There are no written rules to makeup, and even if there were they would be constantly changing and updating. Nonetheless, there are some application techniques that just don’t flatter any face. I’ve made just about every mistake there is to make when it comes to applying makeup, and I’ve also learned some helpful corrections that I’d like to share with you! My makeup style is evolving, and yours can too. Here are some beauty mistakes and how to fix them:
1. Picking the Wrong Foundation Color
One of the most obvious beauty mistakes is wearing a foundation that is a few shades off from your natural skin color. Whether it’s making the honest mistake of swatching makeup on the back of your hand at the store, purposely grabbing a shade darker in hopes of looking tanner, or even intentionally going lighter in pursuit of an angelic glow, using the wrong shade of foundation just never looks good. Period.
Swatching on Your Hand
Did your mis-match mess occur because you tested your makeup on the back of your hand? Finding out that the color that blended so perfectly into your hand is actually too dark for your face can ruin a whole makeup session! Luckily, you don’t need to go out with an obviously painted face–there’s a fix for this!
Foundation mixers can be combined with foundation to achieve a different undertone or finish. Using a white foundation mixer can help lighten up your foundation, but don’t expect any miracles. I had success using NYX Foundation Mixer in White when I got the wrong color of St. Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Eclat Illuminating Foundation.
In the future, however, it’s best not to test makeup on your hands, as this skin rarely matches your face. Instead sample makeup on your neck or jawline.
Going Too Light
Wearing a foundation a few shades too light for your skin will not So if you’re guilty of choosing a too light foundation for your skin, consider adding a foundation mixer into a matching shade, instead. To brighten my face I like to use the sameNYX Foundation Mixer, but in Opalescent. This foundation mixer adds a glowy, dewy finish to your look.
Going Too Dark
Using a darker foundation won’t make you look tanner, it will only look like you’ve got a mask of dark foundation on, which usually isn’t the look I’m going for. So, instead, I would recommend contouring to add some depth and richness to your face. Using contour appropriately will make your face look a bit tanner.
I never ever contoured ever until I met the NYX Highlight and Contour Pro Palette (and, of course a satisfactory Silver 11 Piece Brush Collection” target=”_blank”>set of contour brushes). With four shades of highlight–including a yellowy shade, perfect for under the eyes on sleepy days!–and four tones of contour, this powder palette is perfect for a breadth of skin tones.
2. Neglecting Your Tools
“I. Love. Cleaning my makeup brushes!” — Nobody Ever.
I know you hate it, but, ladies, if you’re using your makeup brushes every day you ought to clean them at least twice a week. They’re actually for on the go, but I like to clean my brushes using e.l.f. Brush Cleanser Wipes after each time I use them. These wipes are great for removing makeup, dirt, and oil from brushes without drying out the hairs. Unlike when you wash with soaps or other liquids, when I clean my makeup brushes with these wipes they dry relatively quickly.
Brushes accumulate old makeup, dead skin cells, oils, dirt, and bacteria over time, and you’re redepositing this mess onto your face every time you use dirty makeup brushes. This won’t only probably cause you to develop problematic skin, but also compromises your look. When you apply makeup with dirty brushes it doesn’t spread, lay, or set as flatly on your face.
3. Adding Foundation First
I’ve already explained why I am a huge fan of face primer: it simply boosts your look. Primer helps to hide pores and creases, allowing foundation to lay flatly and smoothly all over your face. In addition to face primer, I like to use a couple of products on my skin prior to putting on my foundation for a smoother, pore-less, matte look.
First, after exfoliating my face (which is necessary for anyone who wears makeup daily) I apply a daily moisturizer. This eliminates dry skin and flakes that could cause makeup to look uneven. My personal favorite moisturizer is the Total Moisture Facial Cream from Benefit Cosmetics.
Second, I apply a layer of NYX Pore Filler where my pores appear largest. This stuff really helps to create a flawless, porcelain-like finish to your face.
Last, I apply my primer, NYX Studio Perfect Photo-Loving Primer, which completely eliminates shine. I love airbrush makeup and, honestly, using this particular primer under my foundation creates a similarly light, natural effect.
4. Applying Too Much Powder
Matte finishes are definitely gorgeous, but go easy on the powder, girlies! Applying too much powder over your finished look–whether colored or translucent–is a recipe for an over-done cake face. I like to use a super-light, cruelty-free powder from Naturally Better You. Just a light dusting is all you need for this powder to soak up any shine-producing oil in your makeup! Also, you only need to powder in your T-zone. Remember, even translucent powder is not completely invisible, so less finishing powder is more for your look.
5. Curling Your Lashes Post-Mascara
I don’t normally wear fake lashes. Instead I use a potent mascara and eyelash curler (but NOT in that order). That’s because eyelashes tend to hold the curl better if they are styled without any products on top. When you curl your lashes after applying mascara, there is a looming danger that your lashes will get stuck together–not a flattering look. There are a zillion eyelash curlers to choose from, but some are better than others: good eyelash curlers have squishy padding that helps to gently grab the eyelashes so that they curl elegantly instead of creasing. I like to use the Bobbi Brown Gentle Curl on my eyelashes because I find it has one of the best pads of any eyelash curler.
6. Putting Dark Eyeshadow on Bare Skin
If you’re aiming to go dark, prepare to layer on some eyeshadow. This helps create a softer, less chunky effect. When you put dark eyeshadow close to a lighter color, you can see abrupt lines where the two colors meet, even when you blend like crazy. To avoid this and get a smoother smokey eye (unlike the one I wear every day), start with lighter colors of the same family, and pile on other shades, getting progressively darker until you’ve reached the effect you want.
When I create a layered smokey eye, which is the most dramatic and attractive kind in my opinion, I layer on a bunch of neutral colors under my dark grey and black. I use the Urban Decay Naked Palette for my neutral colors–these eyeshadows really stick and help me build up a dramatic black.
There are seriously like a million other makeup mistakes that I’ve made, but these are some of the most important ones. Fixing these mistakes can dramatically change your look for the better. Let me know what makeup lessons you’ve learned!