9 Most Common Makeup Mistakes & How You Can Fix Them

Tanya Cheban
by Tanya Cheban

This is the tutorial you’ve been waiting for! These are the 9 most common makeup mistakes and how to fix them. Really, there are no hard and fast rules to makeup, but there are ways to make makeup look more natural and feel more comfortable.

Follow along to learn how to avoid these common makeup mistakes, or, if you’ve made one, how to fix it!

Different shades of foundation

Makeup mistake 1 – the wrong base

It's very common to choose a shade of foundation that’s a bit too dark for your skin tone. On the left, you can see this foundation is too dark for me, whereas on the right the foundation is a better match for my skin. Can you see how much more natural the correct shade looks?

The darker shade suits me more in the summer when I have a tan, so note that different foundation shades may work on you at different times of the year.

What's more, I only applied primer to the right side and not the left side. It may not be immediately obvious in this photo, but my skin texture on the left side is not so great because of this and my makeup doesn't go on as well.

Applying concealer in a triangle shape

Makeup mistake 2 – concealer problems

There’s a tendency to use a very light shade of concealer and apply it only right under your eyes. Unfortunately, that ends up creating a very obvious halo effect below your eyes. Instead, you should apply your concealer in a much larger triangular pattern.

Blending concealer with a large brush

Then, blend it in with a large makeup brush. 

Lightly patting powder under the eye

When you apply powder to set your concealer, don’t buff it in right away. That causes the powder to lift your concealer and move it around your eyes.

Instead, pat the powder in gently under your eyes and then gently buff away any loose powder remaining under your eyes. 

How to properly set foundation with powder

The same rule applies for adding powder to set your foundation.

Applying bronzer in circular motions

Makeup mistake 3 – cheekbone makeup

A common makeup mistake is to use too dark a contour shade on your cheekbones. That makes the shading look way too obvious, and almost muddy. Try using a lighter shade and apply it in small circular motions to buff the bronzer into your skin. 

Applying bronzer to temples and forehead

Also, add a bit of bronzer to your temples and forehead to tie the whole look together.

How to correctly apply bronzer

See the difference bronzer makes when applied correctly?

How to properly apply blush

Many people apply blush to the apples of their cheeks. With blush, you have to gently pat it onto your cheekbone, working your way up, and adding it little by little as you go.

Too much blush

Never overdo your blush, as you see on the left because it creates a clownish look.

Where and how to apply highlight

Applying highlight in a downward motion doesn’t give a flattering effect. Only use a small amount of highlight and always apply it with an upward stroke just above your cheekbone along the curve of your eyes. Doing it this way will lift your face and brighten your features.

Makeup mistakes we all make

Makeup mistake 4 – too much eyebrow pencil

Don’t exaggerate your brow or try to extend your brow line. Go easy with the eyebrow pencil, and when adding brow concealer add it only below your eyebrow, not above.

Eye makeup mistakes to avoid

Makeup mistake 5 – shimmery eyeshadow in your eyelid crease

Putting shimmer below, in, and above the crease of your eyelid attracts light and attention to the crease but doesn’t really add depth to your eyes.

Instead, apply shimmer eyeshadow only to your eyelid below the crease. Then use small buffer motions to apply a transition shade to and just above the crease.

Top makeup mistakes

Makeup mistake 6 – too much under-brow highlight

Don’t use too much highlight under your brow brown. Put a little under your brow from the arch to the outside and then buff it out on both sides so it fades gradually rather than giving hard lines.

Eye makeup mistakes

You can also apply just a little at the inner corner of your eye but be careful to not be heavy-handed.

How to correctly apply eyeliner

Makeup mistake 7 – too much eyeliner

Stick to a simple classic thin wing with a gel eyeliner and you can’t go wrong.

Natural vs exaggerated eyeliner

It’s far more natural looking than a heavy, exaggerated cat-eye.

Applying a light coat of mascara

Makeup mistake 8 – forgetting your eyelash curler

Take the time to curl your eyelashes before applying mascara. It leaves a much more natural, clean, but full look. And don’t put your mascara on too thick. Wiggle it on one layer at a time to add volume as necessary.

Different shades of nude lip colors

Makeup mistake 9 – wrong lip color

Pick your lip color shade carefully. A nude lip color should look natural, but not too light.

How to apply makeup correctly

Common makeup mistakes and how to fix them tutorial

There you have it. Compare the look on the left to the look on the right and see how much more natural the makeup looks when applied correctly.

Common makeup mistakes

Yes, the “mistake” side is a bit exaggerated for demonstration purposes, but you get the idea.

Common makeup mistakes and how to fix them

If you apply makeup correctly, you’ll look polished and bright and that will give you confidence! Leave a comment to let me know which makeup tip was your favorite.

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 1 comment
  • Just J Stylin Life Just J Stylin Life on Dec 09, 2021

    Thank you for sharing this! Unfortunately I am guilty of almost half of these mistakes. 😬 Now I know how to fix them!