In honor of “Make-Up Monday,” let’s stop for a moment to reflect on our poor beauty choices (hopefully) of the past. I remember buying my first eye shadow palette: I was in seventh grade and my young heart truly believed that there could be nothing more beautiful than my iridescent purple lids hidden, somewhat fortunately, behind my over-sized tortoise-frame glasses. This was the first of many beauty blunders for me, ranging from too-thick liner all the way to too-thin brows. I even fell victim to the dark lip liner/ light lipstick trend. Woof.[caption id="attachment_2346" align="aligncenter" width="350"] Never again.[/caption]
In retrospect, I can easily see the err of my cosmetic ways; however, certain make-up mistakes can still creep onto my face and leave me looking as silly as that hopeless seventh-grader in the above paragraph. Below you’ll find my list of the most common make-up mistakes and tips to avoid them.
Disclaimer: I am not a professional make-up artist. Nor do I claim to know what colors or products work best for your skin tone or face shape. These suggestions are merely that, operating under the pretense of classic beauty and common sense.
1) The Crime: Over-tweezing
Remember that dorky seventh-grader I was just referencing? Well perched perfectly above those sparkly purple eyelids was one quite substantial eyebrow. That’s right: just one. My eyebrows were so out of control that they rebelled against my face, joining forces to create an ungodly unibrow that I soon learned to keep at bay through over-zealous plucking and the occasional wax.[caption id="attachment_2347" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Left: Darcy's totally normal eyebrows; Right: two furry caterpillars living on my face[/caption]
By the time I reached high school, my brows were so thin they looked sickly. Stick-thin eyebrows not only make your face look bigger, but they also make it look like you let your friend from beauty school practice waxing on you.[caption id="attachment_2355" align="aligncenter" width="525"] Though blurry, this photo captures my over-plucked brows perfectly.[/caption]
The fix: Put down the tweezers. Allow your brows to fill in on their own terms. While this can be tough, using a filler (such as an eyebrow pencil) can make the transition easier. More and more female celebrities are returning to the full-browed look of such icons as Brooke Shields or Kathy Ireland. Let your brows serve as a strong frame for your face as they are a major source of emotional expression.[caption id="attachment_2356" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Brows that wow on the lovely Brooke S.[/caption]
2) The Crime: The Corner-to-Corner Eyeliner
We’ve all done it: slicking eyeliner all the way along the bottom lid and then all the way around the top lid. You think, If my eyeliner looks this good on just the top lid, it will surely look twice as good completely encircling my eye! While this is not necessarily among the most grave beauty missteps, it is a sure-fire way to make your eyes look smaller. Plus that much liner can get smudgey and messy as the day/ night wears on.[caption id="attachment_2348" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Plus you'll eventually reach the point at which everyone assumes you're a witch.[/caption]
The fix: Pick a lid. Just one. Lining only the top lid (or even just the outer corners of the top) can create the illusion of larger eyes, especially when paired with simple shadows and some jet-black mascara. Or line only the bottom, which can create a doe-eyed look with just the swish of an eye pencil.[caption id="attachment_2349" align="aligncenter" width="480"] Top liner only: looks fresh, pretty, and feminine.[/caption]
3) The Crime: The Dreaded Orange Line[caption id="attachment_2352" align="aligncenter" width="470"] The world should not be able to tell where your face ends and your makeup begins.[/caption]
This one needs no cutesy introduction. If no one’s ever told you that you needed to better blend your foundation/ powder, then either A) you have really kind friends, or B) you don’t wear make-up. I see it all the time on my younger female students: hours of cosmetic effort made futile because of the glaring orange boundary at the jaw-line, the visual threshold between make-up and skin that shatters the illusion of that “natural look.”
The fix: I know not everyone can afford to go to the department store or to Sephora to be carefully counseled on correct foundation shades. The good news for you frugal femmes is that most drugstores (Walgreen’s, for example) will exchange any beauty products that you buy but then find aren’t right for you. With that being said: there is no longer an excuse for poorly matched make-up! Unless of course it’s a blending issue, which belongs in another article entirely.
4) The Crime: Making Every Feature ‘Pop’[caption id="attachment_2354" align="aligncenter" width="465"] Trust me: sometimes less is so so SO much more.[/caption]
The irony here is, of course, that if every feature on your face is being forced to pop, then none of your features are going to pop! I know you luvvies have seen this one: cruelly known as the “clown face,” this make-up faux pas occurs when the eyes, cheeks, and lips are all dramatically made-up. Unless you are about to star in a stage production, this level of beautifications borders on war paint and not only looks contrived, but is most likely bad for your skin.
The fix: Just like everything else is life, make-up works best in moderation. Each day, pick a feature to “play up” and work that one feature like there’s no tomorrow. Pair a smoky eye with a nude lip, or do a subtle natural eye if you feel like rocking that red lip. This will create a balanced look that will allow the focus facial feature to legitimately pop.[caption id="attachment_2345" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Try this look: easy, natural colors on the eyes paired with a punchy orange lip. Brilliant balance![/caption]
5) The Crime: Glitter Abuse
Part of me, so very like my 13-year-old self, still loves a sparkly eye shadow. I also love shimmery bronzers and glittery lip glosses. The mistake occurs when all three products are worn at once, thus creating a make-up look that only belongs in some fantasy-themed photo shoot or perhaps atop your Tinkerbell Halloween costume. Being summer, it can be difficult to resist the urge to try and create a “glowing summer look;” poorly executed however, this can quickly turn into a hot mess.[caption id="attachment_2353" align="aligncenter" width="580"] If you're channeling Ke$ha at your vanity, you may be beyond help.[/caption]
The fix: Much like our rule from Crime #4, shimmery cosmetics must be used very sparingly. While dull skin is never desirable, you can find affordable foundations (or even BB creams or tinted moisturizers) that contain soft light-reflecting agents that give skin that dewy look. Beyond this, focus your glitter-lust on one feature only. Considering the recent popularity of matte lipsticks and eye shadows, finding ways to accent your look with say, a little shimmer under the eyebrow bone, or perhaps a nice golden bronzer, has never been easier.
Best of luck, my luvvies! Share your best makeup tips with us on twitter and instagram: @hello_luvvy!