Everyone makes mistakes – it’s human nature. And beauty blunders are no different, not least because most of us do them one way or another. Our expert guide looks at the beauty, make up and skincare errors you didn’t even know you were making, plus how to fix them…

Words: Carly Hobbs | Images: Shutterstock

Beauty mistake #1: Damaging lashes with too much product

One of the biggest beauty mistakes to avoid is applying several lashings of mascara. While this comes naturally to many, layering on coat after coat can be ageing and the hairs will become dehydrated, making them vulnerable to breakage. Instead, opt for a mascara with a pre-step primer on one end of the wand such as Honest Extreme Length Mascara & Primer (£19). This adds a protective layer before the mascara.

Also, instead of applying mascara over and over, do one layer on the top and bottom lashes, then only concentrate any extra coats on the outer upper lashes. This avoids clumpy, spidery-ness and instead creates a fan effect that opens up the eyes.

Beauty mistake #2: Relying on other products to do the work of an SPF

While it’s handy that your CC cream, foundation or powder contains SPF, you can’t depend on it alone to create a barrier against UVA and UVB. Instead, use a dedicated SPF cream every day. We love Vichy Ideal Soleil Mattifying Face Dry Touch Sun Cream SPF50 (£16.50) – it’s non clogging and is a great primer for make-up.

While you could use your regular holiday sunscreen, formulas for body tend to be thicker and make skin feel heavy. As with all SPFs, make sure your products are in date. Put a sticker onto the bottle or jar and write on the date you opened it, then you can check against the symbol on the bottle – usually 6m, 12m, 24m– to make sure it’s still ok.

beauty skincare make up mistakes to avoid

Beauty mistake #3: Cleansing too quickly

Whether you’re a foam fan, a creamy cleanser user or prefer a balm to swipe away daily grime, chances are you do it as quickly as possible before popping on a night cream then diving into your PJs. However, this is one of the biggest beauty mistakes you ought to avoid. There is a better way to not only cleanse more deeply but also stimulate overnight skin cell renewal, all by slowing down.

Massage your favourite cleanser on as normal – or try Liz Earle Hot Cloth Rose and Lavender Cleanser (£17), which uses the relaxing power of petals plus that added soothing warmth – and then perform a mini facial to allow the cleanser to get to work. Use sweeping motions with your hands from the jawline upwards, letting your palms overlap each other to really get the blood flowing. Follow this by pitter-pattering your fingertips over your whole face.

Not only is this a good beauty enhancement, it can also help with bedtime mindfulness too if you combine the routine with slow, deep breathing while listening to a relaxation track perhaps.

Beauty mistake #4: Causing skin irritation with incorrect shaving

Legs often get ignored when it comes to beauty but they need to be cleansed and exfoliated just like the rest of your body, especially before shaving. Also, shaving should be done by working the razor downward in the direction of hair growth. This way you get a smoother finish and avoid irritation and bumps. Rinse off your pins with cool water to encourage pores to close, just as you would with your face.

Beauty mistake #5: Using hair products in the wrong order

If you’re using your once-a-week hair treatment after shampooing and conditioning, you’re not getting the most out of it. Due to the alkaline nature of shampoo and its ability to open up hair cuticles, any treatments, such as Lee Stafford Hair Apology Intensive Care Booster Treatments (£8.49 for four), should be applied right after washing out your shampoo, before conditioner, in order for the ingredients to penetrate more deeply into the hair shaft for better conditioning. A regular conditioner should be applied afterwards in order to seal the cuticles and balance the hairs’ pH level.

beauty skincare make up mistakes to avoid

Beauty mistake #6: Washing your hair with hot water

Forget washing your hair in super-hot water, as this actually stimulates follicles so they produce more oil, meaning locks will actually get greasier faster. Rinsing in warm water – or even cool if you can stand it – is the best way to avoid this and also smooth down cuticles on every strand of hair. These are layered like tiles from root to ends and must be all pointing downwards for shiny hair.

Looking after your cuticles is key when blow-drying too. ‘Rough drying’ by tossing your hair around using a warm-ish setting on your dryer is one of the biggest beauty mistakes you need to avoid. Instead, set your dryer to maximum heat and point the nozzle down the hairs, from crown to tip. Hotter drying does the job faster, causing less damage in the long term. You can rework this beauty routine staple with your own dryer, or treat yourself to a powerful ghd Helios Professional Hair Dryer (£159).

Beauty mistake #7: Putting bronzer or blusher in the wrong place

Blushers, bronzers and highlighters provide definition and colour to your complexion but they need to be buffed on in pretty precise places so they can enhance your face in the very best way. Blusher, traditionally, is worked onto the apples of the cheeks. However, for a more flattering, fresher finish, press it into place with the base of your thumb (the part next to your wrist) right under the groove of your cheekbones.

Bronzer should sit on the tops of cheekbones and around up to the temples, with a little brushed across the bridge of your nose, aka all the places sun would naturally hit your face. Highlighter shouldn’t be used too liberally; instead target the tops of cheekbones towards your ears. Imagine a line straight down from the pupils of your eyes: avoid using highlighter any further inward than this line.

Beauty mistake #8: Not using eye cream correctly

Most of us do it, but applying eye cream during the day is one of the biggest beauty mistakes you need to avoid. This is because it can cause make-up to smudge. Try tapping it around the orbital bone at bedtime. This way, the goodness works its way to where it’s needed and by avoiding the eyelid you also avoid puffiness.

To get the job done, we love Sienna X The Eye Cream (£29) as it’s packed with kelp for smoothing and marine bamboo to counter blue light damage from phones, tablets and laptops used during the day.

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