The Biggest Beauty Dont’s

What mistakes drive beauty experts crazy? Makeup is meant to enhance, not distract, but many of us are guilty of overdoing it. And many of us have bad beauty habits that can lead to, well, ugliness – we’re talking wrinkles, pimples, and even headaches. We polled some top makeup artists and dermatologists about what they think are the biggest beauty don’ts, and what to do instead.

Don’t Layer On Mascara or else you risk getting clumpy eyelashes or raccoon eyes. Curl your lashes first and apply only a coat or two of mascara. Start at the base of your lashes and wiggle the wand as you brush it towards the tip. The wiggling motion is key in order to deposit color evenly, even on the finest, shortest lash hairs. Immediately remove globs with an eyelash comb before mascara dries because once it dries it’s no longer pliable. Then apply a second coat if needed before mascara dries. If you’re still getting raccoon eyes, change brands or don’t use it on bottom lashes.

Don’t Rush Your Blush or else you can end up looking overdone. Take your time and use just enough to brighten your glow and enhance your face shape but not so much that it’s obvious. To deposit it just the right amount of color, dust a sheer rosy powder on cheeks and temples using a fluffy brush. Newer formulations of blush tend to be sheer, so it’s difficult to over do it. Switch brands or brushes if needed. If your skin is oily or streak-prone no matter what you do, patting your face with translucent powder or oil-blotting sheets before applying blush. You can also use a translucent powder to tone down too much blush.

Don’t Buy Foundation That Adds Years. Or else … you might look worse, not better than just going bare-faced. Foundation that’s too light ages you; to dark and you look like you belong on “Jersey Shore”. So make sure your foundation flatters your skin tone, and blend it well. Visit a makeup counter that custom blends foundation and have a makeup artist there pick the best shade for you. Or test shades on your own. Try it on your entire face or at least your jawline. Other places like your neck, chest or hand aren’t good for judging because they are rarely the same color as your face from more or less sun damage. Before buying, leave the store and check out your face in sunlight and unkind fluorescent light. And return makeup that doesn’t work if you can; most stores let your take back opened products – just be sure to ask before you buy and save your receipt. Also take not that foundation with yellow undertones is generally more flattering than pink undertones.

DON’T use lip liner. Or else .. you’ll risk looking clownish. Outlining is out because eit looks fake, yet lip-liner abuse is the biggest beauty sin. If you insist on liner, match it to your lipstick or use the same pencil to line and fill in your lips with color and top with gloss if it feels or looks dry. Line lips precisely along the rim.

DON’T dye brows too light. Or else … they won’t do as good a job complementing your features and framing your face. Keep your brow color as Is if you add highlights or color your hair a few shades lighter than your natural shade; the slight contrast is more flattering. If you go considerably lighter, ask your hairdresser for color suggestions or lighten your brows just a bit by switching to a brow pencil or powder one shade lighter than your brow.

DON’T overexfoliate. Or else … you’ll end up damaging your skin. Exfoliation is meant to smooth skin, not irritate it. Cosmetics companies try to make you think otherwise, but your skin is constantly shedding and renewing naturally, so don’t’ inflame it while trying to look younger. Using a scrub on your body every few days is generally safe, but some scrubs can irritate sensitive skin on the face and contribute to broken blood vessels. Another option is to use skin-care products with retinols or lactic, hydroxyl, or glycolic acids, which also act as exfoliants, speeding cell turnover. If your skin isn’t overly sensitive, use a clay facial mask, milk facial cleansing grains, or an at-home microdermabrasion kit as needed but not more than once a week.

DON’T get too cozy with your tweezers. Or else … it leads to overplucked brows. If your brows are pencil thin or comma shaped or if they are more of an arch than a line, you need tweezing intervention. Put the tweezers in storage for a few weeks to fill in sparse brows with a waterproof brow pencil or powder with a product like Make Up for Ever’s Brow Corrector or Wet n Wild’s Ultimate Brow Kit. And next time you tweeze, remove strays between your brows, and above and below your natural brow line, nowhere else!

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