We asked Tracy Peart, Toronto-based beauty veteran and resident Citytv makeup artist, how to kick these seven beauty blunders.
1. Sleeping with makeup on
Neglecting to remove your makeup before bedtime is a big beauty no-no. "It clogs your pores and can cause acne breakouts," she says. Plus, if you do it repeatedly, your skin can look dull over time due to product buildup.
To rectify this bad habit, Peart recommends that you hit the bathroom sink the moment you arrive home for the night, before you get too sleepy.
"If you still can't manage that, keep makeup remover wipes or even unscented baby wipes on your nightstand so you can do a quick wipe-off before you hit the sheets," she advises.
2. Using dirty makeup brushes
Think about all of the surfaces your makeup brushes come in contact with: your face, your bathroom countertop and the inside of your makeup bag, to name just a few. Given that makeup brushes see a lot of places, they need to be cleaned regularly to prevent them from becoming bacteria magnets.
"Eventually, if you continue to use the dirty brushes, they will irritate your skin and cause itching and burning eyes," says Peart. Using dirty brushes also impacts the look of your makeup: "The application won't be as flawless. Dirty brushes make for streaky application," she says.
Peart recommends cleaning your brushes once per week. "Wash them with water and liquid dish soap or shampoo once a week and lay them flat to dry," she says. Proper brush care will also extend the lifespan of your brushes, saving you money since you won't have to replace them as often.
Page 1 of 3 -- Find out why over-tweezing your brows and not applying eyeliner the right way are bad beauty habits to kick on page 2
3. Over-tweezing your brows
Brow maintenance is key to looking groomed and polished, but some women get carried away and pluck until they're left with tadpole-like brows. "Many women start plucking and don't know when to stop. They always think that ‘just one more' and they'll be perfect," says Peart.
This is not the case. Too much tweezing can completely change the look of your face. "If your brows are too thin, they can make your face look bigger and, most importantly, they can make you appear older than you are. Thicker eyebrows are much more youthful looking," she says.
To get a nice shape for your brows, try not to get too close to the mirror. "If you get too up-close-and-personal it's very easy to lose perspective of how much hair you're removing," says Peart.
To get the full picture, Peart recommends taking a few steps back from the mirror, and switching back and forth between brows so both your right and left brow get equal attention.
4. Improperly applying eyeliner
Peart says that many women make the mistake of pulling their delicate eyelids too taut when drawing on eyeliner. "Stretching the eyelid is bad because it causes fine lines and wrinkles, and can cause injury to the very thin skin around the eye," she says.
Instead, Peart suggests trying this simple technique: "Keep your eyelid closed and relaxed when drawing on your liner," says Peart. "Don't draw one continuous line; do short, even strokes all the way across the lid to get the most natural-looking line."
5. Touching your face
Touching your face throughout the day is something that most women do subconsciously, without even realizing it.
According to Peart: "Consistently touching your face encourages the transfer of dirt and oils from your fingertips onto your skin, which can clog your pores and cause breakouts." She finds that wearing makeup does the trick. "Wearing makeup keeps me from touching my face because I don't want to smudge or make a mess of a fresh application," she says.
Page 2 of 3 -- Learn why it's time to toss out old makeup on page 3
6. Picking at blemishes
Blemishes are never flattering, but if squeezed, they can look even worse and leave permanent scars. Resist the urge to pick, and if you must get rid of a blemish, visit a professional esthetician who can gently extract whiteheads or blackheads.
"There is a specific way to take care of blemishes that deters scarring," Peart says. "Have a professional esthetician draw the impurities out of the blemish."
7. Using old makeup
Like most household items, makeup expires. Once the package is opened, makeup products become more susceptible to contamination, and can collect bacteria.
"These germs will not only cause blemishes and skin irritations, but if you apply old makeup around the eye area, they can cause eye infections," Peart says. Mascaras should be replaced every three to four months; foundations and lip products last around a year, and powder eye shadows and blushes can last up to two years.
A good idea is to mark the date you opened it somewhere on the product – place a sticker on the bottom of the product, for instance – so you can keep tabs on how old it is. And remember: Never share your makeup with anyone. It's just asking for cross-contamination and a host of skin troubles.
With just a few tweaks to your existing routine, you can nip any bad beauty behaviours in the bud, and be on your way to a safer and healthier beauty regimen in no time.
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