Don't make these mistakes with your makeup!
If you're just starting out in the makeup world—or even if you've had a go-to routine for years—there is a wide range of common mistakes that can make your makeup routine more difficult than it needs to be. By adjusting a few steps in your routine, you can have a fresh, popping look that stays with you all day!
- You're washing your face too much (or with the wrong products). If you're prone to acne or oily skin, your first instinct might be to scrub that all away. This can be beneficial if you're following up with toner and moisturizer, but opening the pores and doing away with your face's natural oils can leave your skin unprotected and more vulnerable to cakey makeup, pimples, and sun damage.
- You're applying makeup directly to dry skin. Skipping your foundation—or worse, your moisturizer—is a surefire route to pasty, uneven makeup. Makeup needs something to cling to. A thin layer of high-quality moisturizer or primer locks hydration into your skin and acts as a foundation (for your foundation).
- You're not blending enough (or you're blending wrong). Blending is one of the unsung heroes of the makeup industry. Too much foundation? Blend it! Contour looking a little shady? Blend it! Eyeshadow a bit too dramatic? Guess what? BLEND IT! It's important to note, too, that blending shouldn't be done with the fingers (unless you're trying to remove your makeup as you blend). A high-quality blending brush or sponge is always your best bet.
- You're applying makeup in lackluster lighting. Is your bathroom lighting the same lighting you'll have all day? If you're getting ready for a night at the club or a day in the sun, try to apply your makeup in lighting that's close to what you'll actually be experiencing. This gives you a more accurate picture of what your "look" will be for the day, and helps avoid that "Eek!" moment when the shade of that new lipstick pops a little too much in the restaurant bathroom.
- You're wearing too much foundation. This is one of the cardinal sins of makeup-wearers around the world. Too much foundation is the main culprit of "cake face" and other dry, clumpy-looking makeup mishaps. When in doubt, blend it out. Start with a small amount of foundation, and only apply more if you really need it. If you need to touch up your makeup during the day, blend instead of adding more.
- You're having trouble with mascara. Mascara should be at least two shades darker than the shade of your natural eyebrows, or the pencil you use to shade them in. If you use too light of a shade, you'll be prone to adding too many layers. When it's too heavy, mascara can get very clumpy and flaky. Plus, the lashes can stick together (or stick to your eyelids), which is never a fun look.
- You're applying bronzer all over your face. Bronzer should be applied sparingly, just to highlight the forehead, temples, and nose. It should then be blended with your foundation and concealer, blending all the way from your forehead to your neck. Adding too much bronzer, or not blending enough, can give you that dreaded "orange" face, or a facial skin tone that's a few glaring shades darker than the rest of your body. No, thanks!
- Your lines are too harsh. Elegant makeup is all about gradual, subtle lines. Lip liner and eyeliner are meant to accentuate. A common mistake I made when I first started wearing makeup was applying so much eyeliner that I could barely blink—but my lines were perfectly straight! Harsh lines make it far too obvious that you've got a full face of makeup on. A gentle blend gives you the dewy, elevated look you're going for without the excess.
- You're sleeping in your makeup. I was guilty of this one for a long time, and I still mess up every once in a while. There's no quicker route to an acne breakout than sleeping in your makeup. Every trace of makeup should be removed with warm water, makeup remover, or wipes before you go to bed. Your skin will thank you!
- You're skipping toner and primer. Like foundation, toner and primer give your skin a barrier against bacteria and other gunk, while giving your makeup something to grab onto as it's applied. Toner acts as a full cleanse for the skin, while primer moisturizes, elasticizes, and protects the skin. Both give you a fresh canvas to work off of when it's time to work your makeup magic.
- You're keeping your makeup too long. Finally, old makeup can be really bad for you. And not just your skin—because products like eyeliner, mascara, and eyeshadow come so close to your eyes (or directly in contact with them if you're tired, like me), the bacteria that clings to old makeup can wreak havoc on your system. From small issues like acne to bigger problems like eye infections or sties, old makeup isn't worth the money savings. In general, you should replace most makeup by its one-year birthday (and eye makeup every three to four months). If your makeup starts to flake, break down, change color, or smell funny, it's time to chuck it.
Luckily, these newbie mistakes are easy to fix. With a couple of adjustments, you'll be on your way to beauty vlogger expertise in no time!