You can pick up some bad habits when the person you’re getting your info from isn’t certified. Makeup artists are put through gruelling work hours, have an ability to colour match virtually any skin tone at a glance, and are responsible for curating and taking care of their own kits at all times. Naturally, they have a few things to say about all the misinformation (and bad habits) out there when it comes to makeup. I grilled two of my go-to MUA’s, Andrea Berg and Kristina Johnston on what beauty rules should never be broken.
Andrea Berg hails from Edmonton Alberta, and has been doing make-up professionally for 15 years. She’s been the National Make Up Artist for Estée Lauder and contributed largely to the rehaul of Marvel Beauty School’s curriculum. You’re bound to spot her work in many Canadian music videos. My favourite? The Weeknd’s “Wicked Games.”
Kristina Johnston ventured into make-up artistry on set under the guidance of SPFX Artist Trason Fernandes, and would subsequently attend and graduate from the Complete Make-up Artistry course at Complections (now CMU, College of Makeup Art & Design). She’s worked at Sephora and M.A.C, perfecting her skills in beauty/bridal makeup. She currently freelances as a make-up artist focusing primarily on film/TV and SPFX.
So without further ado, here are the things makeup artists wish you’d stop doing.
Curling your lashes after mascara
“This is how you rip your lashes out. Mascara makes your lashes tacky, and squishing them between two metal clamps is just asking for trouble. Curl first, mascara last.” – KJ
Skipping lip liner
Doing a bold lip without applying lip liner first is always a terrible idea. If you don’t, your lip is going to migrate from “I have my shit together” into “I let my boyfriend do my makeup” territory. Apply lip pencil/liner in a matching shade before lipstick and that red/purple/pink is going to stay exactly where you want it. -KJ
Ignoring your skin type
Using the wrong foundation for your skin. For example, “If you have oily skin, you don’t need a super heavy, moisturizing foundation. It’s going to slide right off your face.” – KJ
Using bronzer incorrectly
“I had a girl use bronzer as a setting powder because she wanted to look tanned. She was pale like me. It looked ridiculous”. – KJ
“Using shimmery bronzer as a contour [is not okay]. Contour should always be matte. Matte products create shadows, shimmer picks up light. Using it defeats the purpose of the contour.” – AB
Keeping mascara around for too long
We’re sure you’ve seen the “makeup hack” where you add water or carrier oil to your dried up mascara. “That’s how you get an eye infection. Just buy a new mascara!” – KJ
DIY-ing lip primer
“Using vaseline as lip primer [is] just dumb. It has too much vehicle in it, [so] it makes everything move around. Use a real lip primer”. – KJ
“I met a girl who used strobe cream by M.A.C as her moisturizer. Okay, it’s got a lot of good properties to it, but it’s so shiny. She looked like a disco ball.” – KJ
Using coat after coat of foundation
If you want better coverage, buy a full coverage product instead of applying layers of the light stuff. “Using a ton of light coverage stuff to try to achieve more coverage is only going to get you cake face. Full coverage doesn’t mean cake face. Full coverage products mean you can use less of it.” – KJ
Not cleaning your products (!!!)
A huge thing with certified MUA’s is sanitation. They have huge kits full of the best products that they apply to dozens, if not hundreds of people. They know a thing or two about how to keep everything clean and protect products and tools from damage. Here are a few things that really make them cringe:
“Using other people’s makeup or mascara. Unless it’s powder or something you can sanitize.” – KJ
“Sharing lip gloss is probably one of the grossest things ever. Never share lip gloss. Or anything with a wand applicator because you can’t sanitize it once someone’s used it.” – KJ
“Keeping makeup sponges for way too long or never washing them. Especially the ones that come in compacts with makeup. You can wash those, just like brushes!” – AB
Not caring for makeup brushes
Either keep your brushes at home, or carry them in a proper makeup roll (or even better, a hard case).
“Brushes are hand crafted pieces of art, and you have it jammed in there with your two cent blush and the zipper is closing on it?!
When you buy a makeup brush wash off the brush before you ever use it, there’s a protective spray applied to the bristles to protect them in transit to the store, and not washing this off before use makes the bristles brittle, and they break off easily. So if the bristles keep breaking off on you, wash your brush! I wash my makeup brushes as soon as I get them. I see a broken bristle once every couple months. It’s a non-issue for me.” – AB
Pulling at your skin to apply eyeliner
Pulling at the skin around your eye when applying eyeliner is a horrible thing to do. “You can hold it, but absolutely never pull”. If you really need to get a smooth angle, “put your chin up. Start at the outer corner and pull the product in towards the center of the eye. It’ll keep your line from going wonky and the skin from moving”- AB
Using brow pencils when you should be using powder
“Pencil is for people who have hair but they want it to look thicker. Powder is used to create something that isn’t there. Pencil isn’t meant for drawing on skin. It’s meant for thickening out hair. When you apply pencil properly, you’re going back and forth [on the hair you have] to catch it.”- AB
“If you’re strictly using pencil to fill in your brows, you’re going to get a brow that looks significantly less natural than you were going for. Powder is what you should be reaching for when you want to fill in bare spots or elongate any lines.” -KJ
Testing out lipstick samples at the store
Use the tip of your finger in lieu of your lips when testing lipsticks if you aren’t sure the product is clean. The tip of your finger is the same shade as your lips, so you can see how varying shades will sit on you.
“Stop putting testers of lipstick on your face if there isn’t alcohol around. If you can’t sanitize it, put it on the tip of your finger. It replicates how the lipstick is going to look on your lips”. – AB
Dipping your fingers into foundation bottles
If you’re dipping your fingers into product, especially liquid foundation, you’re introducing bacteria to it. “Bacteria drinks water, that’s what makes it get all thick and nasty. The lack of water is what changes the colour structure of your makeup, it’s why your makeup gets darker or turns a weird shade. Always scoop or pour out what you need onto a different surface and go from there”. – AB
Breaking your pencils every time you sharpen
“Turn the sharpener, not the pencil and your pencils will never break”. – AB
Being unaware of your allergies
“I never had an allergic reaction to makeup until I used mineral eyeshadow. Mineral makeup is basically a bunch of crushed up rocks, and I found out the hard way that mineral makeup contains elemental metals (like zinc). I’m allergic to metal, but that’s what gives these products shine. If you have a metal sensitivity do not use mineral makeup.” – AB
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