5 Everyday Makeup Mistakes to Avoid (And What to Do Instead)

Makeup is a wonderful beauty aid. Not only is it fun (hello, Sephora!) but when applied correctly, it can truly enhance our features. On the flipside, done incorrectly, it can be…well, a disaster. There is a big difference between runway/theatrical makeup and everyday makeup. When it comes to daily makeup (despite what some red carpet and runway looks may indicate) less really is more! Heavy makeup is  necessary for a photo/film shoot or stage performance where the lighting often washes people out and requires heavier application. However, in our everyday lives heavy makeup actually ages you and covers up your natural beauty. Here are 5 everyday makeup mistakes to avoid.

Heavy Foundation & Powder


Even if you have less than perfect skin or acne, it’s best to spot cover with concealer and use a light hand of foundation or bb cream. Additionally only powder the areas where you may get oily. Let as much as your natural skintone shine through.


What do do instead: Spot conceal blemishes, dark circles and discoloration with a perfectly matched concealer. Allow to set. Next, using a foundation brush apply bb cream or a natural coverage foundation to areas with discoloration and gently blend. Next, check previously concealed areas and reapply concealer where necessary. Last, apply a light stroke of oil absorbing translucent powder such as MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Microfinish Powder over areas prone to oiliness.

Over Contouring


Too Faced Bronzed and Beautiful palette, $38

Eek. We’re not sure why heavy contouring is so popular right now. Again, we understand this for photoshoots and film but heavy contouring as an everyday makeup look appears very mask-like and actually magnifies every pore, wrinkle and imperfection by adding too many layers of makeup.

What to do instead: Use a natural tone bronzer, such as Too Faced Bronzed and Beautiful palette (right). With a light hand, apply bronzer on the cheekbones, sides of nose and jawline for a naturally contoured look.

Overdrawn Eyebrows

Even though this works on the runways, in person, it's too much.

Thick, lush eyebrows are really in style right now and we understand everyone wants to achieve the look. While a heavily drawn eyebrow may work on the runway (as pictured above), in person it’s just too much. We weren’t all blessed with super thick Audrey Hepburn-esque eyebrows, but there is a way to get thicker looking eyebrows without filling in too much.

Anastasia Brow Wiz Pencil, $22

What to do instead: It’s better to work with your natural brow/eye shape and thickness than try to copy someone who has a different eye shape and eyebrow shape than you. The latest popular thick and straight brow may not work on someone who has smaller, closer set eyes, so it’s important to take in account your own eye shape despite what’s trendy. Next, select a thin tipped pencil that is one shade lighter than your natural brow color such as Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Brow Wiz pencil. Using a light hand draw tiny hair like strokes, staying within the natural shape/thickness of your eyebrows. Leave small gaps between stokes to mimic real hair. A thinner brow that is within your natural shape/thickness is more flattering than a big thick over-filled brow.  Eyebrows should not be completely filled in -this is what causes an unnatural look.

Also, if you’re looking to grow thicker eyebrows and lashes and want advice on shaping your brows, be sure to check out our guides:

The Best Products For Getting Thicker, Longer Eyelashes & Eyebrows

Red Carpet Ready: A Simplified Guide to Perfect Eyebrows

Overdrawn Lips

dark lip liner 2

Lipliner can be a good and bad product when it comes to natural, fuller looking lips. First, skip using a darker lipliner with a lighter lip color. This technique is unpopular for a reason -it’s simply not flattering. Next, be careful not to overdraw lips. While you should enhance your cupid’s bow, don’t draw far outside your mouth shape otherwise it will start to look clown-like.

What to do instead: To best enhance your lips naturally use a lipliner color that is most similar to your natural lip color. Line just a tad outside the lipline. Finish with a lipstain or a touch of colored gloss.

White Eyeshadow & White Eyeliner


No offense, but we sorta loathe white eye shadow, white eyeliner and all the guides that recommend it for everyday use. White eye shadow and eyeliner as a highlighter is an unflattering makeup myth that we wish would go away. While it works when applied by a pro for runways and photo shoots, in person we’ve never seen it look natural. If you’re fair skinned it makes you look sickly and if you’re darker toned, the contrast is too extreme for everyday wear and can make your eyelashes look flaky.  Worse, both can actually make you look more tired!

What to do instead: Use a shimmery nude color instead, such as CARENminerals Eyeshadow Sheen in ‘Naturally Nude and skin toned eyeliner such as Rimmel Scandal Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner in Nude. A more neutral color will give you the highlight without the ghastly white color.



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Desiree Rabuse

Desiree Rabuse is a social entrepreneur and founder & CEO of StyleFox®. She's a devout bookworm, a fan of "Dad" jokes, and an apparent INTP. She loves snowboarding, philosophy, traveling, martial arts, coffee, and helping people lead healthy, happy, more efficient lives.

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