It’s okay, we all make mistakes—especially when it comes to beauty. But never fear, we’re here to save you from yourself!

1. Applying concealer before foundation
I’ve known so many people who have concealed their spots before putting on their base foundation and I wanted to yell “Stop! You’re doing it wrong!!” What do you think happens to the concealer when you swipe on your foundation? It gets swiped right away with it. Also, you don’t know what your foundation might already hide until you’ve applied it. Put on your base, then conceal whatever is left.

2. Wearing waterproof mascara every day
“Why on earth not?” I hear you ask. “That stuff is budge-proof and spill-proof and cry-proof!” Yes, but it’s also waterproof! This means NO moisture, even the natural oils your lashes need can’t get in. It’s great for special events, but wearing the tough stuff every day can lead to your lashes becoming dry and brittle, and even falling out.

Red haired woman puts on mascara in a mirror.
Is that waterproof mascara? Put it down, girl!

3. Forgetting your neck
Did you know your neck is as susceptible to wrinkles and pigmentation as your face? That thin skin needs just as much care as your delicate visage! Why do so many people forget it when it comes to applying serums and moisturisers? Don’t forget, the one body part that betrays your age more than any other is your neck, so start taking care of it now.

4. Colouring in your whole eyebrow
Yes I know, big, thick eyebrows are having a moment right now but that doesn’t mean you need to colour the whole thing in one big block. Your eyebrows are naturally more sparse up the front, so colouring the front in as dark as the tails instantly screams fake (not to mention makes you look permanently cranky). Think of your brow like an ombre colour gradient… colour in the front lightly and gradually get darker towards the end of your brows, where the hair would naturally grow the thickest.

woman with black curly hair fixes brows in a small compact mirror.
Try to tweeze your brows with a larger mirror and further away so you can see the big picture.

5. Plucking eyebrows too close to the mirror
When you’re looking too closely, you see each individual little hair rather than the big picture, and that can lead to uneven brows. Next thing you know you’ve tried to get the other one to match, and you end up with tiny brow slivers wondering where you went wrong. Use a big mirror and stand back so you can see your whole face.

6. Curling your lashes with mascara on
Mascara on? Check. Curled lashes? Well, unless you did this before you coated your eyelashes, forget it. Curling post-mascara causes lashes to stick together with clumpy mascara formula, leaving your peepers looking like they’re framed with angular clusters resembling spider legs.

7. Using the wrong primer for your foundation formula.
Wait, there’s a wrong type of primer? You betcha. This is one mistake even I was making until a few months ago. Different types of formulas clash, and can cause your foundation and primer to peel up and flake off. For WEEKS I thought my new foundation was terrible because it was peeling off my face, when it was really just reacting badly with my primer. Check the ingredients: if you use a water-based foundation, you need a water based primer, if you use silicone-based foundation you need a silicone-based primer.

close up of a woman's neck, her hand gently resting on her neck.
Make sure that foundation is blended down your neck!

8. Not blending foundation on your neck
Foundation doesn’t stop at your face… or if it does, you seriously need to get on that. Just because you can’t see the “tide lines” of your foundation, doesn’t mean everyone else can’t. Say it with me: “blend, blend, blend”. Make the effort to ensure you blend the foundation down your neck so that there are no lines and you don’t look like you’re wearing a mask.

9. Matching foundation to the back of your hand
Just no. Your hand is not the same colour as your face. Your FACE is the same colour as your face, so use it! If you’re unsure, brave the department store sans makeup (come on, I know you can do it!) and the experts at the beauty counter can match properly for you. That way you can see what you’ll actually look like, rather than gambling on mismatched skin swatches.

three dirty makeup brushes
Dirty brushes make me anxious (and make your skin bad).

10. Not cleaning your sponge/brushes
You’re fastidious about cleaning your face every day, but you’ll happily wipe weeks’ worth of dirt and yuck back on it by using dirty brushes? Icky. Apart from causing major breakouts and putting you at risk of infection from germs, dirty brushes and sponges don’t actually work properly. Colours are tainted and won’t blend as well. Sponges should be washed after every use to avoid mould, and brushes about once a week, and left to dry in the sun to zap nasties. Even better, grab a brush sanitising spray to wash on them after each use between cleans.

11. Forgetting to prep your lips for the matte kiss
You can’t get the long-lasting results of a matte lipstick unless you’re willing to put in the hard work beforehand. The key to keeping your lips from cracking and peeling is to exfoliate and gently scrub away the dead skin. If you don’t, the matte formula will be sure to cling to any cracks and accentuate them! No, thank you. After exfoliating, it’s pivotal to your beauty look that you hydrate your lips too! Apply a lip-balm a few moments ahead and allow the moisture to soak into your lips so it doesn’t leave a shine!  

12. Not washing your pillowcase often enough
Again, you scrub your face twice a day but are happy to lie on a bed of filth and rub up against germs all night? Do you know how often you’re supposed to wash your pillowcase? Get ready to feel ashamed… once every three to seven days! If you leave it any longer than that, you might as well go rub your face on the bathroom floor. OK maybe it’s not that bad, but it’s BAD. Just wash all the things, okay?

Elizabeth Best

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