Incredible Women

11 Incredible Women in beauty share the inspiring advice they would give their younger selves

Clockwise from top left: Charlotte Mensah, Miranda Kerr, Dr. Barbara Sturm, Victoria Beckham, Dr. Rose Ingleton, Shani Darden (inset), Camila Coelho

PORTER asked some of the leading names in beauty to share their wisdom, their top beauty tip and what they wish they had known when they were younger…

Don’t worry

Dr. Barbara Sturm, skin expert and founder of the Dr. Barbara Sturm skincare range

“Stop worrying about trying to please people – you can’t make everyone happy. You grow up wanting to be a doctor and help people and make things better, but you can’t please everyone. Don’t worry, though, as it doesn’t undermine your value – and when you get older, you’ll realize it doesn’t matter.”

My beauty tip

“Don’t start on Botox or fillers when you’re 30, or even younger. I was in this business in my thirties and tried everything, and now I have a droopy eye lid and maybe it’s from so much Botox. Once you start, it’s a never-ending story, so wait. And in the meantime, use good products, always a hyaluronic acid serum and keep your skin as hydrated as possible.”

Ask for help

Miranda Kerr, model, businesswoman and founder of Kora Organics

“Don’t be afraid to ask people for help and introductions when it comes to business. You’ll learn that people actually enjoy being helpful when they can.”

My beauty tip

“Do a daily gua sha facial massage. It’s so simple and truly does help lift and sculpt your face. It stimulates blood flow and oxygen to the skin, so it helps reduce puffiness, fine lines and tightens skin – I notice such a difference afterwards! It also just feels so good and relaxing.”

Tina Craig

Don’t overthink it

Tina Craig, founder of U Beauty and co-founder of Bag Snob

“Stop worrying about what other people might be thinking of you – because they’re not. They’re thinking about themselves. Keeping that in mind is profoundly liberating.”

My beauty tip

“Get out of the habit of using hot water when you wash your face. Your delicate skin absorbs everything, so stick to cold or lukewarm water only. And those calcified circles of deposit you see around the sink faucet? That reveals imbalanced mineral levels (sometimes also known as hard water) and contaminants that end up right on your face, clogging pores and depleting its natural lipids and oils. The solution is to take it a step further: installing a filter under your bathroom sink is relatively inexpensive and has the ability to change your skin for the better.”

Be yourself

Victoria Beckham, fashion designer and founder of Victoria Beckham Beauty

“Enhance your natural beauty – don’t try to change it. Make the most of what you’ve got.”

My beauty tip

“Eat healthily, drink lots of water and get as much sleep as you can!”

Follow your instincts

Shani Darden, top LA aesthetician and founder of Shani Darden skincare

“Follow your dreams fearlessly and don’t care so much about what other people think. Listen to your heart and focus on doing the things that make you feel good. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, worrying about whether or not people will like you. Everything is going to be OK and you’re going to find your people and your path. Be confident in your convictions and don’t second-guess your intuition.”

My beauty tip

“Do not to overpluck your eyebrows and be gentler on your hair. Figure out the best products specifically for your skin and stick with a dedicated routine. The earlier you start an anti-aging routine (in your early twenties), the better. And start using a retinol ASAP!”

Gucci Westman

Take a risk

Gucci Westman, famous makeup artist and founder of Westman Atelier

“Believe in yourself. There will be failure along the way but if you don’t fail, then you’re not taking risks. And if you’re not taking risks, then you’re not learning. You have to learn every day, as pushing yourself to do new things grows your confidence.”

My beauty tip

“Never touch your eyebrows – ever. My mother always told me not to pluck my brows but, regrettably, I never listened – and tweezed them into a really thin shape. So now I’m left with quite sparse brows that I’m always obsessing over.”

Simplify your style

Dr. Rose Ingleton, leading NY dermatologist and founder of Rose MD Skin

“Chop your hair off, keep it shorter and let your natural curls do what they will. You’ll avoid all that pain and fuss from having it combed and braided (although you look so adorable with your little tiny curls) or having it chemically straightened. It may make it easier to comb and style, but there’s so much upkeep and fuss required to keep curly hair straight. When I turned 30, I chopped all the chemical relaxer out of my hair and from then on wore a short natural afro hairstyle. It is the most liberated I have ever felt.”

My beauty tip

“The simple act of washing your face at the end of the day is the most essential beauty secret. Make it the first thing you do as soon as you get home each day, and it feels like you are getting rid of everything that happened that day.”

Stay true to yourself

Joanna Vargas, leading aesthetician and founder of Joanna Vargas skincare

“You will be constantly looking for validation from others, but there is no better vote of confidence than your own. One of the best things about growing up is realizing you need to feel good about yourself when you look in the mirror at the end of each day. Staying true to yourself is the best form of honoring yourself.”

My beauty tip

“Your skin reflects whatever routine and lifestyle, or lack thereof, you have in your daily life. Skin isn’t just genes; sleep, exercise and diet are just as valuable as skincare. It’s the combination of all forms of self-care that will show results in the mirror.”

Joanna Vargas

Accept who you are

Camila Coelho, founder of beauty brand Elaluz

“After being diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of nine, you had an incredibly difficult time, even into your teen years, trying to accept the diagnosis while trying to fit in and be like everyone else. Learn to love and accept yourself as you are.”

My beauty tip

“Thankfully, as you get older, you learn that when it comes to eyeliner, less is more – and that, overall, makeup and beauty should be used to complement your existing natural look.”

Nobody’s perfect

Charlotte Mensah, founder of Charlotte Mensah hair range and author of Good Hair

“No matter what you do, say or how hard you try, you are human, and you are not perfect or infallible. You can’t change that, so be bright, be bold, be strong – but, above all, be yourself. There’s nobody more interesting than you when you are yourself.”

My beauty tip

“Being and feeling beautiful is as much a state of the mind as it is a physical thing. Try and fill the day with laughter; and when you can’t, let your worries leave you as you hit the sheets. Life is not easy, but having gratitude goes a long way. Hold that tight and you will always be beautiful. Both my mother and grandmother had incredible glowing skin and gorgeous features, but it was their warmth and kindness that made them seem even more beautiful to me.”

Tata Harper

Embrace your freedom

Tata Harper, founder of the Tata Harper natural beauty range

“Don’t take young love too seriously. Go out there and experience the world through your own eyes, without someone else’s influence. Date casually, have a summer fling, learn about new cultures, and spend time with your girlfriends. Don’t let a long-term relationship keep you from the freedom to discover your own self. I wish I’d known this, and I wish I’d experienced the dating scene that I watched my friends navigate from afar. You are 20 – go out, have fun, and don’t let anyone or anything stop you.”

My beauty tip

“It’s never too early to start a good regimen, and focus on keeping your skin healthy and hydrated. Consistency is key and it all starts with the order you apply your products. From cleansers to treatments, apply everything in order of lightest to heaviest molecular weight. This way, small molecules, like those in essences, can absorb into the skin before larger molecules, like the ones in face oils.”

The people featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER