Make-up and how to apply it is a complex area. Many women settle into the way they learnt to do it in their teens and see little reason to change even twenty years later! Bad habits stick and styles which should have gone out with the eighties are still very visible on certain faces!
However you do it, there are certain habits which are unacceptable and should never, ever be shown to the general public. You might read the list below and think ‘cripes! I do some of those!’ but don’t worry – better late than never!
1. Foundation tide line. Blend your foundation/tinted moisturiser/face powder WELL into the jaw line and neck area. There is no excuse for the orange murky line that often sits below the chin area… EVER!
Action: After applying your base evenly over your skin, use your fingers or a small make-up sponge to blend, blend, blend the product around your hair line and jawline until it is a very thin layer of nothingness. Bye-bye dirty tide-line and hello professional looking skin.
2. Cakey concealer. Concealer is designed to conceal spots, blemishes and dark circles and it needs to be discreet. Dry cakey concealer is ageing and there really is no need for it in this day and age with all the wonderful products available on the market.
Action: Buy a concealer that MATCHES your skin tone and please don’t use anything that is 3 shades darker or 3 shades lighter as it will look worse than the spot you are trying to hide. If you aren’t sure which colour to buy then try a bit on the side of your face and on your chest and go outside with a mirror and check in daylight, if it is too pink or too yellow Do.Not.Buy.It
3. Dirty Make-up Brushes. Never apply make-up with crusty, dirty make-up brushes! Skin cells, bacteria and old make-up sits in the brushes and builds up after time and this can add to bad make-up, bad skin and even eye infections. As a pro Make-up Artist I wash my brushes after every shoot or client and really, you should do the same.
Action: Buy a mild shampoo + conditioner combo product. Wash your brushes in a weak solution after each make-up application or if this seems totally impossible, at LEAST every week. After rinsing the brushes thoroughly, leave flat to dry on a flannel or paper towel at room temperature.
4. Overly glittery bronzer or blusher. This should stay on photo-shoots or on the cast of TOWIE. For a lovely day make-up use a shade similar to your natural blushing cheek skin colour and check to make sure it is matte or very, very lightly shimmered.
Action: if you have anything that resembles children’s glitter in your blusher collection, please kindly throw it away. Go and buy a pretty but understated colour that is wearable, easy to apply and makes you look healthy. A good blusher will give you the ‘I’m well slept and feeling great’ look that most women need.
5. Frosted lipstick. If you like looking washed out, dated and with yellow teeth, this is one for you! You might have worn it with mismatched pink and lime green fluorescent socks. I see it all the time on women I do private lessons for and its one of the first things I eradicate from their routine and their make-up bag.
Action: Some time during the day look at yourself in a mirror in front of a bright window, have a look to see what your natural lip colour is. Is it browny red, pinky brown, brown, nudey brown. After you’ve decided what colour your natural lips are, go and buy a colour very similar to that without any frost or shimmer in it. A natural, not too glossy lip colour that pretty much matches your own colouring will make you look glowing and better than that, it’s easier to apply well and will also keep looking good throughout the course of a day.
6. Eyeshadow or Eyeliner and NO mascara. This one worries me! A LOT. I have seen time and time and time again people wearing a coloured eyeshadow and no mascara. It looks really horrible. The exception to the rule is a fashion shoot or catwalk show where anything goes in terms of make-up, but day-to-day this is just wrong. If you take the trouble to apply shadow and perhaps some eye pencil to your upper and lower lash line then please, please pop a coat of mascara on too. No excuses.
Action: Buy yourself a couple of black or brown day mascaras, one for your make-up collection and one for your handbag, this way if you ‘forget’ when doing your morning make-up you can add a quick slick of mascara in the car or on the bus. The ‘no mascara with other eye make-up look’ will ensure that you look like you got ready in 2 minutes flat or that you were distracted by your children when you did your make-up. Both might very well be true but please don’t make it look like that was the case!
7. Obvious Lipliner. Lipliner is used to stop lipstick bleeding and also to slightly cheat the shape of your lips if, like me, you are not blessed with an Angelina Jolie pout. A common mistake with lipliner is to use one colour with all lipsticks or to purposely draw a much darker line than the lipstick! Cringe. The golden rule of lipliner: Lipliner needs to match the lipstick colour.
Action: Lipliners don’t have to be expensive so take your favourite lipstick to Boots and carefully pick one that matches. When applying lipliner, trace the shape of your lips with the pencil and then proceed to fill in the entire lip with the product. Now, paint over your matching lipstick for a long-lasting professional finish.
Lucy Baker is a 36 year old mummy with a 2 year old girl and another on the way. She trained as a Make-up Artist eight years ago after an unfulfilling career in magazine publishing and has painted faces ever since. She finds her freelance career works well with being a Mummy.