With so many techniques out there to choose from when it comes to applying your makeup, it's hard to know if you're making any mistakes. That's where Australian beauty blogger and professional makeup artist Stephanie Lange comes in. She recently shared a makeup video with her 600,000 YouTube subscribers and after watching it, I've never felt more enlightened.
In her video, Stephanie says she sees the below 13 mistakes all the time, so chances are you're making at least one of them. Whatever you do, don't lose hope, because she also shares how to fix them.
1. You're not prepping your skin beforehand.
If you're not prepping your skin with moisturizer or primer before you apply your foundation, you're basically inviting your makeup to invade your pores and get comfortable enough to dry it out and cause breakouts. Moisturizer and primer help your skin stay hydrated, smooth out the texture, and keep your foundation from settling into creases.
The Fix: Apply a moisturizer or primer all over your face, neck, and along your hairline with clean hands. And then, per Stephanie's recommendation, wait three to five minutes after smoothing it on, so the product can absorb into your skin.
2. Your foundation is the wrong color.
This is such a common problem but it doesn't need to be. And as Stephanie explains in the video, blending the wrong color down onto your neck doesn't magically make it the right color either.
The Fix: Test the colors on your neck and wait a few minutes to see which one automatically blends into your skin seamlessly. Then, look at the foundation under different lighting, like natural sunlight, to see if it still matches your complexion. Note: You'll probably need a new shade and formula depending on the season, so make sure you're not wearing your winter foundation in the summer and vice versa.
3. You're rubbing your foundation with your hands.
So now you have the right shade; what else could possibly go wrong? A lot, actually. If you're rubbing your foundation into your skin, it's going to settle into your pores, causing everything you're trying to cover up actually stand out even more.
The Fix: If you want smooth coverage from your foundation, pat it on with a sponge or your fingers. This way, it will cover your skin evenly and you won't create any patchy areas.
4. You don't wait for your foundation to dry.
Liquid foundation is just that: a liquid. Aka it takes a little time to completely dry once you've applied it. This means if you speed through your beauty routine and dust a powder product over it immediately, it's going to heavily absorb into the first spot you applied it and it won't blend out properly.
The Fix: Take a minute or two to let your foundation dry before you sweep on any powder.
5. You never learned how to contour but you do it anyway.
Everyone contours, but if you don't know how to do it properly, there's a lot that could go wrong. For example, if your method is sucking in your cheeks and applying bronzer or contouring powder as you see fit, you're going to end up looking more like a skeleton than a bronzed Kardashian.
The Fix: Thanks to a little thing called the internet, it only takes 10 minutes (or even just one) to learn how to do anything. In this video, Stephanie recommends using a contour powder and a precise brush to apply the product from underneath your cheekbone toward the top of your ears. She then follows this by using a fluffy brush to blend the deeper shade to make the look more natural. To figure out to contour for your face shape, click here.
6. Your blush gets lost.
Everyone knows that blush is supposed to go on your cheeks, but where exactly on your cheeks is the tricky part. When blush is applied in the wrong place, it can actually end up looking more like a skin condition (Hello, rosacea!) than a fresh-faced, dewy princess.
The Fix: When I was first learning to do makeup, my mom always told me to smile and apply my blush to the roundest part of my cheeks. But according to Stephanie, you should only lightly apply powder or cream blush over the apples of your cheeks, and then sweep whatever is left on the brush up and away toward your ears.
7. Your nose contouring is actually making it look bigger.
You can't just use a contour powder to paint a stripe down each side of your nose and expect it to look like Kylie Jenner's. Using that technique might actually make your nose look bigger or wider than it actually is.
The Fix: Be strategic about your product placement. Using an angled eye shadow brush topped with a matte contour powder (or brown eye shadow) a few shades darker than your skin, draw two perpendicular lines down each side of your nose. Use your brow bone as a guide and carry the color all the way to the tip of your nose. Then, pat a highlighter or a lighter contour shade in between the two lines. Finally, blend, blend, blend.
8. You're using a shimmer eye shadow as a base.
When you use a shimmer eye shadow all over your eyelid, it can actually make your eyes look really puffy. Especially since applying highlighter to any area (eyelids, cheekbones, bridge of nose), brings it forward and makes it pop.
The Fix: Stick with matte neutral shades for your shadow base, or at least for the color that you use on the majority of your eyelid. Though the matte shades may not be as exciting as the sparkly ones, they'll make your eyes appear much bigger by creating depth. Save your shimmer obsession for highlighting your brow bone, or the inner and outer corners of your eyes.
9. You apply eye shadow directly into your crease.
Applying your second eye shadow color into the natural crease of your eyelid can make your eyes look smaller, because you're decreasing the surface area already covered by your base color.
The Fix: Apply the deeper-colored eye shadow slightly above your natural crease. Adding the shadow higher up creates the illusion that your eyes are bigger than they actually are. People will also be able to see your hard work better when your eyes are open.
10. You never learned how to properly wing your eyeliner either.
Raise your hand if you've ever spent 30 minutes unsuccessfully trying to make both cat-eyes symmetrical, and then gave up and just left your apartment with mismatched flicks?
11. Your under-eye eye shadow turns you into a raccoon midday.
The Snapchat panda lens is pretty cute, but dark shadows under your eyes probably isn't the look you're going for when it comes to your makeup.
The Fix: If you want under-eye definition, simply switch to a slightly lighter shade (it's best to use one of the shades that you've used on your eyelid to keep things consistent), because a lighter shade won't drag your eyes down the way a darker one will. Want even more definition? Ue a pencil liner to trace the inner rims of your eyes. This defines them and adds drama without turning you into a raccoon come 2 p.m.
12. You paint your eyebrows onto your face.
While bold brows are really a thing at the moment, most people aren't born with Cara Delevingne's arches, and your brows can seem drawn on if they're overdone.
The Fix: Work with what you've got. It's OK to enhance your natural brow, but don't go too far with it. And keep a light hand when you need to add hairlike strokes, so your brows are feathery, not full-on.
13. You're using a summer lip color when you're clearly a winter.
Every skin tone is different, and with that, one shade of lipstick might look completely different on you than it does your BFF.
The Fix: Just like your foundation, this is a trial and error process. But thankfully, there are so many different shades of lipstick on the market that it shouldn't take long for you to find your favorite. A good way to start is to look at the veins on your wrist. If they are blue, your skin has pink undertones and you should look for lip colors with blue or purple tones in them. If your veins look more green, your skin has yellow undertones and your perfect lip color is likely a warmer hue.
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