10 Most Common Makeup Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

common makeup mistakes

Though many believe that makeup is just there to hide flaws, it’s truly a type of art every woman should master. If you’ve been wondering how to ensure you look incredible every day, be wary of these ten common makeup mistakes!

10 Common Makeup Mistakes

1. Using Expired Makeup


No matter how much you love your favorite makeup, remember to rummage through it from time to time and get rid of unused products. Expired makeup can cause adverse reactions like redness or irritation, not to mention that it may not even perform well. At the very least, all the bacteria that has been accumulating on the products can cause ugly breakouts.

2. Forgetting to Prep Your Face

Whether you have oily or dry skin, proper skin prep is a must if you want your makeup to look good and last all day. Oily skin is particularly efficient at eating up concealer and foundation, so using the right skincare products and a primer is necessary every time you wear makeup.

In contrast, dry skin is able to keep makeup on for longer, but alas, it also needs to be moisturized before you apply any products to it. If you go in with your foundation or concealer on dry skin, your face will look dull, cracked, and old!

3. Using the Wrong Shades


There are some rules when it comes to using different eyeshadows on your eyes — some shades will complement them while others may make them look rather unremarkable. But no eyeshadow mistake compares to using the wrong shade of foundation.

When choosing your shades, you have to remember that the point of makeup is to look like yourself BUT BETTER. The idea is to perfect your complexion without creating a mask — something that a too-light foundation would definitely do.

But you shouldn’t change your skin color with the foundation by using a darker shade. Even if you blend it well (which many people actually don’t), your neck will give you away!

When it comes to concealers, you should always go slightly lighter. Get a concealer that’s one shade lighter than your foundation so that you can brighten up your under eyes. A too dark or too light concealer would essentially ruin your look; it would make it seem as if there’s a clear shadow underneath your eyes — either a rather dark one or a ghostly pale one.

4. Caking on the Foundation or Concealer

You may think that applying layers upon layers of liquid makeup would give you the perfect complexion. On camera or in theater, that may work well. In real life, though, it often looks terrible!

If you have any fine lines or wrinkles, all that makeup will sink into them and make them more prominent. Furthermore, caked-on makeup can make you look like a clown, which isn’t the point of applying it anyway. The goal is to look like the best version of yourself!

Besides, there is no need for so much makeup on a daily basis to begin with. All you have to do is start with a light layer of foundation and blend it in well. If you notice any places where you need more coverage, add some more foundation ONLY there.

Concealer is the best product to use under the eyes. Applying it in a V shape would both help you conceal and highlight that part of your face.

On the other hand, you don’t want to apply too much concealer on blemishes (they may look cakey). Instead, use a tiny brush to apply just a little bit on and tap the product in until the blemish disappears.

5. Forgoing Eyeshadow Primer

Beauty influencers made Urban Decay famous as they started using the company’s magical Primer Potion. And they were completely right to rave about it!

Eyeshadow primers are often overlooked by people who just want to do their daily makeup properly. But they make all the difference as they help the eyeshadow blend better and last longer.

In a pinch, you can get away with using some concealer on your lids and then setting it with some face powder. However, keep in mind that eyeshadow primers are meant to absorb excess oil, whereas concealers can contain various hydrating ingredients that can contribute to creasing.

6. Applying Eyeshadow Without Blending It


Unblended eyeshadow is one of the worst offenses, given that it makes you look quite comical. Nobody taught you how to blend eyeshadow, however, so it’s no wonder you’ve just been packing it on and leaving it like that!

Makeup artists often like to start with a transition shade in the crease, which then helps blend other shadows they apply. That may not be necessary to do every time you apply makeup, but it’s a great trick to know when you want to do more sultry smoky looks.

Either way, even if you want to apply just a bit of eyeshadow on the lid, you have to blend it into the crease to avoid harsh lines.

Depending on how much you want to “blow out” the eyeshadow, use a small or large blending brush. You’ll know what they are when you see them.

These brushes usually come with soft bristles and aren’t tightly packed, so you can effortlessly move the eyeshadow around. Use both windshield-wiper-like and tiny circular motions to achieve a professional-looking blend!

7. Curling Your Lashes After Applying Mascara

Those who struggle with straight eyelashes may get the idea to curl them after applying some mascara. Makeup artists and beauty advisors don’t recommend this at all because the lashes may stick together, and the mascara may also rub off on the curler.

Worst of all, you would have to be really careful not to rip off your lashes while trying to unstick them from the curler. And don’t forget that eyelashes are more brittle and dry with mascara on — so they can break easily!

8. Overdoing It With Contour, Bronzer, and Blush


There are many mistakes you can make when applying your contour, bronzer, and blush. Ideally, these should blend well together but still be prominent enough to make a real difference.

If you like contouring your face, know that the contour powder or stick must go in the more shadowy areas of your cheeks. Touch your face and trace your cheekbone. The contour goes just under it but never too far toward the mouth.

Some say that you can use bronzer to contour too, but it’s best to avoid it if it’s not matte or if it’s too orange. Bronzer’s main job is to give your face some warmth. Therefore, sweep it across the parts of your face that would naturally get more love from the sun, such as your cheekbones and upper-outer corners of your forehead.

The cherry on top of your gorgeous complexion should be the right shade of blush. But even there, you can make a few mistakes, such as applying it too low or too high on the cheeks.

If you go too low, the blush may drag the whole look down, making you look older and saggier. In contrast, applying it too high and even close to your eyes will give you a more doll-like look — while you were going for a natural flush.

Blush placement does vary depending on your face shape and the look you’re going for. But if you only need to know how to apply it every day, aim for the apples of your cheeks. Just pick up some of it with your brush, swirl it onto the apples and then blend it out upward for a lifted look!

9. Using Dirty Makeup Brushes

The easiest way to ruin your makeup — and likely succumb to zits — is to use dirty makeup brushes. Every used makeup brush doesn’t only have old makeup on it. It’s full of bacteria and dirt too!

Every part of your face can easily be triggered by all the gunk that has settled in the bristles, making you avoid makeup to heal your face. Even worse, your makeup may not look right when you use dirty applicators. All the colors and oils will mix together and leave you with a splotchy complexion and smudged eyeshadow.

Ideally, try to clean your makeup brushes (especially face ones!) after every use. There are special soaps and cleansers you can use for that. Alternatively, using some shampoo will do the trick as well!

10. Going to Bed Before Removing Your Makeup

Finally, just like you shouldn’t use dirty makeup brushes, you ought to avoid sleeping with your makeup on. No matter how tired you are, it’s vital to remove all of it before all the oils and other ingredients (not to mention bacteria) bake into your skin!

Remember that your nighttime routine should be simple enough to do even after a night out. For example, use a powerful oil-based cleanser that can melt the makeup off fast, allowing you to quickly remove the whole mess with a wipe.

Don’t forget to double-cleanse your face, though. Double-cleansing your skin is often the best way to soothe acne and keep zits and spots at bay!

Gretchen Walker
Gretchen is a homemaker by day and writer by night. She takes a keen interest in life as it unfolds around her and spends her free time observing people go about their everyday affairs.