By Holly Barry, @HJBarry

With the abundance of articles on the internet listing endless beauty mistakes, it can be difficult to know whose advice to take. From foundation faux pas to clownish contouring, bad brows to garish gloss, the thousands of different rules and trends can be overwhelming.

As autumn draws nearer, there couldn’t be a better time to update your make up, revamping your beauty routine with tips and advice for achieving the perfect look. To get you looking your best for the new season we’ve compiled an article of the biggest beauty mistakes, plus we’ve tracked down some advice from industry experts and insiders, who know how to iron out these flaws.

Applying foundation with a sponge

Industry experts advise against using makeup sponges for a number of reasons. Firstly they absorb a lot of the product, meaning that you run through your expensive foundation extremely quickly! If you suffer from dry skin sponges can catch and lift any flakes, as they collect dead skin cells and are ideal environments for bacteria growth, which is especially bad if you’re prone to acne. Sponges also need to be replaced regularly, which means they’re not very environmentally friendly or economical.

Most professional makeup artists use brushes instead of sponges. Make up brushes blend foundation much better than sponges, they’re more hygienic and you can layer foundation easily. Ultimately brushes offer more control than any other means of application, they’re accurate and help to distribute product into all the nooks and crannies of your face. For liquid or cream based products, always use brushes with synthetic bristles.

Stacey Whittaker adds “It can be time consuming to ensure your foundation is equally blended but if you take your time and ensure everything flows together seamlessly, the finished look will be much better. I recommend a stippling brush; this is great for cream products and can be used for your face and body.

Nick Barose, celebrity makeup artist said; “Cheap sponges sold in bulk tend to be too thin and small. Plus, they end up absorbing too much foundation and don’t blend well”.

“Spend a little more and get good quality sponge that’s a bit firmer but still soft.”


Unflattering lipstick shades

An age-old problem for us girls is getting the right shade of lipstick. So how do you determine what lipstick best suits your complexion? One of the easiest ways is by looking at your skin undertones. If your veins appear blue it means that you have pink undertones, meaning you should look for lipsticks with blue or purple accents.

If you have slightly greener veins, your skin has yellow undertones, so it’s best to opt for warmer colours. If your veins look both green and blue, you are one of few lucky people with a neutral skin tone and most colours will suit you! As a general rule it’s better to avoid pale, grey or ashy lip colours, as these will inevitably wash out your complexion and make you look sickly.

If you fancy trying something a little wacky, you could always opt for a shade that’s a little more out there. This year blue lipstick has been taking the fashion world by storm. If you do decide to experiment with an unusual colour, keep the rest of your makeup simple, as it’s easy to overdo it. For example, a subtle bronze eye shadow looks great with a midnight blue lip. This autumn, it’s all about deep plums, rich burgundy and purples that pop.

Bobbi Brown’s advice for choosing a lipstick shade that will work for you is to look for a colour that is alike your own natural skin colour and work in shades around that. If your lips are pale, your lipstick colour could be beige, sandy or pale pink. A medium lip tone needs browns and roses, while dark lips can wear raisin.

With regards to lip lining, Stacey Whittaker adds “many have been using lip pencils to overdraw their lips hoping to create a fuller effect. Whilst this can work well and look great when carried out by a professional, trying it at home can look obvious and slightly messy. Instead, use a shimmering highlighter on your cupids bow and opt for a glossy finish lipstick or lip-gloss for a fuller effect”

Contouring incorrectly

Whilst contouring has been used in theatre make up for decades, it reached mainstream popularity as one of the top beauty trends in 2012, after Kim Kardashian posted an online make up tutorial that demonstrated the process. Since then, the beauty technique has climbed rapidly in popularity and contour YouTube videos regularly feature as some of the top hits for makeup tutorials on the web.

Done correctly, contouring can do wonders for you facial features, emphasising your best assets and flattering those that you’re less happy with. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to get right. If you’re struggling with contouring there are a few tips that will help you on your way. Ensure you’ve prepped your face appropriately by using moisturizer and wait 3 to 5 minutes for the product to soak in. Always use brushes to apply your make up and invest in a quality contour powder that matches your skin tone exactly.

Sue Moxley, beauty expert who commented for the Mirror, stated; “Pick a shade around two tones lighter than your skin and foundation, and apply it with a foundation brush to your under-eyes (create two triangle shapes), the middle of the forehead, on the cupid’s bow, the centre of the chin and down the centre of the nose”.

Pencil to pomade

As the trend for well sculpted brows has sky rocketed eyebrows have been given the special treatment, with an abundance of products specifically designed for making them look ultra defined and perfectly shaped.

Until recently the brow pencil ruled supreme, however pencils can often make brows look too harsh and too unnatural. In recent years wax products such as Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade have dethroned the pencil, as they are high pigment products that last much longer than pencils and do not require reapplication during the day.

In terms of style, gradient brows are the current hot trend. This is where the brow is lighter near the centre of the face and darker towards the outer edges. When going for this look you should apply your product lightly and blend using a spoolie brush. If in doubt, there are a number of really great tutorials available online.

Shiny foundation

As anybody well versed in the beauty industry knows, there is absolutely nothing worse than a shiny complexion! If you suffer from oily skin you should invest in a cleanser that has a mild foamy formula rather than creamy. Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleanser is a great option, as it will cut through the grease without drying your skin out too much. It’s also a good idea to get hold of an alcohol-based toner to help with oil and reduce shine throughout the day.


What makes oil even more of a no-no is the biggest trend to evolve out of 2017- matte lips and skin. Matte lipstick has become so popular because it mimics the texture of our lips, doesn’t feather and tends to last longer than its shiny counterparts. Because matte lipstick mimics the texture of lips, it does mean that it enhances rather than reduces chapped lips, so be sure to exfoliate before applying.

Powder lip colour is another great way to get a perfect matte finish. Apply a small amount of CLE Cosmetics Melting Lip Powder on top of your lip balm, to transform into a creamy texture to create a lightly stained effect. Gorgeous!

To create a flattering matte complexion you should invest in a lightweight matte finishing powder. They blend right in and cut down shine without masking. Try NYX #nofilter Finishing Powder – it’s extremely affordable and comes in 15 shades to suit a variety of skin tones. When applying, focus on the T-zone and avoid the sides of your face to prevent flat looking skin.

What the expert has to say…

Christina Flach, Founder of Pretty Girl Makeup, said; “Don’t believe you need a million colour options to make your face look beautiful. There are neutral, basic colours that I use time and time again. My makeup range Pretty Girl was originally made so to enhance natural beauty, not cover it up”. The full interview with Christina can be viewed here.

Stacey Whittaker, make up artist says “My inspiration for autumn makeup is always warm colours like red and oranges; think autumnal leaves and bonfires. I love to add a pop of warmth to the eye, using browns and orange tones to warm up the crease. Pair this with a burgundy lip for a dramatic evening look or add a touch of nude gloss for a daytime finish.

So there you have it, the biggest beauty faux pas this season include oily skin, heavily penciled brows, careless contouring, sponges and mismatched lip shades.

Once you’ve addressed these common beauty mistakes, you’ll have the perfect base to experiment with the coming trends for AW17. These include heavy metallic eyes, as seen on the Alberta Ferreti and Balmain catwalks, plus sleek hair and bold yellow hues.

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