Wearing makeup is all about looking your best, right? Turns out that there are a few things that you may be doing wrong without realizing it, such as adding unwanted years to your look. While we all try our best, the application of makeup really is an art, and some of us lack the natural talent needed to paint the best version of ourselves (that is why there’s such a thing as a makeup artist).
The key seems to lie in keeping your look as natural as possible. That doesn’t mean skipping the foundation or laying off the blush—just the opposite. It simply means that women should be opting for shades closer to their natural skin tones, while adjusting a couple of brush/application techniques. Still unsure of how to keep your look natural? Here are some tips to help you keep that youthful look intact, according to esteemed beauty gurus.
13 Too much mascara
Going overboard with your mascara can do more harm than good. The thing you want to avoid are clumpy eyelashes, as they can accentuate the lines around your eyes. Instead, opt for a lighter touch, wiggling the brush gently from right to left as you apply mascara. Giving your mascara brush a regular wipe can help distribute the mascara better, as can switching up your mascara tubes when you notice the makeup itself has become sticky. Also, try using specific mascara for those lower lashes, as a regular mascara brush can often end up being too big to allow for the appropriate distribution of makeup.
12 Opting for the wrong moisturizer
Hopefully by this stage in your life, you’ve figured out how important moisturizer is to the overall health of your skin. Even if you have oily skin, using a moisturizer should be a critical part of your beauty routine. Best when applied after taking a shower, moisturizer can not only ward off the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, but also give your face the hydration it needs—not to mention that it provides a perfect base for your foundation. There are many types of moisturizers out there (choosing one with SPF is best), so speak to a specialist to find the one that works for you.
11 Getting wild with the glitter
We’re not talking about a little sparkle here and there. We mean opting for a brilliant shade of eye shadow and then taking things way too far. Think adult entertainment industry too far. In addition to looking outlandish, sparkly shades of blue or green, when worn excessively, can reflect light. While this may sound magical, it can actually end up showing up the imperfections around your eyes. If you can’t stay away from the glittery shades, opt for keeping it closer to the corner of your eyes, instead of swiping it across your eyelids. Or simply choose the matte version of the shadow instead of the iridescent one.
10 Applying powder incorrectly can highlight your flaws
Like concealer, over applying powder can lead to a caked-on, flaky look. It’s best to apply powder gently—and not necessarily all over your face. The T-zone and your eyes need special attention, but be careful how much powder you allot to the rest of your face, as it can end up drawing attention to the wrong places (highlighting your imperfections instead of hiding them). Instead, place the brush in the powder and tap it gently before applying to your face to over over-contouring.
9 Sporting the wrong shade of lipstick
As we all know, darker shades tend to be a little more slimming. Turns out the same rules apply to makeup, meaning that applying a super dark shade of lipstick (or one that doesn’t sit right with your skin tone) can make your lips look leaner than they are—something that can age your overall appearance. Instead, opt for lighter shades, or use a lip stain, which is more forgiving than a matte option. Adding a little gloss can actually help your lips look younger and plumper too, so don’t be afraid to finish with one. But be careful with tones, you don't want to use a light shade that either blends with your teeth or your shimmer.
8 Opting for the wrong shade of blush
Be careful not to use a shade that is too dark for your skin—the contrast can end up looking more like paint and less like…well…blush. In order to avoid looking like a clown, opt for a shade that is closer to your skin tone. A natural look is best—if the shade seems to contrast greatly with your skin (as in, we can all totally see where you went wild with your blush application), you’re probably using the wrong shade. Still not sure about what shade you need? Ask the professionals working behind the makeup counter for a little help.
7 Using too much foundation
Unfortunately, using a poor-quality foundation, or overdoing it on your application can also give you the appearance of someone much older. If you cake your foundation on, it can weigh down your face, giving your overall look a heavy feel. Over-applying can also lead to blemishes and breakouts, so beware. Foundation is all about looking natural, so apply it lightly, blending it gently with your skin.
6 Not using your blush correctly
As it turns out, there’s a bunch of us who have no idea how to put on blush. So here is what not to do: don’t place blush below the cheekbones. Instead, focus on the apples of the cheeks and slightly above them, and use a light, circular touch while moving the brush upwards. Another tip? Be careful not to place the blush too high—for example, your temples are WAY to far. Remember that applying blush too heavily can give you a doll-like (or really, clown-like) appearance, while placing blush too low under your cheeks can give the illusion that your face is being dragged down, resulting in a not-so-appealing result.
5 Skipping foundation altogether
We all love going au naturel, but the truth is, the majority of us look a lot better with a little touch up—and foundation is a great tool for evening out your skin tone. Opting to go foundation-free can give your skin a dull appearance, especially on those off days. Choosing a shade that is close to your natural skin tone can brighten your whole look, while giving you a fresh-faced appearance, so don’t keep this essential step to any beauty routine.
4 Misusing lip liner
We know that it works for some people, but more often than not, lip liner ends up being an absolute fail. This is the thing about lip liner—it’s supposed to keep your lipstick within the lines, giving your lip colour an extra boost and longer life. Unfortunately, going overboard can have disastrous consequences to your look. If you can’t do without lip liner, be sure to apply it correctly, accentuating the middle of your bottom lip and loving outwards with a gentler line, especially when tracing the finer lines of your mouth. Opt for the right shade too—according to oprah.com, “For the most natural effect, your lip liner should match the color of your lips, not the color of your lipstick.”
3 Opting for the wrong shade of foundation
Turns out that choosing a darker shade of foundation than you really need won’t make you look like you have a tan—instead, it actually make you look older than you are (or make it look like your head is trying to escape from the rest of your body). In a 2014 article published at elle.com, director of artistry at Bobbi Brown Kimberly Soane emphasized the importance of using the right shade of foundation. “When you go too light it makes your skin appear flat and lifeless. Instead of natural, it will look like the makeup is just sitting on your skin, which can add years to your face. But if you go too dark, you are not highlighting your features, but dragging them down and adding a dullness and heaviness that is just as aging.”
2 Going overboard with the eyeliner
Interestingly enough, too much eyeliner doesn’t do too much for many women. Laying it on too thick isn’t always sexy—in fact, it can give your overall look a heavy feel. Surprisingly, taking it too easy on the eyeliner can do similar damage: lining only the bottom can make your eyes appear smaller than they are, while drawing attention downwards on your face, which (Surprise!) can make you look wise beyond your years, and not in a good way. A perfect balance of top and bottom is the way to go.
1 Leaving your eyebrows out
Groomed eyebrows are a thing, and for good reason. These days, a full brow is better, as they can not only lift your overall appearance, but also help define your facial features. A brow pencil (be careful not to go too dark—opt for a natural shade close to your natural hair colour) can do wonders for shaping your brows without creating that drawn-on look, as can a simple eyebrow brush. Start with a simple grooming, lightly filling in the shape of your eyebrows from beginning to end to put your look together.