Sure, everyone has their own special way of doing makeup. I don’t know about you, but I’m no pro—so when I’m putting on my face, there’s always a thought in the back of my mind that’s like, “Am I doing this right?” Honestly, if I could have a glam team on call at all times, I would because I definitely have very basic skills.
That’s what got me thinking… What are makeup artists’ pet peeves? What mistakes do they see people making every time that make them want to correct it ASAP? What makes them cringe? I mean, come on, even if you’re highly skilled, you’ve got to be curious, right? So I polled a few makeup artists about the most common mistakes they see people making plus their best makeup tips. Let me tell you some of their answers were very surprising.
Now, you’ll see that a lot of these below have to do with technique. When it comes to the kind of makeup you use or the looks you go for, do whatever makes you feel confident and beautiful. We’re not here to dictate how you wear your makeup. And the artists agree. “I feel like everyone has different styles and rituals around their makeup application, so technically there are no mistakes in makeup, but there are a few application techniques that just make life easier—some general makeup hacks if you will!” says makeup artist and groomer Christine Cherbonnier.
Cherbonnier says skipping skin prep before applying foundation is a no-no. And makeup artist and groomer Janice Kinjo adds that a primer is necessary. “Primer helps hold makeup longer by creating a barrier between skin and makeup,” she says. “Without a primer, your makeup will eventually melt into your skin, and you will have to touch up more often throughout the day. Best advice: Don’t skip the primer.” Kinjo recommends DHC’s Velvet Skin Coat.
“People tend to perfect their foundation and then start eye makeup,” Kinjo says. “This will waste your time. Best advice: Do your eyes first so any fallout from eye shadow and/or messed-up mascara/liner can be fixed easily. After you’re done with eyes, then do your foundation. This will save time from redoing your foundation.” Kinjo recommends Dior’s eye shadow palette.
And Cherbonnier also advises against applying your eyebrow products on top of your moisturizer or foundation.
“Number one beauty mistake would have to be not wetting the Beautyblender,” says makeup artist Jen Tioseco. “A damp blender is key to a natural, even makeup application! Drench your blender in water until it’s full, wring out the excess, and give it a final squeeze with a towel!”
Applying too much concealer and taking it too high under the eyes is another one from Tioseco. “This causes the concealer to cake and crease in all the fine lines,” she explains. “Applying in thin layers is key, and where you need a little more coverage, pat the product in, don’t swipe! I personally love using a dense concealer brush like the one from Rare Beauty to press my concealer in followed by a Beautyblender to soften my edges.”
“People tend to think using lighter foundation/concealer will cover a dark spot, but that isn’t the case,” Kinjo says. “Then, you either have to use that same lighter color all over or you have a light spot on your dark mark. Best advice: Instead, use your exact same foundation/concealer color on that spot, but layer it heavier for more coverage. This will keep your complexion even with no light or dark areas.”
“We all love a pouty lip, but it needs to be executed right to look real,” Tioseco says. “When overdrawing makeup, be sure to only overdraw on the Cupid’s bow and underneath the middle of the bottom lip and follow the lip’s natural lip line toward the edges. I also like to take a touch of concealer to the edges of my lips to really give them a lift bringing the attention back to the pouty center.”
Another mistake for Cherbonnier is “applying a basic everyday eyeliner shape that doesn’t complement your unique eye line or eye shape.”
“One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is sticking to a makeup trend after it has passed. It ends up making the wearer look older and dated,” explains makeup artist Jamie Dorman. “It’s the equivalent of wearing skinny jeans now that straight and wide-leg trends are in style. It can make you look out of touch.”
Dorman says some trends she thinks are outdated include excessive contouring and highlighting and excessive eye shadow. “Trade excessive contour and highlight for a lighter skin look with a tinted moisturizer like Kari Gran Essential Tinted SPF 30 and a minimal highlight like Lime Crime Sunkissed Glimmering Skin Stick,” she says. “Trade excessive eye shadow for a one-step shade like Kari Gran Natural Eyeshadow and a lengthening mascara such as Westmore Beauty Red Carpet Lashes.”
1. Start With Good Skincare: We already went over this above, but it’s important to treat your skin before applying makeup. “Good skincare and prep is the key to healthy-looking skin and a good makeup application,” Cherbonnier says. “The use of the right moisturizer, primer, exfoliant, etc., will make all the difference in how your makeup looks, feels, and wears. I’m currently using REYN Base Serum on myself and all my clients because it’s skincare and primer in one product. It works with every skin type and tone, leaving a soft velvety matte feeling to the skin allowing for a more seamless makeup application and longer wear.”
2. Use a Liquid Concealer as Foundation: Cherbonnier recommends blending from the T-zone out and up instead of covering your entire face with foundation: “Most everyone has darker skin around the outer part of the face and hairline. Using the natural skin tone as contour will create a more natural look with the same fuller coverage where needed.”
3. Apply Translucent Pressed Powder Under the Eyes: This will set your under-eye concealer, Cherbonnier says. “Also apply through the T-zone to minimize/refine pores,” she adds. “My favorite super-inexpensive powder hack is the E.l.f. translucent pressed powder. It’s actually translucent for all skin types and tones.”
4. Use the Natural Highlights and Contours of Your Bare Skin: Cherbonnier recommends using them as a guide when highlighting and contouring the face instead of masking and reapplying. “If you look in the mirror, your skin and eyes will have high and low points where the light will naturally reflect off the face or look darker. Use these areas in your favor by applying contour where it naturally exists,” she explains.
5. Try This for No-Fuss Lips: Dorman recommends trying a hydrating and plumping lip gel, like Westmore Beauty’s 60-Second Lip Effects
6. This Skin Texture Look Is Always a Classic: “To avoid out-of-date skin texture trends, keep your foundation as light as possible and lightly powder just the T-zone,” Dorman says. “A satin T-zone and dewy cheeks is a healthy look that never goes out of style. Try Westmore Beauty’s 3-in-1 Photo Finishing Powder.”