The 10 Makeup Mistakes You Didn’t Even Know You Were Making

It’s easy to slip into a beauty routine and not really think about what you’re doing, picking up bad habits and assuming your methods are best practice. Like driving a car and forgetting all the manoeuvres you needed to pass the exam, it’s easy to forget all those good habits and find yourself slipping into beauty madness. Although I’d like to think of myself as a makeup angel, realistically I’m as bad as the rest of you and often have to check myself when I’m doing something naughty. But what about the blunders you don’t even know you’re making? Here are ten of the most common makeup mistakes we all make and how you can rectify them without having a meltdown.

Yep, it’s the cardinal sin of all makeup masters. Keeping your makeup tools in tip top condition ensures your application
is flawless, as well as helping to avoid pesky breakouts or pimples.
Every time you use a
brush you transfer not only pigment, but bacteria
that breeds within these cosy warm environments. One of the biggest
causes of problem skin is dirty tools, so cleaning your brushes
regularly will minimise the risk of spots popping up, as well as helping
to create the makeup look you desire. You should be deep cleaning once a week if you use your tools on a daily basis, spritzing with a bacterial spray after every use. Make it part of your weekly regime and it’ll become a natural task to undertake.

If you don’t own at least one makeup primer, then you’re really missing out on the secret to a flawless and long-wearing base. Many people skip this step because they’re confused as to how to use a primer, what benefits it can bring or even if it’s worth the investment – but it 100% definitely is. Primers can help makeup to last (it both provides a surface on which your foundation can grip on to and creates a barrier between skin and makeup that helps to reduce oiliness,) blur fine lines, conceal imperfections and reduce the appearance of pores. Invest in a velvety smooth primer and use it daily over skincare and under your foundation base, taking time to apply it under the eyes and on the chin too. 

Although we naturally apply makeup products onto the back of our hands the first time we play with them, this area of skin can often be up to three shades darker than that of our face. Don’t try matching foundation to your neck either, as the skin is in a constant shadow so can be a shade lighter or
darker than your actual tone. You want to match your foundation to your
chest, as this is what will catch the eye and provide a noticeable
difference if the shade isn’t quite right. Make sure you test any new foundation shade in natural light too (taking a sample home if necessary) to ensure a perfect result. 

Another mistake
I’m guilty of myself, especially on days when I’m feeling like I
could’ve done with an extra hour or three in bed, but one that makes a
big detrimental difference. Instead of plastering on the concealer and
covering the whole undereye area, apply in an upside down triangle shape
to help reflect the light and create the illusion of brightness. Rather
than drawing attention to this area or being a whole shade lighter than
the rest of your face, the result will brighten your overall look and
help to take the focus away from dark circles.

When it comes to finishing a look and setting makeup in place, there’s
nothing more equipped to do the job than a dusting of transparent
powder. It’s always been a staple in my makeup bag, well before I
started using foundation or investing in heavy duty concealer – it’s a
great way of removing shine, creating a uniformed finish and making me
feel ‘done’. Don’t worry about creating a flat or cakey look; a little goes a long way and helps prevent any products from budging. If your makeup has a tendency to move, you could benefit from a compact powder to touch-up on the go too. It may have an old fashioned reputation, but a little powder can make the world of difference even in 2016.  

Unless you want to look
like an extra on Geordie Shore, avoid plastering bronzer all over your
face as a way of giving yourself a little tan or ensuring your ‘summer
ready’. Instead, a shade that’s only a few tones darker than your
natural base should be buffed into the cheeks and along the nose where
the sun naturally hits. Delicately swipe over the forehead and on the
chin, helping to warm the complexion without creating a one dimensional
colour result. The key is to make it look like you’re a little
sunkissed, not to make it look like you’ve been frying on a sun bed for
the last two days.

Ouch. I’ve done this one myself too, but attempting to curl lashes when you’ve already applied your mascara is really one of the major mistakes. Not only will it mess up the perfect flutter you’ve spent time creating, but the product will stick to the curler and potentially damage the lashes. It’s easy to pull whole chunks out from your eye, as well as creating an unsightly dent that gives the game away. If you’re a fan of an eyelash curler I would definitely recommend curling bare lashes and applying a few coats over the top, creating a wide-eyed look without a dent in sight. 

Nobody needs waterproof mascara all the time – it’s been created to avoid smudging when we’re exposed to moisture, but unless you’re in a ridiculously humid climate or intend on crying your eyes out at The Notebook, a regular mascara will suffice. Waterproof formulas can be incredibly drying and are much harder to remove, meaning they can potentially cause the condition of lashes to deteriorate; you don’t want to scrub off fifty lashes every time you remove your makeup, so oft for a gentler formula on a daily basis instead. 

How many times have you done this in your lifetime? It’s easy to think this is the best way of getting product out of the tube, but it’s actually pumping air *in* to the tube and causing the formula to dry out. This means it won’t last as long, will cause unsightly clumps and may even cause harvest bacteria which could irritate your eyes. If you do this with a brand new mascara too, the reason it feels slightly different is because you’re drying out the whole tube before you’ve had a chance to really feel the benefit. Stop the pumping immediately! 

It’s European law that all cosmetics products feature a ‘PAO’ (or Period After Opening) number on their packaging, making it clear how long they’re safe for use after they’ve been initially opened. This ranges from six months for mascaras, twelve months for foundations and eighteen months for powdered formulations, but the important thing is to regularly clear out your products and make room for new ones. If you’ve been using the same foundation for the last three years, or can’t remember when you actually bought that eyeshadow palette you only use on special occasions, throw it away. Your face will thank you for it.

Are you guilty of making any of these makeup mistakes? 

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  1. Laura P
    June 29, 2016 / 8:24 pm

    Great advice, as always! Thank you.With regards to cleaning your make up brushes, what's the best way to do this? Soap and water? Special soap? No soap? Mine are well overdue a proper wash… Thanks xxx

  2. Stephanie Hartley
    June 29, 2016 / 10:48 pm

    I'm pretty sure I'm guilty of all of these, but not cleaning makeup brushes is something I'm truly horrific at. I really want to get my hands on a good brush cleanser though – do you have any suggestions?Steph –

  3. Jess | The Indigo Hours
    June 29, 2016 / 11:04 pm

    I'm actually not too bad for most of these, apart from probably keeping makeup a little longer than I should… And I'm hopeless at remembering to clean my brushes, although I do quite enjoy it when I get round to it! I need to do them tomorrow, thanks for the reminder ♥Jess xo | The Indigo Hours

  4. Anonymous
    June 30, 2016 / 3:03 am

    I'm guilty of putting concealer on over the entire eye area! I do clean my brushes every Sunday tho! Mel |

  5. beauty visions
    June 30, 2016 / 7:35 am

    I'm guilty of not washing my brushes on a regular basis and I skip primer most days – those extra 5 minutes in bed are precious 😉 xbeauty visions

    June 30, 2016 / 8:43 am

    I'm so bad with concealer under the eyes! Its a habit I need to

  7. Secret Style File
    June 30, 2016 / 8:55 am

    Guilty of the last two definitely! I have been a good girl and wash my brushes regularly though!

  8. Lena
    June 30, 2016 / 9:04 am

    I definitely keep makeup for longer that I technically should but it's mainly powder products that last a lot longer. No old eye creams or anything though.

  9. Amber
    June 30, 2016 / 10:50 pm

    I'm guilty of the waterproof mascara one – I mostly wear it because I find that if I curl my eyelashes, waterproof mascara will basically lock in the curl better than regular stuff: I never even thought about it damaging my lashes, though, so I should probably re-think that one!

  10. C Leiper
    July 1, 2016 / 3:47 am

    I have to use waterproof mascara as my eyelids are oily and normal mascara just smudges off in an hour or so. I use oil-based removers to get it all off.

  11. Katy Standen
    July 5, 2016 / 8:09 pm

    Not to bad in most of these. Disagree with mascara mistake. In the summer I have to use the waterproof mascara everyday else look like a sneezing panda. Def guilty of hoarding make-up forgo long though.

  12. Hannah Morris
    July 8, 2016 / 4:08 pm

    I must admit that I am guilty of a few of these which is a bit bad really oops x

  13. Kiki Casmita
    July 9, 2016 / 7:30 pm

    Thank God… Nowdays, i never did those anymore. But still, i need my waterproof mascara in my life.

  14. Anna Wright
    October 8, 2016 / 11:44 am

    I’m guilty of making many of these mistakes. I think I still have makeup form ten years ago! This post inspired me to be a bit more careful with my makeup choices. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Anna
    January 10, 2017 / 2:48 am

    Now I know why my mascara formula dries out so quickly after using it in a while. I just thought it would be easier to get it out when having some air in the tube. Thanks for sharing.

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