8 Makeup Mistakes We All Make—and How to Fix Them, According to Makeup Artists

From too much bronzer to too little blush, there's a good chance you're making one of these mistakes.

From the time we start applying makeup as teenagers, we develop habits for our morning routines. But that same blue eyeliner you rocked in middle school is probably not as hip today. What about your foundation? The one you used throughout your 20s probably isn't the best choice for your skin if you're in your 50s. For a polished, glowy look, it's important to ensure your rituals are healthy, age-appropriate, and leave you feeling beautiful. Listen in as makeup artists dish on the mistakes they see all too often—and how to fix them.

01 of 08

Not prepping skin properly.

The first step is to apply foundation, right? Wrong. When beginning your routine, it's important to prep skin first to ensure a flawless makeup application.

Makeup artist Julia Dalton-Brush recommends cleansing, toning, using a facial oil (if appropriate), and moisturizer. "Unfortunately, many people see applying makeup as the only thing they need to do, and when they do not get the flawless look they are searching for, they blame the products," she says. "A fully hydrated and prepped face will do wonders, not only for your skin under the makeup, but also for the end result."

02 of 08

Not changing foundation with age.

A drugstore brand may have been ideal when you were in college and on a budget, and perhaps your mid-20s didn't call for much foundation at all, thanks to young, supple skin. But as you age, your makeup should evolve as well, according to makeup artist Annie Tevelin. As women mature, the skin on our face and neck becomes dry, resulting in the loss of radiance. Tevelin recommends trading in powders and matte foundations for a creamy foundation, and paying extra attention to your skincare routine.

"Make sure to moisturize appropriately before makeup application to allow the skin to create a smoother surface so that makeup can glide on evenly," she says. "I love wetting my makeup sponge and foundation brush to apply my moisturizer. It doesn't leave the skin as red and warm as it does when applying moisturizer with my fingers. The cool water on the sponge or brush calms the skin and boosts radiance."

RELATED: Ask a Beauty Editor: Best Foundations for Mature Skin

03 of 08

Applying makeup in the wrong lighting.

If you've ever applied makeup in a room that lacks light, you know how scary it can be to walk outside, hoping you didn't miss a spot. The same is true if you're dotting foundation and swiping eyeshadow in a fluorescent-lit room. It's best to use natural light as much as possible.

"Natural sunlight provides the most accurate reflection of your face in a mirror," says Shira Aaron, a celebrity makeup artist based in New York. "It is by far the most flattering light." If natural light isn't an option, she says to choose a warm white LED light, which most closely resembles the outside.

04 of 08

Using too much concealer.

You're exhausted—whether your newborn refuses to sleep, your boss heaped a new assignment on you at 6 p.m., or the next episode of your latest Netflix show is too hard to say no to—and you look it. Most people reach for their concealer stick or brush and go to town, doing their best to hide dark circles. But if you aren't using the right shade or a product appropriate for your skin type, you could unintentionally highlight wrinkles or lines, or end up with a heavy, cakey look.

"To avoid this, steer clear of thick foundations or concealers," says celebrity makeup artist Noreen Taylor. "Instead, choose fluid ones containing luminous particles, which will make your skin look healthy and natural without overloading, so it doesn't look like you're wearing a mask of makeup."

RELATED: Ask a Beauty Editor: Best Drugstore Concealers (Under $15!)

05 of 08

Forgetting to take care of lips.

Pretty in pink, red, or purple (if that's your jam), lips are a key focus. As we age, our upper lip slowly thins and loses color, so it's important to care for our lips as much as any other part of our body.

Tevelin suggests exfoliating with a gentle scrub once a week, and then applying a hydrating lip balm. "Use brown sugar or oatmeal to naturally exfoliate," she says. "Applying a lipstick or gloss with color and a lip liner creates the appearance of fuller and more youthful lips. Stick to colors that are your natural lip color to give the look of fuller lips."

06 of 08

Applying heavy mascara on bottom lashes.

When you swipe your mascara wand, do you give the same TLC to the top lashes as you do the bottom? If so, take it easier on the lower set. Taylor says a heavy application brings everyone's attention to the wrinkles below your eyes.

"Using mascara to accentuate the edges of the eyes can give your gaze extra expressiveness," she says. "But no matter how small those wrinkles are, thick mascara will make them stand out. Just slightly add one coat to stay safe."

RELATED: How to Prevent Your Mascara From Smudging, According to Makeup Artists

07 of 08

Not applying blush.

These days, blush is often left out of the makeup routine, but Aaron says this is a missed opportunity. Blush can instantly make you look younger, since its purpose is to mimic a youthful flush.

"Choose a natural rosy color that most closely resembles your actual flushed cheeks," she recommends. "Stay away from blushes that are too bright, too shimmery, or too powdery. Make sure to blend it into your skin for a more natural appearance."

08 of 08

Not applying bronzer appropriately.

With highlighters, illuminators, and radiance powders, bronzing often gets lost in the chaos of powders. And sometimes inexperienced at-home makeup artists use far too much of this sun-kissed blend, ending up looking more orange than tan.

"When adding bronzer to your makeup routine," Dalton-Brush recommends, "think about where the sun naturally hits your skin the most: the tops of your cheekbones, gently around your hairline, and possibly around the jaw line." For best results, she suggests using a cream blush so it easily blends in for a natural finish.

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