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Make-up misconduct is a common offence, but we can set you on the path to rehabilitation
e’ve all made make-up mistakes – from applying too much heavy foundation, to drawing on mismatched eyebrows. Such errors can be ageing, hide our best features and even draw attention to flaws. But assistance is at hand – and we have the know-how to help you drop those bad habits for good…
CRIME Testing foundation on the back of your hand. ‘Never do this!’ says Kirstin Piggott, Rimmel London’s global make-up artist. ‘The skin on your hands has had a lot of sun exposure, and is darker than your face.’
REHAB ‘Apply potential foundations to your jawline,’ suggests Kirstin. ‘Swipe three shades on to your face, then choose the one that blends in best – your base should match, not mask, your complexion. If you’re already wearing make-up, test products on your neck or chest, as these areas closely match the skin on your face.’ Still need help? Head to a No7 counter to take advantage of the Match Made Foundation Service.
CRIME Using the wrong shade of cover-up to hide dark circles. Apparently, many of us choose a product that’s too pale when we’re trying to hide those pesky under-eye shadows. ‘Using a concealer that’s lighter than your natural skin tone can actually draw more attention to bags, by creating a halo effect around the eye,’ explains Vanesa Guallar, Seventeen make-up artist.
REHAB ‘To hide shadows, your concealer needs to match your base,’ says Vanesa. ‘Try mixing your cover-up with a bit of foundation on the back of your hand,
then pat it on with a brush.’ (We like Clinique Concealer Brush, £14/1,400 points.) This combo should be enough to cover even quite dark circles.
CRIME Choosing a primer that fights with your foundation. If your base and primer aren’t in sync, you won’t be getting the most out of your make-up. ‘For example, if you apply a silicone-based primer, then a water-based foundation on top, the silicone will repel the water and you’ll be left with a patchy base, rather than a flawless finish that will stay put for hours,’ says Adam Burrell, Barry M make-up artist.
REHAB Follow this formula: water-based primer + water-based foundation = happy skin. The same applies for silicone-based products. Dry complexion? Team water-infused Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Light, £12.50/1,250 points (12ml), with Clarins Skin Illusion Foundation in 107 Beige, £29.48/ 2,948 points (30ml). If you have oily skin, go for silicone-based bareMinerals Prime Time Oil Control Foundation Primer, £22/2,200 points (30ml), plus Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse in Ivory, £7.69/769 points (18g). Job done!
CRIME Applying foundation all over your face. ‘Foundation should be used subtly and only in areas where it’s really needed,’ says Fred Letailleur, YSL’s international make-up artist. ‘Applying too much can create an unflattering, mask-like finish.’
REHAB ‘Use a small amount of the lightest formula you can find,’ Fred says. (We love YSL Fusion Ink Foundation in B30, £32.50/3,250 points, 25ml). ‘Buff it in to conceal redness, applying lightly to the forehead and high on the cheeks,’ he adds. You want people to say that your skin looks good, rather than your make-up.
You might have left lip liner back in the Nineties, but if you’re using lippy without it, you could be missing a trick
CRIME Mismatching the colour of your eyebrows. ‘The most natural shade for your brows is probably a lot lighter than you think,’ say make-up artists Sam and Nic Chapman AKA Pixiwoo. ‘If you use a product that’s too dark, they’ll look fake.’
REHAB ‘Blondes should opt for a shade that’s similar to their own hair colour,’ the pair advise. ‘While, if you’re a brunette, choose a shade that’s two or three times lighter than your hair. For the most natural effect, go for powder, not pencil, and use light, feathery strokes, before brushing your brows to soften the effect.’ Soap & Glory Archery D-I-Y Brow Bar Boots Exclusive £12/1,200 points, has everything you need.
CRIME Making your eyes look smaller with ill-applied make-up. If you think that just sweeping a bit of shadow across your lids is the way to go, you might be doing your eyes a disservice.
REHAB ‘By taking colour upwards and outwards, stopping at the end of your brow, you’ll create a more flattering almond effect and open up your eyes,’ explains Shehla Shaikh, Lancôme’s head make-up artist. ‘Applying shadow with your eyes open makes it easier to get this look, as you can see exactly where the colour will be.’
CRIME Caking your face in finishing powder to set your look. ‘You only ever need a little powder, if any,’ say Pixiwoo. ‘If you apply too much, it settles into fine lines, making skin look older and giving an uneven, cakey finish.’
REHAB Use a small, tapered brush, such as Real Techniques Bold Metals Collection 300 Tapered Blush Boots Exclusive £24/2,400 points, to gently press your powder on to areas prone to shine – the nose, forehead and chin. And if your make-up is on the move by midday, use a blotting paper, such as New NYX Matte Blotting Paper, £3.50/350 points (50 sheets), to help keep it in place.
CRIME Skipping the lip liner. You might have left lip liner back in the Nineties, along with your Rachel haircut and Spice Girls albums, but if you’re using lippy without it, you could be missing a trick.
REHAB ‘A liner will give you a sharp, symmetrical finish – crucial if you’re wearing a statement shade,’ explains Adam. Outline lips first (try Barry M Lip Liner in 14 Coral Red, £2.99/299 points), taking the product right into the corners, then fill in the whole of your lips. ‘This will stop bleeding, wobbly lines and feathering, and give your lipstick something to stick to,’ adds Adam.
Words: Natalie Ticehurst: Photography: Corbis