Main content

Oops! Are You Guilty of These Makeup Mistakes?

A photo of a woman with some makeup colors on face

Call them what you want: beauty faux pas, makeup mistakes, beauty blunders, or even glam uh-ohs—we’re all guilty of committing a few. Perhaps it’s caked on concealer that only draws attention to the very thing you’re trying to hide, mismatched foundation, or even a case of bad contouring. We’re dishing on the most common makeup mistakes and how to avoid them, so you won’t ever have to plead guilty again.

Applying Makeup Without Moisturizer

Step number one in the rule book of how to do makeup is making sure you properly prep your skin. 

“Applying foundation to dehydrated skin can cause flakiness and splotchiness,” says Kirsten Peterson, Senior Regional Education Manager for IT Cosmetics. “Also, it makes your foundation almost impossible to blend.”

For balanced, combination, or dry skin types, we recommend our Confidence in a Cream Hydrating Moisturizer, the #1 anti-aging facial moisturizer in America*. It delivers 7 anti-aging skincare benefits in one cream, including reducing the look of fine lines, visibly minimizing pores, and brightening the appearance of skin.

For oily skin types—or if you're looking for something more lightweight—try Confidence in a Gel Lotion Moisturizer. This oil-free moisturizer delivers 72 hours of hydration for a supple, healthy-looking appearance.

Foregoing a Primer & Setting Product

Once your skin is properly hydrated, it’s good makeup practice to apply a makeup primer. Just like its name suggests, makeup primer preps your skin with a grippy base that allows your foundation to glide on more smoothly and extends makeup wear time. 

Your Skin But Better Oil Free Makeup Primer is an oil-free option suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. It features IT Cosmetics All Day Grip Technology and, with continued use, can refine the look of pores over time. 

To lock in your beautifully-executed makeup, don’t forget to apply a setting powder. For extra credit, reach for one that’s infused with skin-loving ingredients, such as Bye Bye Pores Poreless Finish Loose Setting Powder. In addition to instantly erasing the appearance of imperfections, it's infused with hydrolyzed collagen to smooth away the look of wrinkles. It also contains antioxidants and peptides.

Caking on Concealer

In an effort to conceal pesky imperfections, it’s easy to accidentally go overboard. Unfortunately, this can backfire and draw attention to the very thing you’re trying to hide. 

“Concealer can be your best friend or your biggest makeup mistake,” says Peterson. “Don’t cake it on, but do stipple and blend it where you have darkness, spots, or blemishes. Also, don’t apply it so heavily it looks as though there’s a line between the concealer and your foundation. Instead, blend them seamlessly together.” 

Additionally, one of the biggest makeup mistakes people make that instantly ages you is also very avoidable—make sure you’re using the correct shade of concealer. This is especially true for under eye concealers, which have a tendency to be too light. 

Drawing on Harsh Eyebrows

Let’s all just try to forget the era of overly drawn brows, shall we? It was an unfortunate time in eye makeup history, but those dark days are in the past. Natural brows are beautiful and they’re now the standard for a flawless makeup look. Instead of creating harsh lines, aim for fine brush strokes that mimic your natural brow hairs. 

To pull it off, you’ll definitely want the best makeup product for the job. Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil boasts a revolutionary oval tip that works on both thin and thick brows to recreate the look of real hair. It also has a built-in grooming spoolie brush for polished perfection. For ultra-feathery brows—or to add a bit more dimension—try Brow Power Micro Eyebrow Pencil. It's the same formulation, but has a micro-fine pencil tip.

Forgetting to Blend

If we offer just one bit of advice to help with makeup application, it’d be to blend, baby, blend. This goes for everything: foundation, concealer, blush, bronzer, highlighter, and eyeshadow. If it goes on your face, you ought to be blending.  

“Most makeup mistakes are caused by a lack of blending,” notes Peterson. “Contour and highlight could look more like stripes, blush could look patchy, and brows could look too drawn on. When in doubt, blend it out!” 

Fingers can help you blend, but your best bet is to stock your beauty kit with some high quality makeup brushes. We’re partial to all our IT Cosmetics brushes (naturally!) in the Heavenly Luxe, Heavenly Skin, and Airbrush collections. They’ll help you achieve your best blended applications yet!

Using Expired Products

Using old, expired makeup products is a beauty mistake that impacts the quality of the product itself and can affect your health. 

“For example, even though stretching your tube of mascara out for six months may seem like a win, it’s truly a makeup mistake. The guideline is every three months to ensure there’s no microbial contamination. It also helps avoid the dry-flakies,” notes Peterson. “Also, old liner pencils can dry out and lead to tugging too much around the eyes and lips, and powder products can harden from transferring the oils on your skin to the compact or palette.”

Here are a few common expiration dates for makeup products to refer to:

  • Mascara: 3 months
  • Lipsticks & Glosses: 6 months
  • Liner Pencils: 6 to 12 months
  • Cream-based: 9 months (more frequently if applied with fingers or if you’re prone to acne)
  • Powder-based: 9 to 12 months
  • SPF in formula: replace by expiration date on the package

In addition to double checking the expiration, look for signs that a product’s gone bad. Common red flags include separation, change of color, and change of scent. Toss anything that’s maxed out its shelf life to help with makeup application and to ensure you look nothing short of your gorgeous self.

For more information on how to do makeup, check out our guide on the best color corrector for every skin concern and then brush up on how to apply eyeliner.


  1. The NPD Group, Inc./US Prestige Beauty Total Measured Market, Skincare Product Dollar and Unit Sales, January-December 2019.
Orientation message
For the best experience, please turn your device