10 Makeup Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Look (PHOTOS)

Lisa Fogarty | Jan 30, 2014 Beauty & Style

Learning how to properly apply makeup is like learning to live life: every year -- every day -- you figure out a few new tricks that make you realize how clueless you were before about it (but, you know, this is a good thing).

It's easy to feel wise about all-things beauty simply because you no longer plaster sparkly blue eyeshadow from eyelash to brow with the heavy hand you had in seventh grade. But there are probably a few cosmetics crimes you're continuing to commit every day without even realizing it. Here are 10 of the most common makeup missteps and how to correct them to make the most of your looks. 


Image via MunkeyGorfette/Flickr

  • Applying Blush in a Way That Makes You Look Like the Blush Monster


    Image via PinkMoose/Flickr

    Most of us use blush for the first time as teens, and it isn't likely we were aware of our face shape back then, so we kind of just applied color to wherever we suspected the "apple" of our cheeks existed. But applying blush the wrong way can make us look like our faces are sagging or on fire. Quick rule of thumb: if your face is round, apply blush beneath your cheekbones. If you have a square face, sweep color in a linear fashion from the side of your nose to your ear. Heart-shaped faces benefit from blush applied on the apple of the cheek and blended downward. And people with oval faces already know they're perfect and can do no wrong -- but when in doubt, apply blush onto the apples of cheeks and blend thoroughly. 

  • Heavily Lining Your Bottom Lid


    Image via MunkeyGorfette/Flickr

    A bit of smudgy eyeliner under the eye can look smoldering and sexy. But if you overdo it or neglect to balance it by also applying liner to the top of your eyelid, you risk looking drawn, tired, and older than your years. 

  • Skipping Eyebrow Pencil or Powder


    Image via vidalia_11/Flickr

    As one of the most important features on your face, your eyebrows can make or break your look. Most of us aren't blessed with perfect brows -- and that's okay -- because there are a host of pencils and powders out there that can easily, naturally fill in any sparse sections so that your brows appear fuller and more dense. Choose a product that is only one or two shades darker than your brows and don't forget to blend with an eyebrow brush. 

  • Applying Mascara Outward


    Image via Laura Tourette's/Flickr

    In order to achieve an exotic cat's eye look, many of us sweep mascara onto our lashes and push them sideways. As a result, we ignore our inner lashes, and in doing so, fail to properly open up our eye. Focus on inner lashes as well by brushing them upwards with your mascara wand -- then sweep your side lashes outward and sideways.

  • Thinking Your Bronzer Has Everyone Fooled


    Image via Zawezome/Flickr

    Unless you're attending a Jersey Shore theme party, bronzer should never be applied to the entire face. You risk looking completely unnatural. Instead of scattering your brush all over, lightly swipe the golden color on your jawline, cheeks, and hairline, and then blend like the dickens.

  • Choosing the Wrong Color Concealer -- and Not Blending in Daylight


    Image via Orin Zebest/Flickr

    On most days, concealer will be your best friend. As long as you stick to a shade that is 1-2 hues lighter than your skin, it can effectively cover up dark circles and spots without making your skin look unnaturally pale. Always check your face in daylight to make sure you've blended properly so the makeup doesn't get "stuck" in your eye crease. 

  • Using Foundation To Change Your Skin Color


    Image via Pumpkincat210/Flickr

    Whether you long to be as pale as a vampire or wish to look like you just spent a week in Hawaii, foundation should NOT be used as a way to change the tone of your skin. Foundation is a great tool to use to even out the skin tone you've already been blessed with, so choose a shade that matches your complexion.

  • Going Overboard With the Highlighter Pen


    Image via Photosteve101/Flickr

    Face highlighters have become super popular, but it's key to remember that a little bit in the right spots goes a long way. To achieve a dewy look that isn't shiny, apply in small drops to the cheekbones, temples, and Cupid's bow. Then blend, blend, blend!

  • Lining Your Lips With a Dark Pencil


    Image via missbrendatoyou/Flickr

    At some point in the 1990s, we were told that lining our lips with a dark pencil would make for a more pillowy pout. But unless you blend that color into your entire lip area and follow up with a clear gloss or lip color, you're going to look much older -- and totally dated. 

  • Taking Trends Too Far


    Image via Pumkincat201/Flickr

    Makeup trends that look amazing on the runway -- creative sweeps of eyeliner, chartreuse shadow -- don't always translate to real life. And while it's one thing to appreciate the craftsmanship that pros put into their work, it's quite another to roll into your Monday morning meeting rocking glittery false lashes. Carefully pick and choose the out-there makeup trends you're willing to try and be sure they fit your environment. 

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