You're applying your makeup wrong—and we're here to help you fix it

The world of makeup can be daunting. We’ve all lived through different shades of orange foundation, coloured mascaras, and the dreaded panda eyes—and some habits can be hard to break.

But with advice from renowned hair and makeup artist Denise Elliott, we’re here to show you how to avoid these common mistakes with a few easy fixes...

 

 

1. Don't apply highlighter everywhere

When applying your highlighter, remember the goal is to help lift the face. If you’re applying the product all over, it's going to look more disco ball than natural glow, and is going counteract the look you’re trying to achieve if applied to the wrong areas. Makeup artist Denise Elliott suggests to: “apply the highlighter on high areas of the face—such as the top of the cheekbone, nose or cupid's bow. Be subtle with the application as highlighter can texturize the face, so be sure to blend with fingertips or a beauty blender.”

 

2. Don't overdraw your lips

With injectables becoming a 21st-century norm, it can be hard to avoid the lip-plumping trend that has swept the globe. And for those who want the look without taking the risk of the medical enhancement, overdrawing/lining your lips is the next best (and painless) option.

But getting that natural plump can be tricky. Elliot suggests to: “use lighter lip colours, use gloss, and use lip plumper.” Using a dark liner can actually draw more attention to the lines and and give you a harsher look. Lighter shades, a light hand and following your natural lip line will give the allusion of a juicier lip without looking overdrawn.

 

3. Don't over-contour your face

Even those blessed with the most chiseled of cheekbones still strive for that perfected definition. Along with finding the best shade and texture that works for you (this depends on your skin type), to get that natural looking distinction you should:

"Contour the face like the shape of a number 3. Start at the forehead hairline, then along your temples. Next, you go below your cheekbones—use back and forth motions—starting from your ears to the middle area of your cheeks, and then blending down to the jawline.” notes Elliot. Blending and building is your best friend when it comes to learning to contour.

 

4. Don't use a heavy hand

Whether you’re trying to combat oily skin or cover up those blemishes, over-layering your makeup can leave your skin looking cakey and dull. Although powder is a great tool for reducing shine on the skin, continuing to apply the product throughout the day will leave your makeup looking thick and settle into any fine lines or wrinkles.

Denise advises: "Combat this by using an oil control lotion, or a primer underneath your makeup.” And the same applies to hiding those pesky spots. Applying too much product will only draw attention to the blemish. The best trick is to “Blend a light amount of foundation all over the face, then spot-conceal the blemishes and—finally—set with powder. This will make it look as if it wasn’t even there.”