6 Byrdie Editors Spill the Secrets to Their Best Features
On a daily basis, I write about anything from foundation to hair products to miracle face masks. Usually, the theme is about helping, fixing, or aiding in some ailment the majority of us face. Rarely do we get the chance to out-and-out celebrate our faces, our bodies, or our hair without feeling vain or overconfident. Love yourself is a mantra often expressed but seldom practiced, if we’re being honest.
For the few minutes that it takes you to read this article, join me in throwing a proverbial party for your best features. What do you love to show off? What limb, angle, or attribute makes you feel most beautiful? Sexy? Unique?
I posed the very same question to my fellow Byrdie editors and asked that they not only proclaim their most favourite assets but give a little advice as well. Below, we’ve listed the best tips and tricks to boldly show off, take care of, and play up the things we actually like about the way we look. Keep reading, take a selfie, and go ahead, hashtag the word blessed. I won’t judge.
“No matter what any dermatologist says, I love my freckles. They’re one of my most defining features, and I want to enhance them! Recently, I’ve been playing them up by creating even more ‘faux freckles’ with a skinny brow pencil, like Urban Decay’s Brow Beater ($36). I lightly dot the tip of the pencil on the high points of my face: my cheeks, forehead, chin, and especially my nose. Then I blend them in with a Beautyblender ($30). This makes my existing freckles look like they’re in HD!” — Amanda Montell, associate features editor
“This is very recent since up until about a year ago, I would not have been able to name one thing I liked about my body. But some much-needed weight gain along with regular hiking (and squats—I am a squats BEAST) has produced a little booty that looks phenomenal in vintage Levi 501s.” — Victoria Hoff, associate editor
“I’ve always been really into my butt. It was sort of a secret delight of mine until I started garnering compliments from both men and women on the subject. Now it’s become something I proudly discuss and display. I couldn’t be happier about the resurgence of vintage denim—it’s a cut that accentuates my backside without squeezing too much everywhere else. I just bought this pair of old-school Guess jeans that are magnificent. And I already wrote my thoughts on the Levi’s Wedgie Jeans. So, my tricks are to wear thrift-shop jeans and slather on a healthy amount of Sol de Janeiro’s Brazilian Bum Bum Cream ($78) after I shower. After a glowing recommendation from Victoria (I swear, she knows all the best stuff), I have become obsessed with the potent blend of caffeine, nourishing Brazilian cupuaçu butter, acai, and coconut oil.” — Hallie Gould, senior editor
“I count my smile as one of my best features, which is part of the reason I take lipcare so seriously. I’m never without lip balm, I regularly exfoliate, and I even use a lip mask at night. I stay away from dark beverages as much as possible, and when I do find myself drinking coffee or tea, I use a straw to avoid bathing my pearly whites in enamel-staining liquid. I’m also quite obsessive about floss. I carry it everywhere with me—seeds and kale in teeth kill an otherwise shining smile. When I really feel like accentuating my smile, I’ll outline the outer corners of my lips with concealer to give my smile a little lift and definition.” — Deven Hopp, beauty director
“I LOVE MY BROWS. I haven’t tweezed one hair in like a year, and I’ve never been more obsessed. It’s true what the pros say—they really can make or break your face. I wish I had known that they look best with absolutely no maintenance (aside from a few swipes of Glossier’s Boy Brow) because I spent way too much time and anxiety on trying to shape them for years.” — Victoria Hoff, associate editor
“Like Victoria, I never tweeze. I really do think that’s the secret. You have to let your brows do their thang, especially if you’re lucky enough to have a hefty set. I started playing them up more and more as the ‘bold brow’ became a thing again, and now they’re quite possibly my favourite feature. I think there’s something so effortless but dramatic about dark, bushy brows. I swear by Make Up For Ever’s Pro Sculpting Brow Pencil (you can read my full review) and Estée Lauder’s Brow Now Stay-in-Place Brow Gel in Clear ($38). But the first brow powder I ever used—it’s my ride-or-die—is Joey Healy’s Luxe Brow Powder in Corduroy.” — Hallie Gould, senior editor
“There’s been an obsession with lips lately (thanks, Kylie!), which has made me hyper-aware of my own–namely, that according to my friends, they’re great (thanks, Mum!). I keep them hydrated and flake-free by hoarding lip balms, and I usually apply a thick layer of a hydrating balm (Chanel’s Hydra Beauty, $54, is my favourite) before bed to wake up to soft lips. I also have made it a personal mission to try every lip product that comes my way—doing it for the people, you know. (Kidding, but for the record: BareMinerals and Pür Minerals both make incredible non-drying and underrated matte liquid lipsticks. Check them out. Also, try any of Charlotte Tilbury’s lipsticks and you’ll never want to use another—fact.)” — Faith Xue, editorial director
“My eyes are kind of cool—growing up, I always had dark, chocolate-y brown eyes, but they’ve steadily grown lighter and greener as I’ve gotten older, just like my mum’s. Now, I am loving my hazel eyes, and I like to play them up with rust-coloured or bronzey eye shadow. The colour is a consolation prize since I cannot see two feet in front of me without contact lenses.” — Victoria Hoff, associate editor
“Humblebrag: I was voted ‘best hair’ three years in a row. So, yes, I really do love my curls. I swerved off course for a few years and did everything I could to make it less curly. I straightened it, had standing blowout appointments every Friday, and even wore long clip-in extensions for a while. Now I just let it flow. I play up my curls more than ever—teasing, fluffing, and air-drying for a more dramatic effect. The more natural, the better. That is, aside from highlights every few months. The truth is, the dye stretches the hair follicle (which is damaging) but changes the texture in a way I absolutely love (shh… don’t tell). It makes it frizzier, bigger, and even more rad. To offset that damage, I rarely use hot tools, only brush with a Mason Pearson, and let my hair soak up Shu Uemura’s Essence Absolute Nourishing Protective Oil ($67) whenever possible.” — Hallie Gould, senior editor
Mason Pearson Popular Mixture Nylon & Boar Bristle Brush ($275)
“I always used to feel very ‘meh’ about my hair growing up. It was kind of just there. Then one day in college, I decided I wanted some Khloé Kardashian–style layers in the front of my hair and cut them myself (true story). Somehow, the hair gods gave me a break, and it wasn’t a botched haircut—I actually kind of liked it. And it made my curls lie in a way that they never had before. I smartened up and visited an actual stylist after my DIY haircut and got some angles and layering throughout, and my hair was forever changed. Curling my hair so that it faces out and away from my cheekbones widens my otherwise narrow face and gives my hair so much more body (using the Ghd Curve Curling Iron, $230, helps with this too). Now I get complimented on my hair, and to be honest, I’m always surprised to hear it (but I’ll take it!).” — Lindsey Metrus, associate editor
“I’ve always had decent skin, but I’ve only really started taking care of it in the past couple of years or so. The difference is huge; I love playing up my natural glow and feeling clean, dewy, and fresh. Nothing makes me happier than going without foundation or excessive concealer. Obviously just establishing a regimen has been extremely helpful for this (shout-out to Eve Lom’s Cleanser, $74), but getting regular facials has been essential to maintaining my best complexion possible. And by regular, I don’t even mean monthly. My minimum is twice a year—once at the beginning of spring and then once at the end of summer. It’s just nice to kind of hit the reset button with the help of a professional.” — Victoria Hoff, associate editor
For more confident, mood-boosting tips, read our guide to getting happy (and staying that way).