The Most Common Makeup Mistakes, According To Pros

by Toria Sheffield

Makeup is designed to highlight our best features and help us feel great about the way we look. Unfortunately, a lot of us may be making mistakes with our makeup without even realizing it, which can ultimately undermine the whole purpose of putting time and effort into getting ready in the first place. But with so many tips, tricks, and advice sources out there, it can also sometimes be difficult to narrow the field of information and figure out what exactly we may be doing wrong.

I recently got the opportunity to discuss this over email with London-based professional makeup artists (and sisters) Sam and Nic Chapman of the Pixiwoo YouTube channel and of the award-winning Real Techniques makeup brushes. Any one who knows me will know this was quite the exciting moment in my life, as I've geeked out over their awesome YouTube tutorials for years and basically use their channel as my go-to for all makeup-related questions and advice (if anyone's interested in one of the most impressive makeup tutorial transformations ever, check out Sam turn herself into Elizabeth Taylor in one of my all time favorite makeup videos).

In our exchange, the ladies of Pixiwoo told me some of the biggest mistakes they see women make with their makeup on a daily basis, and I've boiled what they said down to five basic points that should serve you well whether you're a makeup expert or a total beginner.

1. Aging Yourself

Sam and Nic note that one of the biggest mistakes a lot of women make is not updating their makeup with the times. "Just as we change our clothing styles, we should do the same with our makeup," they say, mentioning that not doing so can actually age us. This isn't to say that certain looks won't always be more flattering to your face (I, for example, have slightly downturned eyes, so a winged eyeliner works great for balancing my face out), but the amount of makeup in vogue, as well as the colors, will often change with the years and seasons.

And I'd also personally recommend paying attention to how your skin changes over time; for example, I definitely can't pull off the powder-based foundations I used to love in my early 20s and now must opt for products that offer more moisture.

Try: Jouer Matte Moisture Tint, $40, Amazon

2. Creating "Instagram Face"

"More and more often we see the 'Instagram face' where someone wears so much makeup that they look unrecognizable in person," they say. "It may look great on camera, but in real life it looks like too much makeup. We see this especially with brows! Brows should look like they belong to you and complement your face." So while a lot of makeup and dramatic contouring might seem fun every now and then or when you're playing in front of the mirror, just remember that the goal is to still look like yourself!

Try: City Color Contour Effects, $6.79, Amazon

3. Not Using The Proper Brushes

Real Techniques Collector's Edition Sculpting Set, $26, Amazon

Having designed their own line of makeup brushes, the sisters are obviously huge advocates of quality tools for the best final product possible. Good brushes will, "make your routine easier to apply and more enjoyable, [and] makes your makeup last longer and look better in the long run," they say.

I actually used to avoid makeup brushes for applying cream-based foundations because it weirdly always seemed a little intimidating and for "makeup pros." However, time has taught me that there's absolutely nothing to fear, and it just genuinely makes for a more even and flawless finish.

4. Using Too Much Too Fast

Sam and Nic also note that the key to applying makeup — especially foundation — is gradually layering to the desired effect. Pouring a glob into your hands and smothering your face can just make you look over-done or even oily if you're using a product for dry skin. Instead, start small and build with a brush until you have just the right amount.

Try: EcoTools Flat Foundation Brush, $5.19, Amazon

5. Not Practicing

This one might seem obvious, but practice was their number one tip for the makeup novice. Seriously — I watch a lot of makeup tutorials and read about makeup kind of a lot, and every single expert I have ever come across has stressed the importance of simple practice. So instead of getting totally frustrated when you feel like that cat eye or cheek contour never looks quite right, schedule a couple hours to just really work on it. I promise it will pay off!

Makeup should be fun — never frustrating. And if it is, it might just be because you're making a few highly fixable mistakes without realizing it. So take a look at the above common errors and then go forth and look amazing!

Images: Pexels (1); Giphy (4)