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Biggest Makeup Mistakes

Insufficient Prep

Does your makeup come off during the day? Then you need to pay more attention to skin care before you put it on. Start, for instance, by using the Saffee Cleansing 2-phase micellar water, then apply a toner and a nourishing serum or cream. The most important thing for keeping your look flawless all day long is a primer – the Smashbox Photo Finish Vitamin Glow will make your foundation cling to your skin perfectly all day long, and brighten up and smooth your complexion to prevent the foundation from settling in fine lines as well as deeper wrinkles.

Using the Wrong Shade of Foundation

The first mistake in choosing the right foundation is to swatch it on the back of your hand which is a completely different shade than your face. Ideally, you should test foundation on the area between your neck and your face, along your jawline. And remember that it usually looks darker in daylight than under the fluorescent lights in the shop. Paler skin tones will usually need cooler shades with a bluish undertone, while darker skin tones benefit from warm shades with orange pigment. Read more about choosing the right foundation in this post.

Wrong Contouring

Do you know how to do your contour without making it look like a Halloween mask? The basic rule is to use contour on the parts of your face you don’t want to bring forward and draw attention to. A dark shade, like, for example, the Collistar Silk Effect Bronzing Powder goes on the areas you want to make look more hollow. So remember – don’t make your nose look longer, don’t accentuate the tip of your chin and don’t put bronzer on the top of your cheekbones or the centre of your face. Even more than that, make sure to blend the product out properly and avoid hard lines. Use your fingers or a makeup sponge to blend your contour into your foundation seamlessly.

Incorrect Shading in Eye Makeup

Learn how to respect the shape and size of your eyes and the distance between them, otherwise you might end up creating a curious or even asymmetrical look. A light shade in the inner corners will set your eyes further apart, harsh eyeliner makes them look smaller and dark shades create a deep-set look. You should always use at least two similar shades – a lighter and a darker one. This is best achieved with palettes that have a gradient of colours, for instance, the Bobbi Brown Ember Lights Eye Shadow Palette with its 5 irresistible shades that help you correct any flaws (large eyes, small eyes, too deep-set or popping eyes).

Eyeliner Mistakes

A well-applied eyeliner makes your eyes look deeper – but don’t go too wild. The line should never end right at the outer corner of your eye, you need to extend it up and out. Make sure not to draw a straight or downward line, otherwise your eyes will look sad and tired. The thicker your eyeliner is, the stricter look you’ll create and your eyes will appear smaller. If you’re only starting out with eyeliner, try a gel product such as the MAC Cosmetics Pro Longwear Fluidline. Gel eyeliner can be applied in little steps because it doesn’t smudge.

Overdone Lip Liner

We could write an entire essay on the correct use of lip liner. In general, it should always follow the upper and lower contour of your lips precisely – as soon as you apply your lip liner one or two millimetres outside of the natural outline of your lips, your mouth will look bigger and naturally large lips might seem almost duck-like. You can avoid this by using a nude lip liner that’s as close to your skin tone as possible – for instance, one of the Collistar Professional Lip Pencils.

Wrong Shade of Lipstick

Be really careful about picking the wrong shade of lipstick! Pale skin with blue undertones should always wear lipsticks with a hint of pink or blue, while dark skin needs shades with a golden or orange base. Browse, for instance, the wide range of shades of the Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy shaping lipstick. And don’t be fooled into thinking that all nude shades will suit every skin tone. To make your lipstick look truly natural, you need to match it to the colour of your gums.

Flaking Mascara and Smudges under the Eyes

Mascara smudges are one of the biggest fails of all. Luckily, preventing them and putting on your makeup correctly is quite easy. Always apply your mascara to completely clean lashes, because the remnants of yesterday’s makeup will spoil the result. Start by coating the tips of your lashes, because if you paint the roots first, your lashes will be weighed down, turn straight, and the mascara will flake. When the product is dry, apply a second coat to the mid-length of your lashes, and then a third one to the roots. Brush through in a zig-zag motion and then gently bend the lashes upwards with your fingertips or your palm to create the perfect curl.

And don’t be afraid of specialised mascaras. If you have short lashes, try the lengthening NOBEA Festive, or use the Shiseido Controlled Chaos MascaraInk to give your lashes more volume. In case you’re using an eyelash curler, make sure to always use it on clean lashes because it would disrupt the mascara and make it fall off even quicker. Not to mention you’re risking breaking your lashes.

Have you discovered other mistakes you often see in other people’s makeup? Do you have your own makeup tips and tricks? Share them with us!

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Victoria Baldesarra
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Author: Victoria Baldesarra

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Victoria Baldesarra is a freelance writer who specializes in fragrance, makeup, wellness, health, skincare, and general lifestyle topics. Her work has been published in Time Out, Newsday, The Knot, Teen Vogue, Business Insider, Real Simple, and Hamptons Magazine among many other print and online outlets. When she's not writing about new, exciting fragrances, you can usually find her on an airplane or at a boutique fitness studio.

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