Unless you’re a professional makeup artist, there’s a good chance you learned to apply makeup as a teenager—and have been wearing it in almost the same way ever since. If the only changes you’ve made to your beauty routine include getting a new lipstick or eye shadow shade and swapping tinted moisturizer for foundation, then it’s time for a refresher in Cosmetics 101. “As women age and evolve, their makeup routines should change over time, too,” says makeup artist Jessica Liebeskind, creator of the Vintage by Jessica Liebeskind line of cosmetics. “You run the risk of dating yourself if you don’t update your techniques and textures.”
While traveling around the country to introduce her line, Liebeskind has watched hundreds of real women apply makeup. We asked her to name the five makeup mistakes she sees women repeatedly make, and give us simple fixes to keep our complexions looking flawless and fresh.
Mistake #1: Wearing eyeliner only on the lower lash line.
Fast fix: We all learned to apply liner to our lower lash line because it’s easier and looks just fine when we’re young. “But as we age, we get darker under the eyes. Liner down below draws attention to this problem area and pulls the whole eye down,” according to Liebeskind. Lining the upper lash line, though, brings the eye up while enhancing its shape. You can still wear eyeliner on the lower line for dramatic, smoky looks—just make sure you apply it to the upper line, too.
Mistake #2: Wearing a safe shade of blush.
Fast fix: “So many women are afraid to go all-out with color on their cheeks,” says Liebeskind. Neutral shades are fine when you’re young and want it to look like you aren’t wearing too much makeup, but a pop of color can really perk up a washed-out complexion.
Mistake #3: Applying concealer after your foundation.
Fast fix: Yes, you can get away with applying foundation first and some makeup artists swear by that order. But if you want to get away with wearing less foundation, reach for your concealer first. By correcting trouble spots—like under the eyes, in the corners of your nose and any blemishes—first, you can use a lighter hand with your foundation, applying just enough to even out your skin tone.
Mistake #4: Wearing bright, sparkly shades of eye shadow.
Fast fix: Playing with colorful shadows used to be fun. Now, flat, sophisticated shades look more modern and age-appropriate. “Save bright shades for your cheeks,” suggests Liebeskind, who adds that you never need more than three shadow hues to create contrast on your lids, no matter how many come in a compact.
Mistake #5: Applying lip liner before lipstick or gloss.
Fast fix: Most women were taught to first line their lips with a pencil, effectively drawing the shape of their mouth and then filling it in with color. Using a lip liner this way is far too obvious and gives the mouth a harsh, unnatural shape. Instead, Liebeskind says to apply your lipgloss or lipstick first, then use a pencil in the exact same shade to fill in subtle spaces and lightly define the mouth.
Related: How To Apply Makeup For A Perfectly Polished Date-Night Look (YourTango.com)