Using too light a shade of under-eye concealer
For most women, concealer is an everyday staple, but just because you use it on the reg doesn’t mean you’re doing it right. Many people choose a concealer that’s way too light in hopes that it will cancel out under-eye darkness, but the reality is that it just ends up looking heavy and chalky—giving you those dreaded raccoon eyes—and can exacerbate wrinkles and dark circles even more. According to Solomon, concealer should be one shade lighter than your skin to add a brightening effect. “Trying warming it up by applying it with your ring finger. It will blend easier and look very natural.” In addition to covering ’em up, try these remedies to treat the dark circles under your eyes.
Skipping eye shadow primer
Shiny lids? Uneven, patchy shadow? These are the result of skipping primer and applying eye shadow directly on bare eyelids. “This leads to an unblended, streaky look that draws your attention to the actual makeup rather than your gorgeous eyes,” says makeup artist Erin Guth. She recommends prepping the eye area—from the lash line all the way to the brow—with a shadow primer, such as Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion. This creates the perfect canvas for long-wearing, flawless color. “Next, when applying pigment, remember to blend, blend, blend and slowly build your color. Use brushes—no sponge applicators, please—so you create a polished look rather than a garish, smudgy appearance.” And to finish your peepers, try these ingenious mascara tricks for long, thick lashes.
Glow is good, but too much shimmer can make you look like a frosted cupcake. For a more subtle effect, Solomon recommends choosing a natural highlighter—without too much of a silver hue or big glitter flakes—and using a fan brush to apply it to tops of your cheekbones, inner corners of your eyes, and along the bridge of the nose for a lifted effect. Do you know the right way to apply highlighter?
Using too dark a contour color
“I see women every day with brown streaks on their cheeks,” says Penske. That’s because too many women fall into the trap of using a contour that’s way too dark. The result is super harsh. What you really want is a product that’s two shades deeper than your natural skin color. And, of course, blending is key to a natural-looking contour. Need a crash course in contouring? Check out this pictorial how-to on using makeup to make you look thinner.