All of us have received our share of beauty advice from well-meaning "advisers." Much of it we politely dismiss, like the urgings of finicky hairstylists who insist we cut our hair according to "the latest style." Once in a blue moon, though, we're treated to a tidbit that winds up becoming an indispensable part of our daily routine. Here, experts share the beauty advice they got and never forgot.
Love your face the way it is -- and the way it will age. The women in my family embraced their "flaws" and became more and more beautiful as they got older. If all we do is focus on our imperfections, we'll never recognize our unique individual beauty. When you have a vision of yourself as you are rather than as you think you should be, you're at peace with yourself and can focus on your best features. As soon as I stopped saying "I look awful," I recognized that I could be beautiful. -- Laura Mercier, makeup artist and creator of Laura Mercier Cosmetics
Less is more. We live in such an excessive culture, but it is the simple, easy, practical things that are best when it comes to makeup, skin care and even fashion. I can't remember who told me that long ago, but I apply it to all areas of my life, particularly my skin care. My daily routine consists of cleansing morning and night, exfoliating once daily and moisturizing, all with my ayurvedic skin-care line, Sundari. (What I use: Sundari Gentle Gel Cleanser, $30, and Neem and Avocado Balancing Moisturizer, $52; sundari.com.) -- Christy Turlington, supermodel, author and a founder of Sundari skin care
Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. My mother wasn't really into beauty routines, but she encouraged me to eat the right foods -- and to always smother myself in sunscreen since I'm so fair-skinned. (This was sound advice since my skin isn't sun-damaged now.) She insisted I eat an apple a day, and I still do. A good diet ensures that your body is supplied with the necessary nutrients for health, and that shows in the look of your hair and skin. -- Antoinette Beenders, Aveda global style director.
Stop trying to dry out oily skin. Your DNA determines your skin type, so work with it. Once I stopped trying to fight my oily skin with harsh soaps and drying alcohol-based products, it changed for the better. I began to exfoliate my skin and emulsify the natural oils -- gently breaking them down rather than stripping my skin. This changed my complexion and launched my career. My favorite products: BlissLabs Low Fat Cleansing Milk ($23) and Laboratoire Remede Sweep ($44; both available from blissworld.com), which gently exfoliates with white marble powder grains. -- Marcia Kilgore, founder, Bliss Spas in New York City and London
Use a vitamin-C serum daily. I went to a skin-care event in Boston years ago and learned about just how much damage the environment can do to the skin -- and also how important topical nutrients are. Along with wearing daily sunscreen, antioxidants like vitamin C (I use DDF EPF Serum C-3, $60; ddfskin.com) can really make a difference in how skin looks -- and ages. I even slather it on my neck and chest -- two areas that shouldn't be forgotten. -- Laura Hittleman, director of beauty services, Canyon Ranch Health Resort, Lenox, Mass.
Use makeup to emphasize only one feature. This tip came from makeup artist Bobbi Brown years ago -- and it's one that I live by. For example, I love to wear liquid eyeliner, so when I do, I always make sure to apply a pale color to my lips and cheeks. -- Judy Taylor, vice president of public relations, Equinox Fitness Clubs
Brush your lips. A makeup artist in Paris taught me to brush my lips whenever I brush my teeth. The brushing removes dead skin and gives lips great natural color. After brushing, I apply Elizabeth Arden Eight-Hour Cream Skin Protectant ($14; elizabetharden.com). It adds shine without looking overly slick and doesn't gum up or feel sticky. -- Lynn Snowden Picket, author and former model
Spray fragrance directly onto the palms. I overheard a salesperson explaining that the warmth of the palms intensifies the scent and makes it last longer, and also allows you to enjoy the scent as you handle the phone or run your fingers through your hair. -- Annette Green, president emeritus, The Fragrance Foundation
Have fun with your hair; use it as an accessory. Hair should be ever-changing. (It doesn't have to be drastic, just different.) It's the one thing you can do to make over your looks easily. I learned this when I first started out as a hairstylist -- and have changed my style or color at least twice a year since. -- Margaret Pasiennik, owner, salon-blonde, Chicago
Soak fingernails in olive oil for about 10 minutes once a week. The oil is nourishing and soothing (it keeps cuticles soft) and seems to absorb all sorts of stress that our busy hands accumulate. But if I'm pressed for time, I rub in the almond oil-based Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme ($4; burtsbees.com). -- Linda Deslauriers, founder of Hair Garden, a holistic hair-care company based in Los Angeles and Makawao, Hawaii
Never forget to cleanse your face -- morning and night. My mother-in-law (Mrs. Estee Lauder) suggested that I do this to create a clean slate for the day and for the night (before applying a nighttime regimen). Another tip: My mother always said to keep my hands off my face since hands are touching things all the time and picking up bacteria. -- Evelyn H. Lauder, senior corporate vice president, The Estee Lauder Cos., and founder and chairman of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation
Smile! A smile creates instant beauty that radiates from the inside out. -- Dee DeLuca-Mattos, vice president of Avance, a company featuring sea-based skin care
top tips from Shape's beauty director
Imagine hearing advice from experts every day - and then having to figure out what really works. That's a big part of my job as Shape's beauty director. But here are the best tips that I've gotten over the years (and that I follow diligently).
1. Treat yourself to one beauty indulgence at least once a week. Take a luxuriant bath, get your nails done, buy a new lipstick -- whatever. The point is that you deserve to take care of you -- and even the smallest indulgence can make a difference in how you look and feel.
2. Get your hair trimmed regularly (every six to eight weeks). This will keep hair healthy and prevent it from developing split ends and looking unruly.
3. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate. It's the key to having radiant, smooth skin - on the face and body. You can use physical scrubs (with tiny particles) or chemical scrubs (with ingredients like alpha- or beta- hydroxy acids). For face: Exfoliate several times weekly. For body: Keep a scrub or loofah in your shower and use it daily. (If you have sensitive skin, choose a gentle scrub labeled for your skin type.)
4. Apply body moisturizer daily. This should be as routine as brushing your teeth. Apply after showering - when skin Is slightly damp - and your skin won't get dry and scaly.
5. Wear sunscreen on your face every day. The newest foundations and moisturizers all have SPF, so this is advice that's easy to follow. The sun can wreak subtle damage on your skin each day - making you age more quickly - and can cause skin cancer.
6. Use an eye cream morning and night. The skin around the eyes is fragile and more prone to wrinkling than any other area. Eye creams help hydrate this delicate skin and slow the aging process. (Look for products with ingredients like green tea, glycolic acid, copper and retinol.)
7. Never leave home without a tube of hand cream and lip moisturizer. They're both small enough to fit into any bag - and keep skin hydrated, soft and supple. Massage the hand cream into cuticles while stuck in heavy traffic, on a plane or at work to keep them from getting rough.
8. know that higher-priced products aren't necessarily superior. What matters is that a product works for you. There are fabulous finds in your local drugstores - often for $15 or less.
9. Use a self-tanner regularly all year long. Selftanners are easier than ever to use (promise). You'll get a natural glow even when applied as infrequently as once or twice weekly. I use one on my face regularly to look fresh and radiant.
10. Get your brows done regularly. Groomed brows equal a groomed appearance. You can keep the look up at home with tweezing, but a professional should help you shape them to start. (Call your local salon/spa for an appointment.)
11. Always have nail polish or remover accessible at home, at work, in your purse. A fabulous outfit can be ruined by chipped polish. It's better to go bare than to have imperfectly polished nails.
12. Find board-certified dermatologist you like. Your dermatologist can help treat everything from a skin condition to a glaring blemish, advise you about products and spot unhealthy changes. (Go to aad.org to locate a dermatologist in your area.) - Valerie Latona