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10 Rookie Makeup Mistakes That Are Easy To Avoid

By Somdutta Mazumder

Updated - May 9, 20249 min read

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I've been that woman. The one who watched one too many Youtube tutorials, scoffed at how evidently easy smoky eyes are to create and proceeded to resemble a sleep-deprived panda by the end of it. The thing about makeup is, a pro can make the trickiest of looks seem virtually effortless to pull off, but when the brush is actually in your hand, the real truth emerges. Which is, perfecting your makeup skills demands patience, practice and a whole lot of experience. A winged eyeliner may seem like a simple stroke of a stick, but in reality, it necessitates a certain level of expertise, precision, and hand-eye coordination, not to mention plenty of makeup wipes and re-dos. And also, anger management techniques to maintain your sanity after you get it wrong for the fifth time in a row. 


For most women, it takes the entirety of their twenties to achieve maestro level makeup skills. And along these years of practice, most of us end up committing some highly common and also highly avoidable, makeup blunders and rookie mistakes. Some of the biggest makeup mistakes we inevitably fall prey to, can be mitigated by incorporating a simple step or two, or by just omitting a habitual practice. So to ensure your makeup journey is all smooth sailing, we have listed the biggest makeup mistakes, and why you should avoid these makeup errors. 


1. Not Using A Primer & Moisturiser 

Foundation formulas that can give you a complete airbrushed look, are usually super expensive and out of a reasonable budget. This is why, every makeup professional will insist on the usage of a primer before you apply your foundation. A primer helps to seal your pores, smoothen your pre-foundation skin, reduce redness as well as the appearance of acne and acne marks. One of the most common makeup mistakes to avoid, skipping out on a primer can lead you to have a washed-out, uneven look, and make your foundation a lot less effective and lighter than the base tone you were aiming for. Primers significantly enhance the ability of your foundation to give you a flawless look, and also, make it last longer through the day. Using a moisturiser before the primer is equally important. Since most makeup will dry out your skin, bypassing the application of moisturiser is a makeup mistake that can lead to a dry, flaky look. So the prescribed order is - moisturiser, followed by primer, and then finally, foundation. 


We recommend: Aquaholic Priming Moisturizer from SUGAR Cosmetics (Price: INR 499)

Image Courtesy: SUGAR Cosmetics



2. Not Doing Your Lips Last 

Your lipstick should be the last makeup product you use in your routine. Any other order, and you're likely to end up with undefined lip lines, a blurred out shade or worse yet, get the powder onto your lips. Besides, putting on primer and foundation on your lips before you reach for the lipstick, gives you a clean canvas to paint your lips on, and not being mindful about avoiding this common makeup mistake, can give you a smudged, flaky look, and a lip colour that just won't stay. 


We recommend: Manish Malhotra Hi-Shine Lipstick with Manish Malhotra Hi-Shine Lipgloss (Price: INR 1,800)

Image Courtesy: Myglamm



3. Using A Foundation Way Lighter Than Your Skin Tone

Using the wrong shade of foundation is one of the biggest makeup blunders frequently committed, one that makes your face look like it doesn't belong to the rest of your body. Especially for Indian skin tones, a super-light foundation will make your face look ashy, and off-colour, leaving a grey cast on your makeup. An ill-suited foundation shade is also a huge barrier to a natural makeup appearance that we mostly tend to aim for as a work-appropriate look, and can also make your face seem way too over-done, despite your makeup intentions being the polar opposite. 


We recommend: LAKMÉ 9 TO 5 Prime + Matte Perfect Cover Foundation (Price: INR 352)

Image Courtesy: Lakme India



4. Putting On Too Much Blush Too Low On The Cheeks 

Blush mistakes fall under the category of the most commonly committed rookie makeup mistakes, and going overboard with your blusher is a strict no-no unless you're really into looking like a tomato. While the correct application of blush on the face can really enhance your makeup look and give you that natural, dewy appearance, too much blush, the wrong shade of blush or the wrong positioning of your blush can make your face seem garish and gaudy. Match your blush with your skin tone, and lightly sweep the powder down your cheekbones or the apple of your cheeks, depending on the shape of your face. Do remember to add a light touch to the bridge of your nose and your chin to get the perfect rosy skin look. 


We recommend: Sunkissed Blush Powder by Faces Canada (Price: INR 559)

Image Courtesy: Faces Canada



5. Caking On Multiple Layers Of Mascara 

This is arguably one of the worst makeup mistakes, and in the same league as furiously pumping your mascara bottle with the wand. Applying one too many layers of mascara on your eyelashes can make them seem spidery, and not in a good way. Thickened and stiff lashes, separated by huge gaps does not a pretty look make. Invest in a high-quality mascara product with a curling wand, and stick to one application on your lashes. 


We recommend: TWIST IT MASCARA from Myglamm (Price: INR 645)

Image Courtesy: Myglamm



6. Skipping Out On The Neck Entirely 

Yes, the purpose of make-up is to enhance your face, but a common makeup mistake is sticking to just that part and avoiding makeup application on the neck entirely. Your neck is the second most exposed part of your body after your face and also the one closest to it, and not matching the foundation base on your face with your neck can cause your face to look detached from what's under the chin. It can also make your neck look like it's older than your face, which is unsettling to just think of. Instead, apply the same coat of foundation, and blend appropriately. 


7. Not Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes For Ages 

Ladies, this is one of those makeup mistakes to avoid, that all of us have projected ourselves to at some point, before knowing better. Dirty makeup brushes can pave the way for a number of skin problems, and transfer dirt and bacteria onto your makeup products than to your face, and then back again to the product. Even if you make it a point to thoroughly clean your face before you apply your makeup, the accumulation of bacteria and germs on an unwashed makeup brush will lead to acne, breakouts and in some extreme cases, even viral illnesses. This is especially true in the case of a beauty blender used to apply foundation and other creamy makeup products since bacteria tend to thrive in moist environments. Make it a point to deep clean all your makeup brushes and tools every 7-10 days, and rinse your beauty blender after each use. 


We recommend: Bronson Professional Bamboo Makeup Brush Set - 11 Pcs from Nykaa (Price: INR 440)

Image Courtesy: Nykaa



8. Playing Up Both The Eyes & Your Lips

This is a makeup blunder that will undo all your efforts to get the look you want, and make you seem like you're trying way too hard. One of the long-established golden rules of makeup states that all of us should take only one pick from the two choices of bold eyes and statement lips, and avoid going for both at the same time. While recent makeup trends have witnessed looks that let you play up both, it's important to remember the intensity of said playing up, along with whether such a look is appropriate for the occasion at hand. But as a general rule and for everyday makeup, stick to one feature that you want to highlight, and go easy on the other one. 


9. Overfilling Your Eyebrows 

If this were the early 2000s, we'd be asking you to avoid the makeup mistake of thinning out your eyebrows to the point of them looking like 2 millipedes above your eyes. But as every beauty enthusiast knows, the current makeup trends prescribe a thick set of brows as the best natural eyebrow look. That being said, some of us tend to go a tad overboard with this trend, and over-fill our eyebrows making them appear bushy and unkempt. Making your eyebrows too dark can also make you look like Bert from Sesame Street. So, go easy and light while filling your brows, accentuating your natural brow shape, instead of overshadowing it.  


We recommend: Arch Arrival Brow Definer from SUGAR Cosmetics (Price: INR 499)

Image Courtesy: SUGAR Cosmetics



10. Not Blending Enough 

If you're truly aiming for a flawless, no-makeup makeup look, improper or inadequate blending is one of the worst makeup mistakes to avoid. If your foundation and blush lines are clearly visible, your makeup will look anything but natural. Not paying enough attention to blending, can also make your face look cakey, blotchy and just, weird. Instead, include blending as a mandatory step in your makeup routine, using circular motions with your blending tool to push the product evenly onto your skin. 


We recommend: Nykaa Blendmaster Blend And Bake Makeup Sponge (Price: INR 338)

Image Courtesy: Nykaa



Brush off the haters, and blend it like Beckham!