The Quick Report

You’re Using These 20 Cosmetics the Wrong Way

Makeup and skincare can boost our confidence and enhance our natural beauty, but too many people are using products the wrong way! In fact, even the most seasoned beauty enthusiasts can fall into common traps. Here are 20 cosmetics you might be using incorrectly.

Applying Foundation to Bare Skin

brown and black calvin klein perfume bottle
Photo by Hitesh Dewasi

Always start with a primer to create a smooth base and help your foundation last longer. This step will ensure an even application and prevent the foundation from settling into fine lines.

Applying Concealer Before Foundation

makeup brush lot
Photo by freestocks

Apply foundation first, then use concealer to cover any remaining imperfections or discoloration. This method prevents a cakey appearance and will give you a more natural finish.

Pumping the Mascara Wand

silver and black makeup brush
Photo by Ashley Piszek

Twisting the wand inside the tube prevents air from entering, which can dry out the mascara and introduce bacteria.

Pulling the Eyelid While Applying Eyeliner

woman in gray shirt smoking cigarette
Photo by Artem Labunsky

Instead of pulling your eye, gently rest your finger on your eyelid to keep it steady. Pulling the skin can cause wrinkles over time and lead to uneven lines.

Applying Blush Only to the Apples of Your Cheeks

black and red square frame
Photo by Evangeline Sarney

Smile and apply blush to the apples of your cheeks, then blend upwards towards your temples for a more natural and youthful look.

Skipping Lip Liner

woman's lips
Photo by Timothy Dykes

Want your lipstick to last longer? Outline your lips with a lip liner to prevent feathering and ensure your lipstick stays in place. 

Using Too Much Highlighter

black eyeshadow palette on white table
Photo by Kelsey K

Apply a small amount to the high points of your face, like the tops of your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, and your cupid’s bow. Less is more to achieve a subtle, glowing look.

Not Using an Eyeshadow Primer

person holding makeup brush with makeup palette
Photo by Kelly Sikkema

An eyeshadow primer prevents creasing and will make sure your eyeshadow lasts longer.

Applying Setting Powder All Over

three makeup brushes on top of compact powders
Photo by Rosa Rafael

Focus the powder on your T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin), which is where oil tends to accumulate. This technique prevents your makeup from looking cakey.

Drawing Harsh Eyebrows

woman with black hair and blue eyes
Photo by Ali Yılmaz

You don’t have to color in your eyebrows like a coloring book! Use light, feathery strokes to mimic real hair, filling in sparse areas for a more natural look.

Applying Conditioner to Your Scalp

a woman getting her hair cut by a hair stylist
Photo by Lindsay Cash

Apply conditioner from mid-length to the ends of your hair to avoid weighing down your roots and making them greasy.

Using Dry Shampoo on Already Very Oily Hair

woman in white long-sleeved shirt standing in front of pink wall
Photo by Element5 Digital

Use dry shampoo before your hair gets oily to prevent the oil buildup and extend the time between washes.

Leaving Face Masks on For Too Long

woman with white face mask holding green fruit
Photo by Kimia Zarifi

Leaving masks on for too long can lead to dryness or irritation. Make sure to only have them on for the recommended amount of time!

Skipping Toner

woman in white tank top holding white labeled bottle
Photo by Kalos Skincare

Use toner after cleansing to remove any remaining impurities and prep your skin for better absorption of serums and moisturizers.

Applying Too Much Serum

woman lying on blue towel with white cream on face
Photo by engin akyurt

A few drops are plenty! Patting the serum into your skin helps it absorb better and ensures you don’t waste the product.

Only Applying Sunscreen in the Morning

a woman wearing a blue hat looking through a magnifying glass
Photo by Sarah Sheedy

Reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially if you’re outdoors, to maintain protection throughout the day.

Skipping a Base Coat

person spreading glittered nail polish on pink nails
Photo by Element5 Digital

Use a base coat to protect your nails from staining and to provide a smooth surface for the polish, which will help it last longer.


man wearing white shirt facing on wall mirror
Photo by Curology

Limit exfoliation to two to three times a week to avoid irritating and damaging your skin.

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Constantly Applying Lip Balm

persons face with red lipstick
Photo by Melissa Di Rocco

Apply lip balm only when your lips are genuinely dry. Overuse can lead to dependency, causing your lips to become drier over time.

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Rubbing Wrists Together After Applying Perfume

Lover Boy fragrance bottle
Photo by Hans Vivek

Spray perfume on your pulse points and let it dry naturally. Rubbing can break down the fragrance and alter its scent.

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