Bright Side

7 Mistakes That Make Your Makeup Look Cheap

Makeup is an integral part of life for most women. It’s their armor and their weapon at the same time. According to some studies, a woman spends about 335 hours a year taking care of her appearance. And it’s such a pity when a single mistake nullifies all these efforts and ruins the makeup job, making a woman look messy. But we’ve got no time for regret! We’re ready to analyze the mistakes and come up with the right solutions.

The female half of the Bright Side editorial staff went through several hundreds of photos of famous beauties, spotted all the makeup mistakes that they had ever made, and took a solemn oath to never repeat them. Now we’re ready to share our findings with you.


Amber Heard is only 32 years old in the photo on the left. But a thick layer of foundation highlighted all the wrinkles on her face, even the smallest ones, making her look 10 years older. In the right picture, Amber went for a more natural look that made her appear younger.


  • Moderation will keep you from repeating similar mistakes. Foundation should just highlight your natural skin tone and not cover it completely.
  • It’s essential to prepare your skin before you apply any foundation. Your skin should be well-cleaned and moisturized.
  • Using a fixing spray or thermal water after applying the foundation can help you “glue” all the foundation layers together in case if you use several beauty products at once.

  • For mature skin, don’t use a full-coverage foundation since it usually highlights all the skin’s imperfections.

Color correction

We don’t know what effect Sienna Miller was going for when she applied this orange bronzer to her porcelain skin. She has a well-defined face that doesn’t require contouring. But we can see the results of such an approach: for 13 years, this photo has been a perfect example of how you shouldn’t apply your makeup.

It looks like Lea Michele’s makeup artist wanted to bring on the shine! And in this case, a 30-year-old actress turned into an elderly woman who sunbathed too much. In the second photo, Lea looks younger and more fresh without any intensive contouring and strobing (the 2 pictures were taken the same year).

Actress Eva Longoria decided to change her typical hot-summer look and went for more aristocratic pallor. But she made a mistake choosing cool shades for this purpose and applied dramatic smokey eyes to match. As a result, this combination made her look unhealthy. Compare these photos yourself: warm colors and a lack of intensive contouring works best for Eva as you can see in the right picture.


  • Contouring is no longer a trend, but if you don’t want to give up color correction, choose the right color: it should be one tone darker than the tone of your skin and have the same shade.

  • Strobing has also lost its popularity but if you want to add some shine, use a liquid highlighter or a shimmering powder with very small particles.

  • And always remember to apply makeup in moderation — bronzers and concealers are great to experiment with but sometimes (and honestly, in most cases) it’s better not to try to change your face too much.


Glitter deserves our special attention. Just have a look at how its shine made Katherine Zeta-Jones look older. Of course, we have some questions about the skin tone and the lipstick shade she chose. But if her lips and eyes didn’t shine that much, her look would benefit from it. And if she stuck to her correct shade, she’d look even more gorgeous.

Glitter not only makes a person look older but it can totally ruin a photo. It reflects light from flashing bulbs and visually hides some parts of the face. You can notice this effect in Rose McGowan’s “foil” look. We hope she did it on purpose because she looks way better when she doesn’t distract us from her beauty with harsh flashes of glitter.


  • Just forget about glitter. If you’re older than 25, it’ll look out of place. And makeup artists believe it’s a crime to apply it to more mature skin.
  • As an alternative — wait, there is no alternative. Just forget about this product. Period.


We’ll never know what happened to Rashida Jones’ brows and why they look so different from each other. And her whole makeup job can look bad because of this annoying asymmetry. But a year earlier, the actress was wearing quite chic eyebrows. Be sure to pay attention to how a shade of lipstick can affect our perception — the wrong shade can cause the makeup to look very cheap.

The most famous blonde with dark eyebrows literary walks on the edge wearing this look. The dark roots of her hair usually save her from taking a fashion tumble. But even Emilia Clarke can make mistakes. Let’s blame it on the fact that her whole makeup look is pretty dramatic (just look at that blush!). But in everyday life, if you don’t fly on dragons, it’s better to find a balance between the color of your eyebrows and your hair.

Claire Danes decided not to apply any makeup to her eyebrows and as a result, they disappeared from her face. Of course, people with blonde hair should be very careful with their eyebrows and Claire probably was afraid to apply too much product. But in this case, it would’ve been better not to do such bright eye makeup. Luckily, this actress doesn’t make fashion mistakes very often.


  • Modern fashion trends are pretty convenient. We no longer have to pluck our natural eyebrows into a thin line. It’s enough just to fix their shape a bit and style them.
  • Don’t trim your brows since it’s always visible and doesn’t look natural. You can use a brow gel to fix the hair in any direction you want.
  • Eyebrows determine the mood of your face, so try not to change their shape too drastically.
  • Eyebrow color should look good with your hair color and the whole makeup look. It shouldn’t attract all the attention but at the same time, it shouldn’t look pale in comparison to any other bright colors on your face.
  • You should also take care of your eyebrows and use special products like oils, masks, and moisturizers. Dry, flaky skin will ruin even the perfect eyebrows.
  • If you aren’t happy with your eyebrows, spend some time and money on a specialist. They’ll come up with the best eyebrow shape for you and teach you how to maintain them at home.

Mascara and eyeliner

Do you think that the photo on the left was taken after a long, noisy party in a hot room? Or during a difficult period in Britney Spears’ life when she was going through her divorce? Nope, it was taken when she attended a daytime basketball game with her handsome boyfriend. But she looks messy because of the smudgy eyeliner. Britney looks much better in the right picture.

Andrea Riseborough decided to go without any eyeliner at all. But she applied a lot of mascara. As a result, there’s a clear imbalance in her makeup and her red eyes became more visible. Just compare this first picture with the second photo where she made no such mistakes.


  • Use an eyeshadow base or at least apply a thin layer of powder under your eyeliner or eye pencil.
  • If you’re looking for sharp lines, you can cover your eyeliner with an eyeshadow of the same color. Eyeshadows should be highly pigmented and the brush should be flat. Don’t try to blend the eyeshadow in, just tap the pigment into the skin.
  • You should have cotton balls at hand in case you need to fix your makeup. It’s better to do so with a dry cotton ball.
  • Try to find a balance between your eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara. If one of the products dominates the others, the final result will rarely look good.
  • Buy only high-quality makeup products.

Lip contour

Paloma Faith is an extravagant woman but smeared lipstick isn’t a part of her look as she usually wears very neat makeup. And not even an eccentric hat can fix this makeup fail.


  • To make the lipstick stay in place, you should set its borders with a lip pencil.
  • Lip primers usually work well. They come in handy for women over 30 as they prevent the lipstick from getting into small lip wrinkles.
  • Lipsticks with matte or satin finishes look good.
  • If you apply a thin layer of lipstick, it’s less likely to get smeared. Blot your lips with a napkin after you apply your lipstick. It’s better to apply the lipstick with a brush.

Hot trends

One-shade eyeshadows and all the shades of turquoise are trending now. But it’s quite a task to apply such makeup and not overdo it. Even Sarah Jessica Parker didn’t do this correctly. As you can see in the first photo, she chose this makeup look for the Met Gala in 2018 and it was almost an art piece. In real life, the actress only implements fashion trends and colors that look good on her.


  • Fashion designers come up with dozens of creative ideas every season. It’s their job to bring fun and joy into people’s lives. But not all runway trends look good in real life.
  • Before you head to the office or an event with square-shaped eyeshadow, eyeliner applied up to your temples, and silver lipstick, try to only wear these looks at home. You may not think so, but the look can appear a little too over-the-top.
  • Sometimes such controversial fashion trends can be adapted to real life. For example, you may keep the shape and the color of the eyeliner but make the lines shorter. Experiment and you’ll find what works best for you.

Everyone makes mistakes! They can give you a powerful impulse for self-development if you don’t spend too much time on self-reflection. Instead, analyze your mistakes and make changes for the better. Hopefully, our article will help people learn from others’ mistakes so that they don’t repeat them.

Would you like to add something to our observations? What makeup mistakes can ruin a whole look? Share your stories in the comments.

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