Follow Project Vanity on Facebook!

Never miss an update by liking this blog on Facebook. I also post sneak peeks, unshared photos, and other beauty tidbits here. Like Project Vanity on FB now!


Liz Who?


My name is Liz and I blog as a hobby. I like all things bright and beautiful!

Email me at liz [at]

Disclosure: Most of the products I review here are press samples unless stated otherwise. FYI!




Fashion & Beauty - Top Blogs Philippines

« Project Vanity x Ford: Say I love you promo | Main | MeMeMe Long Wear Satin Lip Cream in Berry Crush »

Five common makeup mistakes

There's no rigid right or wrong way to do makeup. It's supposed to be fun, a way for you to show off your best assets and express yourself in the process. So what qualifies as a "makeup mistake"? Well, you're making one if what you're wearing is unflattering and uncomfortable on your face - with or without your knowledge! It could also be a technique that you overdo. 

Are you guilty of these common makeup mistakes?

1. The wrong foundation. Foundation is a tricky, tricky beast. We obsess about getting the perfect shade, as we should since this is quite a feat during the first few tries. If done incorrectly you have a useless bottle of makeup and a few hours seething in embarrasment over your too-white (or dark) face.

However, I feel that not enough people think about the correct formula for their skin and their lifestyle needs. For example, if you're a stay-at-home mom you will probably not need to wear something as heavy and matte as Revlon Colorstay for your day-to-day activities. If you're an oily office girl who commutes, an illuminating watery foundation is a bad idea because it will most likely look too shiny and faded by the end of the day.

2. Harsh eyebrows. Bold eyebrows are big this year and I admit that I like the look...for editorials. The runway. Photoshoots. Events. But outside of these situations very dark and sharp eyebrows are just too much. I noticed that makeup artists and enthusiasts have a tendency to overdo eyebrows because they pile on a lot of product. Newbies are also guilty when they become too pencil-happy and have not heard of the great marvel that is the plastic spoolie.

Dark yet still very much wearable

Soft eyebrows should be the default for an everyday look. Choose a shade that's one step lighter or is the exact color of your hair, and avoid layering if you don't really need it.

3. Overdone eyeshadows. News flash: your face is not a coloring book where you need to work inside the lines. Too colorful (as in more than four) and overly precise eyeshadow application rarely looks appealing. Well, if you're doing it on purpose then go for it and don't listen to ornery ol' me. Otherwise, you have to take a step back and really look at the way you do your eye makeup. Are there obvious demarcation lines between colors?

Looks fab in photos but is borderline ridiculous in person unless you look like a model. Photo from April Lopes 

I didn't know it but I was guilty of this for a long time. I thought my makeup looked fine until I saw how experts did it! So always watch YouTube videos from the best gurus and absorb the tutorials through your pores.

4. White shimmery eyeshadow on the brow bone. Eyeshadow palettes tend to come with a highlighting colour - usually a shimmery white - to bring out the arch of the eyebrows. This is a terrible idea, on Asian skin especially! Shimmery white is too cool so a splash of it under the eyebrows is quite unflattering. Always use a beige or champagne color on the brow bone. Use the shimmery white only on the inner corner of the eyes or as a lid wash (and sparingly too).

5. Rubbing face makeup onto the skin. Do you rub face powder on your T-zone when retouching? Do you rub concealer or cream/gel blush in the process of blending them? I hope not! Instead of rubbing, pat product onto the skin in quick, feather-light motions using your fingers or preferred applicator. You will get a more even finish while maximizing the opacity of the makeup.

So there you go. Have you observed any common makeup mistakes yourself? Share!

References (1)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Five common makeup mistakes - Project Vanity - Project Vanity

Reader Comments (41)

Awesome tips Ms.Liz! Especially he last 2 ones, very useful but nit as widely known, I've seen youtube makeup gurus use white to hihlight their browbone and it jus ruins he look and makes it look over the top :c

The "don't rub, pat" makeup technuique is fairly new to me but it helped me tremendously! I was wondering before why my concealer didn't last too long especially when I retouched then it came to me that I was too roght with the sponge and probably ended up spreading it everywhere rather than on that specific are/blemish which also cakes up my whole look!

I love how your list isn't boring and all obvious like "well duh ofcourse you're not suppose to do that n makeup", this is a list even a experienced makeup artist can still learn from!

January 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCam

Haha I'm sometimes guilty of the eyebrows thing! I spend too much time shaping my eyebrows that I end up with an editorial pair...but thankfully, the times I noticed I did so, I was actually wearing non-casual, strange made-for-me dresses to big events so it wasn't so bad. I first noticed how harsh girls' eyebrows are lately at the last BU. That was a wake up call for me. A lot of girls tend to draw their eyebrows squarish at the thickest part. I used to do that, too until my MUA cousin Rae Venturanza tsked and fixed them for me, making sure the thick part faded more naturally. Para naman hindi parang stickers sa fez ang kilay! :))

January 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Im doing number 4 haha..:)) thanks for this post Liz! Very helpful ;)

January 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLian

I'm guilty of number 5! I always rub the make up even though I was told that it should be patted instead. Well, there's still room for changes! Thanks for another post Ms. Liz!

January 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNina

Thank you for pointing out number 4!

I watched Youtube tutorials while growing up, and I have observed that the shimmery white eyeshadow on the browbone does not work for me. I have always stuck with beige because I thought that it looks better on me. And I thought that I was not normal LOL

January 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrownOso

Ouch, haha I am guilty with number 1, that is why I only use BB creams that could pass up as a foundation, which blends evenly on the skin. I am so nervous at buying foundations because I can't seem to find the right shade for me, plus they make me break out. haha
Love the line "absorb the tutorial through your pores." hahaha I really love it whenever you make lists like this! always a good read! :)

January 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPauline

Great post Ms. Liz! I'm guilty of the eyeshadow thing. I try to copy the make-up gurus on youtube, the way they apply darker eyeshadow on the outer corner of the eyes then lighter on the inner corners. Only, I was doing it so wrong! But I didn't know it then. I thought I was doing ok. When I finally stopped trying and just put on whatever I feel makes me look good, my friends and family actually told me that I'm "learning" to use make-up and that it's not unflattering as before! I didn't even know they felt that way. Haha. They let me parade around with horrible looking eyes. Simple tip is: stop trying too hard. Putting on make-up shouldn't feel like a challenge every time, it should be a fun thing we girls do for ourselves. :)

January 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYana Tan

Thank you for another helpful post. Anyway, to help girls in preventing the common mistake number 1, I recommend them to use BB Cream. It automatically 'adjust' to your skin though you must first wait for the gray cast to disappear. Also, I agree with highlighting your brows. It make me look more awake and kind of helps in softening whatever harsh lines I left behind. My skin is fair and sallow and shimmery white works just fine but I prefer a shade darker than that like bone white or something. For typical morena Pinay, go for beige. :)

January 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAngel

1 and 2 for me! Finding the right shade of foundation is a major problem for me -- the labels are so confusing! I get similar problem if I try to experiment on another brand or switch foundations. Sometimes I would end up trusting what the lady at the counter says rather than my instinct and to my horror, end up buying the wrong shade....
I have always preferred dark I know better...lighter eyebrows make me look younger...

January 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPrincess Julia

Guilty of the eyebrows thing because mine are naturally thick and I adore a strong brow... but whenever I try to leave them alone, it feels so wrong. :))

Another "mistake" people make is not blending enough. I don't mean just with eyeshadows.. with blush and concealer, too. It looks so... slapped on and not in a good way. haha

January 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMariana

I CAN RELATE TO #1!!! Totally! for goodness sake, I have 10 cream/liquid foundations with me, and only 3 are considered good match! The others did not go to waste though, sometimes I try to mixed them up (since I'm acidic) I benefit from using slightly lighter shades. Ms. Liz, I wonder what you to foundations that are totally not your shade? sure you have lots of this.

January 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDesh

I'm sometimes guilty of overdoing my brows and not the right shade of brow bone highlighter. LOL For the no rub but pat technique, as much as I want to do that all the time, some products do not cooperate well.

January 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJean

Obviously Ms. Liz based on the post i just posted in Ask Liz, I'm guilty of #1 since all my foundie are just bought by relatives for me from the US and I have never actually have them match to my skin by a sales assistant in person. I have had bought two shades of the same foundation before because i wasn't sure which shade would match. That's why i don't get high end foundation and but I don't wear foundation often anyways. I know, lame excuses, my bad!

January 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercouchpotato_md

I am guilty with the first, I must admit. So sometimes to avoid being a laughing stock in public, I just use powder foundation that matches my skin. I am really having a hard time figuring out what shade fits me best.

January 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarie Jane Rosell Jaime

Another makeup mistake po.. Over blush! Haha! I'm not guilty of it pero andami kong nakikitang girls na parang sinampal ng sampu katao sa sobrang pula ng pisngi.. lol As in there's a streak of color sa magkabilang cheeks.. I actually started to ask na "Is this a trend? Dapat ba tlgang ipakita na nka-blusher ka?" haha! :D

January 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Wow... very helpful! Love this post and also all the comments here :)

January 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterchiena

For me, i find it very disturbing to see girl wearing very dark contour powder. Parang may putik samuka ang dating then foundation na kala mo pinatong lang sa muka dahil di nakablend ng mabuti sa hairline and di pantay ang color sa neck and chest.

January 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteralen

Some mistakes that I cringe at but has been guilty of: spider lashes, reverse raccoon eyes, and not dusting excess powder off (looks horrible in flash photography). There's also the overly blush-ed face (common in sales ladies). For some time I avoided using blush for fear of doing the same, haha.

January 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJas

I just cannot stand too much blush! I feel like it's one of the most important thing you have to be careful of. I really don't like pink blushes as they look unnatural on the skin when you applied it wrong. I like peach blushes though, really good for asian skin in my opinion. But right now, I'm really liking the look of red blush and I don't know why. Please do a tutorial on how to wear red blush if you can! :) xo

January 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKhristine

Another makeup mistake is, of course, clashing colors. Again, common in salesladies. Blue eyeshadow with heavy hot pink blush? Dear Lord. It has crossed my mind more than once that these salesladies are actually forced to wear clownish makeup; otherwise, why would about 90% of them make the same faux pas? Hahahaha! Kidding. Must have something to do with peer pressure.

January 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAviva

I confess: harsh and unmatched eyebrows are my usual makeup faux pas. I love how you do your eyebrows, Liz. Another is unmatched foundation -- but I would like to think I've gotten better over the years in mixing my bb cream and foundation and coming up with a match for my skintone. I cringe when I see past photos with my geisha face and red/brown eyebrows! haha! But practice does make perfect, or in my case, better and better. :D

January 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdianecapile

I plead guilty to mistakes 1 and 5. I still can't get the hang of foundations that's why your foundation reviews are very helpful to me. When I have doubts about putting on foundation, I use BB cream only. I also used to rub powder when applying it but I don't do that anymore.

This is probably my favorite 2013 post so far because it's very relevant to all makeup users, whatever their skin tones, lifestyles and makeup brands are. Thanks Liz!

January 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaybelle

I have always tried to perfect the eyeshadow application. This is the area where it takes me so much time. I guess at some point Im guilty of this esp when doing the smokey eye. But Im getting better at it. Learning how to "do my face", such an excruciating but fun journey. And one more, I read somewhere one make up mistake that is sooo common is THE blue eyeshadow.

January 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterManilaJen

another mistake is overly winged that can make u look like the princess of china or the queen of egypt :P another is not blending the foundation to ur neck....question though? hu blends their powder/foundation down to areas exposed and to the back of their nape/neck? hahaha

January 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterallura

I'm guilty of #3 and #4 sometimes, but totally #3, haha :D

January 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYette

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>