Makeup is great—it allows you to enhance your features, or try out new looks. If you’re having a bad day, sometimes a new lip gloss or nail polish is all it takes to cheer you up. As fun as makeup can be, you probably didn’t receive an instruction manual or have your own makeup artist when you began wearing it. Lack of knowledge can lead to a Makeup Oops—you have seen them, and you likely have been a victim at one time or another. Let’s go ahead and look at the most common mistakes, and how we can prevent them from happening again!
1. An Orange Face: Orange can be replaced with any other hue that does not match your skin (bronzers come to mind). This is one of my biggest Oops moments—in seventh grade, I wanted to look like Cindy Crawford. I talked my father into allowing me to start wearing makeup. I went straight to the Revlon section at the store, holding crumbled advertisements from magazines featuring Cindy and which Revlon product and color she was wearing. I bought it all based on what Cindy wore—the foundation, concealer, and eyeshadow (note: Cindy Crawford has beautifully tanned skin, while I am fair as they come). The next day I woke up early in the morning and eagerly applied my new makeup, confident I would be the most beautiful seventh grader in my class. As soon as I got off the bus, a friend I will always be grateful to (thanks Gina!) pointed out my face was orange, yet my neck was as pale as the rest of me. I certainly didn’t think to look at my neck when I was applying the makeup. I immediately ran to the restroom and scrubbed off the makeup, avoiding makeup entirely until I actually had a makeup artist show me what to do. Lesson learned: get a sample of the foundations you’d like to purchase and test it in natural light. Some companies, like Prescriptives, make it easy and will create a blend made specifically for you. Or you can simply ask your friendly makeup consultant at a makeup store or department counter for samples, but drugstores can be a bit more difficult. You can always take it back if you find the color doesn’t suit you (make sure you know the store’s return policy on open makeup). Luckily, cosmetic companies are making it easier for you to find the right color. If you have time before you go shopping, check out the cosmetic company’s website and it will likely advise you to a suitable color based on descriptions or a short questionnaire. Cover Girl, for example, will guide you to your complimentary shade using their ColorMatch quiz (which is actually fun!). Dab the test colors on your jawline to ensure the color matches. Which leads me an addition: blending is your friend. Blend your foundation until your skin absorbs it. You don’t want to walk around with two colors on your face (that’s another story)! If you’re still unsure, bring a friend along who can help you determine what looks great.
2. Raccoon Eyes: Sad movies, breaking up with a boyfriend, watching your sister get married….these are all events which may lead to Raccoon Eyes. You have all seen them on women before (and it has probably happened to you as well)—mascara is smudged around their eyes, or dark eyeliner applied with a heavy hand and is running down their face. There is an easy fix: waterproof mascara and liner. Several brands sell waterproof and smudge proof liner and mascara. If you are like me and always seem to sneeze immediately after applying mascara, thus creating smudges all over your face, you have two easy choices. You can either wait for it to dry then remove the mascara (trying to wipe it away while wet will only lead to more smudges), or apply a dab of foundation to the spot and remove mascara.
3. Age Appropriate Makeup: This is a common Oops. I’m sure you’ve been shopping and spotted a girl who looked no older than 13 years old with bright red lipstick and layers of eyeshadow. Or, at my former workplace we had an older adult who loved bright pink gloss and glitter eyeshadow. She is a lovely woman but customers could not see past the makeup at times. Makeup does evolve with your age. While there is only one universal rule I have come upon (neutrals are our friend), there are some guidelines. Teenagers sometimes want to dive into experimenting with makeup as soon as they are permitted to wear it. Ironically, teenagers are the ones that require the least amount of makeup. I recommend a light, fresh look—gloss, clear mascara, cover up—and then using one product to mix it up; perhaps shimmery lavender eyeshadow or a coral colored gloss. As you mature and change, so should your makeup. The red lipstick that looked great when you were 25 is not going to flatter you at 60 years old. Aging affects our faces, so that same lipstick would likely make your lips look smaller which likely would not be the intention. A solution would be to add a gloss to soften it a bit, plumping your lips as well. You will look just as beautiful at 60 years old simply by adjusting your makeup.
4. Mismatched Lips: You have seen this before, either around you or on celebrities—dark lip liner with no lipstick or the wrong colored lipstick. Dark red lip liner with nude lipstick is not flattering. Period. Match your liner with the lipstick or gloss. For a long lasting look, you can apply lip liner all over your lips and top it with a gloss to create a new look while using a fun liner.
5. Eyebrow Art: I had a teacher in high school that started out the year looking normal. Mid semester, she must have really gone to town tweezing because her eyebrows began to resemble upside down commas. I have no recollection of her name, but I remember her eyebrows. You don’t want people to remember your eyebrows and not your name. If you aren’t experienced in tweezing or waxing, I highly recommend going to a professional. If you decide to shape your brows yourself and they don’t turn out the way you want, please don’t draw the shape in with a pencil. It is noticeable. Use a shadow—you can find eyebrow shadows almost anywhere that sells cosmetics—and this will provide a softer and more natural look.
While there are other mistakes that can be made with makeup, the great thing about it is you can simply remove it and start over. Nobody looks perfect all the time, even Cindy Crawford. By following the solutions in this article, you can avoid having your own Oops moment.