Michelle Obama's personal makeup artist Carl Ray shares tips for creating flawless makeup looks, just in case you're doing your face completely wrong.
1. Your foundation doesn't match your skin tone, thus your head is a different color from the rest of your body.
Unless you're dressing up as a vampire, avoid this. You don't want any lines of demarcation between your face, neck, and chest. To make sure you get the right shade when you're out shopping, swipe a sample of the product over your jawline to see if it blends seamlessly.
2. Your under-eye concealer is too light.
There's a difference between subtly brightening your under-eye area and making it glow in a bad way. Cancel out any darkness with a peach-toned concealer (this shade is universally flattering and helps cancel out blue tones). Then, top it with a liquid concealer that contains light reflecting particles and matches your skin tone perfectly. If your under-eye concoction tends to crease midday, dust flesh-toned translucent powder over it.
3. You're concealing pimples with a concealer that is too bright.
When you have a pimple, you want to take the attention away from it, not draw attention to it. By covering it with a lighter concealer, you're basically putting tiny lights around it saying, "Look at me!" Learn how to perfectly conceal blemishes here.
4. You don't blend your foundation onto your chest when it's exposed.
If you're wearing something that reveals your décolletage, you have to extend your foundation onto your chest. Otherwise, you'll end up looking two-toned, which is not sexy. Use a damp makeup sponge to spread your foundation onto your neck and chest seamlessly.
5. You skip your ears when you're applying foundation.
Whether you're wearing your hair up or down when you go out, run your foundation brush over your ears to make your skin match the rest of your face.When celebs are on the red carpet, for instance, flash bulbs catch every bit of exposed skin, and doing this makes them look more even.
6. You're making a statement in too many many areas of your face.
Some celebrities can pull off a smoky eye and red lip with ease, but IRL it can look like a bit too much. Choose one area to doll up (your eyes or your lips) and go.
7. Your false lashes look obvious.
False lashes can go wrong really quickly. If you're not getting them professionally done and you want to use a full strip, make sure to apply the band of lashes as close to your lash line as you can; once they dry, apply eyeliner over it. This will help mask where the falsies begin and end. Otherwise, put on individual lashes, because they look more natural.
8. You've contoured your face, but didn't blend it properly.
So you look more chiseled, but not in a good way. Find a bronzing tutorial here to learn how to shade your skin seamlessly.
9. Your blush is in the wrong place.
Blush is supposed to fake flushed cheeks. Natural flushing occurs on the apples of your cheeks and a little bit below. Blush shouldn't get too close to your nose (which can mimic the redness around your nostrils that you get when you're stuffed up), and it shouldn't go up to your temples in a harsh manner. It should be diffused from the apples of your cheeks outward toward your temples, leaving you fresh-faced.
10. Your winged liner looks wonky.
Winged liner, which is meant to elongate the eye, should be super crisp and extend outward at the perfect angle, as though you're extending your lower lash line. Want to nail your winged liner every single time? Click here for a how-to.
11. Your smoky eye isn't properly blended.
Sure, you can apply different shades of shadow, but then diffuse it with a brush.
12. Your lower liner travels down your face midday.
Who doesn't want a sexy, smudgy eye? But smudge it close to your lower lash line and make sure it does't travel to your cheek after several hours.
13. Your lipstick bleeds into the skin around your mouth.
To keep your lipstick in place, look for a long wearing lip color that will stay in place longer. Or, enlist the help of a clear lip liner which creates a barrier along your lips, making your shade stay put.
14. You wear a brick brown-tinted eye liner that makes you look tired.
A reddish-brown liner doesn't do you any favors, since the red tones in it can cause your eyes to look red and make you look more tired or ill. Instead, opt for a navy, gray, aubergine, or true brown liner, if you don't want to wear black. These shades will enhance your eye color and make the whites of your eyes pop, leaving you looking wide awake.
15. Your brows are too defined.
If you have to draw your brows on because you've over-plucked them, that's one thing, but if you're trying to enhance what you already have, all you need is a light dusting of a brow powder one shade lighter than your brow hair. Brows are meant to look feathery and full—which makes you look more youthful, too.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.