Well, I’ll start by saying that one girl’s reasonable is another girl’s exorbitant. But unless you have buckets of money to spare and can therefore afford to use thirty dollar tubes of mascara 24/7 or you get prestige ones for free (like, um, me—don’t hate me), I do usually suggest people use drugstore mascara. Why? Because a) if you’re like most people, you go through it like water b) you’re technically supposed to toss your mascara every three to four months anyway c) honestly, most drugstore mascaras perform just as well as designer. It’s just a matter of finding the right one for your lashes. Personally, I have ultra-fine lashes that droop easily (so sad) and like a long, defined, fluttery lash look (versus thick and gloopy). These are my favorites (including a few non-drugstore options in case you can’t not splurge): Covergirl Lash Blast Length (perfectly defining, lashes look ultra-long), Benefit They’re Real (thickens without droopifying), Neutrogena Perfect Volume (natural but has impact), Eyeko Fat (long, long, long lashes). Good luck and, remember, finding your perfect mascara is like finding a perfect pair of jeans. It’s trial and error, so be patient!
I’m impressed—and you sound like you’re on the right track. Even if none of your products are explicitly labeled “Anti-Aging Cream For People Who Don’t Want To Look Old”, I’m sure they’re infused with antioxidants, vitamins, proteins, and other ingredients that are healthy-skin staples. And, honestly, the most important thing you’re doing is setting up a consistent routine. That’s the hardest part and what most people dilly-dally over. “But it’s so much… work!” people mutter or they’ll dejectedly ask “What’s the point?”: I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. So much of skincare is being consistent. Skin, like a potted plant, needs to be fed and watered regularly. Anyway, I’ll get off my soapbox to answer your questions: a) I personally don’t use a neckcream. But I do make sure to put SPF on it every single day (and ditto for the backs of my hands (and face, obviously)). b) don’t ever smoke. c) add a retinoid to your daily routine. It’s the only ingredient that every single one of the many dermatologists I’ve ever met agree on and like an insurance policy for your skin—you won’t have immediate results (but when you’re 35 you’ll be very glad you’ve been using one). Keep up the good work!
Nailpolish is one of the best obsessions, in my opinion, since it’s a ridiculously fun and (fairly) inexpensive way to stay on-trend each season. Note the aforementioned word “fairly” because if you buy, say, thirty polishes a season, that can quickly add up cost-wise too. If you have friends who you’re rather certain are nail fungus-free (sorry to go there, but it’s true), may I suggest a seasonal polish swap? And I actually really, really love drugstore brand nailpolishes: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure is my favorite. The brush head fits my nails perfectly and I have literally applied the polish in the back of a moving taxi (en route to a fashion show!) effortlessly. I also love L’Oreal Paris’ colors, they’re always on trend and the formula is super shiny.
And, as for your second question, depends what industry you’re applying to. Finance (& similarly stuffy ones): be low-key. Fashion: go for it, but exercise chic restraint.