Makeup is an amazing thing for those of us that choose to use it. There are many wonderful ways to apply makeup, but we’ve gathered a list of makeup mistakes that every woman should avoid…
Pumping the Mascara Wand
Let’s start with the most fundamental of makeup tips. Do not pump your mascara wand when you open it up. You see, pumping forces air into your lovely mascara, and with air comes bacteria. Also, pumping means your brush ends up overloaded with product. Just remove your wand, wipe excess, and apply!
Gap Between Wing and Lashes
Many items on this list will discuss liquid liner, and that’s because liquid liner is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it gives us dramatically framed eyes. On the other hand, it isn’t exactly easy to become a pro at winger liner.
Anyway, one of the common issues with liquid liner is the pesky gap that appears between the liner and your lash line. Try a super thin liner to allow you to get nice and close to your lashes.
Wearing Bronzer All Over
Before we proceed any further — as with all beauty advice, these are to be taken with a pinch of salt. If you like a face full of foundation and a full application of bronzer, then don’t let us tell you otherwise. However, in general, it’s best to avoid piling on the bronzer.
Aim to bronze the parts of your face that would be naturally tanned by the sun — your cheekbones, jawline, and forehead. Experiment with different options and see which you prefer.
Overfilling Your Brows
Brows have become big business in the last few decades. Whereas the ‘90s and ‘00s reveled in the skinny brow, fashion since then has fully leant into the bushy brow. Everyone seems to be going bigger and darker, with models like Cara Delevingne leading the way.
Whilst it’s tempting to keep drawing on and filling in your brows, it’s best to actually get them done professionally. A wax and tint is cheap, and means you won’t have to bother with them for weeks!
Using the Wrong Lighting
When it comes to makeup, it’s not just the products that matter. The light that you use to apply your makeup is extremely important in terms of how your face will eventually turn out. Ideally, you want to use natural lighting, or an illuminated mirror that replicates strong, white light.
Applying makeup in the dark, or in a yellow light, will distort how your skin actually looks. You’ll end up walking outside, glancing in a reflection, and realizing that you’re wearing ten times more makeup than you intended.
Too Much Concealer Under Eyes
It’s very tempting to excessively apply concealer. Come on — it’s called concealer, surely that’s the point? However, some formulas will cake and settle on your face, leaving you with even worse looking under eyes.
It takes some time to get used to different concealers and where they’ll work best on your face. For the undereye area, use something fine, creamy, and blend-able. Remember to also apply to the inner eye as it usually has blueish tones that make circles look darker.
Sticking to Only One Eyeshadow
Admittedly, some monochromatic eyeshadow looks can be very cool. However, for general use, avoid using just one eyeshadow on the entire eye. It tends to remove any dimension from the eyelid, and gives the face a flat or dull appearance.
Instead, use a lighter shade under the brow, experiment with a darker shade at the outer corner, and add a pop of metallic to the inner corner. In fact — a sweep of metallic shadow will add dimension immediately.
Wearing Blush Too Low
It’s always a nightmare figuring out where to apply blush. Yes, there are various rules about where to put it, but people have different shaped faces! Some people can easily apply lots of rosy blush and look like a glowing English rose.
Others can use the same amount and end up looking more like Pennywise. Try to think of your blush as a finishing touch, rather than a main attraction — wearing it too low can drag the entire face down.
Badly Sharpened Pencil
As a rule of thumb, keep all of your makeup pencils well sharpened. You may have learnt to still get a reasonable brow out of your ancient stubby brow pencil, but it’s easier all around to just use a sharp one. The same applies for lip liner, eyeliner, and whatever other liners you have lying around.
We recommend keeping a small, yet cute, sharpener in your makeup bag. It’s best to choose one that stores all those pencil shavings!
Putting Makeup on Dry Skin
A common makeup mistake is to start application without taking care of your skin. We can’t overestimate just how important skincare is to good makeup application. In fact, in many Asian countries, skincare is seen as more important than makeup, because beautiful skin will always show through. This is why Korea has a 12-step skincare routine!
For beginners, we recommend a simple cleanse, tone, moisturize routine. Micellar water is an incredibly easy product to use, and your skin will thank you!
Testing Foundation on Wrong Spots
In the age of YouTube beauty bloggers, and social media businesses like Kylie Cosmetics, swatching is a big thing. For the uninitiated, swatching is applying a smear of product to your hand or arm to see how it looks on the skin.
While this is quite satisfying to watch on Instagram videos, it’s not the best way to test makeup shades. Hands tend to be a different tone than your face, so instead, try foundation on your jawline.
Eyeliner That Doesn’t Last
It’s extremely annoying to apply your liquid liner and then realize hours later that it has faded off. Some formulas of liquid liner can actually harden and peel off, and others will flake off. Obviously, the solution to this problem is to find a good brand of liner that works for you, but there are other options.
You can bring your liner with you and fill in the faded bits whenever possible, or you can choose a waterproof brand that won’t budge.
Poorly Blended Makeup
With the rise of beauty bloggers, we’ve all learned how important it is to blend, blend, blend. Gone are the days where we can hastily apply some eyeshadow and hope for the best. Now, we must apply seven different shades in a particular order, and blend our limbs off, hoping to transform into Michelle Phan.
It’s worth learning how to blend, though, as it will make a huge difference to your entire makeup game. Sponges seem to be the preferred tool.
Matte Lipstick on Dry Lips
Kylie Cosmetics brought back the matte liquid lip with its endless libraries of lip colors and Instagram photos. However, in order to pull off this look, you need to have nicely moisturized lips. Otherwise, the matte lipstick will stick to every chapped crevice, leaving you with flaky, unappealing smackers.
Moisturize your lips with lip balm, and experiment with exfoliators. Here’s a top tip for a homemade recipe — smear some sugar and coconut oil on your lips, rub, and ta-dah!
Using Unwashed Makeup Brushes
It goes without saying that makeup brushes pick up a lot of bacteria, dust, and hair. Even if you keep them organized and upright, you still smear your brushes over your face and dip them in various products. It’s certainly possible that your makeup brushes are giving you breakouts.
You can wash your brushes with a mild baby shampoo, or buy one designed for makeup. Avoid soaking the glue that holds the bristles in place — we need them to stay there!
Messy Wing Tips
We’re back to liquid liner, and the many curses it rains upon us as we search for perfect cat-eye beauty. In order to be at its best, winged liquid liner should be completely symmetrical. This causes a lot of anxiety while applying the liner, and usually escalates as you desperately add another tiny line to each eye, hoping that they’ll balance out.
What can we say? You just have to practice until you can do sharp, clean, matching wingtips.
Using Too Many Contouring Products
Contouring originates from the world of drag, but it was popularized by the Kardashian-Jenner family. We all used to be perfectly happy just applying makeup to our faces in a regular way, but now we’re obsessed with drawing on our own faces with various different colors and textures.
If you want to contour, then keep it simple. Grab a matt bronzer, and a light powder, and use those to create the illusion of light hitting your face.
Overstretching Your Eyelids
Many people are in the habit of stretching back and holding their eyelids while they apply makeup. The logic is that you can get a clearer idea of where your eye makeup should go, but actually, the opposite happens.
Whilst you might be able to see better with your eyelid stretched, your eye will return to a different position when you let go. This means that your wings will end up looking uneven and your eyeshadow could be at different heights. Avoid!
An Unrealistic Eyelash Curl
If you’re a fan of lush, curly lashes (and who isn’t?), then don’t forget about the trusty eyelash curler. It can seem like a bit of an old fashioned piece of makeup equipment, but it definitely does the trick. Remember — don’t use eyelash curlers on lashes with mascara.
The mascara will dry on your lashes, and they’ll snap off when in contact with a curler. Also, press gently so your lashes don’t bend into an unrealistic curl. Spend about 10 seconds on each eye.
Colored Eyeliner on Lower Lid
In general, wearing eyeliner on your lower lid makes your eyes look smaller, and more intense. Anyone who lived through the goth/emo/scene kid era has tried to line their eyes in black kohl before quickly learning that it doesn’t look great unless you have gigantic eyes.
The same is true for colored eyeliner, which can throw off the whole shape of your eye if only applied to the lower waterline. Stick to using it on the top.
Forgetting About Primers
We all have different ideas about what items are central to a good makeup kit. Most people will have a foundation, concealer, mascara, and lip color, but not everyone will have a primer, highlighter, or color corrector. Primers are incredible because they prime your skin for the makeup to come.
This means that the makeup sits on the primer, and doesn’t fade into your skin or smear over your face. Plus, primers can be mixed, so experiment to find a combination you like!
Putting Makeup on Naked Lips
We’ve already mentioned that it’s best to exfoliate and moisturize lips if you plan to wear lipstick. However, when it’s time to apply that lipstick, you can’t just put it straight onto your lips. Absolutely not!
Instead, always apply primer, foundation, or concealer to your lips before adding lip products. They provide a nice blank base for your lipstick, and give it something to cling to. Seriously — your lipsticks will pop in a completely different way if you wear them on top of a base.
Painted Inner Lower Lid
We’ve already mentioned the perils of colored liner on the lower lid, and now we’re here to advise against putting liquid liner down there. Yes, some people like to apply a little bit of liquid eyeliner to their lower waterline, but it always ends up bleeding. And who wants cloudy black liner in their eyes?
If you’re insistent on lining your lower lashline, then stick with a pencil. Although avoid kohl pencil — it’s far too smudgy!
Not Priming Your Eyelids
In the same way that you should never apply product to a naked lip, you shouldn’t apply anything to a naked eye. The eye area is extremely delicate, and it’s best to treat the skin before applying any makeup.
You can use your regular facial primer on your eyelids, but many brands also make a special formula just for lids. You can also use a color corrector or a thin layer of foundation so your eyeshadow has a neutral base to stick to.
Using the Same Foundation
It’s easy to get nostalgic about makeup. Lots of us remember the first lipstick we ever bought, or the color of eyeliner we were wearing on a special day. However, it’s good practice to experiment with different formulas and brands.
Of course, many people will learn what mascara they like and will stick with it for decades, but it’s not the same situation for foundations. Think about it — your skin changes as you age, so you’ll need to change up your formula.
Concealing Instead of Correcting
It’s all too tempting to just slap concealer over any facial blemish. Dark under eyes? Pass the concealer. A gigantic red spot! Just cover it with concealer. Veins on your eyelid? Concealer, quickly! But, that often just leaves you with a patchy face and a cakey texture.
Instead, invest in a color correcting palette. Different shades of lilac, green, and yellow correcting cream come together to balance the blue and orange tones in the skin. Or, try a color-correcting primer.
Only Using One Concealer
Concealer can be an amazing makeup item. Sure — it used to be pretty boring, but there are so many types now! There are fine elastic textured creamy ones, thick heavy coverage waterproof ones, light and airy mousse ones, and firm bullet ones. It’s a concealer connoisseur’s delight.
So, make sure that you avail of the plentiful concealer bounty and don’t just use one concealer for all of your concealing needs. Different parts of the face need different textures, so have fun playing!
Ending Up With Spider Lashes
For those of us that aren’t blessed with luscious lashes, it can be tempting to just keep applying mascara in the hope that we’ll suddenly have some. However, that often leads to dreaded spider lashes — the thing our mothers warned us about.
Applying too much mascara means that each lash becomes excessively coated in product. This results in clumpy eyes that look like they have spiders perched along their lids. That might be OK for Halloween, but not everyday life!
Always Resorting to Contouring
We’ve already advised that you stick to a small amount of products when contouring. But, have you considered not contouring at all? Let’s think this through — contouring was initially used by drag artists to give an exaggerated appearance and to make features pop on stage.
It was then used by celebrities who are photographed all day and have entire teams of people to beautify them. So do we really need such exaggerated and thick makeup? There’s nothing wrong with mixing it up every now and then.
Buying the Wrong Products
For some people, using makeup is a fun pastime. These people enjoy buying and using lots of products. For other people, dealing with cosmetics is a stressful situation. They don’t know what to buy, and they panic and buy whatever everyone else has.
Just because something looks good on your friend, that doesn’t mean it will look the same on your skin. Make use of samples and experiment to see what works with your routine, your skin’s texture, and your skin tone.
Not Prepping the Undereye
There are various arguments when it comes to what order you should apply your makeup in. Traditionalists will say you should start with the base and build from there. But, others will argue that you should do the eyes first so that you can tidy up before building your perfect base.
If you do decide to start with your eyes, then make sure you prep your undereye, as well as your eyelid. Add some serum, and then apply primer.
Powdering the Entire Face
Beauty trends change, and what was once normal might now be frowned upon by those in the know. Whilst it was a trend in the ‘90s and ‘00s to have a heavily powdered, matte face, that’s no longer the case. Increasingly, beauty trends favor glossy or dewy skin, and everyone is obsessed with highlighter now.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still use powder, though. Just apply it to areas where you tend to get oily, like on your T-zone.
Using Too Much Dark Eyeshadow
While everyone is excited by a smoky eye now and then, it’s wise to be cautious when it comes to piling on the dark shadows. When it comes to eyeshadows in black, plum, indigo, navy, or deep brown, less is more.
Dip your brush in, blow off the excess, and lightly apply the color. You can then build up the color until it’s at the right intensity. Stick to using dark shadows on the outer corner of your eyelid, rather than applying it all over.
Using Too Much Eyelash Glue
Applying false eyelashes is an art in itself, but before you even begin — make sure you don’t use too much glue! It’s a common problem, so try to avoid it right from the get-go.
The best method is to put a small amount of glue on the false lashes, and let them dry for 40 to 50 seconds (regardless of what the packaging says), before applying. Apply a touch more glue to the outer lashes because they are more likely to fall out.
Only Lining the Outer Lips
In the ‘90s and ‘00s, lip liner was applied to the perimeter of the lips, and then the lips were covered in super sticky lip gloss. Girl bands and RnB singers of this era sported deep brown or burgundy lip liner, with a sheen of frosted gloss on top. Still, the times they are a-changin,’ and now it’s advised to wear lip liner all over the lips.
This nifty tricks gives your lips more depth of color, and provides a good base for lipstick, or gloss…
Heavily Blended Eyeliner
When Avril Lavigne first appeared on the scene, she was recognizable by her long straightened hair, her angsty Canadian pop-rock, and her smudgy black eyeliner. However, that look has evolved, and we no longer aspire to Avril’s zombie style eye makeup.
It’s completely reasonable — nay advisable — to blend your eyeliner, but just don’t get carried away. Use a small brush to gently blend the eyeliner on your lower lid. Using a large brush will lead to big black circles, otherwise known as panda eyes.
Not Changing Seasons for Foundation
It’s important to change your foundation as you get older, but also depending on the time of year. In winter, you might be using a lighter shade of foundation, and prefer fuller coverage. However, by the time summer has arrived, you might have a sunny glow and only want to wear a tinted moisturizer.
Your skin has needs that will change according to the temperature, humidity, and light. Have a variety of foundations that you can use throughout the year.
Wearing Too Much Foundation
Foundation is a tricky thing, and many people struggle with deciding on one to suit their skin and lifestyle. Think about it — there’s cream, powder, full coverage, tint. You can apply it with a sponge, a brush, your fingers. And then there are the shades; we all know it can be a nightmare when it comes to choosing the right one.
If you’re experimenting and learning what makeup you like, then go light on the foundation. You can always build it up, but you most definitely want to avoid a cakey face.