Eight Beauty Mistakes You Are Probably Making... And How To Fix Them
One of the best things about being a woman is the never-ending possibilities of the make-up bag.
From trying on your mam's lipstick as a child to slicking on a bit of eyeliner ahead of a hot date, make-up can take you from zero to feeling like a hero in the time in no time.
However, it's a fine line between looking like a princess and looking like a drag queen so here are our top tips on how to foolproof your make-up routine.
Finding the right foundation for pale Irish skintones can be a bit tricky but there is still no excuse for the dreaded foundation line. If your face looks like it just came back from St Tropez and your neck from St Stephen's Green, you're doing it wrong.
SOLUTION: The best way to fix this is to spend some time in search of the holy grail of foundations, taking into account both your skintone and whether you have cool, neutral or warm colouring.
Once you think you've found it, ask for a sample from your local department store and wear it on your skin in natural light to see if it is an accurate match. Apply down towards the neck and blend well, finishing with a dust of bronzer if necessary.
PROBLEM: Blusher Blues
While blusher can be a saving grace when you are looking a little pasty, it is also a minefield for mistakes and a slapdash approach can result in the unfortunate affliction that is 'clown face'.
SOLUTION: Choose a shade that compliments your skin tone. Test both pink and peach blush to discover which best suits your complexion and then start with a light application to the apple or fleshiest part of your cheek.
Slowly build the colour because it is easier to put more on than take it off! For older skin, apply the blusher slightly higher on the cheek as this will have an 'uplift' effect.
PROBLEM: Concealer Halo
Dark circles under the eyes are someone that most of have to deal with at some stage, whether it is a permanent fixture or the result of a cheeky night out! Concealer can cover a multitude of sins but beware, it can also cause more harm than good!
SOLUTION: Again, finding the right shade for your skin is crucial. Going one shade lighter can give the illusion of a fresher face but anything too bright will result in a conspicuous 'halo' around both eyes - which is not really an improvement!
Dab a little where you need it and blend into your foundation for an undetectable finish that will never reveal your noctural sins!
PROBLEM: Closed eyes
Make-up is all about accentuating your features but many women unwittingly do the opposite by loading on black eyeliner. This can have the effect of 'closing' the eye, making it appear smaller.
SOLUTION: If you are going for the wide-eyed look, only bring the liner halfway in on the top and bottom. Alternatively, give your eyes an extra boost by using white liner to circle the inner line on the top and bottom.
PROBLEM: Eerie eyebrows
Unless you're Cara Delevigne, eyebrows are a tough thing to master. If you leave them too bushy, you'll resemble Hugh Jackman in Wolverine but skinny, overplucked eyebrows are also a sorry sight.
SOLUTION: If in doubt, it is always a good idea to grow them out a bit and then visit an expert who can create the perfect shape for your face.
If going DIY, place your thumb against your nose to find the perfect spot to start your brow and work from there. If yours are a little on the thin side, fill them out with some eyebrow powder for a fuller look.
PROBLEM: Vampire lips
Lip liner is great for creating a perfect shape when applying lipstick, as well as preventing your chosen shade from bleeding, but looking like an extra from Buffy the Vampire Slayer is not the way to go!
SOLUTION: If you want the easiest possible option, invest in a good nude liner and you'll get away with using this with most lipsticks. Liner can also be used all over the lip before applying lipstick to make your perfect pout last longer.
PROBLEM: Powder finish
We can sum this up in one sentence: chalk only belongs on a blackboard. Powder is a lifesaver if you have oily skin, stopping you from looking greasy and your make-up from sliding off into oblivion, but a flat, obvious finish will only undo your foundation's hard work.
SOLUTION: Be careful when choosing your products and gently tap a light formula on to the skin, rather than brushing a large amount across your face. Only use powder on the areas where you need it, such as the nose and t-zone, to avoid a one-dimensional finish.
PROBLEM: Patchy foundation
Foundation coverage should provide a flawless and even complexion but can sometimes result in patches and a generally uneven appearance - what's going wrong?
SOLUTION: This can be due to a few factors but one of the most obvious is dehydrated skin. To counter this, make sure to exfoliate a few times a week, drink lots of water and use a good moisturiser or primer about ten minutes before you apply.
If you are still having problems, the foundation itself may not suit your skin so look at other brands or try a mineral foundation.