Skip to main content

20 Biggest Makeup Mistakes You Could Be Making

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

Hannah is a writer, artist, and an inspiring makeup artist. She lives in Florida with her husband, son, and two cats named Obi and Molly.


Mistakes have the sole purpose of teaching us how to grow as individuals. We all had to start at the bottom and, through trial and error, make our own path! This pertains to applying makeup as well.

I can distinctively remember wearing foundation when I was a teenager that was a tad dark on me. My face was orange, but my neck was white. I didn't know better then, but I have learned that matching my foundation and blending is key.

This article details 20 makeup mistakes that you could be making without even realizing it.

Skincare Mistakes

Your face is a canvas, and it won't look flawless underneath makeup if it is not taken care of. It is very important that you don't neglect or improperly use a skincare routine. Below are a few examples.

1. You don't wash your face!

Not washing your face at all leaves your skin dull. Old skin cells build up, and oils can also get trapped on your face, resulting in those dreaded pimples. Washing your face every day can reduce this.

2. You're over-exfoliating your face.

Exfoliating is great, but over-exfoliating is terrible! Over-exfoliating strips your face of its natural oils and leaves dry, patchy skin. A better option would be to use a gentle or strong chemical—or peel—weekly to exfoliate your face. Make sure to moisturize and use sunscreen afterward.

3. You're not using sunscreen!

If you're not using it, you are at risk for skin cancer, fine lines, and brown spots. Sunscreen is a very important aspect in skincare. It's always important to put sunscreen on underneath your makeup, or anytime you leave the house. Don't neglect to put it underneath your eyes, and opt for a fragrance-free sunscreen to reduce breakouts. Your skin will thank you!

4. You're not using a moisturizer, or you're moisturizing too much!

Your skin needs moisture to look young and seamless, but it can only take so much moisturizing. There has to be a balance, or else there's chaos. Not using moisturizer leaves your face dry and patchy (which shows up when you apply makeup). Using too much clogs pores since the product just layers on your skin. Find the moisturizer that works for your needs.

We don't make mistakes, just happy little accidents.

— Bob Ross


Makeup Mistakes

Makeup is a great way to highlight your natural features or to express yourself. Below are a few examples of common makeup mistakes.

5. You are not using primer!

The PH balance in your face changes throughout the day, including the production of oil. A primer is an insurance that your foundation will stay its true color and last longer on your face. If you paint a house, you use primer—the same goes for your face!

6. You are applying concealer before your foundation!

This is a no-no. Applying concealer before foundation does not cover what you are trying to conceal. Concealer first draws more attention to that spot and stretches the foundation thin.

Scroll to Continue

7. You are not blending your foundation down your neck!

Not blending your foundation into your neck will result in a less flawless look. Even if your foundation matches well, it is still a good thing to do (especially if you plan on contouring your neck later on)

8. Your eyebrow pencil does not match your natural color!

There is nothing wrong with having darker eyebrows, but if it's too dark it actually ages you a bit. It can also draw attention to your eyebrows, and take away the attention from the makeup on your face. A more natural shade helps soften the facial features further.

9. You are applying blush to the wrong area!

You are suppose to put blush on the apples on your cheeks and blend outward. This helps prevent what i like to call "The Rodeo Clown Effect."

10. You are using the wrong brushes!

Brushes are so very important to use, and there are different types of them that are specially made for each of your features. You wouldn't want to contour with a brush that was meant for foundation. The outcome will not look great.


11. You are using too much mascara!

When you apply one too many coats of mascara, it will cause your mascara to dry more quickly. This always results in clumpy and spidery looking eyelashes. If you aren't achieving a voluminous look with your mascara, switch formulas or use an eyelash curler!

12. You are applying too much bronzer!

A little bit always goes a long way. If you have fair skin, using too much bronzer won't give you that sun-kissed complexion. It will only make you look like you brushed Cheeto dust all over your cheeks!

13. You are using mini applicators to apply eye-shadow!

Eye-shadows sometimes come with those flat mini applicators, which are supposed to be handy for a quick swipe. Using these does not give that blended smooth finish with your eye-shadow. Your best bet would be to invest in a good set of eye-shadow brushes.

14. You are using the wrong colored concealer!

Concealers are supposed to do what they are named after—concealing! If you use a too-light concealer (which are full of light-reflecting particles), you may only end up drawing more attention to that area (especially if you are trying to conceal purple or blue shadows under your eyes.) It is best to conceal with a shade closer to your skin tone than one that is too light for you.

15. You use the same makeup year-round!

You are actually supposed to change your makeup to fit the changing seasons. What works for you in the summer might not work for you in the winter. Your skin may be dryer in the winter, so changing your formulas to fit that helps a lot.

16. You are using too much powder!

Powder is a great way to mattify your face and lock in those looks. Using too much powder all over your face instead of on focused zones will leave you looking washed out. It's best to stick to under your eyes and to your t-zone!

17. You are not accentuating your individual features!

It is easy to watch tutorials on YouTube and replicate them. It will more than likely not come out to your liking, though. What works for one person's features might not work for you. You have to apply makeup to your face shape and eye shape to enhance your natural look!

18. Your foundation is too dewy and is making you look oily!

It's okay to use a dewy formula, but is your foundation making your face look like a slip n' slide? Using a little powder can help with too much shine!

19. You don't prep your lips!

Like your face, your lips have to be exfoliated as well. Exfoliating and using a balm will help your lipstick glide on. When you don't do this, your lipstick creases in your dry and cracked lips.

20. Not following your own sense of style!

Makeup is an expression—an art! We all have our own looks that we enjoy doing. You don't have to do your makeup a certain way to please everyone. You should do it how you like it because at the end of the day, what you think is all that matters! If you like that black lipstick—wear that black lipstick! If you like glittery eye shadows—flaunt it! There is no one "right" style. That is the whole point of self-expression!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Related Articles