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Makeup Mistakes

This past winter, my skin took a beating. It was dry, flaky, dull, and all around uneven. My regular skincare go-tos just weren’t cutting it, and the makeup I put on to hide it all ended up exacerbating the problems. Turns out, I wasn’t “prepping” my skin properly for cosmetics, AND I was using the wrong type of foundation. Once I figured out the solution, I began to wonder what other makeup mistakes I had been making, and how were those mistakes affecting my skin. From the wrong foundation to unflattering lipsticks shades, here are the most common errors I’ve found that may be perpetuating your skin issues, and how to correct them.

You need more than moisturizer. Makeup can settle into fine lines and make wrinkles and blemishes look worse. To stop this mistake before it starts, soften and hide fine lines with a blurring formula, then create a “shield” for your skin with primer. Yes, that’s three steps before you begin to apply your makeup — moisturize, blur, then prime. But, the more care you take with prepping your skin, the less foundation you’ll need and the longer it will hold up through the day. There are a ton of primers out there, but I’ve found for my combination skin that good old Aloe Vera gel works just as well as expensive silicone-based primers. As for blurring lotions, L’Oreal Revitalift Miracle Blur Finishing Cream is a solid pick for all skin types. Or, you can simplify with a BOGO product like Maybelline’s Master Primer and Blur in one!

Once you’ve “set” your face, you don’t want to undo all that prep with the wrong foundation. The right type of foundation depends on your age, time of year, and skin type. Younger women who may be prone to oily skin should utilize powder makeup, like Bare Minerals. Women with combination skin may have to use a blend of powder and cream-based products. For my combo skin, I use BB Cream in my T-zone and a translucent powder overall. Mature skin that is prone to dehydration will want to look for liquid makeup with built-in moisturizer that won’t accentuate fine lines. Of course, as the weather changes, so will your makeup. During high summer, you may be in the market for matte formulas to combat shine, while in the fall and winter you’ll want a hydrating foundation to help keep your skin bright and dewy. Regardless of the type of makeup that best suits you, always opt for products with SPF to protect your face from sun damage no matter the season.

Of course, just because you have the “right” foundation, you may run into problems when applying it. Using your fingertips can be quite messy and create uneven coverage. Foundation brushes can be difficult to use and can cause streaking. Your best bet is to use a damp makeup sponge to pat on your foundation. Start with a light application and add more if you feel you need it. For blemishes and under eye circles, stay away from the “hands-on” approach and use a short-bristle concealer brush. Stipple, or dab, concealer (that should be the same shade as your foundation, anything lighter will highlight not hide) to buff out imperfections.

For the rest of your face — eyes, checks, lips — consider switching up your standard products every so often to freshen up your everyday look. For example, swap your black eyeliner for navy or gunmetal gray. It won’t look that much different, but it can make the whites of your eyes pop. Also, non-black eyeliner will appear less heavy. If you’re on the pale side and have any red tint to your hair, try a brown liner and mascara. Blushes are seasonal products. Keep your darker and deeper shades for the winter and wear your pinks and peaches during the warmer months. To avoid the appearance of thin lips, stay clear of deep shades of lipstick. Choose rosy pinks and raspberry hues instead, for a fuller, youthful flush.

Lastly, keep hydrating throughout the day. Makeup has a way of drying out your skin, which can, in turn, accentuate pores and highlight fine lines and blemishes. Use a two-prong approach to avoid this mistake by drinking the recommended 6-8 glasses of water a day (which is good for your overall health) and by keeping a face mist on hand for a midday refresh. Mario Badescu’s Facial Spray with Aloe is an affordable choice and comes in fun “flavors” like Cucumber and Green Tea, or Chamomile and Lavender. A spritz or two throughout the day will keep your face looking fresh and your makeup from settling and clogging your pores.

Of course, you may not be making any of these mistakes, so kudos to you. But, consider switching up products every so often to avoid falling into a cosmetic rut. And, if you find a foundation, moisturizer, or lipstick just isn’t working for you, stop using it. Don’t settle for subpar results — you deserve better!

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