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The 5 Worst Makeup Mistakes (& How to Avoid Them)

When it comes to figuring out your day-to-day beauty routine, experimentation with cosmetics is key. When you’re perfecting your look, however, there are sometimes beauty blunders along the road. Abide by HC’s beauty guidelines to avoid these common makeup mishaps!

The Foundation Line

The first thing to remember when applying makeup is that laying the right foundation will make OR break your look. With that said, making sure your skin tone is even, matching and natural-looking is vital before even thinking about applying any other cosmetics.

If you’ve ever encountered the dreaded “foundation line,” we feel your pain. Somewhere between choosing a shade of face makeup and applying the product, a mistake happens that you carry around all day long.

Actress Jennifer Freeman of My Wife and Kidsknows a thing or two about makeup tips and tricks after spending hours on end in hair and makeup for acting gigs. To combat the foundation line, Jennifer says, “apply bronzer around your forehead and hairline — it slims your face and hides the weird line.”

Another way to avoid this beauty mishap is by shopping for foundations that are specifically formulated to match your skin tone, When applying the makeup, be sure to thoroughly blend it on your face and down your neck as well, creating a seamless look with no dark spots around your jaw line.

When testing foundations, the one tried and true way to tell if an obvious makeup line will occur is by seeing how the shade suits your skin in daylight. “The color is correct if it disappears without blending,” says Glamour beauty guru Pat McGrath.

Avoid ‘Raccoon Eyes’

Eye makeup is vital, but should be applied correctly and used sparingly. For example, you don’t want to end up wearing so much eyeliner it looks like you have two black holes instead of eyes.

Beauty expert Vincent Longo concurs that the easiest way to make a mistake creating dark sockets for eyes is by going overboard with eyeliner. “The most dreadful mistake I see on women is when the base of the lower eyelashes is traced with a thick eyeliner pencil — and not blended in,” Longo says.

“I have this liquid eyeliner that I love from Stila,” Freeman says. “It’s like a pen that applies a very thin line. In the daytime I like to wear dark brown instead of black so it doesn’t look like ‘too much’.”

Stick to lining your eyes with a soft black or dark brown shade of eyeliner. Use the liner sparingly, lining only the top eyelid and lower lash line, skipping the water line on the inside of the eye.

Too-Matchy Eye shadow

Another common beauty mistake that collegiettes make when applying eye makeup is matching their eye shadow to the clothes they’re rocking that day. According to professional makeup artist Pati Dubroff, there is a fine line between tacky matching and what she likes to call color “harmony.” Wearing an all-blue dress complete with blue eye shadow and sapphire liner is undoubtedly a little overkill.

According to Dubroff, harmony is wearing “eye shadow colors that complement the eyes as well as the clothes. If you’re picking up a color from your turquoise sweater, be sure that it’s just a touch along the lash line.”

No matter what colors you are experimenting with eye shadow-wise, moderation and harmony are the most important guidelines to abide by.


Lipstick: Entering the Red Zone

When it comes to rocking red lipstick, collegiettes often find themselves walking the fine line between sporting a sexy smile or a sanguine sneer. To avoid looking clown-esque with your ruby red pucker, take the time to find the perfect red shade for your skin tone.

One of the worst and most common mishaps while wearing red lipstick is over-applying other cosmetics, leaving your face looking like a colorful mess.

“Red lipstick is tricky, so everything else should be as simple as possible,” Freeman says. “No eyeliner, just mascara — and maybe a little bronzer. Keep a clean-face look or else it can start to look like costume makeup.”

Just Brows-ing

Often overlooked, we tend to forget about our brows during the daily preening and makeup applying process. However, unkempt, or wiry brows can bring ruin to an otherwise polished face. Think of your brows as the topper to your entire makeup look!

Collegiettes often over-pluck their brows in attempts to create a streamlined, sleek look that only comes back to bite them. However, scanty brows are easily corrected! “When brows are well groomed they can enhance yours eyes and your entire look,” says makeup artist Susmta Patel.

Although using an eyebrow pencil may seem archaic, there are other ways to create envy-worthy brows. Invest in an eyebrow powder that essentially does the job of an eyebrow pencil but in a much more subtle and natural way. Pluck your eyebrows sparingly, and be sure to follow only the natural arch of your brows.

By making note of these little beauty blunders, you’ll be able to avoid cringe-worthy mishaps while saving time during your morning beauty routine every day!

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Lindsay Shoemake is a junior at Georgia College & State University, where she is majoring in Mass Communication with a double concentration in Print Journalism and Advertising. She is a staff writer for her university's award-winning student newspaper, The Colonnade, as well as a weekly fashion columnist and editorial intern for online publication emcBlue. When she is not up to her eyeballs in writing assignments (which she loves!), the Georgia native can be found in coffee shops immersed in a good book, reading her Bible, spending time with friends, savoring delicious sushi, or daydreaming about New York City. Upon graduating in 2013, Lindsay hopes to move to Manhattan to pursue a career in fashion journalism and get a taste of all that the Big Apple has to offer.