As a makeup artist, I often hear from my clients that they feel like they don’t know how to do their makeup. Either they’ve done it the same way since they were in high school, or they don’t have a clue where to start so they end up guessing at how to apply product. Does this sound like you?
I took some of complaints and challenges I hear about from my clients to create a list of the most common makeup mistakes you could be making when doing your own makeup. And because I want you to look and feel your most beautiful, I’m sharing my tips on how to fix these makeup “mistakes”.
1. Applying too heavy of a powder on top of your foundation. Powder can be great for setting your makeup and keeping you from looking shiny. But I often hear from women that they are using a powder foundation on top of their foundation, which can end up making your makeup look heavy or cakey. Yikes. Use a light sweep of translucent powder to set your makeup. If you're using it to reduce shine, just apply the powder in the areas where you get shiny- forehead, nose, center of cheeks and chin.
2. Too much or too thick eyeliner to try to make both eyes look the same. I get it, lining your eyes and getting them to look the same can be really hard. But instead of adding more and more to even them out, try cleaning up the eye that looks messy, rather than just adding more. Use cotton buds dipped in a little eye makeup remover along the top of your line or underneath to make it look clean and even, and then work on the next eye. You'll get the perfect amount on each eye, rather than just covering your whole lid to try to make them look the same.
3. Drawing a thick line underneath your lashes. I think this is one of the top liner blunders that I see. Just drawing a line under your eyes can look heavy or harsh and make you look older. Try blending your line with a cotton bud or small smudge eyeshadow brush to soften it and enhance your lower lashes. Or, just draw little dots between your lashes and use your cotton bud or brush to blend it and add a hint of shadow under your eyes.
4. Leaving the end of your eyeliner thick and blunt at the end of your line. When applying liner on the top lash line, many women don't know how to end it and usually just leave it looking unfinished. You want your line to come to a small point at the end, kind of like a short wing (as in winged liner, not an actual bird!). The end of your line should also be pointed slightly up towards the end of your brow rather than pointed down following your lash line. Having it pointed up will give your eyes a little lift and make you look younger.
5. Pumping your mascara in the tube to try to get more on the brush. You never want to pump your mascara wand in the tube. It can cause too much air to get into the tube, which will make it dry out quicker or get flaky. You can lightly swirl the wand around in the tube before you pull it out to get lots of product on it, or just give it a second dip. If you're not getting enough mascara on it doing this, then odds are it's time to get a new tube.
6. Contouring your face too much or with the wrong color. Contouring is super popular thanks to the Kardashians, and it's often done too heavy or with a color that looks unnatural. Contouring, or creating shadows on your face can easily turn clownish or fake looking in person. If you are going to contour, make sure you use a product that is specifically for contouring, or a bronzer that is matte and has a greyish or cool tone to it. And you want it to look barely noticeable in person. It should just look like there's a natural shadow there rather than a stripe or dark patch on your face. So if you can really see it in the natural light, then you probably put too much on.
7. Using too light of a concealer under your eyes. I know that some beauty tutorials tell you to use a lighter concealer under your eyes to brighten up the area, but too often it ends up looking like you fell asleep in goggles in the tanning bed. Or like you're taking makeup lessons from Donald Trump. And if you have puffiness under your eyes, it will actually accentuate it. Use a concealer that is the same shade as your foundation to lighten up dark circles or shadows. It will look more natural and less noticeable.
8. Using too much concealer under the eyes. Speaking of concealer mistakes, applying too much concealer can cause your concealer to crease or look cakey. You only need to apply concealer where there is darkness. Apply a tiny amount where there is a shadow or dark circle and blend the edges of where you applied it. If the area is still dark, then you can add another thin layer. Applying it in thin layers only where you need it will help your concealer look more natural, not crease and last longer.
9. Putting too much bronzer on your face. I love a good bronze glow, but how do you apply your bronzer so it looks sun kissed rather than fake-n-bake? Take a large, fluffy powder brush and dip it into your bronzer, and then sweep it across the high points of your face: forehead, bridge of nose, cheeks, chin, jawline and center of throat. This is where the sun naturally hits you when you get a sunburn or tan and will look the most natural when applying your bronzer. Apply one layer first, then you can apply a second for a deeper bronzed glow. With a clean brush you can blend all over your face so your bronzer looks like it's coming from your skin and not makeup.
10. Not wetting your sponge before using it. There are some great makeup sponges on the market now, but if you don't know how to use them you could be wasting your money. Your sponge will work the best if you use it wet rather than dry. Spray the sponge all over with a little water or hydrating toner, or run it quickly under the facet. Squeeze out the excess water so it's damp, not soaking. Then use a tapping or bouncing motion to blend your foundation or concealer to get flawless looking skin.
11. Ending your foundation at your jaw. You've done a beautiful job applying your foundation on your face, but then you're left with that tell tale line at the end of your jaw. To get your makeup to look more natural and have people notice your beautiful face rather than your makeup, make sure you blend your foundation down your jawline and down your neck, especially if your neck happens to be lighter than your face. You want your face and your neck to look even, rather than 2 different colors. And while you're at it, apply what's left on your foundation brush or sponge on your ears so they look the same color as your face. Ears tend to get red, which can look funny if they are a different color than your face.
What makeup “mistakes” that aren’t on the list are you making? What keeps you from feeling like you do your makeup well? Or do you have your own tips on how to fix these challenges? Leave me a comment below to share!