Saturday, 27 December 2014

Makeup Mistakes To Avoid

The fun of makeup is experimenting and trying out new looks; some of which will be successful and some won't. I've certainly tried to rock some dodgy looks in my time but it's all apart of gaining experience and having fun.

Having said that, there are some very common makeup mishaps (some of which I'm also guilty of) doing the rounds right now. I'm no makeup expert but if you'd like to know my advice on what I think should be avoided, keep reading...

EYEBROWS - Colour Blocking

One of the biggest trends of the last few years has been big brows, and as much as I love this trend it's something people struggle with ...including myself. My brows certainly aren't perfect but I do try to keep them looking like eyebrows. 

Cara Delevingne was at the forefront of this hype and if we take a look at her pictures, it's obvious that her eyebrows look as though they're made from hair. The idea behind fuller brows is to fill in the gaps and neaten the edges ...NOT colour the whole area into a rectangle.
Don't get me wrong, I've seen Youtubers and bloggers with no eyebrows at all, creating very natural & amazing things with an eyebrow pencil, but many people out there look like they've lost control of a giant black marker pen. This may be a trend within your friend circle but there's a reason why celebrities, models and makeup artists don't have eyebrows like that!

My advice would be to visit a makeup counter in Boots or in a department store. Not only is this a free way of having your brows done for you, but you can also see and ask how they were done! If you like the products they use, you can buy them or you can just take away the knowledge of how to do them yourself. 

If visiting a counter isn't an option, I would suggest finding a product that best suits the natural colour of your eyebrows. Then you need to decide on a shape. I see some veeeeery odds shaped brows out there. It can be difficult if you don't have much to start with, but a natural brow shape should open up the eye area, and gradually get thinner towards the end. 
Eyebrows shouldn't be spaced too far apart either. The rule used to be that they start exactly parallel to the tear duct, but now many people prefer to start them before. This is personal preference.
There are tons of eyebrow tools and makeup to choose from. I simply use a matte eyeshadow to fill in mine, so it needed be expensive. 

EYELINER - Lower Eyes

Again, eyeliner can be tricky for people to master. If you struggle with liquids and flicks then I'd suggest buying a kohl or pencil that can be smudged and softened. 

I didn't realise people still drew a single straight black thin line over the lower lash line ...or even worse only apply eyeliner in the waterline. I used to do this when I was a young'un and I look back with my head in my hands. Why did no one tell me???!
I feel eyeliner looks best when its also worn on the upper eyelid. If this is something you struggle with, at least make the bottom line softer by blending with a brush or adding eyeshadow to the eyeliner line.

I don't often wear eyeliner in the waterline as it can make eyes appear smaller, but if I do decide to do this, I always make sure I use eyeshadows to blend and soften out the stark eyeliner. 
I don't think I've ever seen anyone (other than catwalk models) pull off wearing eyeliner only on the bottom half of the eyes. This can be very harsh and very Shirley from Eastenders!

LIP LINER - Unnatural Over-lining 

I see multiple images of Kylie Jenners pout on a daily basis now. I too am over-lining my lips with lipliner more and more often. I'm loving all the liner products that are available in every colour and at low prices! 

Makeup artists sometimes use lipliner a couple of shades darker than the lips, to cleverly contour but they do not use dark brown lipliner and nude lipstick, or black liner and red lipstick. This is a technique that drag artists use and they do this very well, but unless you are specifically trying to emulate the look of a drag queen, I personally think that this technique should be avoided.

I've also seen people drawing straight over the cupids bow, so that the line on the top lip is straight. Think Pete Burns. Again, if this is what you're after then thats fine, but just be aware that this isn't natural looking at all. 

The idea of over lining is to make your lips appear naturally bigger than they really are. It's best to buy a matte lipliner and a matte lipstick (as the shine of sheer lipsticks and glosses can highlight the natural line of the lips). I don't always stick to this rule though, but I'm careful not to over exaggerate them too much if I wear a lipgloss. 

CONTOURING - Drag Style 

Sticking with the drag queen theme, I feel as though contouring is one of those techniques that is easy to lose control of. I know, as I've done it myself - two stark dark brown stripes under the cheek bones doesn't accentuate anything other than being heavy handed. 
To really contour it's best to use a matte bronzer (no sparkles) that isn't too dark or too orange. We're supposed to be creating a natural shadow, so I use quite a light brown that can be built up if preferred. 

Contouring the nose is where this look can really go into drag queen territory. Again, don't go too dark with the colour, and make sure you blend well.
Similarly with highlighting, don't go too light. There shouldn't be a stark white line down the nose and under the eyes, as you're just attracting attention on what you're supposed to be trying to hide. 

A natural way to contour is to use two shades of liquid foundation. Add the slightly darker shade (than you'd usually go for) to the top of the forehead, under the cheek bones, jawline, and down the sides of the nose. Use your normal colour foundation everywhere else and then blend into the skin with a makeup brush or beauty blender. Benefit and No.7 have a great range of highlighters that can be added to the top of the cheek bones to finish off the look. 

FOUNDATION - Thick & Cracked 

My skin has it's problems and it's taken me many years (and I'm still looking) to find the best products for my skin type. If you have problem skin, you really needn't apply thick layers of foundation to hide behind. This is something I see often (I understand that most people wear too much foundation as they're insecure about their skin) but here's the trick: apply a thinner layer of foundation all over the face and then focus on individual blemishes or dry patches separately. Foundation shouldn't be thick enough to crack. 
If you use concealer on your spots, it should be the same colour as your foundation, otherwise you're simply drawing more attention to these areas.

Prepping the skin also helps. I understand that moisture is seen as the enemy if you have oily or spotty skin, but it really isn't. So many people with oily skin think you shouldn't use moisturising oils but this isn't true. Yes you may need to test out products to find what works best; read reviews and find bloggers who have a similar skin type to get the advice you need. But avoiding moisturising isn't something I'd advise. 

Magazines and celebrities may rave and promote certain products, but it doesn't mean that it'll suit you. I've made the mistake of buying a foundation that looks great on other people only to find that it makes me shiny, spotty, flaky! Find what works for you. Again, go to makeup counters and try out the products, then wait until the end of the day to see how your skin reacts before buying. 

If you have dry skin like me, try dabbing on foundation with a beauty blender (I can't recommend this enough!!). Use the blender to also apply concealer and liquid or cream highlighters!

Taking the photographs for this was just way too ridiculous! Ha.

Hope I've not offended anyone with this post. Ultimately I live by phrase 'each to their own', so if you continue wearing your makeup as I've mentioned above then that's your preference and choice :)

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