You’re a grown-ass woman. You do not have time for pimples, you’re aware of the concept of wrinkles but are also above worrying about them (usually), and you know you should probably have some kind of moisturizer routine, but you just don’t yet. Samesies.

In the interest of common sense but also keeping cute (I want both of those things, okay? It’s not a crime.), I have come up with a list of tips and things that I would like to one day apply to my own face, and that you should feel free to apply to yours. They are rooted in the aforementioned two concepts and should help you achieve both. Probably.

Give up the dream, guys. Natural tans are over. Every time you consider leaving the house without sunscreen, look at a picture of Donatella Versace. Look at it and think about it for a while, then get thee to a pharmacy for some Ombrelle. It doesn’t need to be sunny for the S’s to be P and F-ing, you know what I mean? Slather some of the good stuff on your face and decolletage before you leave the house, no matter what it’s like outside. A few notes on SPF: it can make you look washed out in photos with flash, so like, bronze up if you want to compensate; apparently after 45 there’s not much difference, but I buy baby sunscreen at SPF 65 anyways, just in case; lots of moisturizers and foundations and things that purport to be “anti-aging” are just tinted sunscreen, basically.

Fake it if you must (but get some help)
One time the very adorable five year old girl that I tutored in French (I know, right?) told me I was “almost beautiful like Cinderella, except for your funny orange hair.” She is right. I would look ridiculous with a fake tan. I know, actually, because I tried to do it myself in high school, and ended up looking like a “streaky Cheeto” (there’s always one young sassy teacher who “tells it like it is,” mine was my English teacher and he was right but also RUDE). There are two lessons to be learned from these seemingly unconnected, largely embarrassing anecdotes about my ginger youth, and they are the following: not everyone looks good with a fake tan, so don’t worry about it and just be pale if that’s what your bod wants, and also if you are going to do it yourself, either know what you’re doing or get someone to spray it onto you.

Splurge when it’s worth it
This is your face, it’s the only one you have. You can buy a cheap knockoff of a Missoni dress (that’s a fashion label, right?) (I’m very trendy), because when the dress gets old and wears thin you can just take it off and put on a different one. Not so with your head. If you can afford it, it’s not a bad idea to spend a little extra on your face products. I’m not saying you have to shell out (ha ha) $300 for the crushed up crustacean powder GUARANTEED to make your skin luminscent like a sexy sea creature, but there are times to head to the beauty counter instead of the discount bin at Shopper’s Drug Mart, and this is one of them.

Have a go-to face and a fancy-face
This is like the only thing I really have under control, facially. I have a tinted moisturizer—SPF50, we’ve talked about this—bronzey eye pallette, mascara and nice blush set up that I bust out whenever I need to look a bit more polished than average/have coffee with an ex and pretend that’s just how I look now. There are lots of people who are very good at make up and certainly you can have a lot of fun with a red lip or a glitter element or whatever, but take a few practice runs and figure out a low-effort, high-impact routine you can do in ten minutes or less. It takes the stress out of everyday stuff. Also take some time and practice a fancy-face for parties and things, because nothing ruins a night out than having everyone wait for you while you wipe off your liquid eyeliner AGAIN because you are trying to do a tribute to Amy (RIP) and why isn’t everyone being more sensitive?!

“Anti-aging” is not a thing
I guess this is a weird thing to include on a list that says “It’s not a bad idea to spend a little extra on your face products,” but I just really think ads and products claiming to take years off your face need to shut up. We’re all getting older, every single day. Today is the youngest you will ever be, and the oldest you have ever been and blah blah deep scary stuff. Don’t let someone trying to upsell you on lotions make you feel bad or ugly for literally just continuing to be alive. Take care of your face because it’s nice to have soft skin and you don’t want to get melanoma and sure, it makes you feel pretty to have an even complexion or whatever, but don’t think that you can “fight aging” with a cream or face wash. Aging, also known as living, is not to be fought, it’s just what happens, thank you very much. You and your reyouthenator enzymes and active-anti-age-icules can shhhhhuuuut it.

Wash your face (probably)
I don’t do this, but every other list like this and all the famous people ever made say this is the main tip you need. Clean your face! Definitely clean it if you’ve been sweating a lot or wearing a bunch of make up, but a little cold rinse before bed never hurt anyone either way. All my friends who know what different make up brushes are called say it is very important, and I trust them more than the aforementioned celebrities, because I feel pretty strongly that their beauty secret is “wash your face [and also have a very expensive surgeon].” Lather up!

As we all know, the quickest road to a nice face is kind eyes. If you don’t have those, a smile will do. Plus all these things I just said. Your face is yours, and you get to do whatever weird, cool stuff you want to it. Just please avoid facial tattoos. Mike Tyson is a specific look.
~Monica Heisey