11 Things Make-Up Artists Want You To Stop Doing

11 Things Make-Up Artists Want You To Stop Doing

When it comes to make-up, we’re all guilty of getting the odd thing wrong. Here, four top make-up artists reveal the common mistakes they see people make most often – and how to rectify them.
Photography: ISTOCK

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Mistake: Using A Dark Foundation To Look Tanned

Answer: “This is a common misconception, but there are better ways to add colour and warmth to your complexion,” says Frankie Neal. “Liquid bronzers are my go-to, as they’re so sheer and easy to build up. They give you that just-back-from-holiday glow and look really fresh. You want to apply it where the sun would naturally hit your face, so think the top of your forehead, down the centre of the nose and on top of the cheeks. Always add a little more bronzer down the centre of your neck to bring everything together, too. If you’re someone who has a lot of freckles, you can adjust the tone of your foundation very slightly so it doesn’t wash you out; otherwise you always want to match your foundation to the colour of your neck.”


Mistake: Being Too Generous With 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 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 it into the skin for a more natural finish. There should be a light glow only on the areas that would naturally catch the light.”


Mistake: Choosing A Concealer That’s Too Light 

Answer: “Those with dark circles under their eyes often feel they should go for a concealer in a much lighter shade than their foundation,” says Frankie. “But this can sometimes highlight them more and make your under eyes look cakey or grey. Instead, match your concealer directly to your foundation, or perhaps go one shade lighter. This will help to conceal everything without highlighting or drawing unwanted attention to them. Alternatively, use a red or orange colour corrector underneath your concealer to counteract the darkness first.”


Mistake: Wearing Cold Tones

Answer: “As a general rule, most people should avoid cold, steely tones like greys and ice blues. These can be quite harsh and bright, but in the wrong way,” advises Lee Pycroft. “Instead, opt for warm, copper-tone shades like taupe, cream and bronze – anything that’s generally a bit more glow-y. They generally suit everyone and are less likely to settle into fine lines or crease on the eyelids.”


Mistake: Contouring With The Wrong Shade

Answer: “Contouring will help you shape your face, but it should never be seen – it should be an illusion,” says Mira. “When you contour, you need to blend, blend and blend again to create that 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 natural skin. For a seamless finish, use your foundation brush to blend it in from all angles – that way you’ll never be left with any angular shadows.”


Mistake: Over-Filling Your Brows

Answer: “Brows are a personal preference, but it’s common for people to go quickly from natural to seriously overdone,” continues Frankie. “For a start, the colour you use is paramount – remember to use a slightly lighter shade at the beginning of your brow to stop them looking too blocky. Also, it’s a good idea to start by brushing your brows upwards – that alone will make them look fuller and give them a lift before you apply any colour. The MyKitCo Brow Brush and Soap Brows is great for this. Once they’re brushed up, you’ll be able to see where you need to fill in. Brow powders are great as they’re so soft and malleable to apply. Try doing little brush strokes mimicking your hairs as you apply it, as opposed to just colouring in. Brow pens are brilliant too as they give the effect of real hairs – Glossier’s is a must-try. Finally, as a rule, always focus on filling brows from the mid to the ends of your arches – avoid going heavy at the very beginning. Seal everything in place with a brow gel for best results.”


Mistake: Covering Uneven Skin Too Heavily

Answer: “So many of us don’t even want to wear heaps of foundation but feel we have to because of how our skin looks otherwise,” says Frankie. “When we have breakouts or uneven tone, we feel we should go heavy with the base make-up to create a flawless finish. But it can have the opposite effect. The best option is to use a mixture of concealer and a lighter foundation or tinted moisturiser. Just because you have a couple of spots doesn’t mean you have to cover the entire skin. Try using a lighter foundation all over with a fuller-coverage concealer on any specific marks you want to hide. You’ll adapt to the fresher glow and it allows your skin to actually breathe.”


Mistake: Applying Make-Up To Dry Skin

Answer: “In order for our skin to look and feel fresh, it is vital to prep it appropriately before any make-up,” explains Levi-Jade Taylor. “It’s such a simple step but something so many of us neglect. Use a moisturiser full of conditioning ingredients, such as vitamin E and hyaluronic acid – both of these smooth the skin, giving you a great base for make-up. I love Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream as it is gentle and works for all skin types to nourish and hydrate. If you’re particularly oily, you still need to moisturise, just use a gel cream instead – like Summer Fridays Cloud Dew Cream. If you have dryness and flakes, try introducing an acid exfoliator, too. This will reduce excess texture over time. The Paula’s Choice BHA Exfoliant is best.”


Mistake: Using The Wrong Mascara

Answer: “Lots of people spend a fortune on mascaras,” advises Levi. “Of course, it comes down to personal preference, but often people forget high-street mascaras tend to have the upper hand. They work just as well as expensive iterations, and given you should be replacing mascara every three months for hygiene purposes, it makes sense to find a great budget option. Maybelline’s Sky High is one of the best and I constantly buy it in bulk so I’m never without.”


Mistake: Overdoing Your Primer

Answer: “If your goal is longevity, use a setting spray over a primer,” advises Levi. “Use it before and after you’ve applied your make-up to lock it in all day. My favourite is Charlotte Tilbury’s Setting Spray. It’s water-based – not alcohol-based like a lot of sprays – therefore gentler on your skin, but with the same staying power. Primers are still relevant for smoothing pores, but it’s vital you don’t use too much. Often, they are full of silicone and can cause a lot of pilling (rolling of product) and in turn, more problems than you need. Only use a tiny amount – if at all – and to specific areas of concern.”


Mistake: Not Taking The Time To Colour Match

Answer: “Colour matching is an issue a lot of people struggle with,” continues Levi. “We have so many different tones and shade intensities across our face and body, so it’s important to check everything in natural light – always. It’s also crucial to find a direct shade match for your concealer and foundation. You need one that suits your skin’s undertone and intensity, otherwise it won’t look right. Even if you like to appear lighter or darker in skin tone, or if you prefer to cancel out your natural undertone, you should always pick the best match. It’ll make it easier to tweak the overall appearance of the colour if you wish – for instance with lighter concealer or a darker bronzer.”

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