Beauty advice: Top 10 makeup mistakes and how to avoid them

This article talks about the 10 worst makeup mistakes and how to avoid them. It also gives some tips on proper application and choosing good colors.

Women making beauty blunders — they’re everywhere. Some are unintentional, some are distressingly deliberate, some are just pathetic ignorance. Whatever the reason, a woman can avoid some common blunders with a little careful thought and an open mind toward new techniques and colors.

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Beauty advice: Top 10 makeup mistakes and how to avoid them

1. Wrong base color. Bad foundation is just that — and it makes all the rest of the makeup look awful. A woman should not purchase base that makes her look more tanned, more pink, or “more” anything. Base should closely match the woman’s natural skin tone. Anything else is just wrong, and the rest of the makeup will suffer because of it. Try base on in natural light, if possible, and get a second opinion on it.

2. Too much base/powder. Here’s another very bad idea. Some women think that, the more foundation they spackle on, the more powder they coat their faces with, the better. Not true. Heavy base and/or powder makes a woman of mature years look like a hag and a young woman look like a hooker. A woman should strive for a look that flatters her complexion and skin tone, with as natural a look as possible. An inch of base doesn’t fool anyone — sorry.

3. Wrong kind of base for skin. This will correct itself with trial and error, but some women do better with a liquid base, some with a stick or crème. A younger woman should go with a liquid, with light coverage, and formulated for her skin type. Older women should look for a base that moisturizes their skin. The result is a fresher-looking face, not a shiny, oily one, nor yet a flaky one.

4. Base not blended well. This is the last of the base blunders. We’ve all seen women who had a little, defined line around their chins and jawlines where the base ended. This is most unattractive. It can be remedied by using a make-up sponge to blend the lines into the skin at these crucial points, and then lightly powder over them.

5. Poorly applied/wrong color blusher. Blush should be subtle in both color and application. It should add what seem to be natural roses to the cheeks. Bright fuchsia blush is not attractive on anyone. It is even less attractive when it looks like it was rolled on with a paint roller and gives the distinct impression of a tire track. Blush borders should be blended well and in an attractive color.

6. Bad eyeshadow. This covers both color and application. For an evening out, or a gala party, more dramatic eyeshadow is acceptable. However, for everyday wear, the same rule applies as for blush — suitable colors, well-blended. Eyeshadow should not be the first thing a person notices about a woman, and when it is over-applied, it is hideous. It should be applied to enhance the eyes — not detract from them. A darker shade on the lids and lighter in the brow area is still acceptable, and the shade should roughly match what the woman is wearing. If she is wearing a bright red, say, then a brown or russet shade is good, matched with a neutral beige. Plum and gray are good, when warmed up with a pink or cream highlight. But a woman should always think about what enhances the appearance, and frosted blue or green eyeshadow is rarely the path to take. This is when an associate at the cosmetics counter is so helpful. They can apply eyeshadow with skill and taste, and can show the woman how to do it, as well.

7. Bad eyeliner. Eyes that look like they’ve been lined in permanent marker are not attractive. They take on a bruised look. Eyeliner should, again, enhance the eyes, draw attention to their color, not hide them. Most women should shoot for a charcoal, smoky brown or brown-black liner. If not too heavily applied, a navy liner can be attractive on a younger woman, but she should take care that she does not apply it too generously. Ideally, eyeliner should start at the outward corners of the eye and go about halfway across. This opens up the eyes. Colored eyeliner is all right for teens, but women over 21 should stay away from it. Eyeliner should also be smudged, not stark lines. Defined lines make a woman’s eyes look older. Save the Mata Hari look for Halloween.

8. Bad mascara. Does anyone need reminding about how awful bad mascara looks? Remember Tammy Faye Bakker? Mascara should emphasize and lengthen the lashes. It is a boon for blondes and redheads who have lighter lashes that are mostly invisible. These women do best with a brown or brown-black shade. Black is too stark and gray will make their whole face look gray, as well. Brunettes can wear black mascara, but should apply it carefully. Again, we’re not talking spackle and putty here. False eyelashes are more attractive than those glooped with mascara in an effort to make them appear long. Here is another caveat. Many women are allergic to mascara. If this is the case, and her eyelashes are not light-colored, a touch of petroleum jelly on her lashes will lengthen them without risking mascara. Heavy mascara is ugly. It is not merely unattractive — it is ugly. It may be the most criminal beauty blunder of all.

9. Dark lip liner. Eeewww. A dark lip liner with lighter lipstick is just awful. It looks like a mistake. Lip liner can hide a multitude of sins. A woman can draw a “bow” on her upper lip, can more precisely define her lips, widen a narrow mouth and narrow a wide mouth with it. It also helps lipstick stay on better without feathering. Lip liner should either match a woman’s lip color, be in a neutral shade, or should closely match the lipstick color. This will allow the woman to use the special effects liner can create without going overboard.

10. Bad lipstick. This means color and application. Lipstick should be in a color family that is flattering to the woman. Most women can wear kiss-me red, but they need to wear it in the right family of reds. Some reds have blue undertones, some tend toward the brown or orange. Lipstick, especially for evening, can be more dramatic, and lipstick pulls a woman’s whole “look” together. She can stay with basically the same blush, base and eyeliner colors, but completely change the look with a different lipstick. Lipsticks can be more trendy, even on older women, but should always be applied with an eye toward what is flattering. Most lipstick looks best with a dewy hint. It need not be a heavy frost, but completely matte lipstick gives a mannequin appearance. It should also be in a pink, coral, plum, red or rose family. Violet, bluish or greenish lipstick makes a woman look like either a vampire or a corpse. Lipstick can also change with what a woman is wearing, and with the season, as well. Pinks and corals are great for spring and summer, while plums and browns work well in cooler months and roses are good year-round.

If a woman is uncertain about how her makeup looks, she should go to a trusted friend and insist on the truth, or go to a department store for a makeover. Cosmetic associates have a vested interest in making the customer look good. An unhappy customer won’t buy anything. The woman should tell the associate she has a free hand, and that the customer wants a fresh, attractive, age-appropriate look. Makeup felonies usually come down to women trying to look younger, and doing everything wrong to achieve it. Fresh colors, making up to enhance, not hide, and applying with a light hand are the keys to a great face, every time.

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