Wouldn't it be great if your makeup always looked like a professional applied it? At Sephora's Backstage Beauty Show, top makeup artists shared what they think are the most common mistakes women make when applying makeup and -- more importantly -- how to avoid them.
Creating a foundation mask
"Choosing the right foundation is really critical, because if you make a mistake there, everything else is thrown off balance," says makeup artist Sue Devitt. "So choosing the right shade and the right formulation, making sure that you look for something that gives you perfectly flawless skin -- critical."
Visit a cosmetics counter, where an expert can show you the best formula for your skin type and lifestyle. For example, stick foundations may be great for your purse, but they also tend to be oilier. Also, try to use the sheerest formula possible. "The whole goal of foundation is to make your skin look like skin," says Stila creator Jeanine Lobell.
Applying too much makeup
Before piling on all the makeup, take a moment to see what's necessary. "It shouldn't scream 'makeup,'" says Paula Dorf. "Your natural beauty should really show through."
Dany Sanz, creator of Make Up For Ever, adds, "[People] buy a lot of products, they use a lot of colour, but they don't really check, 'what I need exactly.'" In fact, if you're healthy and well-rested, you may not need much makeup. If you do, use a light touch. Says Sanz, "With two or three products you can do a lot."
Breaking from the rules
Makeup artist Vincent Longo says the easiest way to avoid using too much is to follow this simple routine: foundation, concealer, powder, eyes, mouth and cheeks.
Start with foundation and then step back and take a look at yourself in the mirror. "If you need a little concealer, you dab exactly in the spot that you need the concealer. Blend that with the foundation, and then go ahead and powder," he says. After doing your eyes and mouth, look in the mirror again, "and chances are you don't need a lot of blush."
Leaving severe lines
Makeup isn't paint-by-numbers. Nars makeup artist Miriam Azoulay especially dislikes a harsh lip line. "When it's a different colour, it doesn't work," she says. Instead, choose a neutral colour, make a soft line and then fill in your lips.
Devitt says about eyes: "I've made a foolproof, mistake-proof eye intensifier pencil because that sharp line is so unflattering." Her eyeliner comes with a built-in blending tip, but you can also use a Q-Tip or your finger to smudge the line for a sexy, smouldering look.
Neglecting your appearance
By following the above suggestions, your makeup should last the day. But it's important to remember that it will smear and flake despite your best efforts. "If you're going to wear a lot of makeup, you have to check it, make sure it looks good," says Sephora makeup artist Charlie Green. No one is saying you have to look in a mirror every five minutes. But if you've been sweating, crying or eating, chances are you need a touch-up.
The most important thing to remember when applying makeup is to have fun! If you're not happy with the result, just wash it off. Says Green, "Look after your skin and smile -- that's better than wearing makeup."
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