Makeup Mistakes to Avoid & What to Do Instead

Do you feel like you’re doing something wrong with your makeup, or you just can’t quite achieve the look you want? We’ve compiled a list of our best tips for achieving a makeup look the pros go for. From choosing the right colors for your skin to proper application techniques, this info will help you step up your makeup game whether you like a natural look, full glam, and everything in between.

There really are no rules when it comes to makeup. While makeup is an art and most of the choices we make depend on personal preference, there are a few things to keep in mind no matter what your makeup style is.

Choosing the right colors for your skin

Has anyone ever told you that you look great in a certain color? Most of the time, that has everything to do with your skin’s natural undertone. In order to find what colors you wear best, you need to find out what your undertone is.

Skin tones & undertones are often confused, but they are actually two different things:

  • Skin tone is the color of your actual skin: fair, light, medium, olive, tan, dark.

  • Undertones are the colors that show through the skin – you can have warm, cool or neutral undertones.

An easy way to check what undertones you have is to check your veins. If your veins look green you have a warm skin tone. If your veins look blue, you have a cool skin tone. If they look equally bluish green, you have a neutral skin tone.

For Warm undertones

If you have warmer undertones your skin has peachy, yellow or golden hues, and you typically look better in warmer makeup shades. Lean towards anything with a golden or warm tone — orangey red lipsticks, golden nude eyeshadows and warm pink blushes look great on warm undertones.

For cool undertones

If you have cooler undertones in your skin, you’ll see a pink, red, or bluish hue to your skin. You should look for shades that also have pink, red, bluish or gray undertones, to match and compliment your skin. Bluish red lipsticks, grayish brown eyeshadows and bubblegum pink blushes look great on cool undertones.

Keep in mind, no matter what your skin tone, always avoid colors that are way too light for your lips and skin — they will make you look washed out, dehydrated and unhealthy. This especially applies to lipsticks!

For neutral undertones

If you have neutral undertones, you have equal parts of warm and cool undertones, so you can wear neutral colors, as well as colors on either side of the spectrum.


Choosing the right color is most important when it comes to foundation. Use what you learned about choosing colors based on your undertone and apply it to choosing a foundation shade. It doesn’t matter how good your eye makeup or lipstick looks, if your foundation looks off, people are going to notice. You can get away with using a foundation one shade darker than your natural skin tone if you want to appear a little more tanned. It’s important that you don’t choose anything darker, though, as it will look too unnatural. Use a Beauty Blender or foundation brush to blend out the edges of your foundation into your hairline, ears, and down the neck. This will make your foundation look most natural. If you’re using a shade darker than your skin, this step is especially important.


When the face needs a little color, blush is the perfect way to add some life. Using your undertones knowledge, choose a color that compliments your complexion. Aside from color, there a few key things to keep in mind for successful blush application— the amount of product, the brush you’re using, and placement

  • Be sure to tap your brush to get rid of excess before applying. This will prevent those clown cheeks that we so desperately want to avoid.

  • Using a fluffy, natural haired brush will give the most natural application. A natural haired brush will suck up a little bit of product, giving you a natural look, while the fluffy hairs will ensure the product is dispersed more softly and evenly on the cheek. Using a tight, dense brush will deposit more color in a smaller area, making it hard to blend out. Go in with a light hand, you can always build up the color, but it’s hard to take it away and blend it out once too much product is already there.


Eyebrows are definitely a thing of personal preference when it comes to shape, size, angle, and definition.  To get the most natural looking brow, use a product shade close to your natural hair. If you aren’t sure which shade to use, taupe is a universal color that will work on everyone. Start by defining the lower brow first. Draw a line along the base of the brow to get your arch shape, being careful not to extend the tail of your brow too far down. Keeping the brow tail more “lifted” will in turn give the entire face a more lifted appearance. Begin filling in using hairlike strokes to mimic the look of real brow hairs. Leaving the inner brow lighter, or even blank, will make your brows look even more natural. If you want a more ‘pin up’ look, you can create a more defined, square inner corner,  just be careful not to overdo it and make it look too blocky. Use a spooley brush to soften the strokes and make everything look nice and blended. No one wants Sharpie brows! To define your lower brow, go in with some concealer, eyeshadow primer, or even foundation on a small brush and clean up right below your eyebrow, giving it a bit of highlight.  And remember: when it comes to eyebrows, practice makes perfect! If they aren’t quite how you want them, keep at it— you’ll get there!


The rule of thumb when it comes to blending eyeshadow (or any of your makeup, for that matter) is this: when you think you’re done blending, blend some more. It’s no secret that blended makeup looks better and much more natural than makeup that isn’t. You shouldn’t be able to tell where your foundation ends and where your eyeshadow begins. Using a light hand allows you to build up the product as you go without making a powdery eyeshadow mess or causing ‘fallout’ (product falling down) on your undereyes. You should also consider using a transition color— a neutral eyeshadow close to your natural skin color— in your crease before you even apply your eyeshadow. This will allow for maximum blendability and ensure a seamless, gradient effect from your skin color to even the most bold colored eyeshadow. Using a clean fluffy brush, you can also go back and blend out the edges of your shadow, just to be sure you get the perfect, clean, blended transition.


Highlighter, when used properly, can give the face that glowy, dewy look that makes skin appear youthful and radiant. There are a few things to keep in mind when using highlighter. Watch where you apply it: highlighter, although beautiful, not only draws attention to pores and skin texture, but exaggerates these imperfections. You’ll want to avoid areas where your pores are more obvious or your skin has texture. Typically, highlighter is applied on the high points of the cheekbone, down the nose and on the cupid’s bow of the lips. Be careful how much highlighter you apply on your nose— too wide of a stripe will make your nose look extra wide. On the other hand, a thin line down your nose will make your nose look very slim. The advantage of highlighter is that you can use it to create exactly the look you want, by faking light and tricking the eye into seeing what you want it to– like a wider or slimmer nose, for example.

These techniques and tricks are used by professional makeup artists, so if you’ve been struggling to get that pro quality look, incorporating these into your routine will change the game for you. The best part is these tips work for everyone no matter what your skin type, skin tone, or even what your makeup style is.

For more tips, be sure to check out our posts on How to Get Flawless Foundation and Affordable Makeup Must Haves.

Photo credits: Kristen Love

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Trackback from your site.

Kristen Love

Kristen Love resides in the Chicago area with her husband & two kiddos-- an energetic toddler who will do anything to make his sweet, baby sister giggle (which doesn't take much). She is the author behind The Love Notes Blog, a YouTube beauty vlogger, an extreme DIY’er, obsessive chick flick watcher, lover of all things pretty & her spirit animal is Li’l Sebastian. Connect with her! Blog: | Instagram: @thelovenotes | Facebook: The Love Notes Blog | Twitter: @lovenotesblog | Snapchat: @thelovenotes | YouTube:

Leave a comment