In an attempt to keep up with mainstream beauty, there are as many fails as there are new products–just how do you keep up these days? Hopefully I can make your life a bit easier by sharing the most common beauty pitfalls and how to prevent them!
You’re going for that big lash look as advertised, yet your lashes are clumping. Basically you want this…
But end up with this…
Thankfully, spider lashes are preventable. First, it’s important to throw out your mascara every 4-6 months as it will begin to dry out and be harder to apply. Second, don’t underestimate the power of curling your lashes! This helps to separate them and makes for an easier (and more beautiful) application. Third, search for a mascara brush that is thin which will allow for more accuracy, as opposed to a thicker brush which will often load on too much product. Lastly, be sure to use proper technique–slightly tilt head upward and wiggle brush slowly going upwards from the base of your lash.
TIP: DO NOT pump your mascara brush–this does not add more mascara to the brush in comparison to simply dipping it in once. The only thing this will do is cause air to enter your mascara and dry it out faster.
SNAP, CRACKLE, CREASE
A common pitfall when it comes to wearing foundation especially, is the possibility of unwanted creasing (most prominent at the laugh lines). We obviously aren’t going to walk around with a straight face all day long (unless you are A. a mannequin, B. the Queen’s guard, or C. have had a scary amount of Botox). That being said, there are a few crucial steps to ensure there is minimal creasing of your makeup. First, moisturizer is paramount, but you probably already new that. What you might not have known is that it requires proper drying time–5 minutes should do it. If you are in a hurry, take this time to get dressed, fix your hair, etc. Next, a primer is just as crucial since it will create the base for which your makeup is applied (this goes for eyelids too!)–and it will also require a few minutes drying time.
TIP: Shimmers (i.e eyeshadow) will make wrinkles more prominent. Best to stick with matte shades as you get older and to always use an eye cream. The skin around the eyelids is thin and first to wrinkle so you’ll want to keep it moisturized to prevent unwanted cracking.
SEAL IT WITH…..A TOP COAT
After a base coat, two coats of polish, and drying time in between–one can be easily swayed to forgo a topcoat. However, this last step is the most important part of your manicure since it will seal in your hard work and make it shine to boot. A top coat will extend the life of your manicure from one day–to countless more (providing you aren’t doing heavy duty hand work–if so, wear gloves), keeping it chip-free and lustrous. It’s similar to setting your makeup with powder, it will just ensure that it lasts longer. So don’t let laziness cost you more, say yes to the top coat!
BONUS TIP: Did you know you’re not actually supposed to shake your nail polish? (a mistake I’ve actually been making for years). This only creates air bubbles and an obvious inconvenience to your manicure. Instead, simply roll the bottle until its contents are mixed.
WHERE ‘DEM BROWS AT?
OK, I exaggerated a bit with Eva Longeria’s picture on the left. However, when I first started tweezing my own eyebrows at the age of 12 (ah, I know)–they weren’t too far from completely missing. Usually people tend to over-pluck in an attempt to make their brows symmetrical and just have a hard time getting to that point. The obvious solution to this problem is to have them waxed professionally and then follow the outline. Others may feel however, that thinner brows look better or even highly arched ones–when in fact they don’t. It’s really all about symmetry and there are 3 points you need to observe in order to ensure your brows are reaching their full potential (refer to Angelina Jolie’s picture above):
1. Your eyebrow should begin at the corner of your eye. Any further inward and you’ll be reaching for a unibrow, while further outward will take away from the attractive cat-eyed look.
2. The arch of your brow should line up with the side of your iris.
3. The end of your brow should be in line with the outer corner of your eye.
TIP: Eyebrows should be one or two shades darker than your hair colour which will allow them to appear fuller and more shapely. Also, don’t forget to “highlight” under your brow using a light-coloured eyeshadow–this will create the illusion of an eyebrow lift and make your eyes stand out. Last, if you have gone and over-plucked, you can apply castor oil to sparse areas to encourage re-growth and use an eyebrow pencil/gel to fill in spaces. My personal favorite is Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Brow ($24 at Sephora.com), which I apply with a small angled brush.
LEAVE IT BE
At the sight of an unsightly blemish, its a common thought to lather on the acne creams in hopes that it will be gone quicker. However, this can do more damage than good–actually irritating your skin and causing redness, dryness, and scaling. Topical acne medications such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide (while not my go-to) need only be applied sparingly, otherwise, you are only aggravating the situation. Your best choice of action would be to resist touching, picking, or squeezing, limit product usage, and calm the area with some freshly made green tea (the cooler the better), mixed with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, and dabbed with a cotton ball. Tea tree oil would be a nice alternative as well due to its anti-bacterial qualities.
TIP: When concealing the blemish it is important to always use a concealer one shade lighter than your foundation in order to mask its appearance.