16 Beauty Rules Worth Breaking

Do thy thing.

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Which Hair, Skin & Makeup Rules Should You Ignore?

Read any beauty magazine or book and it will likely include rules you should follow. Go to a department store counter and hear all the reasons why you need that $120 eye cream and that amazing anti-aging cream that will wipe 10 years off your face for only $160. Talk to your mother and she'll insist your hair is too long for "a woman of your age." Talk to your teenage daughter and she'll beg you to cover up the gray in your hair.

I'm not a huge fan of rules. In fact, I'm always looking for reasons to break them. So here, you'll find 16 beauty rules worth breaking and why.

Let's start with that miracle wrinkle cream you're dying to buy.....

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This $160 Cream Will Erase Your Wrinkles

Oh the miracle creams. It seems everyone has one. You go to a department store and they're trying to sell you eye creams and anti-aging creams and serums and toners and all sorts of products that will wipe years off your face.

The fact is, no lotion or potion will wipe years off your face, except maybe Vitamin A, found in Retin-A and Renova. And the strength you need to really see results is only found in prescription strength formulas.

If you want to erase those wrinkles, skip the department store counters and visit a dermatologist's office. Lasers, fillers, Botox and facelifts are really the only things to do the trick but they are both invasive and costly.

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Never Wear Your Long Hair After (Insert Age Here)

This is my favorite rule breaker. There is absolutely no reason you should cut off your hair after a certain age just because some beauty editor or fashion maven said so. It is true that as we age, our hair becomes more brittle and won't grow as long or as lush as it did when we were 25 or even 35, but for many women this isn't the case. They have great hair at 50, 60, 70 and beyond.

Witness Catherine Keener here. She's in her 50s and looks great with long hair.

If your hair is in great shape and suits your face shape, then wear it any length you want.

See Hairstyles by Age: What can you get away with at 20, 30, 40, 50 and older?

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Never Pluck Hairs Above Your Brows

There's an old wives tale that one is never supposed to pluck the hair above the brow. Nonsense. Pluck away. If you don't, your brows simply won't look as clean and polished as they could be. Go to any brow expert and they'll clean you up above and below and you will see for yourself how much better you look.

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Don't Wash Your Hair Every Day

You've probably heard that it's bad for your hair to wash it every day and if you can make it a few days, your oily hair actually stops looking oily, but I don't really believe it. As someone with oily hair, I've never made it more than a couple days without washing or sprinkling baby powder on my crown to soak up the oils (oh how I love that trick). If I don't, I end up looking as if I brushed Crisco into my hair. Awful.

These days shampoos are formulated to be used daily. What will harm your hair, however, are heated styling tools. Give your hair a break from these if you can by allowing your hair to air dry for a long as possible or letting your natural texture go.

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Braided Hair Doesn't Belong on Women Over Age 30

Elle MacPherson was recently seen rocking braided hair at age 50. And Lucy Liu, pictured here, wore her hair in a fishtail braid to the Golden Globes. Liu is over 40.

There's no reason you can't wear a braid over age 25 if you feel it looks good. Go for it. And ignore your daughter who's probably rolling her eyes at you right now.

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Always Put Mascara on Your Bottom Lashes

I have never, ever put mascara on my bottom lashes and they look fine. This is up to you, a personal choice. I don't like the way my bottom lashes look with mascara on them. I think it looks more natural without. A simple matter of preference.

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Expensive Always Means Better

Some of the wealthiest, most beauty conscious women I know wear drugstore moisturizers and mascaras and color their hair out of a L'Oreal box. It's simply a matter of taste and what you get hooked on.

So when to splurge and when to save? Here's a rule of thumb I believe in: don't spend money on products that barely stay on the skin. This means cleansers and makeup removers. You're basically washing your money down the drain. That said, products like foundations and eyeshadows are going to be of higher quality if you buy the department store versions rather than the drugstore ones.

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Your Manicure Should Always Match Your Pedicure

There's no reason your fingers and toes should be matchy-matchy. In fact, it's quite the trend these days to have entirely different color schemes going on for the hands and the feet.

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Redheads Should Avoid Red Lipstick

I don't know where this rule came from, but it's absolutely ridiculous. One can look no further than Mad Men to discover that redheads look marvelous in red lipstick. Hello, Joan!

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Blue-Eyed Women Can’t Wear Blue Eye Makeup

Women with blue eyes can wear blue eye makeup, you are just better off with a blue liner or a sweep of shadow on the lid only as too much blue can take attention away from your actual eyes.

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Never Spritz Perfume Anywhere Except the Wrists, Behind the Ears

Everyone has rules on where to spritz perfume. Fragrance guru Jo Malone insists on spraying scent between your collarbone and your breasts. Others insist it should go on the pulse points: on the wrists or behind the ears. Still, others think you should spray it in the air and walk through it.

Really, there are no rules except it's best not to spray directly on your clothing. Choose your favorite method and go with it.

Learn more in How and Where to Apply Perfume to Make It Last Longer

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The More Acne or Wrinkles You Have, the More Makeup You Need

Too much makeup doesn't look right on anyone except maybe stage actresses and clowns. The secret to camouflaging wrinkles and acne is actually more, not less.

Foundation and concealer just sinks into your wrinkles, they won't cover them up. Instead, work to even out your skin tone by applying foundation primer and then foundation on your ruddy, uneven spots. Take attention away from your wrinkles by playing up your eyes with a bit of eyeshadow and mascara, your lips with a sweep of color and your cheeks with a pop of pink.

As for pimples, cover up a pimple with a concealer that perfectly matches your skin. Use your finger, not the wand (you don't want to contaminate the product with bacteria from your pimple). Blend in, then dust loose powder over the area. Voila!

Too much makeup leads to "cake face." Find out more in How to Avoid Cake Face.

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Every Woman Needs a Good Eye Cream & Toner

You don't need eye cream. And only women with oily, bacteria-prone skin need toners. I don't care what that aesthetician told you. That said, if you love the way your eye cream or toner makes your skin feel and look, then by all means keep using them. There is one beauty rule I believe in and that's true beauty comes from within, from how we feel about ourselves. So if these lotions and potions make you feel better, then do....no....stop....using....them.

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All You Need is a Multi-Vitamin Every Day to Stay Healthy

There are conflicting reports regarding multi-vitamins. One day an article will come out touting vitamin use reduces risk of death in men. A month later a book will come out that some vitamins can actually increase risk of death. There are doctors who insist we don't get enough Vitamin D3 because we wear too much sunscreen and there are doctors who say there's not enough proof that Vitamin D3 supplements will actually help protect you from diseases.

There is one fact that no one disagrees with: If you eat healthfully, you won't need vitamins. That means eating good portions of fruits, veggies and proteins each day. Because one thing is certain: Those pills can't replace actual food, sunlight exposure and antioxidants.

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Gray Hair is for Little Old Ladies

You probably know about the stigma related to gray hair. Gray hair ages you, according to beauty expert Charla Krupp in her bestselling book, "How Not to Look Old." It's for little old ladies, you may have heard. It's for hippies who aren't into looking their best, you may have also heard.

Bogus! Krupp's rule that gray hair automatically ages you is not a truth, it's simply an opinion. One person's opinion. And since gray hair starts developing in some women in their 30s, surely it's not for little old ladies. As for the hippie comment, well, I know of a few Wall Street executives with long, gorgeous gray hair. They are certainly not hippies.

More women are deciding to let their gray hair go for many reasons: they have gorgeous gray coloring, they don't want the hassle and expense of covering up gray or they want to embrace life as it develops, wrinkles, gray hair and all.

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Never Let Your Roots Show

One of the biggest beauty rules over the years is to never let your roots show. It's both a sign of a possible pregnancy (you're not supposed to dye hair in the first trimester of pregnancy) and a sign of laziness. But "ombré hair" -- where there are gradient shades of color -- is actually very trendy at the moment and the rumor is ombré became popular because so many women were waiting many months to get their hair colored and liked the results.