parts the bane of some people’s existence and also a provider of much entertainment. Our obsession with blackheads (and pimples) is only growing, proven by the popularity of Dr. Pimple Popper and the slew of products on the market promising to banish them from your pores.
But firstly, what the devil ARE blackheads? WELL, they’re a combination of sebum (oil) and dead skin cells (I know, gross) which harden in your pore, causing the ‘plug’ i.e blackhead. The reason it generally goes blackish in colour is because it’s exposed to air, causing it to oxidise. So what should you use?
YAS! For a short-time solution, these are a phenom option for the speckly noses amongst us. However, they’re simply ripping the bigger blackheads from their ‘plugs’, they’re not looking after the root cause of the issue, thus the blackhead will come back like a pesky old aunt.
I’m a recent GlamGlow convert and can’t sing their praises strongly enough. It’s $$$, but you only need to smear a small amount over the affected areas to see results.
Scrub a dub dub?
Pretty much EVERY skincare professional I’ve ever spoken to have advised to err away from physical scrubs on thy face. Scrubs are made up of teeny little granules that can cause microscopic injuries to your skin which can cause scarring. Body scrubs are fine as your skin isn’t so sensitive and delicate.
Oh yeah we’re getting serious now! AHAs (alpha hydroxy acid) and other salicylic/glycolic acids basically work by dissolving the plug and clearing out the sebum/skin cells/ general crap lurking around in there. You’ll see the best results by using it on the reg, so I recommend the Danné Montague King Micro Peel, expect slight tingling but it works like a #boss.
The BIG boy chemical?
I’m referring to retinoids. Long heralded as the best treatment of blackheads, the vitamin A derivative is a great way to clear clogged pores and prevent blackheads from forming. You can get prescription strength formulations from your DR but start with an OTC retinol as your skin will react big time if you’ve never used them before. Baby steps people.
How can I get rid of bags under my eyes?
Ugh, there’s nothing quite like the appearance of giant shopping bags under your peepers. Now I’m not going to give you the age-old advice to ‘sleep more’ (because duh) to help combat the unwanted baggage, rather things that I do that HELP.
- Rub ice cubes under your eyes when you wake up in the morning. It will wake your eye area up and get rid of excess puffiness.
- Use a mask once a week specifically designed to combat under-eye issues, like the
Wake Me Up Collagen Eye Patches available at MECCA.
- Use orange/peach-toned concealer to cancel out the blue/purple hues the area generally throws.
How do I fill in my eyebrows?
Brows are so hot right now. Thank goodness we’ve left malnourished caterpillars back in the early noughties where they belong. The tricky thing with a ‘how to’ regarding brows is the amount of options you have! There’s powders, pomades, gels, pencils, crayons etc – but for the sake of newbies, I’m going to suggest a powder or pomade as they’re the easiest to work with as a beginner (in my opinion).
- Grab a small angled eyebrow brush and dip in the product but DON’T overload the brush, start soft!
- Start by lightly outlining the top and bottom edges of your brow, staying within the margins of your actual brow as the only thing that looks worse than overdrawn brows is overdrawn lips.
- Fill in the rest of your brow using light feathery strokes in the direction of your hair growth.
- Brush a brow gel over the top to keep the little fellas in check.
Brow game STRONG.
How do I clean my makeup brushes?
Girl I hope you know you should be doing this at LEAST once a week… Otherwise you’re just asking for congestion and breakouts! You don’t need a fancy product, just buy a natural clarifying shampoo from the pharmacy and gently soap up the brush hairs before rinsing and let them dry naturally.
Tip: DO NOT force the bristles into weird positions or ever store upside down as it will get misshapen and not do its job properly.
How do I apply concealer?
Concealer is probably the greatest makeup product ever invented as it hides a multitude of sins. Acne, scarring, pigmentation and dark circles can all be diminished with a few swipes of concealer PLUS it can highlight your face making it look more dimensional i.e natural. But what formulas should you use and when do you apply different types?
- Apply a colour correcting concealer PRIOR to foundation application (but after prepping the skin). They will cancel out any unwanted tones on the face like we discussed above. As another example, green is fantastic at canceling out redness associated with acne so any red marks can quickly be eliminated.
- Apply additional coverage AFTER foundation application. So any areas that need a bit of extra help (but you don’t want cake face), apply concealer on that area, ensuring the colour matches your foundation. I can’t recommend the Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Eye Eraser Concealer more. It’s cheap, available everywhere, and blends like a dream.
- Last but not least should be a concealer that’s lighter than your foundation to highlight your face, making it look more dimensional and flawless. The NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer is light so perfect for your under-eye area and the coverage is amazing. Apply in an upside-down triangle under your eyes, the center of your forehead, bridge of your nose , and just a dab in the center of your chin. Then blend it all out and for the love of Mrs. Clause, don’t forget your blasted neck.
How do I remove gel nails?
Every time I foray down the acrylic path I end up picking them off. I know, I know, so bad but it’s sooooo satisfying! What you’re MEANT to do is go to the salon; it’s time-consuming, costs some $$ and the feeling of the fake nail under the gel one to hoist it off gives me the heebie jebbies. But it does the trick.
If you want to do it yourself at home, you’ll need some acetone, cotton wool and tin foil. Apply the acetone-soaked cotton wool to your nail, securing it with the foil for 15-20 minutes, before pushing the leftover gel off with one of those spare cuticle sticks.
So there you have it, answers to the most common beauty questions Google received in 2016. Let’s see what 2017 brings…
Words by Kelly McCarren.