I am obsessed with make up. I could and do spend hours at Sephora going through every product line and brand they have. I check beauty blogs and youtube tutorials daily. I know, it’s a problem. Anyway, my obsession encourages me to be creative, or at least imitative, with what I do to my face when trying new looks. Unfortunately, like with any kind of style trend, we make big mistakes sometimes (sagging pants, anyone?). Here are a few make up mistakes I won’t be making any time soon.
1. Purple eyeshadow – This stuff is honestly not okay. I know beauty “experts” and make up artists love to use purple to “switch up” a smokey eye, but a purple smokey eye always ends up looking bruised or tired. I haven’t ever felt very partial to purple, even when it’s done by a pro or the shade has a brighter hue. Funny story, I experimented with this trend in high school and I remember being so offended when one of my best girlfriends told me it was NOT working for me. She said it was her duty as my BFF to keep it real, and I’m so glad she did because she was RIGHT. So, allow me to take the role as your BFF for a moment and take my advice: unless you really know what you’re doing, do yourself a favor and stay away from purple!
2. Overly nude lips– I think this trend started catching on a few years ago and it kind of worked on the Kardashian sisters (with their glamour team!) and some lighter-colored celebs in LA. However, if you are not a Kardashian and/or if you don’t have extremely fair skin, you have no business slapping on lip color lighter than your natural lip. It makes you look sickly, like you’re barely holding on to life, especially if you have a warm complexion. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a nude lip, but it won’t look flattering unless it’s relatively close to your natural shade (no more than two shades away from your natural lip color). So, keep the nude lip believable, or else look like you’ve smeared a bunch of concealer on your mouth and be judged by me.
3. Casual black bottom eyeliner– I started wearing eyeliner at the ripe age of 12 (I repeat: I have a make up problem). But the ten years of eyeliner experience makes me more qualified to say what I’m about to. There are several issues I have with heavy eyeliner, especially as an everyday look. Liner definitely adds drama, it pumps up the sexy when it’s done right, and it makes the eyes look more obviously different than any other eye make-up technique. I think it should be used for special occasions because eyeliner looks often break down by the end of the day/night, and then you’re left looking like a raccoon from all the smearing and fall-out. Also, this look is particularly appealing for make up novices because it’s such a quick and dramatic change, but if you’re not careful, you might end up looking like Avril Lavigne in ’04. Just, next time you’re reaching for your midnight black kohl liner, maybe go for brown on your upper waterline or at least blend it!
4. Cake face foundation- Sometimes, it’s okay to have a cake face… Like when you’re a Kardashian, or when you’re a MAC artist, or when you’re performing musical theatre, or when you’re a fab drag queen. If you’re not doing any of these things, STOP CAKING! less is more! The purpose of make up should be to enhance your strongest features and to conceal what you don’t want seen. Unless you look like Freddy Kreuger when you wake up every day, there’s no reason to pile on pounds of foundation and concealer and powder to the point that your skin doesn’t even look like human skin. I get it, if you look at any celebrity, any model, any advertisement anywhere, her skin will always look flawless. THIS IS PHOTOSHOP, not RL. Fuck trying to achieve skin that’s not even real. Just try a little concealer and let your skin breathe.
5. Oompa Loompa Bronzer – I have a hunch of when this started. Bare Mineral was in it’s heyday, and the starter kit came with a “Warmth” bronzing powder, so people went to TOWN with that stuff. Don’t get me wrong- I LOVE bronzer, it makes a made-up face come to life by adding dimension, and it helps deal with the monochrome cake-face problem. But, jesus, can we not over-do bronzer? It is meant to make the face appear sun-kissed, not sun-burnt! A little goes a long way, I mean, look at how highly pigmented those powders are! And it’s especially bad when people OD on bronzer but their complexions are actually alabaster fair. NO. It is not a good look so PLEASE, put the bronzer down unless you can use with moderation.
Okay, that’s my little rant on make-up no-no’s. I’m certain that some people will disagree with me, but as I’ve become more of a minimalist, I’ve found that make up doesn’t need to look crazy dramatic to be effective; in fact, I think the opposite is true. Just a little make up, in the right places, has so much more potential than some caked-on, super jarring, weirdly unnatural face. It takes some time to figure out what works for you if you haven’t yet, but I hope you can use some of my make-up mishaps as a what-not-to-do guide.