If you're a makeup fan, then you likely have your beauty routine down to a science. I bet you have a foundation trick or two, as well a flawless eyeliner technique. But even the most skilled among us can still make mistakes when applying makeup.
I'm talking about the things us beauty-fiends do wrong without even realizing. Of course this includes not blending foundation past the jawline, or getting a bit heavy-handed with the contouring. (Because yay, makeup.) But trust me when I say there are other, less-obvious mistakes that can slip under the radar.
Instead of having anything to do with what looks right or wrong, however, these mistakes have more to do with your application technique. While there are proper ways to use makeup, the days of what looks "good" and what doesn't seem to be over. Remember a few years ago when blue eye shadow was totally demonized? Or when dark lipstick was considered absolutely ridiculous? Rules like these are things of the past. The beauty world now has an "anything goes" mentality, and it is most refreshing.
That's why the info below don't have anything to do with taste. If you love rocking a look that isn't "right," keep doing your thing. But do read on for some makeup mistakes you might be making — all in the name of upping your beauty game.
1. Using Expired Makeup
Be honest with yourself — how long have you really had that tube of cheek tint? If it's been rolling around in your drawer for a hot minute, then give it a toss. While it may hurt to throw out a favorite, "using expired makeup could lead to problems of skin irritation and eye infections," says makeup artist Hillary Kline, in an email to Bustle. So use this as your excuse to hit up Sephora, and treat yourself to a restock.
2. Applying Concealer Before Foundation
If you have a zit, I understand how tempting it is to cover it up with concealer, followed by globs of foundation. If you go in this order, however, you'll essentially erase the concealer by wiping it away. "Instead, apply foundation first and then look in the mirror. Where do you need more coverage? Apply concealer there," says Derek Selby, head of makeup artistry at Cover FX, in an email to Bustle. Easy as that.
3. Pumping Your Mascara Wand
Lots of people think it's necessary to pump the mascara wand in order to get more product. But this habit actually has the opposite effect. As Stowaway Cosmetics co-founder Julie Fredrickson tells me, the pumping action actually removes product from the wand — giving you less mascara with each swipe. It also pushes air into the tube, which can cause the product to oxidize quicker. "Every time you brush back in the tube it is one day closer to being expired," she says. Good to know.
4. Forgetting To Clean Your Brushes
Brushes rarely look dirty, so I totally understand how easy it is to keep using them for days, weeks, or even months on end. But doing so can lead to a slue of skin problems. "I have met so many clients who break out on their cheeks and think it's their blush, [but it's actually] the dirty makeup brush loaded with bacteria," Selby says. Let this serve as your reminder to give those tools a cleanse, ASAP.
5. Not Testing Your Concealer In Natural Light
Sure, that test swatch of foundation might look great under the bright lights of your local beauty store. But what about outside, in natural daylight? Lots of people make the mistake of not checking before buying, makeup artist Sandy Taylor tells me. If you want to know for real that you've found a good match, she recommends popping outside to take a peak.
6. Stealing Your Friend's Look
Everyone loves a good makeup recommendation. But take note when stealing your friend's look, as it could mean ending up with a product that doesn't meet your needs. Take mascara, for example. "[Your friend's] natural lashes may not be like yours, so using her [favorite brand] might not work for you," Selby says. Of course it's worth experimenting, but make sure to stick with makeup that's best suited to you.
7. Not Prepping Your Skin First
Nothing is more annoying than lovingly applying makeup, only to watch it melt off minutes later. So do yourself a favor, and prep your skin first. "We love using an oil-based serum and light facial mist to prep the skin before applying ... foundation and concealer," says Annie Tevelin, makeup artist and founder of SkinOwl, in an email to Bustle. You can also smooth on a makeup primer to ensure that handiwork stays put.
8. Sticking False Lashes On Too Quickly
If you have yet to master the art of applying false eyelashes, it could be you're rushing the process. "I struggled with false lashes for the longest time," says makeup expert and ipsy stylist Madison Miller, in an email to Bustle. "My mistake was that I wasn't waiting for the glue to get tacky." Turns out, if you wait just 20 seconds after squeezing on some glue the lashes will be more likely to stick. Pretty cool, right?
9. Letting Your Concealer And Eyeliner Mix
Unless you're going for a smeared next-day look, it's a good idea to prevent your concealer and eyeliner from mixing and mingling. As Alejandro Falcon, artistic director of Osmosis Colour Cosmetics, tells me, "It is important to always have a dry area under or over your eyeliner application to prevent smearing during the day." This can be achieved with a quick pat of setting powder on your concealer And just like that, you'll have eyeliner that last all day.
10. Applying Lipstick To Chapped Lips
How many times have you applied liquid lipstick, only to hate how crumbly it looks? If this happens on the regular, it could be due to your chapped lips — and is very easily remedied. "What I learned is to first use a lip scrub to get all the dead skin off, then apply a lip balm right when I start getting ready so that way the lip balm has time to soak in and really moisturize the lips," Miller explains. "It is like night and day with the end result."
11. Ignoring Your Skin Type
I love scooping up makeup just as much as the next gal. But going about it with reckless abandon can mean getting stuck with products that don't work for your skin. For example, "if someone is oily, I am going to use a different set of primer, base foundation, and concealer," says makeup artist Marissa Hohner, in an email to Bustle. The same is true for oily ladies, as well as those with combination skin. If you aren't sure which skin type you have, it may be helpful to chat it up with a dermatologist. Once you know, you can snag products that are guaranteed to work well with your skin.
Then, regardless of what look you decide to rock, you can rest-assured you'll always be lookin' your best — blue eye shadow and all.
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