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

It’s easy to fall into a set beauty regime, applying your products without a second thought. Like driving a car, you know you can get from A to B without a problem – but can you do all the maneuvers, answer all the questions and identify all the signs without swotting up first? Many of us fall into bad habits, or simply forget the good ones, without realising where we’re going wrong; we’re overwhelmed with information and clever marketing tactics, so it’s easy to slip into routines or practices that aren’t best suited to your needs. Although there are hundreds of small errors the majority of us are probably making on a daily basis, these are ten of the most common – and how you can fix them quick sharp to get the best from your makeup bag.

The cardinal sin of all makeup masters: not cleaning your tools. Keeping them 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 pimples and irritation while helping to create a flawless finish. You should be deep cleaning ideally 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. It’s even more brilliant once you start to see those fine lines too. 

Although we naturally attempt to match makeup products via the back of our hands, this area of skin can often be up to
three shades darker than that of our face; the skin on our neck is also in a constant shadow, so can be a
darker than your actual tone. For a perfect match, swatch your foundation to your
chest: 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. 

Easily done, especially if you’ve slept badly or can see the result of a heavy night under your eyes, applying too much concealer can actually be worse than not applying enough. Instead of heavily layering 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 and creating a uniformed finish. If you’re not down with powder, then swapping it out for a fixing spray could help to keep your makeup in place for longer without caking or feeling too heavy; many fixing sprays can also be used to refresh makeup throughout the day and leave skin looking radiant.  

Unless you want to look
like a reality show extra, you should always avoid buffing in bronzer all over the
face – no matter how tempting. 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 swimming every day it’s not necessary. 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. Candice Petersen
    May 28, 2018 / 8:33 am

    I've honestly forgot to apply primer most of the time!Candice | Natalya Amour

    • Hayley Hall
      May 31, 2018 / 1:24 pm

      Easily done! But it makes such a difference.

  2. Frankly Flawless -
    May 28, 2018 / 2:05 pm

    Ha I made the mistake of curling my lashes after applying mascara – never again! I need together better at washing my makeup brushes more regularly

    • Hayley Hall
      May 31, 2018 / 1:24 pm

      Ouch! It's never good is it!

  3. Merkitty Blog
    May 28, 2018 / 3:07 pm

    I think everyone has been guilty of a few of these. I'm definitely guilty of not cleaning my brushes as often as I should.. and pumping the mascara. Hanging onto makeup way past what I should too. Bad, bad, bad.

    • Hayley Hall
      May 31, 2018 / 1:25 pm

      So many of the 'mistakes' are done by nearly all of us – we just need a gentle reminder to get back into good habits šŸ˜‰

  4. The Makeup Aficionado
    May 29, 2018 / 1:46 am

    I've definitely been guilty of applying too much bronzer. It's funny how with bronzer at first it appears as if you haven't applied enough, then before you know it, it's gone too far!

    • Hayley Hall
      May 31, 2018 / 1:25 pm

      There's definitely a fine line!

  5. Menna Rachel
    May 29, 2018 / 9:17 pm

    I hate to admit it but I'm terrible at cleaning my makeup brushes ? I should really set aside time to do it! Also setting my makeup. I'm yet to find a product that I like for that!Menna x |

    • Hayley Hall
      May 31, 2018 / 1:25 pm

      I have my brushes on rotation, so when they get dirty I always have back-ups to tide me over until I have time to clean them.

  6. Pam Scalfi
    May 30, 2018 / 10:24 am

    I have so many products I should probably have thrown away by now, but I can't seem to let go :(Pam xo/ Pam Scalfiā™„

    • Hayley Hall
      May 31, 2018 / 1:26 pm

      I have to have a proper clear out regularly otherwise it'd be ridiculous, but some I hold on to more for sentimental reasons – or to put on display!

  7. Katrina Frances
    June 10, 2018 / 7:36 pm

    I'm so guilty of many of these…I need to find an amazing primer and also have a serious clearout! x

  8. Lauren McGrath
    June 14, 2018 / 6:54 pm

    Great tips! I never thought to try and match foundation to my chest, but now it makes total sense!

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