Because there is a constant influx of new makeup and skincare trends, we are constantly becoming amateurs and experts at perfecting a new beauty hack. There are specific tricks and techniques in makeup application and skincare routine, that can enhance all of your beautiful features, and manipulate features you’re not 100% comfortable with. With great power comes huge responsibility, and often we make mistakes that we’re not even aware of. To make life just a tiny bit easier, I’ve gathered a list of the top 10 beauty mistakes that I see most commonly, and what you can do to avoid them.
Flicked eyeliner is a tough nut to crack as it is. You spend half an hour getting one wing perfect, to the point where the surrounding eye is red and sore from the baby wipes and cotton buds erasing the mistakes, and then you have to get the other flick looking exactly the same. Some people might think it’s easier to avoid winged eyeliner all together, but practice makes perfect; and with a couple simple rules to remember, you’ll have perfect wings in no time.
Flatliner is what I like to call eyeliner that has been drawn in a straight horizontal line from the eyelid. When drawing your winged eyeliner, you usually draw two lines – one bottom line extending away from the eye, and one line on top to connect the bottom line to the eyelid. That bottom line should always be angled upwards, whether its a straight and sharp winged eyeliner or a curved wing – that end point should always be pointing upwards! Having your wing pointing either downwards or straight across, make eyes look sad. No, literally, eyeliner pointing horizontally or downward make eyes look tired and squinted. To make your eyes look bigger and brighter, always have your flick facing up; this opens the eyes and makes them look bolder.
Blend. I beg of you, blend!! Blend everything. Every single product you put onto your face, blend it out. This is the most important step to take during makeup application. Blending your eyeshadow so that two colours fade into each other make the overall eyeshadow look, look silky smooth and professionally done. What helps the most is the tool you use to blend it out. My favourite eyeshadow blending brush is the Real Techniques Tapered Shadow Brush . The soft bristles pick up the specs of eyeshadow and distribute them evenly, giving you a blended eyeshadow look in just a few strokes.
When we contour, we draw lines underneath the cheekbones to create the illusion of a defined cheekbone and slimmed cheek. The lines should be buffed and blended to look like soft shadows, which creates an inward illusion that minimises features, rather than a harsh line. Bronzer also appears much more natural if swept lightly onto the skin. You can always build up the amount of bronzer you apply, but if in doubt, blend and blend again!
There is no exception for highlighter. Highlighter is highlighting your skin, so naturally, where your highlighter is placed stands out. This can create an unwanted line that can go unnoticed. Buffing out the edges of the highlighter smoothly connects the cheekbones to the contour, and creates a natural looking glow.
Baking is one of the best makeup techniques that I picked up, ever. Applying translucent powder in a thick layer after completing your makeup can either highlight or lock makeup in place (or both). If you leave the powder on for a couple of minutes, you’ll lift the colour of the foundation/concealer, highlighting those areas. If you apply the powder and buff it away after a number of seconds, than you’ll simply lock the makeup in place. Baking isn’t necessary for everyday makeup, but can really come in handy for days which you need your makeup to stay in tact for long hours at a time, or through humidity and heat, or to last all night during a night out.
But it’s important to choose the right translucent powder – I’ve wasted a lot of money on a lot of powders. When the phenomenon first came out a couple years back, even A-List celebrities and their makeup artists weren’t aware of the flashback that many translucent powders created when taking photos. Neither was I… Queue explanation of the photo to the right. Not a good look.
The translucent powder used in the photo to the left was the M.A.C Prep and Prime Translucent Powder, and it took me a while to find a translucent powder that didn’t create the embarrassing flashback. The only translucent powder I’ve found that doesn’t create this ghostly flashback is the Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder 29 g Which you can purchase straight from the Laurer Mercier Amazon store by clicking the link. I’m extremely thankful I can bake in private, and thankful that I can be at ease when having my photo taken with the flash on!
7. Colour Correcting
Colour correcting is great, I love being able to neutralise bright and unwanted tones that appear on my skin. This is achieved by using opposite colours to cancel out my unwanted colours. For example, using a peachy orange concealer underneath my eyes will cancel out the dark and blue hues that create bags underneath the eyes. The coloured concealer, however, should never be vibrant or bright in colour, but pastel coloured in order to be able to be concealed. Otherwise, what’s the point?
I’m still seeing ‘clown contouring’ or colour correcting as a step in makeup tutorials, which look amazing – don’t get me wrong, but by doing it this way, concealing the colour corrector is going to need a full coverage foundation, and a lot of it at that.
When colour correcting, pastel colours come in handy as they’re easy to blend out, and much easier to conceal with foundation. You don’t need a lot either, just conceal as you would using your regular concealer, and your skin will be looking evenly toned in no time, without having to cake on the foundation. You can find pastel coloured colour correctors in palettes or sold individually in most makeup stores in the UK.
6. Brow Blocking
Thick brows are definitely still on trend – don’t go running to the tweezers just yet! Naturally thick eyebrows are gorgeous, they help to frame the face, which is uber important. But one beauty mistake to avoid is something I like to call brow blocking. We’ve all gone through it, together, but we should also move on, together.
When filling in your brows be sure to use light feathering strokes to mimic natural hair growth. Use a thin yet firm angled brush for more precision. I find that using a spoolie and brushing through the brows as I go along means that I can build up how much product I want on my brows, making them look naturally full. Using Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz and Dipbrow Pomade help me to achieve my natural looking full brows – I couldn’t be without them!
5. Over Exfoliating
Exfoliating your skin is great. It removes the dead skin cells, dirt, bacteria, and anything else lurking around from the top layer of your skin known as the epidermis. Thoroughly cleansing your skin is definitely achieved through exfoliation, so exfoliating your face using a scrub, toner, cleanser, medication (including retinals) or exfoliating face wash one a week, is brightening, cleansing and will leave your skin feeling silky smooth.
The problem is over exfoliation. We’re all striving to get that smooth, clear, brighter skin, and I can completely understand why over exfoliation might seem the fastest and cure, but over exfoliating the skin actually does more harm than good. Exfoliating too much by exfoliating too often or using AHA’s in conjunction with a cleanser containing exfoliating agents such as salicylic acid, can thin the epidermis causing a variety of issues. Thinning of the epidermis can cause sensitivity and premature ageing, which I’m sure we’re all eager to avoid. Big red pustules are commonly caused by irritation to the skin, so over exfoliating can actually worsen your acne, if this is what you’re concerned about.
But how do you know if you’re over exfoliating your skin? Well, if your skin is particularly more sensitive than usual, and is in discomfort from water than you’re probably over exfoliating, or if your skin has a thin, glossy type layer that is not from having oily skin. If you have been over exfoliating, try and find products for your skin that are PH balanced (PH4-5 for most skin tendencies), so that you’re not using products with a PH that is far too acidic for your skin, or too basic.
4. Mascara Removal
If you’re anything like me, you’d have left your mascara on overnight and wore it the next day. Oops. Sometimes, mascara looks better the next day though, not joking. Even so, I’ve learned the hard way that not removing your mascara before you go to sleep causes you an array of problems.
Firstly, mascara weakens your eyelashes, not just when you’re asleep but throughout the duration of wear. But it’s when the mascara dries your lashes overnight that your lashes will fall out one by one – and a stiff lash can scratch your cornea whilst you sleep.
Bad news for those who don’t know, but we actually have Follicle Mites living in our eyelashes. The teeny tiny creatures are part of the spider family, but resemble worms, and regularly clean our lashes and lash line. Although we might get a bit freaked out by the thought of having living mites in our beloved lashes, they come in peace, and come to clean all the bacteria that accumulates within our lashes. By keeping our mascara on overnight, we suffocate the little mites, which means our eyelashes and lash line are left unclean, leaving us at risk of bacterial infections such as styes. I’d rather take the mascara off I think…
3. Brushing Your Hair
Ok, brushing your hair when it’s wet. This beauty mistake to avoid is a simple one. Ever been brushing your hair when it’s wet, and had a strand of hair snap straight out of your scalp, bouncing back with a snap? Well, I have, and it’s painful. Hair is at its weakest when wet, so brushing or combing your hair when you’re fresh out the shower is a no-no. Even the healthiest of hair can snap under the tension of being brushed when wet, causing the much hated split ends.
The best way to detangle your hair after a shower is by running your fingers through it a few times, and brushing your hair when dry in sections.
2. Applying Eyeliner
Applying eyeliner on the bottom lash line can make your eyes look bolder, larger, and much more awake. I usually apply bottom eyeliner when I’m far too tired to be in public, and I want to convey the impression that I’m well rested, alert and ready for a long day at work. But ever get that smudge at the bottom of the tear duct? Or realise that your eyes look rather small?
When applying eyeliner to the bottom lash line, avoid the tear duct. The tear duct is where the water from your eyes is naturally dispersed, either when we yawn, or wind blows into our eyes, etc. Water + eyeliner = panda face. By doing this, you’re also making the eyes appear wider too, by allowing the inner corner to appear more open.
Conceal your heart out – I do. Just make sure the concealer is the right shade for you. Typically, your concealer should be one to two shades lighter than your foundation at an absolute maximum. Anything lighter than two shades lighter is just going to highlight your red spots, discolouration, or redness, instead of concealing it. In order to correctly conceal, you must camouflage the problem area. Unless you’re wanting to highlight and conceal at the same time, such as under-eye concealing.
The ‘been in the sun and got a tan but wore my sunglasses’ look is never a good one. Your under eye concealer (Still at a two shade lighter maximum) should ombre into your cheeks, transitioning with ease, casually. If you think your concealer may be a bit too light, it probably is. So once you’ve blended out your too-light concealer under the eye, take the applicator which you applied your foundation with and lightly dab over the under eye area to blend both colours more evenly.