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Being twenty-two is pretty weird. I’m recognized as an adult in probably all parts of the world, yet in a lot of ways I feel younger and smaller than ever. I think a lot of my “peers,” living in a grey area between childhood and adulthood can probably relate. It’s uncertain, it’s tense, it’s kind of disheartening, and it’s important to remember that it’s temporary. And the good news is, you can always make yourself feel better by buying stuff! These items don’t objectively help anything, but they make me feel a bit more like I’ve got my shit together and they reassure me that everything will probably be ok.

I do think it’s important to note that being a grown-up seems to be almost entirely a social construct. Every adult I’ve spoken to about it says they still feel like they’re faking it 90% of the time. But that’s what makes having the right props all the more important! How can you be expected to pretend to be a grown-up if you’re still in all your idiot-child get-up? Feeling like a grown up is all about tricking yourself and those around you, and these are some ticks which help support my illusion (or delusion).

The first step to being a grown up is embracing luxury. Sometimes having a blowout on something which is the best of its kind can help make you feel like you’re the best of your kind. Dress for the job you want, etc. and the job I want is the type of woman who wear Giorgio Armani foundations every day. I highly recommend both the Luminous Silk and Lasting Silk. They are just easy and effortless, perfecting skin without making it look at all cakey and amateurish. This is the foundation a very successful woman would wear to important meetings and brunches, etc.

Similarly, the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curlers somehow just are better than all the rest. I would call bs on this too, had I not seen the evidence for myself. These curl eyelashes both more and better, and the curl lasts longer. I don’t understand how, I’m just passing on the message. Also note: one you’ve bought these, you never have to buy them again, so you will have this little bit of luxury as a part of your life forever. And you will use them every day – they are seriously addictive – so every time you put on makeup, you’ll be reminded that you’re a force to be reckoned with (or just foolish with money at Selfridges – one or the other).

Available at House Of Fraser & John Lewis

The Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder is another possibly-overpriced-but-ultimately-worth-it item. Nothing says “this women knows what’s up and won’t stand for any nonsense” like a pair of intense cheekbones. A word of warning – adding a minute amount of product under your cheek and jaw bones should do the job here. A full contour routine suggests you have a lot of time on your hands, which busy and important grown-ups absolutely do not.

Available at Nordstrom & SpaceNK

Another facet of being a grown-up is learning to eschew the immediate pleasures of gaudy makeup in favor of a polished, well put together look. No, I am most certainly not advocating retiring your neon lipsticks and glitter, I’m merely suggesting an alternative look for days when you want to dress up as a real and functioning adult.

The Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors are a grown-up version of lip gloss. They are very moisturizing and add a barely perceptible loveliness to the mouth. Clarins seems like a very grown-up and “chic” brand, so you can absorb some of their second-hand-chicness, or “chicness by association.” The RMS Living Luminizer is the grown up version of dabbing glitter on your cheekbones – it’s an incredibly subtle and dewy looking, long-lasting highlighter. Because not many people know about RMS you will seem “in the know” by using this. It’s really gorgeous and lavish without being garish or obvious – the grown-up makeup MO. And always add some natural-but-fearsome eyebrows – you need to be able to express disappointment and outrage without even opening your mouth, and scare away time-wasters and small children alike.

Available at Boots, Clarins & Cult Beauty

Finally, there is the side of grown-up-hood which is not about being an intimidating, powerful and immaculate example of womanhood. Grown-ups are ultimately very practical, prepared, and good to have around in emergencies. Carrying things like anti-bac hand gel, though hardly glamorous, makes you feel slightly more like you’re prepared to face the world, which is all for the good. I also recommend a purchase of a boring tube of Neosporin – this stuff is great for healing any sort of wound including deeply un-grown-up and glamorous blemishes. I think having a small arsenal of “fixers” helps me feel better – it gives a perhaps illusory sense of problem/solution which is reassuring in a world where the problems can sometimes seem insurmountable.

 

Available here

I’m trying to not worry so much about the future, and I’m certainly not in a hurry to give up being a child totally! But when I do want to feel less like a chaotic and futureless disaster zone, putting on my grown-up face helps to activate my grown-up mentality. There’s more to being a grown-up than having grown-up beauty products, but it surely helps.