Makeup is an art and whoever says otherwise has clearly never worn an ounce of makeup successfully. That’s why the profesionals that apply makeup for a living are called “makeup artists”. The latter usually spend years mastering this craft. Whether they go to cosmetology school or cut their teeth working at a counter, they have learned an assortement of tricks to enhance their clients’ natural beauty.
If you are a mere mortal who just applies makeup on her own face, then you probably learned a couple of rules and have stuck to them. But here’s the deal: there are really no rules in makeup application. Sure, there are plenty of guidelines, but let’s face it, there is no one approach fits all. I’m sure you’ve heard that whole debate of which one comes first, concealer or foundation (the answer is, of course, it depends)

One thing is certain… Because there are no rules that apply to all faces, I see the everyday woman making a ton of makeup mistakes in order to meet these criteria from every single advice column on a magazine, website, or even tips you get from YouTube tutorials! Let’s take a look at these 10 most common mistakes…

1. Highlighting the brow bone for hooded eyes

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Blake Lively is a good example of hooded eyes. Do you any highlight over the brow bone? Exactly! Photo

Let’s start with what a hooded eye is. Stand in front of the mirror with your eyes fully open. Can you see a reasonable amount of your moving lid or is it just a tiny, tiny line (or not at all even?) if the latter is the case, then you have hooded eyes. this skin fold can be just the way your eyes naturally are or a possible result of aging. When you apply a highlight on the area, you are only making more prominent, therefore, the hood is what you will be drawing attention to. What should you do instead? Apply a tiny line of highlight (use your shimmery cream or powder hightlight, or something like YSL Touche Éclat) just under the eyebrows. It will almost feel like you had a brow lift! Better yet, don’t apply anything at all! Focus on everything below to brow bone to draw the attention away from the area!

2. Choosing the right color your foundation by testing on your jawline (or the back of your hand **shudders**)

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At least when you test on your jawline you get a real idea of the product… on the back of your hand? Really?

One of the tips you usually get when choosing the right color foundation is to test colors along the jawline. If the color “dissapears” on your skin, then it’s the right color. Some makeup artists suggest matching it to the color of your neck instead, so you don’ have different colors between your face, neck and cleavage. The problem with the jawline approach alone is that you cannot predict the product performance from one little area test. On top of the jawline, dot on the nose ad cheek as well (areas that will usually have a different color or special skin concern like redness or dark spots), see how it looks. If you have time, ask the sales person at the counter to apply all over and walk around with it, that way you can see how it works over time.

3. Avoiding shimmery shadows after “a certain age”

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Helen Mirren, at 67 years-old is still pure hotness. And she wears shimmery eyeshadow near her teaducts and satin blush! Photo

It is very common to hear that more mature skin should not be wearing too much shimmer because, well, these finishes are more suitable to younger women. It is somehow as if there is a cut-off time for certain products! Shimmer which can be equally found in powder and cream products (more so in the former) is a finer form of “glittler” which is added to this products. Shimmer wil highlight areas in your face and make them more visible /prominent which for mature skin it can mean wrinkles and other fine lines, sagging skin or any other areas that appear to have lost its natural flexibility. The key to it all is moderation. When correctly applied, shimmer will be able to reflect light so the fine lines and saggy skin are minimized! So, go ahead and bring on the sparkle!

4. Not caring for your skin, inside and out!

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Halle Berry may have stopped time with Botox, but you know that’s not the only thing giving her that glow! Photo

I’ve heard it very often, this horrible misconception that the more stuff you put on your face, the more it’ll age your skin. Sorry, but that is bullshit! Here’s a fact of life: we all age. Your skin will lose elasticity, and radiance. External factors such as the sun and pollution, busy lifestyles and diet will accelerate the aging process. Don’t tell me “doing nothing” is going to tackle all these things. You can’t stop aging and no cream will reverse this, but with the right products, you can have the best possible skin for your age. Think about products as just giving a boost to your natural skin processes. And don’t forget diet and lifestyle will do just as much a boost (or damage) as topical treatments. Eat lots of vitamin A, C, E, and D, omega 3, exercise, and for god’s sake wear sunscreen. Your makeup will only look as good as the skin you put it on!

5. A natural makeup look means applying very few products

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What you see here is only the tip of the iceberg! Photo

This trend is quite misleading. “No makeup” means well, no makeup. The reality of this look is, not only does it require several makeup products (not necessarily a massive amount, but still more than 3 for sure!), but it requires you care a lot of your skin (see item 4). After all, you want the radiance to look as if it comes from within, not like you just slapped it on your face! The main products you’ll need to achieve this look are complexion ones: foundation (or tinted moisturizer), blush , concealer, highlighter, and finally a setting powder; the latter is especially important for oil control and to make your base last longer. For the eyes all you need is mascara (but you can also do neutral eyeshadows for more definition) and for the lips, a lip gloss or creamy lipstick

6. Skipping eyebrow grooming and makeup

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She may look weird with all the plastic surgery she’s gotten recently, but Megan Fox’s brows are just perfection! Photo

When I look back at all my first makeup tutorials on this site, you can see the evolution of my “makeuping” skills, but if you look closely, it appears as if I’ve gotten better because my eyebrows got better. Well groomed brows are key to “frame” your face nicely. Too thin and arched can make you look older than you are, not to mention harden your features. Think about all the cartoon villains in Disney movies. Most of them have that pencil drawn look! Use shadows to fill in the gaps for a more natural look, or go for pencil if you want a more precise application. Brush the hairs up with a spooly and keep some brow gel handy to keep any hairs with minds of their own in check. I strongly recommend going to a professional to get them shape and then do the upkeep yourself.

7. Lining your lips outside of your lip line to make them bigger

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Someone needs to tell Pamela Anderson the injectables are enough to get the sexy pout, and the brown lip liner needs to go! Photo

A lot of celebrities nowadays resort to collagen and other injectables to get their lips into a desirable sexy pout which sadly often results in the infamous “trout pout”. The rest of us mere mortals not born with naturally full lips like Angelina Jolie and not too keen on the injectable approach, opt for the makeup approach. Unfortunately a lot of women still use that unsightly 1990s-style dark lip liner along the edge of the lips or worse, outside (and nothing else inside… **massive shudders!*) While you may be able to pull this look in pictures (and you can see that in editorials all the time), in real life it’s just odd! Opt instead for a slightly lighter shade of lip liner along the lines and use a darker shade lipstick. Highlight your top lip with a bit of shimmery white lilluminator (blend well) and apply lip gloss in the middle of the lips. You’ll notice a great difference!

8. Cleaning your makeup tools… What do you mean cleaning?

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It is such a nice feeling to have a nice and clean fluffy brush on your face… Why deny yourself that pleasure? Photo

I just don’t get this one…. If you wash your clothes, why would you not clean your makeup brushes? Think about it: you take your foundation brush and you start buffing your product all over your face. It doesn’t matter how clean it is, your face has bacteria (some ok, some not so ok, like the one that causes acne), it has sweat, maybe some oil…. All that stuff is going on your brush! After a week that brush is a petrie dish of disgusting junk! I like washing the brushes I used that day ithe same evening or at the very least once a week. And not just because I care about cooties, but also because I’ve spent a great deal of money on not only my brushes, but on my makeup products and I want to make them last for as long as I can! Oh yeah, a dirty brush will ruin your makeup, too!I

9. Using white eyeliner to make your eyes bigger (or skipping the dark one)

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If you’ve seen The Hunger Games, you’ve probably noticed Jennifer Lawrence’s small eyes. When all glammed up (dark khol included) that detail is totally irrelevant! Photo

I have small eyes and I can tell you from experience what has worked and not worked when it comes to make my eyes look bigger. We’ve all heard the tip of using white eyeliner on the bottom waterline to make them bigger. Technically this is true, but it is not a true for all people. If you have a very fair skin, then white eyeliner on the waterline will look great on you and open up your eyes. But the darker your skin tone, the closer you need to get to an eyeliner shade that is similar to your shade. Otherwise it’ll just look weird! Dark eyeliner on the bottom waterline will indeed make your eyes smaller, but at the same time it’ll bring all the attention to your eyes, and while not making the eyes bigger, it’ll draw the attention there. Your eyes then become a poweful statement and no one will even notice your teeny, tiny eyes!

10. Using products with SPF and photographs

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Oh, Emily Blunt, how could you? The usually flawless actress has a little foundation misshap! Photo

I always wondering during those few times I wore makeup back in the day why my face looked so white, so very “Casper, the friendly ghost” (or that bitchy lady with the white face on days when I wasn’t so friendly). The culprit? Foundations with SPF create a massive flashback! Titanium dioxide is the culprit (sometimes combined with zinc oxide) for many a ghost face out there. Some foundations with very low doses may cause a lot less flashback, so before heading out the door, flash photograph your face to see the “damage”. Instead, wwear foundations with no SPF (you should really invest on a separate SPF product, anyway). And also steer clear of too much shimmery face powders containing mica, as they can also reflect the light!

Those are my top 10 very, very common mistakes I see often, and, let’s face it, even I’m gullty of some of those from time time, especially in the care of my skin from within. What are yours?