How to Correct 8 Common Beauty Mistakes
Mistake #1: Using Conditioner All Over Your Hair
Many people apply conditioner like it’s shampoo: by starting at the top of the head and working it all throughout their hair. However, the ends of the hair are more likely to be damaged and in need of condition, whereas the hair closest to the roots is healthy new growth. Apart from wasting product, conditioning the roots can weigh your hair down and make it look greasy, says Gina Lees, a stylist with the Adolf Biecker Spa, in Philadelphia.
The fix: Starting at your ears, apply conditioner all the way to the ends of your hair. You’ll gain volume, condition tired ends, and avoid needing to wash your hair as often.
Mistake #2: Applying Foundation Before Letting Your Moisturizer Dry
If you don’t give your moisturizer enough time to absorb into your skin, the creaminess of the moisturizer can thin out your makeup. "This can result in blotchiness and ultimately limit the amount of coverage your foundation can offer throughout the day," says Laura Geller, a makeup artist in New York City.
The fix: Apply moisturizer and wait 60 seconds while it absorbs, then apply foundation. Short on time? Blot your face gently with a tissue after moisturizing before putting on foundation.
Mistake #3: Spraying Perfume After You’re Dressed
It might seem like spritzing perfume over clothing would make the scent last longer, but in actuality, fabric fibers can make perfume smell unpleasant, and perfume can stain fabrics. "Fragrance is formulated to be applied to the skin where it interacts with the heat of the body," says Terry Molnar, executive director of the Sense of Smell Institute, in New York City. And one more thing: Don’t rub your wrists together after spraying—this breaks down a scent’s molecular structure.
The fix: Before getting dressed, lightly dab or spray perfume directly onto the skin at one or two of the "pulse points,” such as the knees, wrists, base of the throat, and behind the earlobes.
Mistake #4: Tweezing Your Eyebrows Too Close to a Mirror
Being up close and personal isn’t necessarily the best thing when plucking your brows—at least not for the whole time. When you're laser-focused on every little hair, you don't keep track of the shape of your entire eyebrow, resulting in uneven or over-plucked brows.
The fix: Find a large mirror near a window (for optimal natural light), then step back a few feet to survey your face, says Ramy Gafni, owner of RamySpa, in New York City. Your brows should be in proportion to your face shape and the placement and size of your features. Move closer to the mirror and start tweezing. Step back after every few hairs to check the symmetry of your brows.
Mistake #5: Neglecting Your Neck
Don't stop your skin care routine at the chin. The skin on your neck can be thinner and more sensitive than the skin on your face and just as prone to changes in pigment, elasticity, texture, and wrinkles.
The fix: When applying sunscreen to your face, keep going to cover your neck and chest. (Spread some on the backs of your hands, too―another vulnerable area.) "A separate neck cream is not necessary―these are marketing ploys," says Ole Henriksen, owner of the Ole Henriksen Face/Body Spa, in West Hollywood, California. Your day and night face moisturizers, as well as most treatment creams, should work just as well on your neck. But if you use products containing alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or retinols, do a spot-test first.
Mistake #6: Using Moisturizer to Reduce Puffy Eyes
A salty diet, among other things, can cause fluid retention around the eyes—but eye cream won’t help you here. Think about it: A moisturizers’ job is to hold water in the skin thanks to ultra-hydrating ingredients, so eye creams may make your eyes look even puffier, says Heidi Waldorf, the director of laser and cosmetic dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, in New York City.
The fix: If the skin around your eyes is puffy (but not red, irritated, or itchy) gently apply a cold compress or an ice pack for 10 to 15 minutes. You could also follow up with a lightweight eye gel containing caffeine, says Waldorf. If your eye area is puffy, red, irritated, or itchy, see a dermatologist. You may have an allergic rash.
Mistake #7: Showering Until Your Hair and Body Feel "Squeaky Clean"
This might sound satisfying, but it also indicates that―either by staying too long in the shower or bath or by scrubbing too vigorously―you've removed the natural oils and lipids that seal in moisture and protect both skin and hair.
The fix: First, evaluate your tools and products: A loofah sponge or medicated shampoo may be stripping your skin and hair, says Loretta Ciraldo, a Miami dermatologist and the author of 6 Weeks to Sensational Skin. In general, try to limit your shower or bath time to 10 minutes max, and use warm—not hot—water.
Mistake #8: Overmedicating Blemishes
A sense of panic often accompanies a breakout, and panicking makes you do things—like blast blemishes with harsh spot treatments again and again. "Most of these treatments contain acids that penetrate the skin for hours after they are applied," says Ciraldo. "Overuse can result in a burn that causes redness, peeling, and irritation." (No, thank you).
The fix: Avoid drying out and irritating your skin by following the directions on the medication's package. Most recommend applying it once or twice a day and reducing use if skin irritation occurs. Listen to your skin and apply accordingly—and remember, panicking won’t help calm a breakout.