10 Most Common Makeup Mistakes


Despite Jessica's Simpson effort to prove me wrong, I still think most of us don't really need the regurgitated advice most magazines seem to favor. Instead, let's talk about the more subtle things that can make or break our look.

1. Not Using Primer-
Eye primer and face primer not only make your makeup last longer, but they provide a smooth, receptive canvas for other products. You can use less foundation and get a better coverage. And they prevent color migration. Yes, it is an extra step, but it only adds about 30 seconds to the process. It's worth it, I promise.

2. Concealer Before Foundation-
If you're applying concealer to problem areas (zits, spots, uneven patches) before foundation, chances are that you're using more product than needed. Start with your foundation and spread it evenly. It gives some coverage and evens out things. Then add just enough concealer and blend it into your foundation. The result is more natural looking and far less likely to look caked.

3. Too Dark Foundation-
And I'm not even talking about the dreaded oompa loompa look. Between the weird lighting in department stores and our own tendency to look for coverage, it's very easy to choose too dark a foundation. Next time you're at your favorite counter ask for a sample of a foundation that's one shade lighter than what you're wearing. Test it under normal conditions. Chances are you're not as dark as you thought.

4. Not Using a Lip Liner-
Seriously. If you're wearing a dark lipstick, be it a sexy red or this season's vampy browns, you need a matching lip liner to outline and keep your lip color in place. Not doing so results in a sloppy look and color bleeding. Also, a liner in a natural shade would do wonders for your neutral colored lipstick and would make it last longer if you use it to fill the lips. Take a look at the comments on yesterday's post for more fabulous suggestions.

5. Bright And Shimmery Blush-
A blush is supposed to give you a naturally flushed look. Do you know anyone who actually blushes in shimmery coral? Me neither. Consider a muted rose or a gentle plum. If you want extra shimmer add it subtly where and when appropriate (which is rarely over your cheeks).

6. Old Mascaras-
Yes, I know the tube isn't empty yet, but there's a good reason you're told to toss your mascara after three months. All the air that's getting pumped inside every time you dip the brush in to it doesn't just make it a breeding ground for bacteria, but also dries the mascara out and makes it clumpy. And despite what you've been telling yourself, it shows.

7. Black Eyeliner-
Don't get me wrong: I love black eyeliner. It's sexy. However, even someone with my coloring doesn't need a very contrasting color for daytime. It can look very harsh, and if you're fair skinned or blonde it might look overdone and garish. There are so many better options, from the almost-black-but-not-quite to caramel. they will give you the contouring and definition in a modern, non-Amy Winehouse way.

8. Skipping Powder-
Powder has somewhat of a bad rap that's not necessarily justified. Of course, you don't want to go overboard or to look ashy (the result of too many "translucent" powders that are actually more white than naturally colored). But for a truly polished and natural face, you need a good finishing product that would even things out even more than your foundation does and would keep things in place. Opt for a pressed powder (easier to handle, less likely to look ghostly, travels better) that has a color to match your undertone. Apply with a good, thick brush (let the cat play with those cute puffs).

9. Penciled Eyebrows-
A penciled eyebrow looks painted and weird, even if you found the perfect color. It always surprises me to see how many women (otherwise well-informed and makeup savvy) make this mistake. Choose an eye shadow color that matches your hair color and apply with a thin, stiff angled brush using tiny strokes.

10. Clinging To Discontinued Products-
I know you loved that perfect eyeliner/lip gloss/stick foundation the evil people at the marketing department decided to discontinue. You loved it so much you wrote the company and had them send you every last scrape of it they had in their warehouse and then you haunted eBay for months searching for more. I did it, too. But it's time to let go. There are new and better formulas, updated and subtler shades and lots of new awesome products. There are constant improvement in textures and modern pigments. Today you wouldn't touch even the most luxurious lipstick or concealer from 10 years ago. They just don't measure up to the ones currently on the market, so why get stuck with an outdated look?

Image: Modern Mechanix

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