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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

14 Secrets to Never Looking Your Age—from a Celebrity Makeup Artist

In her latest book Beauty From the Inside Out, Bobbi Brown reveals the secrets behind timeless beauty—and they go way beyond how skilled you are with your eyeliner brush.

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You’ll only look your best when you eat your best

“When you are a freelance makeup artist working with young models, you see the difference between the ones that aren’t taking care of themselves (diet wise), and those that come in with a healthy apple or green juice—you can honestly see the difference,” says world-famous makeup artist and beauty mogul Bobbi Brown. To look your most beautiful throughout your life, you’ve got to commit yourself to a long-term, healthy diet and lifestyle. For recipes full of beauty foods, check out Brown’s latest book, Beauty From the Inside Out (available on Amazon).

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It’s essential that you unwind, because stress will take a toll on your face

“I think that stress shows on your face, whether it’s good stress or bad stress,” Brown says. “Whereas, if you’re lucky enough to have a yoga practice or just take time to meditate and be present, those activities will positively show on your face. You’ll feel better and look better when you’re not so frantic.”

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Water is the number one beauty food

“People don’t realize the difference drinking eight to ten glasses of water per day makes. Your skin looks better, you’re hydrated, you have more energy, and you have more clarity,” Brown says. “In the afternoon, people tend to grab an unhealthy snack and a coffee, but they’d be so much better off hydrating with water. If you’re not quite up to drinking eight to ten glasses, there are also plenty of foods with high water content, including watermelon and cucumbers. It’s great to add those snacks into your day. I even add fruits in to flavor my water,” Brown reveals. You won’t believe how beautifully your body changes when you drink the recommended amount of water each day.

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Your beauty products aren’t measured by what they cost

“There’s nothing like a good cleansing and exfoliation routine. A little bit of self care goes a long way, and you don’t necessarily have to go out and get facials,” says Brown. “You can do a little scrub using products already in your kitchen. Whether you have chia seeds, flax seeds, a little salt or sugar with coconut oil, you can make your own great beauty products at home.”

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Wearing more makeup isn’t always the answer to looking better

“Sometimes, you’ll look in the mirror and think, ‘Oh my god, I need more makeup,’ but I guarantee you, most of the time, you really just need moisture,” Brown says. “When you are really tired and dehydrated, just go to the kitchen and eat something hydrating. Put coconut oil on your skin and you will instantly look better.”

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Even the smallest everyday changes can make an enormously positive impact on your looks

“I have a friend who was in his 50s, and one day I saw him and said, ‘Terry, you look amazing. What are you doing?’ and he said, ‘You know, I started doing just one thing: I now drink a green juice every morning.’ And not only did he have more energy, he also looked so much better. It’s the little things that make a difference, because that’s what you can stick with long-term. I also know people that have quit smoking cigarettes in their 60s and completely changed their skin. It’s truly never too late to start making changes,” Brown says.

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Remember that you can always layer your moisturizer

“One secret people don’t realize is that you can layer your moisturizer on top of your makeup once it’s finished,” Brown reveals. “Most women apply their makeup from bottom to top, then look in the mirror and feel stuck. If something looks off, add moisturizer on top of your makeup in any dry or dull areas. I do that often. It smooths the makeup and lets your true skin come through. That really helps,” she says.

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As you age, don’t strive to look younger

“For me, it’s not about looking younger, it’s about looking better,” Brown says. “That means looking rested and awake. It’s about evening out your skin tone, moisturizing your skin, and giving your skin a glow. The older I get, I also prefer products with added moisture, so you might want to switch from a powder to a cream blush, for example.”

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Makeup should make you a better version of yourself

Brown explains that she enjoys makeup as a means of improving your natural looks, not changing them entirely. “I’m not a fan of contouring and changing the color of your skin. Nor should you wear blush that isn’t actually the color of your cheeks. Covering yourself with those unnatural shades isn’t what you need,” she says. Instead, stick to “excellent skin care, plus great concealer, a very natural foundation, or just spot-coverage,” Brown advises. To master the no-makeup makeup look, try out these natural glam tips.

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True self-confidence comes from feeling good

“My advice is to understand what confidence is. You can’t feel confident without feeling good in your skin from the inside and outside —and you’ve got to start with the inside first. If you’re unhealthy and don’t feel good, you’re never going to be confident in yourself, regardless of how amazing you look,” Brown says.

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Walking every day may be the key to long-term beauty

“Don’t just think of exercise as a means of losing weight. Think of exercise as a way to get inspiration, to instantly feel better about yourself,” advises Brown. “I really believe walking is the secret to longevity. Whenever I feel stuck, I just head out the door. I don’t care if it’s winter or summer, I just put my headphones on and walk. Instead of going to a shrink, I walk and talk with my friends. I might pick up the phone and call my aunt Alice, my mother, or my son,” she says. “You’ll come back with energy and feeling so much better about yourself. If you’ve never done it, I don’t care if you walk the mall or the hallway—just start and keep adding to it.”

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Make sure you have a healthy relationship with your makeup

Like a good friend, your makeup should be there for you. However, you can’t be so dependent on it that you need to wear it every second of every day. “There are certainly benefits to wearing makeup: it can add a little color to your face when you’re exhausted, so you’ll be relieved when you look in the mirror and don’t look as tired as you feel,” jokes Brown. “The simple things are amazing, like being able to smudge on a little eye shadow and black mascara to make your eyes suddenly stand out. It’s really powerful. At the same time, I regularly go days without wearing any makeup or looking in the mirror at all. I think that’s what it’s all about.”

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Earn your cheat meals

“I believe in moderation and balance. I believe in owning your choices,” says Brown. “Meaning, if you’re going to some amazing restaurant that you know has incredible pizza, then guess what? During the day, try to eat light. Eat a lot of vegetables, and clean proteins, and save yourself for the special restaurant—but don’t eat pizza every night. That’s the rule.”

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Don’t compare your looks to others’

“I’ve not always felt confident. When I was way younger and going to big Vogue parties or fashion parties, I was really insecure,” admits Brown. “I didn’t know what to wear, so I’d go in something I wasn’t really suited for with really uncomfortable shoes. Then one day I finally said, ‘Okay, STOP. Find an outfit that is comfortable, that you feel good in, and just go and have a good time. Stop worrying about not being as attractive as other people.’ Because in the end, it’s not about how you look, it’s about how you feel you look.”