Inspirational women on the advice they would give to their 20 year old self

14 October 2014
Any products in this article have been selected editorially however if you buy something we mention, we may earn commission

1 / 7

Inspirational women on the advice they would give to their 20 year old self

The power of hindsight is a wonderful, if not frustrating thing. With it, we’re able to look back on the past and see our mistakes and shortcomings more clearly - the men we should never have dated, the hairstyles that were better left in the 80s and the futile amount of time we spent worrying about what others thought of us. If we knew then what we know now, would we do anything differently?

Looking to discover a little about the life lessons people wish they'd learnt earlier, we asked a selection of inspirational women from the beauty and health industry on the advice they would give their 20 year old selves now, and the answers are nothing short of fascinating.

2 / 7

Millie Kendall - Co-founder of BeautyMART

“So my 20 year old self - well I never removed my mascara back then, I was a club girl, out every night and straight to work most mornings wearing remnants of my makeup. I would have certainly told my 20 year old self to use makeup remover. I simply didn't think it would have a lasting effect on my eyelashes and I now have 3 and they are not very thick. Thank goodness for semi permanents and rapid lash!”

3 / 7

Anjhe Mules - Creative Director at Lucas Hugh

"It would be very difficult for me to tell my 20 year old self to 'believe in your visions, have patience, resilience and persistence' because it's the journey that teaches you that."

4 / 7

Joanna McGarry - Associate Editor (Beauty) at Stylist Magazine

Dear twenty-year old me,

"You’re finally becoming yourself. But you don’t know yet, caught between the mouthy teenager you once were and the headstrong, curious thirty-one year old you will one day be.

"You’re scratching around, trying to find a way out of your hometown, anxious to figure out your place in the world. It’s ok. You’re already halfway there. Before long, you’ll be thrust into the arms of people who you’d never have crossed paths with otherwise. Be open to new friendships, for it’s these that will endure when other relationships crumble.

"Don’t hide your body under swathes of fabric. It’s as beautiful as it’ll likely ever be, not that anyone would know, under your skate jeans and hoodie. Get your roots done a little more often: it’ll mean you can stay platinum for longer. And your hair won’t break off. Much. Back up your little gold iPod. Be nice to your sister. Take more photos. On a camera. Develop said photos onto film. Wear sunscreen every day. Dream bigger.”

5 / 7

Rachel Brathen - Yoga Teacher, Blogger and creator of Yoga Girl Instagram

“Keep doing everything exactly the way you are doing, and don’t let anyone tell you how to live your life. One day you’ll realize that every single decision you are making right now, no matter how crazy or wild, is bringing you to the places you need to be. Keep adventuring for as long as you need to. Trust the process. Oh, and when a reggae band asks you to join them on their tour across South America… Hopping out of the van after 30 minutes was a good call!”

6 / 7

Kay Montano - Celebrity Makeup Artist

"Given the context that whatever I’d tell my 20 year old self would only be half heard, I’d say, if a situation or person doesn’t feel good, then it - and they probably aren’t. I cared too much about what others thought, so I’d encourage my younger self to get on with being who I really am. Truly myself like I am now-in my forties. Ultimately though, growth only happens through growing, and we simply have to just go through it, we know less at 20 not because the information isn’t there, but because we’re not yet ready to absorb it.”

7 / 7

Susannah Taylor - Editor-in-Chief of Get The Gloss

"Eat well - I was more concerned about building a career for myself in magazines and partying in my 20s than I was about fuelling my body. It's so important to nourish yourself now to cope better.

"Make exercise a part of your life - exercise for me has become an essential tool for managing stress and feeling strong. I wish I had known how amazing it could make me feel earlier in life.

"Don't listen to nasty, negative people - there are some people in life with different glasses on to you - especially that bully at the Arcadia Group, and the head of Principles who called you 'Thingy'. Ignore them. You'll show them.

"Stay True to yourself - staying true to myself has always stood me in good stead. The people that don't follow the crowd make their mark in life. Don't change your accent, your looks, or your clothes to fit in."