There are always things that a professional does better than an amateur. A professional singer will always sound better than I do, a race car driver will have better control of their automobile than I will, and while I’d love to think that I’m pretty good with cosmetics, a makeup artist will have better application techniques than I do. While the first two aren’t obvious in every day life, I admit that I always wonder what makeup artists and hair stylists think when they’re out and about in public. Do they think I should apply my eyeliner differently? Am I wearing the wrong shade of blush?
I asked makeup artists for what they think are the biggest makeup mistakes they see out in public. I also got some great advice for fixing those mistakes! Did you know there are eye shadow brushes just for blending or that there are websites that will help you get a great foundation match?
The Pros Weigh in 1 of 23
Professional makeup artists share the biggest mistakes that we all make with our makeup. Luckily, they're easy to fix.
The Mistake: Neglected Brows 2 of 23
"I think the biggest makeup mistake most women make is forgetting about their eyebrows. The eyebrows frame your face, and are so often neglected! Especially if you have sparse brows, I think it is so important to fill them in."
- Brianna Gonzalez, also blogs at Briksia
"The biggest mistake women make is neglecting their eyebrows. Brows are so important. They frame your eyes and create expression and are a focal point on the face. Even really sophisticated women often lack here. The eye likes symmetry so the best solution is to find a great brow specialist and learn how to make your best brows. Once you get it down, it will become second nature."
- Dimitri James, founder of Skinn by Dimitri James
The Fix: Brow Powder 3 of 23
The Mistake: Party Makeup All the Time 4 of 23
"Using the correct makeup for the correct occasion [is important]. Specifically with being photographed -- say you're coming in for a head shot/portrait (a typical portrait to help you book acting/modeling/dancing work or a senior portrait). I can't tell you how many people come in with heavy eye make-up on. There is a time and place for heavy makeup, and this is not it. Many times, we wake up in the morning and want to look glamorous all day."
- Meg Raiano
The Fix: Separate Day and Night 5 of 23
"Lots of shadows and bold colors are not meant to be worn as every day items, make sure you cull your beauty collection to days and nights," says Meg Raiano. "That smoky eye is amazing when out at dinner with your significant other, but isn't a great choice for the 10 am board meeting or running errands with the kids. Stick with more neutral looks for the day, but you can go all out at night."
Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette $52
The Mistake: Eye Makeup Lines 6 of 23
The Fix: A Fluffy Brush 7 of 23
Just patting on your shadow isn't enough, so take a few extra seconds to blur lines between shades with a blending brush. Don't blend too much or you'll create a muddy mess. Instead, simply sweep a blending brush gently over the area.
The Mistake: Getting Stuck in a Rut 8 of 23
"Other than bad application, i.e. not blending, I feel like the only mistake one can make is not stepping out of their box a bit. I realized this is something that goes on quite often. I too second-guessed a look that I got many compliments on. It is now a look that I do all the time and love very much. I didn't want to embrace the different look because it was different!"
- Laura, blogs at My Newest Addiction, and she is available as a makeup artist
The Fix: Try Something New 9 of 23
We've all seen the woman at the grocery store who is still sporting the same hair and lipstick that she had 30 years ago. While it is fine to have routines, sometimes forcing ourselves to try something new is a good thing!
The Mistake: Caking It on 10 of 23
"Wearing too much makeup [is a common mistake]! Caking on foundation is not cute, no matter how old you are. Heavy foundation is great for photo shoots, but for a work day or a night out, it's just too much."
- Elaina Badro
The Fix: Lighten up 11 of 23
The Mistake: Covering up Bad Skin 12 of 23
"Women need to embrace a proper skincare regimen -- this is the key to creating a natural and powerful makeup statement. If your skin is protected against the sun and looked after every day, it will show beautifully on your makeup and you probably won't need much of it!"
- Norah Salazar blogs at Norah Loves Makeup, and she is available as a makeup artist
"Use proper skin care. Makeup is about the canvas beneath, so you must take care of the texture, finish and color of your natural skin. Wear SPF in the sun, always apply moisturizer before bed, and before your makeup, and cleanse your face every day! Don't sleep in your makeup, and take care of your face to avoid blemishes. And most importantly, eat healthy and take care of your body -- what happens on the outside comes from within."
- Marci Star, founder of Starlooks
The Fix: Take Care of Your Skin Before Applying Makeup 13 of 23
You don't need to break the bank to take care of your skin. Starting with a gentle cleanser and a lightweight moisturizer will work for everyone. Never going to sleep with makeup on and wearing sunscreen with SPF 15 every day will also really help your skin.
The Mistake: Mismatched 14 of 23
"One of the biggest makeup mistakes everyday women make is choosing the wrong color of foundation for their skin. This mistake not only creates a horrible unsightly line from the jaw line to the neck, but also can create an ashy or orange effect depending on the color of their skin. The bottom line is to choose a foundation that matches your exposed skin and of course, to blend, blend, blend!"
- Lori Lieb, Creative Director for Bodyography
"The biggest mistake I see so many women make is choosing the wrong shade of foundation! Knowing your undertone is important in choosing the right shade- this will help the color to blend seamlessly into your skin. Also, your skin color usually changes throughout the year so one color is not going to work for you all year round. Personally, I have a winter shade which is lighter, and a summer shade, which of course, if darker. When matching clients, I look at the chest and overall body (not the neck). The neck usually tends to be lighter than the rest of the body."
- Lindsey Rivera
The Fix: Experiment with New Shades 15 of 23
"I tell people to visit Sephora and bring home samples! For drugstore foundation purposes and people who might not have a makeup counter nearby, technology has made this process much easier. Both Temptalia and Findation have a foundation matrix to make color matching easier."
- Sheila, blogs at The Painted Ladies, and she is available as a makeup artist
The Mistake: Using Your Fingers 16 of 23
"The worst mistake you can make is to apply your eyeshadow or any facial products with your fingers (unless it's your skin care). Eye shadow can't be blended, powder products get applied too heavily, and cake up on the face, and products look sloppy. The best thing the world can do is consider makeup a form of art. And although fingers can create a finger painting, you can't paint a detailed canvas without the perfect brushes! So, let's learn to use different brushes with our makeup as well!"
- Marci Star, founder of Starlooks
The Fix: Invest in Brushes 17 of 23
Makeup brushes might sound expensive, but there are some quality sets available that won't break the bank. Starting with a set and then adding in specific brushes will often get you the best deal.
The Mistake: Your Eyeliner Is Too Far from Your Lash Line 18 of 23
"Eyeliner placement on the upper lash line is too far away from the lashes so much that you see lashes, then a peek of skin and then liner [is a mistake]. You should always strive to have a solid liner from inside the lash line up onto the skin of the lid no matter what color or type of liner you choose to use."
- Mary Ann Saitta, SkinCare 24
The Fix: Apply by Creating Small Circles 19 of 23
The Mistake: You’re Contouring with Blush 20 of 23
The Fix: Smile When You Apply Blush 21 of 23
Finding the ideal location for your blush is easy, just smile! This makes the apples of your cheeks obvious. Apply directly onto the apples, and you can sweep it back towards your hair line if you chose.
The Mistake: Over-Doing Eyliner 22 of 23
The Fix: Smudging Instead of Lining 23 of 23
Can't bear to not have definition along your lash line? First, try a lighter color such as a dark grey or brown instead of black. Then, grab a smudge brush to diffuse the line. You'll still have definition, but the effect won't be as harsh.
Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Damsel $20
Sephora Collection Classic Must Have Smudge Brush #70 $14