It happens to the best of us. We spend some quality time primping in the mirror making ourselves look even more fabulous, hit the nighttime scene think we are IT, and then the next day we cringe at the photos tagged of us on Facebook. We look horrible! How could this have happened? Thankfully, we’ve got you covered with a list of five major ones you need to avoid.
1) Mismatched foundation. Knowing your undertones is half the battle when it comes to matching foundation. One way is to look at your veins—if you see green, you likely have warm undertones; blue, you likely have cool undertones. Not sure? Go to a makeup counter and pick three shades that look close. It’s best to go out in daylight to get a good read. Apply them all to the jawline. The one that disappears into the skin is your match.
But what if you’re a woman of color and the perimeter of your face is darker than the center? It’s best to use two different colors (one to match each area) in this case as one blanket color can look unnatural. You can also warm up the face and add dimension with blush and bronzer.
Women of all skin tones should be careful with foundations and moisturizers containing SPF when having your photo taken. Titanium dioxide, an active ingredient found in many sunscreens, has a tendency to look ghostly once the flash hits.
2) Not blending your shadow. Want to look harsh and unnatural in no time flat? Then don’t blend your eye shadow. Eye makeup looks are meant to look seamless, not like a geometric shape. Grab an eye makeup brush with densely packed bristles (the head will look something like a Q-tip only with bristles) and blend in a quick, circular motion especially where two colors meet and in a back-and-forth windshield wiper motion for the crease.
3) Spider and/or giraffe lashes. There’s a bad lash epidemic plaguing the makeup scene mostly thanks to the number of nail salons offering fake lash applications. While dramatic lashes aren’t always a bad thing, they do require you to wear makeup to properly pull them off. Avoid having clumpy, spider lashes by using a clean mascara wand to brush through the lashes and separate them.
4) Too much bronzer. Sure, the Jersey Shore cast may be in their fourth season, but the orange tan look just won’t catch on (thank goodness). Bronzer is best worn on areas where the sun naturally hits: the temples, the center of the forehead, the hollows of the cheeks, the tip of the chin, and the jawline. Go no more than two shades darker than your skin tone for the most natural look. Makeup brand Guerlain has a range of bronzers available in shades for fair to deep skin tones. $49 at Sephora.com.
5) Overdrawn brows. Your brows help frame the eye and the face. A well-groomed one can make you look youthful and rested. One that’s overdrawn (or barely there at all) can age you. When filling in the brows, use soft, hair-like strokes. Go no further than a pencil’s length from the edge of your nose to the inner brow and the same pencil’s length from to find where the end of the brow should be.
Danielle Gray is a New York City freelance writer, Image Consultant, Makeup Artist, and editor-in-chief of The Style and Beauty Doctor. This Hofstra University and Fashion Institute of Technology grad has a penchant for pretty. Think of her as your style and beauty entourage all wrapped up into one bubbly package.