You might be thinking I’m being a little harsh on why these mistakes are all so horrendous, or even soapboxing. But believe me, I know all these mistakes because I am the number 1 culprit of committing all these for a number of years! Years of trial and error (oh so much error) has led me to figure out what you really can’t get away with. If my advice can help save you from a lifetime of embarrassing makeup then I’ve done my bit for humanity.
1. Mascara transferring to your eyelids
Around 3pm you go to the loo and catch a glimpse of shadow, directly in line with where your lashes meet your eye lids. The pesky transfer! No, your long lashes aren’t the problem, it’s oil. Either your trusty eyecream/moisturiser, your foundation or oily skin.
Brush powder on your lids in the morning to mop up any oil throughout the day. Powder can be in the form of eyeshadow or even a pressed powder. If using a face powder take a light approach (you don’t want your eyes looking cakey).
I like using the Ere Perez From Beginning to End ($27.95) duo as it’s very neutral toned. You can use this on your no-eyeshadow days as it just brightens and highlights.
2. Cakey, dry looking makeup.
Over-use of the foundation powder is usually the cause. Or using the wrong foundation on your dry skin. Instantly freshen up your face by spritzing on some rose water. I keep a spray bottle filled with rose water on my desk at work and spritze on whenever my skin feels or looks dry. Instant pep.
Rose water has the added benefit of being hydrating too (that’s why it’s better than straight water). Rose water is available pretty readily. I get mine from my local, international grocer for under $7 and decant it into a spray bottle.
For a fancier, organic option try Vanessa Megan‘s Rose Water Spray ($27.95).
3. Concealing your under eye bags
I see this all too often and I want to wipe off the offending makeup from every poor woman who tries this. It’s so dam obvious and makes things so much worse, especially when the concealer clings in your eye wrinkles! Concealer isn’t really designed for the eyes – it’s too thick and matte. You need a specialty under-eye concealer or at least one that promotes ‘glow’. Using something a little more luminous will reflect light, instantly making your eyes brighter and more open.
I really love this one from Vapour Organic Beauty ($35). It’s so perfect for dark circles as it brightens while it conceals. The texture is also lovely and creamy so it wont cake in your creases. It reminded me a bit of my old YSL Touche Eclat, but way cleaner.
4. Using foundation to lighten/darken your complexion
No! Just don’t! Your neck will give the game away before you’ve even sat down at the party. As a melanin-disadvantaged person, I’ve spent years fake tanning and bronzing myself to an acceptable shade. I’ve also used foundation darker than my natural skin tone, to help the process along. This is all fine, if you’ve fake tanned the rest of your body to match the foundation shade. However, if you’re being lazy and skip the tanning, you’ll just end up looking like you face planted in a puddle of mud.
Likewise, if you use one too light you’ll end up ghosting yourself out. It’s just not pretty and you’re really not fooling anyone.
Always use a foundation to match your skin tone (read my guide if you need help). If you’re worried about the shade, make sure you’ve blended it really well around the jawline. Even go so far as bringing the foundation down your neck a little so there’s no obvious line. If you want to add more colour, use bronzer to highlight and contour your face to perfection. Likewise, dust a little down the side of your neck and onto your chest to help make your whole bust look more uniforma dn seamless. If you want to lighten your skin tone, use illuminator to reflect light and brighten your complexion.
5. Trying to make a pimple disappear
I’m not saying don’t cover, I’m merely saying that if you try make a big, bulbous pimple disappear you’ll end up making a massive mess. Trust me, I’ve tried for about a decade.
If there’s a mini-mountain on your face, too much makeup will just make it worse. You can make it exactly the same colour as the rest of your face but blind Freddy can still see that mountain emerging from your face. The trick is to conceal, but not overdo it.
Dab on concealer and finish with a dusting of powder. Don’t overdo it and don’t over apply concealer. Too much concealer will actually make it more visible as it can easily get cakey and dry looking. Worse still, if it’s still oozy it can get mixed up with the makeup and you can end up with their weird fleshy coloured crust. Sometimes it’s just better to reduce the impact than yuck looking makeup.
Use a matte concealer like my favourite, from Eco Minerals ($33). This one’s just like your favourite mineral powder foundation, but in liquid form. It’s one of the best all natural concealers for covering zits I’ve found. I’ll dust a little pressed powder, like this one from 100% Pure ($38), to help set the liquid in place and stop that ugly pimple popping out to say hello, half way through the day. Tip: setting liquids with a powder really is a non-negotiable; trust me!
The secret to all magic tricks is to divert the viewers attention elsewhere, i.e. somewhere more attractive. Got a whopper on your chin? Divert the gaze to your eyes. Make your peepers sparkle with a little extra attention. Got Mt Vesuvius on your forehead? Try a bold lippy to have people staring at your luscious lips instead of an impending natural disaster. Your entire face is a mess? Got that one covered too; amp up the volume in your hair to Victoria Secret Angel and while we’re on the topic of VS, pump up the puppies and put them on display. Actually, this trick could work for any area you’re a little insecure with!