12 Ways You Apply Your Makeup Wrong
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Beauty Blunders1 of 13
By Morgan Olsen
For years, you've been applying foundation with your fingers, sweeping blush onto your cheeks and lining your eyes from the inside corner out. Little did you know that these are all no-nos. Read on to find out about 12 common makeup-application blunders, and get expert tips on how to perfect your technique.
Out of Order2 of 13
The Blunder: Applying concealer before your foundation.
The Fix: Concealer should actually be applied after foundation. "Then you can see exactly what your base covers and assess what areas still need some coverage," says Petra Strand, founder of Pixi by Petra. That way, you don't end up caking on too much makeup.
White Out3 of 13
The Blunder: Using a product with SPF before pictures.
The Fix: Products with SPF protect your skin by causing light to reflect off it—which also makes you appear unnaturally pale in pictures, says Beauty Collection skincare specialist Mhel Delos Reyes. When the sun goes down, switch to products that don't contain SPF—like Dior's spray foundation—for the best results in photos.
Brush With Greatness4 of 13
The Blunder: Using a foundation brush if you have dry skin.
The Fix: A brush isn't your best tool because the buffing motions tend to lift and expose dead skin cells. "Avoid this by using a damp sponge to stipple on your foundation," says Reyes. "This method will make sure you are placing the foundation on the skin, but not causing it to micro-exfoliate the surface." Try BeautyBlender's applicator, which has a rounded shape that makes it easy to apply makeup.
Finger Painting5 of 13
The Blunder: Applying foundation with your fingers.
The Fix: "Using your fingers might be quick and easy, but the application is never completely even or smooth," says celebrity makeup artist Troy Jensen. If you have oily, combination or normal skin, a plush foundation brush, like Jouer's version, or a sponge can help you achieve even, full coverage. Concentrate your foundation in the center of your face and blend out.
True Colors6 of 13
The Blunder: Testing foundation shades on the back of your hand.
The Fix: "Only test foundation on your hand for texture. For a color match, test along the jawline," says Strand. And when selecting a bronzer, don't go too dark. "Opt for a shade about two shades warmer than your natural skin tone for a sun-kissed look that's still flattering and natural," she adds.
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Eye to Eye7 of 13
The Blunder: Tugging on the side of your eyes when applying liner or mascara.
The Fix: "Doing that can eventually lead to loss of elasticity around the eye area," says Beauty Collection makeup specialist Nadia Alawi. Instead of pulling up on the corners of your eyes, hold the area taut with your pointer and middle fingers.
Prime Time8 of 13
The Blunder: Not using an eye primer.
The Fix: It might seem like an extra step, but using it can really elevate your look. "Applying a primer first will make your shadow last longer and prevent it from creasing," says Reyes. Urban Decay's primer is also made with anti-aging ingredients that are supposed to smooth out wrinkles over time.
Up in Smoke9 of 13
The Blunder: Applying shadow starting from the inside corner of your eye.
The Fix: Shadow placement is key when it comes to bold eye makeup. "When you're applying a stronger eye color, wherever you place the brush first is where you will get the strongest deposit of color, so start from the outer crease of the eye blending inwards," says Strand.
Fresh Powder10 of 13
The Blunder: Setting your entire face in a veil of powder.
The Fix: Use a large powder brush to lightly diffuse shine on your T-zone. "Leave areas like the top of cheeks and along the jawline unpowdered for a naturally dewy and fresh look," says Jensen.
Get Cheeky11 of 13
The Blunder: Using a sweeping, back-and-forth motion to apply blush to the apples of your cheeks.
The Fix: "To blend any pigment seamlessly into the skin, use a circular blending motion instead. This buffs pigment into the skin so the finish is soft and polished," says Strand.
Smooth Move12 of 13
The Blunder: Applying lipstick without exfoliating first.
The Fix: Lipstick doesn't take well to dry, patchy lips. "Exfoliating and hydrating your lips before applying color makes the application a lot smoother—especially when it comes to matte lipstick," says Alawi. A lip scrub, such as Bliss's exfoliating version made with sugar and crushed nuts, will gently peel away dead skin and create an even surface that holds color more effectively.
Full Service13 of 13
The Blunder: Extending your lip liner past your natural lip line as a trick to make lips look fuller.
The Fix: "Going too far beyond your natural lip line can look very obvious. The most effective way of making lips look plumper is to accentuate the cupid's bow using a highlighting pencil like Pixi by Petra Eye Bright Liner, combined with dabbing clear lip gloss in the center of the lip and blending outwards," says Strand.
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