Beauty

7 common makeup mistakes to avoid

©iStockphoto.com/Lise Gagne Author: Canadian Living Credits: ©iStockphoto.com/Lise Gagne

Beauty

7 common makeup mistakes to avoid

We've all succumbed to makeup mishaps, but luckily most beauty blunders can be corrected with just a small tweak or two. We asked Taylor Byers, a makeup artist based in Toronto and Miami, to share her secrets to conquering the most common makeup missteps. By using quality products, blending your makeup carefully and taking the time to match your foundation to your skin tone, you'll improve your overall look just in time for summer.

1. Use natural light to avoid mismatched foundation
Since interior lighting often distorts your skin tone (rendering your skin more sallow or pale than it actually is) Byers recommends using natural light to gauge how compatible a foundation is with your skin tone.

"Select a few colours that seem close to your skin tone. Put a stroke of each colour on your jawline, then go to a window or outside the store to check the colour in natural light," she advises. "The best colour will disappear on your face."

Using your jawline to test the foundation (rather than your wrist or the back of your hand) will help you match the colour more accurately – especially since when wearing makeup, your neck and face should appear monochromatic.

2. Don't overdo it with foundation
Using too much foundation will create a caked-on effect, so Byers recommends applying only a small amount. This is especially important in the summer when your skin should look -- and feel -- its most natural. "When putting on foundation, only use a quarter-sized amount," she says. "If that's not enough for your coverage, apply more only as needed."

And remember, foundation should never be applied to your entire face. "Always start with the smallest amount and add to the area," Byers advises. "And add it only where you need the most coverage." This is usually around your nose, on your chin and on any areas that need spot-coverage, for instance on blemishes or ruddy areas.

3. Don't use mascara over three months old
Old mascara can create messy, spidery lashes, so Byers recommends tossing out your old product and using a fresh tube after about three months to ensure a long, lustrous look. "After three months, mascara becomes clumpy and completely different than when you first got it, and it won't apply properly," she says. Plus, old mascara can also harbour bacteria.

To maximize your eyelashes, Byers recommends placing the mascara wand at the base of your lash line and wiggling it from side to side all the way to the ends of your lashes. Apply a maximum of three coats and wait for the mascara to dry between applications.

Page 1 of 2 -- Discover four more makeup mishaps you should avoid on page 2
4. Avoid harsh eye shadow lines
Your eye shadow should appear soft when applied -- no matter what look or technique you're hoping to achieve. "Blending is the key to applying most makeup," says Byers. "Eye shadow should blend like smoke. You shouldn't see the colour between the crease and the brow bone."

As with your blush brush, invest in a quality brush kit. The proper tools will ensure that your eye shadow flows. Overly defined lines can create a harsh look that works only on the runway -- or on reruns of "Dallas."

5. Don't let bold lips spoil your style
A bold, statement lip colour can overwhelm your daytime look, so during the day Byers suggests sticking with shades that are similar to your natural lip tone. "Choose a lip colour that's two shades darker than your natural lip colour," she advises. "That way, your lips will still look natural and appropriate for the office."

On top of that, keep in mind that your lip liner should appear non-existent. "Your liner is not supposed to be darker than your lips," Byers says. "It's supposed to define your lips, keep your lipstick on longer and keep lipstick from bleeding -- but you're not supposed to see it."

6. Keep eyeliner proportional to the shape and size of your eyes
When applying eyeliner, pay attention to the width of the line you apply. "My biggest issue with eyeliner is the thickness of it," says Byers. "Take your eye shape into consideration. If you have big eyelids, your eyeliner can be thicker, but with smaller eyes you need thin liner."

Overly thick eyeliner can make your eyes seem smaller or overshadowed by makeup, she explains. To avoid this, start by applying a thin line and increasing its width depending on the shape of your eyes.

7. Blend blush thoroughly to avoid streaky blush
To avoid streaky-looking blush, it's important to blend it well and apply it strategically. "When applying blush, smile and start from the apples of your cheeks," advises Byers. "Then extend the blush backward toward the ear and hairline region, remembering to blend the edges to avoid harsh lines."

In order to achieve the most natural-looking results, invest in a makeup brush that you'll use only for blending. "Use a brush with nothing on it, and use it in circular motions around your cheeks," says Byers.

Most makeup mishaps can be avoided with only a few minor fixes. Follow these guidelines and you'll keep your face looking naturally gorgeous and on-trend.

Want more insider beauty tips?
Check out our Fashion and Beauty blog.

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7 common makeup mistakes to avoid

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