By Elise Tabin
Color and makeup are a form of self-expression, and the way one person wears them is likely totally different from someone else. No matter if you lean into the no-makeup makeup look or a full-face of Euphoria-inspired glitter and graphic liner to boot, one thing is for sure, we are all bound to make some makeup mistakes from time to time. Sure, specific trends can make it more challenging to pull off a look or color, but all makeup is prone to its own set of mishaps.
We sat down with celebrity makeup artist Alex Gilleo for the tea on the five most common, must-stop-now makeup mistakes that people are unknowingly making—and how to fix them once and for all.
Gilleo says that darkness loves to hide in the inner corners of the eyes, along with some discoloration that usually lives right beneath the eyes.
“Those are the sweet spots to apply concealer when it is needed,” she adds.
However, laying down too much concealer in the wrong areas can cause creasing to ensue. Plus, spots with loaded-on concealer will draw unwanted attention to fine lines and wrinkles and create cakey-looking makeup, which Gilleo says can age a face instantly.
Don’t freak out if you feel like the eyes require a ton of concealer to look fresh, bright, and awake. Always prep the eye area with a soothing eye cream before applying concealer. Gilleo explains that the skin under the eyes tends to be more delicate, so using concealer with gentle and light pressure can make a world of difference. “Plus, there’s nothing a damp BeautyBlender can’t fix,” she adds.
There’s nothing worse than foundation that’s one shade on the face and a completely different color on the neck—it’s obvious, unnatural, looking, and just a general no-no.
There are a few essential rules to follow when choosing a skin-flattering foundation. “Most importantly, make sure the shade you’re using matches your skin tone,” says Gilleo. To determine your skin tone, look at the undertones of the product. “You may be able to get away with a foundation shade that is slightly off as long as the undertone is the right shade for your skin,” she adds. For example, skin tones with warm undertones should stick with foundations with warm undertones, which will prevent the skin from appearing ashy. “If the skin’s undertones are pink, opt for a foundation with cool tones,” Gilleo explains.
Secondly, Gilleo says to choose a foundation that will achieve the look you’re creating, be it more of a sheer, natural glow, a matte finish, or something in between. “There are so many products on the market, and there is one for everyone,” she shares. Finally, before applying any foundation or face makeup, it’s best to prep the skin with a hydrating moisturizer and let it sink in for a few minutes before applying the makeup.
Whether makeup is soft and natural or heavy and full glam, there’s no reason good enough to bypass proper blending.
First and foremost, stock up on makeup brushes, sponges, and tools that make blending that much easier. Gilleo recommends using a damp BeautyBlender to tap and blend out any harsh lines on the face, especially when using cream formulas.
“Also use a blending brush to create the illusion of depth and dimension,” she says.
Finish and diffuse with a flap-top brush to buff out to perfection. The blending process is complete when the makeup appears virtually invisible, and there’s no heaviness to the skin or lines of demarcation.
Bad false lashes can be spotted from a mile away and look fake, like tiny plastic appendages shooting out from the lash line. But on the other hand, when done just right, false lashes should blend in with the natural lashes and sit as close as possible to the lash line for a seamless look.
Gilleo says always to measure the lashes first. “Put them on the lids without any glue and see if the corners need a trim, which will avoid droopy-looking eyes.” Once the lashes fit just right, cut off the excess, apply a thin layer of lash glue, and let it dry a bit until the glue becomes tacky. “A great hack is to put a handheld mirror below you and look down as you’re applying the lashes,” Gilleo adds.
After applying the lashes, draw on either a thin or thick line of eyeliner (there’s no right or wrong way here). Gilleo explains that adding eyeliner to the upper eyelid at the lash line will help shape and mask where the false lashes begin and end. “My favorite hack to complete the look is to use a lash curler to curl the lashes to blend them into the natural lashes,” she says. “I find choosing a lash with a thin band, like Ardell Naked Lash 421, opposed to a thicker band makes lash application easier and more flexible.”
Don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing quite like a bold, sculpted brow. But there’s also a fine line between a heavily penciled eyebrow with sharp or square edges coupled with the completely wrong shade of brow pencil or powder to fill them in.
When it comes to the brows, less is more, meaning start off slow and with fewer products and build up as the process becomes more comfortable. However, selecting that just-right shade to fill in the brows so the color blends in with your natural brow hairs can be tricky. That’s why Gilleo says to go only one shade lighter or darker from the natural brow color to define them without overpowering the face.
Remember that tinted gels are easier to put on than pomades and powders when selecting the formulation. But, of course, there’s always the opportunity to build up the product to achieve the desired look. “It’s easier to add than to remove the product once it is applied,” Giileo says.
Also, many people over-define their brows to compensate for thin, patchy brows or a lack of brow hair. “If you’re looking to grow out your brows, put the scissors down and make an appointment with your local brow specialist,” says Gilleo. “Revitalash’s Revitabrow Eyelash Conditioner and Serum is a great brow growth serum as well.”