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Everything I Ever Needed To Know About Beauty, I Learned From Snooki

snooki pics2010 was a big year for the wee creature known as Snooki, AKA Nicole Polizzi. Besides raking in a gargantuan amount of money for not really doing much of anything last year, the reality star successfully catapulted herself into household name territory, becoming famous for, among other things, her unique beauty ideas.

There is, as they say, no such thing as bad publicity—and that’s good for the Snooks, because I can’t think of a single mainstream beauty/fashion publication that’s managed to go all this time without making some kind example of her styling choices or declaring her an all-around, emphatic “don’t.” But because I’m all for positive thinking, I’d like to point something out. We can all learn a thing or two from Snooki’s beauty gaffes. And learning, like publicity, is always a good thing.

The tan

Because it’s hard to get past, let’s start with the obvious: the crime-against-nature shade of burnt sienna Snooki proudly maintains ALL YEAR ROUND. People. How many times do you need to be told that tanning is detrimental to your health? If you spend time in the sun, wear sunscreen! And if you absolutely insist on an artificial skin tone, please stay out of the tanning beds. No matter what kind of marketing craziness that industry churns out, tanning is bad for you. Period. (Isn’t that why President Obama implemented the tanning tax, which famously upset dear Snooki?) Feel free to use sunless tanners. These days, you have a lot of options when it comes to those. Just exercise good judgment. And know that rocking a Hawaiian Tropic bronze in January—when everyone knows you spent the weekend shoveling snow—is funny.

The hair

We don’t really need to talk about the bumpit, do we? Okay, good. So let’s talk about the length. Girls, as you’re likely aware, there’s a flattering hair style for every face shape. What you may not know is that there’s also a proper hair style for every body type. If you’re on the short side, knee-length hair extensions aren’t the most flattering. (Actually, ridiculously long hair looks silly on just about everyone. I’m looking at you, Taylor Momsen.) No matter what your height, weight or shape, you can totally pull off long, luscious locks—by no means am I suggesting you should shy away from the hair extensions! Just aim for a believable look. Keep it above the waist.

The eye makeup

Oh boy. Where to begin? I think I’ll start—and finish—by pointing out a fairly common makeup mistake of which Snooki’s a repeat offender: overdoing the dark shadow. You see, dark shadow is meant to create depth. When used sparingly, it can go a long way to make your eyes appear larger and more open. Whether you’re going for a subtle smoky look or straight-up drama, a good rule of thumb is never to extend a dark shade above the crease of your eyelid. Why not? Well, from far away, your eyes will look like holes, and up close, they’ll look a hot mess. See? Another valuable (if inadvertently delivered) beauty lesson, brought to us by Snooki.

The confidence

I read somewhere that Snooki’s big, bold personality isn’t an act. I’ve heard she’s got quite the little ego, and you won’t see me criticizing her for it. No. On the contrary, I kind of love her for it. A classic beauty she’s not. But guess what? Looks aren’t everything. In my opinion, confidence trumps looks every single time. And yes, you just read that on a beauty blog, typed by a self-professed beauty addict at that. If you’re confident enough to be comfortable with yourself, people around you will take note, and you’ll get places. Who knows, maybe you’ll wind up on a lucrative reality show. But nothing you do to alter/improve your appearance—no Botox, no eyeliner, no wrinkle cream—will ever take the place of sass. And that’s why, horrific beauty blunders aside, Snooki is a winner in my book.

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