15 Makeup Mistakes You’re Probably Making (And How To Fix Them)

I am a blogger and freelance writer based in the USA. I’ve been writing about fashion, beauty, and lifestyle for over five years. I write about things that I love to share with the world and people who might also enjoy these things too.

I am passionate about helping women who are just like me – those who are frustrated or confused by makeup or beauty products, or who don’t really know where to start with all their new makeup routines. 

Whether you’re just getting started with makeup, you want to look your best at work, going out on dates, or even if you just want to experiment with different looks (without having to spend loads of money), this post is for you!

This blog is written by me personally and speaks about my own experiences & opinions. It is not sponsored by any company. Some links may be affiliate links which means that if you choose to purchase the product from another website we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

5 Common “Makeup Mistakes” & How to Correct Them
Avoid applying too much foundation, use lighter layers instead.
Choose the right shades for your foundation and concealer to avoid mismatched tones.
Blend your makeup properly to avoid harsh lines and uneven finishes.
Enhance your eye makeup by properly filling in your eyebrows.
Use a lip liner to define your lips and prevent lipstick bleeding.
Properly curl your lashes before applying mascara for a more lifted look.
Apply blush in the right placement to enhance your features.
Make sure to blend your contour and bronzer for a natural-looking result.
Use a primer before applying eye shadow to make it last longer.
Be mindful of the expiration dates of your makeup products.
Clean your makeup brushes regularly to avoid product buildup and bacteria.
Use the correct brushes and tools for specific makeup applications.
Set your makeup with a setting spray to make it last longer.
Experiment with different makeup techniques and products to find what works best for you.
Take off your makeup before going to bed to keep your skin healthy.
Confidence is key – embrace and enhance your natural beauty with makeup.

Choosing The Wrong Foundation Shade

If you’re not sure what shade of foundation to buy, don’t worry. It’s perfectly normal to have a hard time deciding between two shades that look identical on the skin.

If you’re buying online and aren’t able to try out your potential new makeup product before purchasing it (or if there’s no way for you to get in touch with the brand), look for swatches of the product online or ask a friend who has similar skin tones and see if they can help guide your choice. 

If all else fails, go into any store and ask someone who works there! Most department stores will have someone who knows about cosmetics so don’t be afraid of asking questions about how much color payoff or coverage each product provides they’ll likely be happy enough helping out!

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Skipping Primer

Prime time for you is now.

Before you apply your foundation, it’s crucial to prime the skin with a primer. Primers act as a barrier between the oily, dry and even-toned parts of your face (and no one wants those areas clashing). 

You can use any kind of primer from silicone-based to oil-based but we recommend using something like Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Dipbrow Pomade or Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Duo in order to cover up any redness on your face before applying foundation.

If you’re feeling particularly lazy and want to save money by skipping this step altogether (or if you’re just not sure), try patting some moisturizer onto bare skin before putting on makeup so that it’ll help keep everything looking fresh longer!

Using Too Much Powder

It’s easy to overdo it with powder, especially when you’re trying to create a flawless look. If you use too much, your skin will look shiny and cakey. 

And if you use too much concealer (or any product), it can make your pores appear bigger than they are and that’s not a good thing!

It also isn’t necessary for every single makeup step in your routine: “You don’t need foundation or blush if there’s no shine coming from other parts of your face,” says Dr. Tzu-Chi Lin, dermatologist at NYU Langone Health Center in New York City.”The point here is not just about making sure that there are no visible blemishes on our faces; instead we want them gone altogether!”

Discover new makeup products and elevate your beauty routine. Explore our list of 17 Makeup Products You Need to Try Right Now to find the perfect additions for your makeup collection.

Forgetting To Set Your Liquid Or Cream Makeup With Powder

If you’re using a liquid or cream foundation, make sure to set it with powder. You don’t have to use an entire pan of powder just enough so that the foundation sets and doesn’t move around on your face throughout the day. 

To apply powder, tap it onto your face with a brush or simply sprinkle some over your cheeks and forehead. Then blend in circular motions until the product has set into place (don’t forget about areas like around the nose).

If this sounds complicated, don’t worry! There are plenty of tutorials out there for how best to do this step in order to get perfect results every time. 

The key is knowing what kind of makeup suits your skin type best: if you have dry skin, try setting liquid foundations with loose powders; otherwise opt for creamy foundations instead they’ll work just as well!

Applying Blush In The Wrong Spot

One common makeup mistake is applying blush in the wrong spot. The blush should be applied to the apples of your cheeks and not anywhere else. 

If you’ve ever seen a photo of someone wearing too much blush on their face, chances are it was because they were applying it elsewhere than where it belongs: on their apples!

Another way to make sure this doesn’t happen is by using an angled brush or sponge applicator instead of your fingers this will help guide where exactly to apply the product and ensure that none gets wasted. 

There are also some products that come with built-in applicators so that when you open them up, there’s already an angle built into them (like Benefit’s High Beam).

When it comes to oily skin, choosing the right makeup products is essential for a flawless look. Find out which products work best for oily skin in our article on The Best Makeup Products for Oily Skin.

Applying Blush Without Bronzer

Blush is a beauty essential that you should be wearing every day. However, so many of us apply blush without bronzer. This can lead to an uneven look that shows up in photos and on the Internet (yikes).

The right way to apply blush:

First and foremost, make sure your brush is clean! Make sure it’s not dirty or oily from previous uses this will cause clumps when applied over makeup products like foundation or powder. 

If you’re using a foundation brush, check its bristles for signs of wear as well; if they’re looking frayed or worn-out, replace them immediately!

Not Blending Your Eyeshadow Properly

If you’re using a brush and not using the V shape, your shadow will look like you’ve just put it on with one quick sweep across the lid. 

The best way to blend an eyeshadow is with an eyeliner brush just take a clean finger and run down the center of your lid, then blend outward in a cross-like pattern until you’ve got full coverage. For even better results, use multiple brushes instead of just one!

Proper Eyeshadow BlendingSeamless color transitions
Avoidance of harsh lines and patchiness
Professional and polished eye makeup look
Enhanced depth and dimension

Why Proper Eyeshadow Blending is Essential

Blending your eyeshadow properly offers various benefits, including:

  • Seamless color transitions: Proper eyeshadow blending allows for smooth color transitions, creating a cohesive and well-blended eye makeup look.
  • Avoidance of harsh lines and patchiness: By blending your eyeshadow, you can prevent the appearance of harsh lines and achieve a more seamless gradient of color on your eyelids.
  • Professional and polished eye makeup look: Effective blending lends a professional touch to your eye makeup, giving it a polished and well-executed appearance.
  • Enhanced depth and dimension: Blending helps to enhance the depth and dimension of your eyeshadow, creating a more multidimensional and eye-catching look.

By mastering the technique of proper eyeshadow blending, you can elevate your eye makeup game and achieve a more professional and flawless finish.

Matching Your Lips And Cheeks

It’s a no-brainer that you should match your blush to your lipstick, but this can also apply to other makeup products. 

If you have light eyeshadow on one side of the face and dark on the other, try using a light color across both sides of your mouth it will make it look like there’s less makeup on one side than there actually is! 

Likewise, if you’re wearing pale pink eye shadow but want something more intense for your lips (like red), use vibrant color on both sides of them instead of just one side with subtle shades; this way they’ll appear more natural rather than looking like they’re wearing clown shoes (which we all know happens).

Achieving flawless makeup doesn’t have to be a mystery. Unlock the secrets to a flawless look with our guide on 10 Secrets to Achieve Flawless Makeup Every Time.

Mascara Smudges Under The Eye

You’ve probably been told to use a primer before applying mascara, but what about under the eye? That’s a common problem area for many people and can cause smudging. 

The reason behind it is simple: when you apply too much product at once, your eyelid gets oily and clumpy (you’re not alone if this happens). This can lead to clumps of makeup getting stuck under your eyes.

Letting your mascara dry completely first will help prevent this from happening; otherwise, try using a dryer formula or letting each layer dry before applying another one! If you have oily skin type, try using primer first as well so that there’s less chance of smudging happening in the first place!

Over-Penciling Your Brows

Over-penciling your brows can make them look too harsh and fake. To avoid that, use a good rule of thumb: If you have hair color in the same shade as the pencil, then it’s time to stop over-correcting!

If you’re feeling creative with your eyebrows this season (and who isn’t?) then keep this tip in mind: Try using an angled brush instead of a regular one. This will help blend out any harsh lines and make sure everything looks natural!

Using Too Much Highlighter

  • Highlighter is a great way to add light to your face, but you should be careful not to go overboard. If you’re using too much highlighter, it can make you look like a disco ball.
  • Highlighter should be applied sparingly and only on the high points of your face (in other words, don’t just slap it all over).
  • Highlight should never be used as an excuse for going overboard with makeup or accessories—if something looks good on someone else because they have perfect skin and/or great genes, then that’s also true for everyone else!

Ready to perfect your smokey eye look? Dive into our comprehensive guide on The Ultimate Guide to Perfecting Your Smokey Eye Look and master this timeless makeup technique.

Not Using A Brush To Apply Lipstick Or Lip Gloss

Lipstick and lip gloss are both dry products that require a lot of precision in application. This is where your brush comes in handy: it allows you to apply the product evenly and precisely, which means you can get the most out of each swipe.

A typical lipstick comes with a roundish applicator that’s easy to lose track of while traveling around town or on the go. If your lipstick has an applicator, make sure it’s easy for you to use—and if not, consider purchasing one separately!

You may be tempted to skip this step because some people think applying makeup looks messy or unprofessional; however, there are many benefits associated with using brushes when applying lipstick/lip gloss:

Brushless technology allows for better coverage from light-reflecting materials like clear lipsticks; this helps keep colors looking vibrant throughout the day without fading or getting blotchy after eating foods like cherries (which tend not only cause discoloration but also food stains).

Using a Lip BrushPrecise application
Even distribution of product
Enhanced control for detailed lip makeup
Minimized product wastage

Why You Should Use a Lip Brush for Lipstick and Lip Gloss Application

Using a lip brush instead of directly applying lipstick or lip gloss can bring several advantages, including:

  • Precise application: A lip brush allows for more precise application, enabling you to create defined lines and shape your lips with accuracy.
  • Even distribution of product: By using a lip brush, you can ensure that the product is evenly distributed across your lips, resulting in a smooth and flawless finish.
  • Enhanced control for detailed lip makeup: Lip brushes provide better control, making it easier to achieve more intricate lip makeup looks, such as creating an ombre effect or contouring the lips.
  • Minimized product wastage: With a lip brush, you can control the amount of product you apply, minimizing the risk of using too much and wasting precious lipstick or lip gloss.

Using a lip brush for your lipstick and lip gloss application can elevate your makeup technique and help you achieve more professional-looking results.

Not Setting Your Eye Makeup When Wearing False Lashes

When you’ve applied false lashes, it’s important to set your eye makeup after. Otherwise, the lashes could end up moving around when you blink or move your eyes and make them look like they’re not even there. To make sure this doesn’t happen:

Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly (like Vaseline) onto each lash band before putting on the strip of adhesive (or glue). This will help keep everything in place while providing an extra barrier against moisture in case it starts getting wet later on.

Wait until all three strips are dry before applying any other products—including concealer! You don’t want anything interfering with what’s happening underneath them; otherwise they’ll move around too much when you blink or move around during the day!

Not Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes Often Enough (Or At All)

How often you should clean your makeup brushes depends on the type of makeup you use and how much time you spend applying it.

A good rule of thumb is to give it a once-over every week, but if you have oily skin or wear heavy foundation daily, weekly cleaning might be necessary. 

The key is keeping the bristles free from product buildup so they can be replaced when they get worn out or damaged by chemicals.

Buying Products That Don’t Work For You Based On What Your Friends Like

One of the most common makeup mistakes is buying products that don’t work for you because they’re based on what your friends like.

You might be tempted to try something new if it looks great in a magazine or store, but this can lead to a lot of wasted money and time. To avoid falling into this trap:

Find out what works for you, not what works for others.

Try a few things at once but don’t buy more than one at a time! This way, if something doesn’t work for you (or doesn’t suit your skin tone), then at least there’s no need to waste money on something else just yet you’ll still have plenty left over from buying that first product that didn’t work out so well after all.

Ask for samples whenever possible so that it’s easier for yourself and others around who may also want/need them too!

Buying products solely based on friends’ preferencesConsider individual factors such as skin type, undertone, and personal preferences. Research and read product reviews.
Using the wrong shade of foundationGet color-matched at a cosmetic store or use online tools for accurate shade selection.
Neglecting to properly blend makeupBlend makeup thoroughly to avoid visible lines and achieve a seamless finish.
Overlooking the importance of eyebrow definitionDefine and fill in eyebrows using appropriate products, such as brow pencils or powders.
Not using a lip liner to prevent lipstick bleedingUse a lip liner to outline and fill in lips, providing a barrier for lipstick bleed.
Skipping eyelash curling before applying mascaraCurl eyelashes prior to applying mascara to achieve a lifted, voluminous look.
Applying blush incorrectly or in the wrong placementApply blush to the apples of the cheeks for a natural flush, enhancing facial features.
Failing to blend contour and bronzer properlyBlend contour and bronzer seamlessly to achieve a natural-looking sculpt and warmth.
Overlooking the use of eyeshadow primerApply an eyeshadow primer to enhance color payoff, prevent creasing, and prolong wear.
Ignoring the expiration dates of makeup productsCheck expiration dates and discard expired products to ensure optimal performance and safety.
Neglecting to regularly clean makeup brushesClean brushes regularly to remove buildup, bacteria, and ensure smoother application.
Not using appropriate brushes/tools for specific tasksSelect and utilize suitable brushes and tools for different makeup application techniques.
Forgetting to set makeup with a setting sprayFinish makeup by setting it with a setting spray to prolong wear and maintain a fresh look.
Sticking to the same makeup routine without exploringExperiment with different products and techniques to find what works best for individual needs.
Sleeping with makeup on, neglecting skincareAlways remove makeup before bed and follow a proper skincare routine to keep skin healthy.
Lacking confidence in embracing and enhancing natural beautyUse makeup as a tool to boost confidence and enhance individual features.


  • You know that over-smearing of your foundation can lead to blotchiness. But do you ever notice how once you apply a layer of primer, the foundation goes on more evenly?
  • The oily eyelids and oily skin will make the liquid or cream formula go all over your face so use powder in conjunction with primer (also known as setting/setting spray).
  • Not having enough bronzer makes your face look pale and washed out.
  • When you try to apply blush without bronzer, it’s not at all pretty! Make sure you have a little highlighter under your cheekbones or your face will look flat and dull.
  • If you’re wearing false lashes without setting them first, they’ll look icky. If the glue doesn’t hold, they’ll fall off half way through the night and you’ll be crying in front of a room full of people. Don’t be like me… bring spare ones in case there’s any issues with the adhesive!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to help you learn more about common makeup mistakes:

Common Makeup Mistakes and How to Fix Them: Real Simple provides insights into common makeup mistakes and offers tips on how to correct them for a flawless look.

Avoid These Makeup Mistakes for a Perfect Look: RD.com shares a list of makeup mistakes to avoid and provides practical advice on achieving a perfect makeup look.

Most Common Makeup Mistakes You Usually Commit: Discover the most common makeup mistakes people often make and learn how to avoid them for a more polished appearance, as discussed by Stylecraze.


How can I fix cakey foundation?

To fix cakey foundation, start with properly moisturized skin and use a damp beauty sponge or brush to blend foundation. Avoid applying too much product and consider using a primer to create a smooth base.

What should I do to prevent smudged mascara?

To prevent smudged mascara, make sure to curl your lashes and apply a waterproof formula. Additionally, avoid rubbing your eyes throughout the day and consider using a mascara primer or setting spray.

How can I avoid lipstick bleeding into fine lines?

To prevent lipstick from bleeding into fine lines, exfoliate and moisturize your lips before applying lipstick. Use a lip liner to define your lips and consider opting for long-lasting or matte formulas that are less likely to smudge.

What should I do to make my eyeshadow last longer?

To make your eyeshadow last longer, use an eyeshadow primer or a concealer as a base. Set the primer with a translucent powder before applying eyeshadow. Applying eyeshadow in thin layers and using a setting spray can also help improve longevity.

How can I prevent my makeup from creasing on my eyelids?

To prevent makeup from creasing on your eyelids, start with a matte eyeshadow base or primer. Use a small amount of eyeshadow, blend it well, and avoid layering too much product. Setting your eyelids with a light dusting of powder can also help with creasing.