My biggest beauty blunders: Are you making them too?

04-04-12 Removing makeup - female face

I’ve been there. You probably have been too. I’m talking about makeup mistakeville – that horrible place where you think you’re looking amazing, but are actually looking a bit like a circus side show. Some people are hopelessly stuck there, not because there’s no way out (it’s not the Hotel California), but because they refuse to accept that their way doesn’t work. I definitely don’t get it right all the time, but here are a few lessons I’ve learned the hard way.

A hairy situation: Eyebrow trends change from time to time, but generally speaking a nicely shaped set of brows will go a long way in making your overall look more appealing. You may have found yourself in either the over-plucking or under-plucking (me) camp at some point in your life. The over-achievers out there may have even been in both at different times. Too thin brows tend to look severe and unshaped ones look unkempt and both come off as a bit crazy.

Keeping things in line: Shaping your own brows isn’t as ominous as it may seem. As described on Cosmopolitan.com, the inside corner should line up with the side of your nose. You can use a pencil to line this up. If you then tilt the pencil to go from the side of your nostril to the outside corner of your eye, your brow should end along this line. The peak of your arch should be right above the outer edge of your iris. Try to keep brows natural looking with a gradual taper out to the end. If you need more help then consider having them professionally done once so that you can get an idea of the shape to follow.

A cakey mess: Over-powdering is another makeup mistake that I see a lot of women make, and one that I have also been guilty of. I know from experience, oily skin can be a pain. You leave the house looking fresh and beautiful and an hour later you look like you were hanging out over a deep fryer – not attractive! Your first instinct (and mine) is to grab for the powder, but after a couple of re-applications you end up with a clumpy buildup of powder rather than the clean look you were going for.

Mop up the slick: Instead of piling on additional products, soak up the excess oil with blotting papers. I love these things. They usually come in packs around the same size as a credit card, so they easily tuck into your purse and they do a great job of soaking up extra oil. If you can’t completely break the compulsion to add some powder, you can find brands that have a touch of powder on the paper.

No match here: I am pale – really, really pale. I’m pretty sure light just hits my skin and reflects right back off. As you might imagine, it’s easy for me to end up with foundation that doesn’t match my skin. I know I’m not the only one; there are a lot of women out there wearing foundation that is too light, too dark or not the right tone for their skin.

Do your research: It takes a little effort to get the perfect shade, but finding the one that makes your skin look naturally flawless is worth it. Some brands offer smaller sample sets so that you can try out a few that you think are close or play around with mixing shades. I have had some luck with this. On Oprah.com they suggest that you splurge on a department store brand to begin with. That way you can get professional help in choosing the right shade or possibly even have one custom blended. After that you can match a drugstore color to that one.

So, there you have it, some of my most glaring beauty missteps. It’s certainly not a complete list (after all, I went through high school in the late 80s and early 90s), but hopefully it will help you avoid some of the bigger mistakes I’ve made.

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Kim Patterson
By: Kim Patterson

Kim is a freelance writer and self-professed makeup addict. At the age of five, she started begging her mom for makeup and, since then, has only become further entrenched in her obsession. Her bathroom drawers are jam-packed with products, yet she is always on the lookout for the next-best-thing (especially if it’s lipgloss or mascara). As the mom of two young girls, she is out to prove that having kids does not mean your beauty maven card must be revoked.