We learn a lot of lessons about makeup over the course of our lives, whether it’s through friends, our moms, family members, or even our colleagues. But while we appreciate the feedback and advice from our loved ones, hearing a pro tip straight from a seasoned makeup artist tends to resonate the strongest (sorry, Ma). And even though we love hearing about all the tips that can help improve our routines, it’s always incredibly helpful (and a little jarring) to learn about the things we need to stop doing. As such, we turned to some of the best in the biz to find out what habits we need to nix. Find out what they had to say below!
“I’d love to see people who do the super-sculpted, heavily applied brow give it a rest. Every time I see it, I think they just look angry. Perhaps try a softer, more natural approach to your brows. Nobody’s brows need to be blocked off at the beginning.” — Romy Soleimani, Beauty.com’s beauty director at large
“Don’t do your makeup in bad lighting!” — Jamie Greenberg, celebrity makeup artist
“I think that women should stop comparing themselves to models and celebrities in magazines and on the red carpet when contouring. I’m not an ‘everyone needs contouring’ makeup artist. I try to keep it realistic and subtle. That said, there is a time and a place for contouring, but most of them don’t belong in everyday life. What might look blended and natural under the lights would look garish and distracting in person. Leave all of that alone—if you’re looking for more definition, try shading or framing the face: After you apply your foundation and concealer, use the opposite side of a Beautyblender and apply a very sheer amount of a darker color—cream, liquid, bronzer, etc. to the outer points of the face. Dab it under the cheekbone, along the temples, and under the jawline. There should be no hard lines or sharp contrast between the darker shade and your skin tone.” — Quinn Murphy, celebrity makeup artist
“Please start filling eyebrows in and define them a little more when wearing a full face of makeup. When they are left sparse, they throw off the entire makeup look and wash out the face.” — Rocio Matos, Blushington makeup artist
“Stop using the wrong foundation color. A lot of people tend to match their skin to their neck, but your neck may be lighter and your chest darker, so I say match your skin to your chest and then bring the foundation down so you’re all one color.” — Jamie Greenberg
“Stop using makeup and skincare filled with toxic ingredients. Educate yourself about what’s in the products you’re slathering on every single day. I’m not preaching that you have to search out organic makeup and face oils—what I’m saying is that the world of nontoxic cosmetics is vast and beautiful, and there’s no reason not to give yourself the very best.” — Katey Denno, celebrity makeup artist
“Don’t try anything new if you’re in a rush.” — Jamie Greenberg
“I wish women would lighten up a bit on the foundation. What looks good in photos doesn’t necessarily translate into real life. I think apps like Facetune are giving people unrealistic expectations, and then they try to compensate by piling on more products. Try to lighten up on the amount of foundation you use if you’re heavy-handed with it; skin has pores and contours and lines and imperfections. I’m all about looking like the best version of yourself, but it’s also nice to look like a human and not an illustration.” — Fiona Stiles, celebrity makeup artist
“Please stop with the cream contour! It is not meant to be done every day or to be worn for a morning meeting at work. It is strictly meant for special occasions since it is a much heavier look. Opt to use bronzer for more definition on your face.” — Rocio Matos
“Stop over-penciling your eyebrows. Start light and you can always add more.” — Jamie Greenberg
“Stop wearing so much makeup on your skin! Primer, foundation, contour, highlight, powder, bronzer—step out into the sunlight, and it doesn’t look good! Just because it looked great in a YouTube video or Instagram picture doesn’t mean it translates to wearing it for hours in real-life situations.” — Katey Denno
Keep scrolling for seven products makeup artists swear by!
Dior Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum
Bring your lashes to new lengths with this priming mascara that also plumps lashes, making them appear thicker and fuller before you even swipe on your usual formula.
Kevyn Aucoin The Flesh Tone Lip Pencil
Perfect for applying pre-lipstick, this pencil creates an invisible barrier to prevent bleeding and feathering.
Clarisonic Mia 2
Buff away dead skin and a dull complexion in minutes with this fan-favorite scrub brush.
Tom Ford Lip Color
Tom Ford lipstick is as luxe as their garments. Have the best-dressed lips in the room with this mega-pigmented lippie.
Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist
Dewy skin is as simple as a few spritzes with this celebrity makeup artist-loved spray from Tatcha.
MAC Strobe Cream
Do double duty with this illuminating moisturizer that not only softens the skin but also gives off a luminous glow—highlighters be damned.
Hourglass Mechanical Gel Eyeliner
Budge-proof and smudge-proof are always on our eyeliner repertoires, and that's exactly what you'll get from this easy-to-use offering from Hourglass.
What’s the best beauty lesson you were ever taught? Tell us below!
Opening image: Imaxtree/Shameless Fripperies