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Most Common Makeup, Cosmetics Mistakes (And How To Fix Them)

New York City based makeup artist Susma Patel is a licensed makeup artist, aesthetician, nail technician, hairstylist and waxing expert. Susmta was born in India and came to the US at the age of 20. This single mother says, “nothing makes me happier than the priceless smile of approval. This recognition motivates me to continue my pursuit of excellence.” Here, she gives us the makeup mistakes many women routinely make, plus how to do it right. Visit Susma’s site, here.

Too much makeup Most Common Makeup, Cosmetics Mistakes (And How To Fix Them)

Boldly Going Where No Women Have Gone Before

One mistake most women make when applying makeup is going too bold. Makeup is supposed to hide imperfections and underline the facial features, not make you look like you’re wearing a mask. You don’t have to put on “tons” of makeup to look fabulous, you just have to put on just enough to make your look natural.

Lay A Good Foundation!

Using the wrong foundation hue is one of the most common makeup mistakes women make. Foundation isn’t supposed to give your skin a bit of a tan, it’s supposed to create a perfect, smooth complexion and cover-up any imperfections. This is why you should always use a foundation which blends-in with your skin. Test the hue on your jawline before you purchase a foundation or ask for a sample which you can give a try at home. If you are used to tanning, you can purchase one darker hue as well and mix it with your regular hue to create your own blend that will suit the hue of your complexion at that moment.

Don’t Be a Flake

Applying foundation on chapped, flaky skin is by far the worst thing you can do as the result will be horrific. The foundation will blend-in with the skin and will help emphasize the flakes, not conceal them, meaning you’ll look better off not wearing any makeup. To prevent this from happening, make sure you exfoliate your skin every week and moisturize on a daily basis. Exfoliating facial scrubs will get rid of the dead skin cells covering your complexion, leaving your skin feeling smooth

Feeling the Blues

Blue eye shadow works for some people. Little girls in dance recitals. Guests at 1970s-themed parties. Ethereal looking supermodels. If you aren’t one of the aforementioned people then don’t wear it. Enough said.

Amping Your Lip Strategy

Making the lips super plump with the help of your lipliner can turn disastrous if you step further than the natural line of your lip. To get plump lips, experts say to line subtly, using a lip colored or the same lip liner hue of your lipstick on the outer line of your lips, but without passing over it. Going over is like going overboard and the effect obtained will be very unnatural, unflattering and obvious.

The Wrong Arch

Another unappealing result caused by improper makeup application is related to the eyebrows. Enhancing and even changing the shape of the eyebrows with the help of makeup is a common practice nowadays. It’s essential to have them shaped by a professional. Because most women end-up with thin and “chipped” eyebrows, makeup has become a perfect solution; however, applying it correctly is essential. The mistakes women usually make when it comes to reshaping or emphasizing their eyebrows are going for a hue which looks unnatural or extending the eyebrows more than necessary, creating a droopy-eye, sad look.

Over Tweezing

“The brows are such a central and important feature on your face,” says Susmta. “And when they’re well groomed they can enhance your eyes and your entire look.” If yours are out of control, it’s worth the time and money to let a professional take tweezers to them. Get a referral from a friend in order to find someone you know will do a good job. The worst thing you or a pro can do is to take off too many brow hairs. “As we get older, the brows naturally become sparser, so if you tweeze your brows too thin, they might never fully grow back,” warns Susmta. If you follow your brows’ natural arch—but clean up the areas over, under and between brows—you’ll find the best shape. Visit a pro for a tune-up every few months and you should be able to keep them groomed on your own in between.

There’s No Pot of Gold at the End of That Rainbow

Wearing a rainbow of eye shadow shades at once. Just because your compact came with four or more colors packaged together doesn’t mean you have to paint them all onto your eyelids at once. In fact, Susmta Patel recommends using no more than three shades at a time—a medium shade on the lids, a lighter one to highlight the brow bone, and the darkest as a liner for the top and bottom lids. For a simpler, everyday application, you could skip the liner and just use a single light shade all over the lids up to the brows.

Tell us, what are your common makeup mistakes? Have a tip for us? Leave us a comment below! To learn about how to wear glitter correctly on your eyelids click here. 


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  1. To the author …

    No blue eyeshadow? Only 3 shades at a time, but with one as liner and one as highlight, that basically means only 1 eyeshadow … ?? What an incredibly boring way to live :/ I mean, if it’s your personal preference for yourself, then fine, but to advise everyone against those things … sort of seems like sucking all the fun out of makeup. Some of the most beautiful makeup looks I have ever seen used more than TEN eyeshadows, while others only used one, but the best part about all of them is that the wearer is comfortable taking risks or staying neutral, whichever they prefer …

    For example, is this really not beautiful in your opinion, since it took 7 eyeshadows to achieve the look? How about this look – am I just completely mistaken in my opinion that it’ seriously hot, just because it’s blue eyeshadow?

    It’s really surprising to me that the author is actually a makeup artist with these rules. If everyone lived by these recommendations, I’d have to unfollow a few hundred beauty blogs, or die of boredom.

  2. Not blending lip liner into lipstick.

  3. If I wanted to look natural, I wouldn’t wear makeup. I’m not insecure enough to think that looking ‘fabulous’ means covering up the alleged ‘flaws’ in my skin or appearance. Wearing “tons” of eyeshadow, though, achieves something that nature can’t, never will and probably shouldn’t. I absolutely refuse to spend ten to twenty minutes trying to look ‘natural’. I look natural on my own. Everyone looks natural.

    Bring on the blue shadow. Try and stop me from using five to ten shades at once. If you want to go natural, that’s your prerogative, but the fact is if I’m doing my makeup that day (and trust me, most days I don’t really bother) I’m going to go big, because honestly anything else, for me, would be beside the point since I’m beautiful on my own.

  4. Firstly, I have to ask, what was the point of bothering to link to Ms. Patel’s website if it is nothing more than a glorified business card? I expected at least some sort of portfolio; after all, what good is it for a band to create a website and not include any samples of their music?

    On to my purpose for commenting: these tips are severely outdated. No bold makeup, which eliminates the classic red lip? No blue eyeshadow, which can make a brown eye pop?

    Yet Ms. Patel dismisses the lighter shade in the quad to brownbone use, when a natural-looking brow highlight should be just a little lighter than your skintone/foundation and not necessarily from the eyeshadow set you’re using. I am baffled as to how a professional makeup artist could make such a rookie mistake.

    Yet Ms. Patel actually recommends tweezing/waxing the tops of the brows, which should, in actuality, be avoided because as we age, our eyebrows will make their way further down our faces. Leaving the tops alone allows us to give a gravity-defying illusion longer.

    Unfortunately, in the makeup world, “licensed” means little; anyone can witness professionals make basic mistakes time and time again, if they keep their eyes open.

    Until Ms. Patel can back up her advice with some actual proof that she’s worth her salt as a makeup artist, I won’t be giving these tips any further consideration.

  5. My biggest problem with the “beauty” industry, even as a cosmetologist, is that everyone feels that they’re opinion is the only option. When, in reality, beauty isn’t about standards. It’s about individuality. It’s about creating the version of you that you love to see, the one that makes you feel comfortable to claim as your own. Whether that be with tanning, hair color, extensions, waxing, perms, piercings, tattoos, plastic surgery, or makeup. And these options are open to anyone’s interpretation.

    And if my choice is to wear bold colors on my lips and eyes at the same time, and color my eyebrows purple to match my hair–that’s fine. Because personally, I would rather have fun with makeup than, as Vijaya said before, waste my time making it look like I’m not wearing any. That’s like painstakingly painting a blank canvas to look just like a blank canvas. It’s not for me. But I believe that you can do as you please, and that you are entitled to your opinion. Just don’t tell me not to do something because you wouldn’t.

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