6 Beauty Blunders Everyone Makes

While beauty trends change all the time, some basic rules always remain true. These are the six beauty blunders everyone makes, and how to avoid them.

1. Poor Lighting

Have you ever put on your makeup and checked the mirror thinking you look great, until you went outside and saw it was all wrong? It's probably because you did your makeup in low or poor lighting. In low wattage light bulbs, the light can be too yellow or bright white, causing you to over-apply foundation or wrongly judge the amount of eyeshadow to wear. Natural light is key to a flawless face.

How to avoid it: Simply apply makeup in front of an open window. Be sure your face is toward the window to avoid backlighting. Failing that, buy a natural light mirror.

2. Skipping Primer

Ever feel like your makeup never settles onto your face in the morning, and by the afternoon, it's all sliding off in an oil slick? That means you're paying the price for skipping primer. Primer not only helps foundation blend onto your skin, it also holds makeup on the skin longer throughout the day. Eye primer is also crucial — it prevents eye creams and shadows from forming interpretive oil paintings by smearing all over your lids.

How to avoid it: Buy both a face primer and an eye primer. While you might want a primer by the same brand(s) as your makeup, both Smashbox and Clinique make great primers.

Bonus tip: If you don't wear full coverage foundation, it's also worth trying a BB cream, which has moisturizer, primer, and foundation tint all in one.

3. Obvious Lip Liner

The '90s trend of visible and darker hued lip liner was popular then, but history has looked back on it unfavorably. Don't draw too hard on the inside or outside of the lines on this one, guys. Not only does it look out of style, but it also makes your mouth look much older.

How to avoid it: Find a lip pencil that matches your lipstick for a fuller, more defined lip. Or, try filling your entire lip with the pencil and finishing with a balm for a softer, more natural look.

4. Scary Eyebrows

Ever feel like your eyebrows are seriously "on fleek?" It's a truly gratifying makeup experience, because eyebrows frame your face. But many people either make their brows far too thin or far too thick in the wrong places. Mistakes happen when you pluck too close to the mirror — it causes you to lose sight of the full face and focus on tiny details of the brow. You want them to look natural. Also, your fill-in color should same shade as your hair or darker.

How to avoid it: Try a stencil from Anastasia and/or use a tried and true eyebrow kit (either wax and pigment powder, or a portable brow pencil) to get the job done instead of free-form brow drawing.

5. Mismatched Face and Neck

Remember in high school, when everyone wore that CoverGirl pressed powder that didn't match anyone's actual skin tone? Let's not repeat those teen mistakes. The best way to make your skin look better is to use a color that matches both your face and neck (and arms and legs). This goes for people of all skintones. Someone brushing on too much bronzer is just as bad as someone painting their face two shades lighter. Remember, if your foundation has an SPF in it, that will leave your face looking much whiter in flash photography.

How to avoid it: Go to the makeup counter at your local department store and have a specialist find a foundation match that works for you. Or, test a foundation yourself in swatches on your face, neck, upper arm, and back of your leg in natural light before committing to it. There are online matching methods too, but they're probably not as accurate.

6. Not Cleaning Your Brushes

Scared of getting another acne outbreak? While hormones and stress may be a factor, we all forget how makeup applicators might be a contributing cause for facial flare-ups. Think of all the times you've wet the tip to pick up color, or all the times you've stuck your finger into a pigment pot to smear directly onto your face. Bacteria is near inescapable. To protect your pores from unnecessary bacteria build up, your face, eye, and lip brushes must be washed.

How to avoid it: Wash brushes once a month in warm water. Use a makeup brush cleaner if you'd like, but shampoo or antibacterial soap is just fine. Sponges should be washed after every use, then thrown out monthly.

What beauty blunders do you make from time to time?

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