11 Things Make-Up Artists Want You To Stop Doing

Getting your make-up right not only enhances your facial features, it can also create a more youthful glow. But many of us still get a few things wrong – be it using the wrong tools or wearing an unflattering shade. Here, some of the world’s top make-up artists tell us more about the common mistakes they see and how to rectify them…

Mistake: Applying Too Much Highlighter
 
Answer: “People tend to apply highlighter like it’s going out of fashion, but we don’t need to see it from miles away,” says make-up artist, Mira Parmar. “Too much can create a reflective strip on the face, which starts to look almost grey. The old saying rings true: less is more. Apply it lightly to your cheekbones and build up and blend into the skin for a more natural finish. There should be a light glow only on the areas that would naturally catch the light.” 
 
SL Rates: Illamasqua Beyond Liquid Highlighter in OMG; Hourglass Ambient Metallic Strobe Lighting Palette; Iconic London Original Liquid Highlighter; XX Revolution XXposure Powder Highlighter

Mistake: Blaming Your Foundation For Pilling & Flaking

Answer: “When it comes to make-up pilling and smudging, so many people blame their foundation,” says make-up artist Lisa Potter Dixon. “In fact, most of the time, your base wears off and goes patchy because you’ve not prepped your skin properly. Cleansing and moisturising five minutes before you apply make-up is always the answer. Spend a good 30 seconds massaging it into your face.”

SL Rates: Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré; MILK Hydro Grip Primer; NARS Radiance Primer SPF35; Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base, 

Mistake: Defining All Around Your Brows
 
Answer: “Please stop defining all around your brows with very pale, thick concealer,” says Kenneth Soh. “It looks ridiculous and makes brows look like they’re floating off your face. Instead, sculpt your arches into shape with a good brow gel and leave it at that. The gel formula will help keep everything firmly in place, as well as creating sharp definition. You don’t need anything else.” 
 
SL Rates: Glossier Boy BrowBenefit Gimme BrowHourglass Arch Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel; NYX Tinted Brow Mascara

Mistake: Blowing On Your Make-Up Brushes
 
Answer: “This is so common, especially when people are on the tube or just on the go,” says A-list make-up artist Caroline Barnes. “All it does is spread bacteria into your skin, which will just result in a build-up of dirt and breakouts. Always tap your brushes against the back of your hand; never blow. When you clean them, just wash them with a gentle soap, or shampoo – biodegradable wipes will do the trick if time is at a premium.”
 
SL Rates: Real Techniques Deep Cleansing Brush Gel; Parian Spirit Brush Cleaner; NYX On The Spot Make-Up Brush Cleaner Spray; Beautyblender Liquid Blendercleanser

Mistake: Contouring Too Heavily 

Answer: “Contouring is a tool to shape your face, but it should never be seen, it’s like an illusion,” adds Mira. “When you contour you need to blend, blend and blend again to create a second skin effect. Apply it lightly, just underneath your cheekbones, and build it up only if you need to. There should never be a harsh line between your contour, highlighter and cheeks. To get a seamless finish, use your foundation brush to blend in from all angles – that way you’ll never have any angular shadows.” 

SL Rates: Charlotte Tilbury Bronze + Contour Wand; Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Bronzer
Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate; Nudestix Nudies Matte Blush & Bronze

Mistake: Layering Too Much Foundation
 
Answer: “What looks good on Instagram or under studio lights can appear overdone in real life,” explains Lee Pycroft. “The same goes for highlighting and contouring. Make sure you blend, then blend again. And remember, the art of make-up is to celebrate your individuality, not to completely dilute your features. Blend your skin with some good, dense brushes and look for sheer foundation formulas.” 
 
SL Rates: Hourglass No.2 Foundation/Blush Brush; NYX Pro Brush Multi-Purpose Buffing; iT Cosmetics Star Brush; Zoeva Defined Buffer Brush

Mistake: Neglecting Skincare

Answer: “A lot of people think the best way to prep your complexion is with a primer, but you can actually use skincare as a base,” says make-up artist, Zoe Taylor. “A firm favourite among industry insiders is Sarah Chapman’s Liquid Facial. It gives skin a great glow while getting rid of dead skin cells and surface grime, resulting in a smoother complexion that’s ready for make-up. There are a few other options on the market, but this has always helped my client’s make-up stay flawless for longer, as well as lending skin a brighter radiance.”

SL Rates: Sarah Chapman Liquid Facial Resurface; REN Ready Stead Glow Daily AHA Tonic; Malin + Goetz Resurfacing Serum; Sweet Chef Beet + Vitamin A Serum Shot 

Mistake: Not Setting Eye Make-Up Properly

Answer: “A trick all make-up artists swear by is to apply a cream eyeshadow, then go in on top with a powder one,” adds Zoe. “Not only does this give more of a multi-dimensional effect, it makes the colour stand out and helps prevent creasing because everything is locked down. Make sure you really blend the powder in with your fingers or a brush for maximum longevity.”

SL Rates: Bareminerals Gen Nude Eyeshadow Palette in Neutral; Chantecaille Le Chrome Luxe Eye Duo; Diego Dalla Palma Makeupstudio Matt Eyeshadow; Wet n Wild Coloricon Single Eyeshadow

Mistake: Overdoing False Eyelashes

Answer: “When you buy a pair of strip lashes, don’t assume you need the full length,” explains make-up artist Nilofar Mussa. “You may think trimming them will dramatically reduce the impact, but if you don’t measure the lash to the length of your own eye, it could end up looking droopy and down-turned because of the excess weight. The lashes should start about a quarter of the way from the inner corner, and the lash band should stop where the lashes naturally stop on the outer edge. Measuring them properly will lift the eye and make you look younger and fresher.” 
 
SL Rates: Huda Beauty Giselle Lashes; Sweed X By Terry Lashes; Ardell Wispies Lashes; Eylure Accent No.003 Eyelashes 

Mistake: Using Different Brands For Your Base

Answer: “To get the smoothest, creamiest finish, you should pair a primer with the same brand as your foundation,” says make-up legend Mary Greenwell. “They’ve been made to work together, so why would you try pairing a million different brands together? Utilise the benefits of them working in unison – trust me, you’ll immediately notice fewer patches, flaking and movement in your make-up.” 
 
SL Rates: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser; Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation; Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Primer Hydrating; Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Primer Illuminating 

Mistake: Wearing The Wrong Shades

Answer: “This is especially true for foundation,” advises Nilofar. “It’s incredibly important to do your research before you buy a foundation – especially if you’re ordering online. Remember a foundation can look great on someone else, but may not necessarily be the right one for you. Plus, your skin changes with the weather and environment, so don’t be afraid to try a new formulation if your current one isn’t hitting it. Two places can help you narrow the field: Findation.com and MatchMyMakeUp.com are great sites and give very accurate recommendations. When shopping on a multi-brand site, get in touch with the customer service team and explain your individual needs. They can then advise on what might suit you before you order anything.”

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