Even beauty editors get it wrong sometimes (okay, a lot of the time). Here are my top 5 makeup mistakes—anything sound familiar?

clown makeup

Contrary to popular opinion, beauty editors are beauty editors mainly because they can write, and not because they’re actually “experts” at such diverse tasks as applying self-tanner, drawing on liquid liner and achieving the perfect flat-iron curls.

Okay, yes, you DO pick up a ton of tips along the way, just from interviewing the best experts and trialling hundreds of products—which is why, six years in, I’m able to make some gentle suggestions here at BEAUTY EDITOR HQ—but honestly? I screw things up just like everybody else. Maybe more so, because season after season, I jump on board with every new trend, every new product and every new face that inspires me. It’s kind of like beauty ADD.

But wait! Don’t unsubscribe on me now. The difference between your average beauty ed and the girl on the street is that yours truly is regularly exposed to people who can help correct course. That’s what happened the other day with Carmindy, whose 10 makeup tips I already shared, and who clued me in on a few things I’m kinda sorta doin’ wrong. Shameful I know, but I’m going to share these makeup mistakes because maybe, just maybe, it will help you too. Awareness is the first step, yes?


No really. I have no excuse for this one, especially because a big article of mine in April FLARE was all about the flawless skin trend. (As in the kind achieved with makeup, not my favourite “skincare product.”)

Anyway, I realized that instead of taking my time with my 5,825 primers, foundations, tinted moisturizers, concealers, powders, brushes, sponges, etc. and applying them just so (in front of a good light source or window), I’ve been rushing through this part in, like, two minutes. Well, it IS kind of boring compared to the colours. But if you don’t get your skin right, nothing else is going to look good.

Rather humiliatingly, Carmindy decided to wipe off my existing foundation (she deemed the brush application I’d used “too thick”) and proceeded to mix her Your Skin Makeup Foundation in Creamy Beige

carmindy your skin makeup Even beauty editors get it wrong sometimes (okay, a lot of the time). Here are my top 5 makeup mistakes—anything sound familiar?

…with Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer

kiehls ultra facial moisturizer Even beauty editors get it wrong sometimes (okay, a lot of the time). Here are my top 5 makeup mistakes—anything sound familiar?

…and applying both together with a sponge, followed by just a touch of concealer. In case you missed it in my Mother’s Day vid, this was the result:

 Even beauty editors get it wrong sometimes (okay, a lot of the time). Here are my top 5 makeup mistakes—anything sound familiar?

Not that you can tell at all from this lighting, but trust: I don’t know if my skin has ever looked that flawless. I’m still trying to figure out how exactly it happened because my efforts to replicate it the next day weren’t quite as effective. I’ll keep you posted.


So you know how I talk about primers all the time, like a crazy person? Maybe they are not the be-all and end-all in makeup, because Carmindy did my face sans primer and I swear it held up, pretty much shine- and smudge-free, right until bedtime. That’s a full eight hours.

Instead, what she did was set everything with her Truly Translucent Loose Powder

Carmindy Sally Hansen translucent powder Even beauty editors get it wrong sometimes (okay, a lot of the time). Here are my top 5 makeup mistakes—anything sound familiar?

…which is another step that I often skip. (I blame the whole HD hoopla.) So now I have renewed faith in powder as a crucial step in helping my makeup last.


Yes. I know this. I am aware. One reader even pointed it out regarding this video:

I still maintain that it’s partially the lighting and the reflection from what’s on my screen… but as you can see with my Carmindy makeup, I’m much paler here:

So pale that it kind of made me uncomfortable. After applying her barely detectable blush, Carms even went so far as to tell me that “I’d probably want to apply more,” and I’m not sure if that meant I COULD or if she thinks I have some pathological blush obsession. Either way, I’m trying to stifle it and get used to myself with a paler complexion.


I am more aware of this in wardrobe matters than makeup—I rarely wear a dress without a belt or some kind of waist-defining element, for example. But with makeup, it’s so darn fun to play around… and especially with the bright lipstick moment I was enjoying, I haven’t really considered the idea of facial features lately. But Carmindy reminded me: I like my eyes the best, so why aren’t I giving them more love?

On me, she used the Stone Eye Palette

Sally Hansen Carmindy Stone eyeshadow palette Even beauty editors get it wrong sometimes (okay, a lot of the time). Here are my top 5 makeup mistakes—anything sound familiar?

…and because of my hooded eye shape, did a pale wash of the medium colour all over the lid, which I never do. Another thing I don’t do (or at least haven’t in a long time): use the darkest shade as a liner, applied with an angled brush. So now I’m giving my beloved waterlines a time out and trying this out for a while. I have to admit, it DID make my eyes look heaps bigger.


And I enjoy bright colours and shiny things. Who doesn’t? I’ve never met a fuchsia lipstick or a turquoise shadow I didn’t like.

And yet, one can easily lose sight of the basics. Even if *cough* one has written about them before. What I love about Carmindy is that she focuses on the neutrals that suit you—a “you only better” kind of look that doesn’t scream out but rather subtly enhances and works for any occasion. Probably she should have done Kate Middleton’s wedding and then we wouldn’t be here complaining about the heavy under-eye liner.

Anyway! From now on, no matter what gorgeous and colourful beauty treats arrive on my desk to sway me, I’m going to try my hardest to pull a Carmindy when I apply my makeup. Most of the time.

Tell me:

Do you make any of these mistakes too?
Which product is your biggest beauty crutch?
Do you like Carmindy’s approach to makeup, or is life too short to not play with tons of colours?


Thursday, May 5/2011 at 7:14 pm

My beauty crutch is nail polishes… obvs. I’m working on it too though, as a matter of fact I just returned a crazy color I bought a few days ago. Here I thought I’d lurv it, mostly because it looked good on a friend, but.. turns out it looks a whole lot better on her olive/white skin than on my reddish fingers! My WORLD for a khaki green though..


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, May 8/2011 at 9:46 am
Thursday, May 5/2011 at 7:20 pm

I love my primer (That Gal by Benefit) but I also like the idea of blending a little foundation with moisturizer for an all over even effect. Is there a way to use all three of these products or do I have to choose between a moisturizer then primer versus a moisturizer & foundation blend?


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, May 8/2011 at 9:49 am

Nope, primer can be used under any type of face makeup – or even alone. (I have a friend who has absolutely flawless, non-blotchy skin – and she just wears primer alone.)

So the order should be:
1. Cleanse
2. Moisturize (& let dry)
3. Prime (& let dry)
4. Foundation
1. Cleanse
2. Moisturize – or just serum if you don’t want to double up
3. Prime
4. Moisturizer + foundation mix – or tinted moisturizer


Soe Kabbabe
Thursday, May 5/2011 at 8:41 pm

Hello Michelle!
I love it so much!! It’s like listen to my own words. I’d usually skip foundation, loose powder, and playing up with my eyes – even if I recommend them everyday! I think I’m going to follow your advices – cheers, Beauty Editors!




Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, May 8/2011 at 9:50 am

Glad you identify with this! We all fall into our bad habits. :-)


Friday, May 6/2011 at 12:35 am

I NEED to hear more about how do this less foundation/more flawless thing! I have rosy cheeks that need covering, and generally have at least a couple dark spots going on, so I feel like I need a heavier foundation, but maybe not?


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, May 8/2011 at 9:54 am

I know, right? Believe me I am investigating. I think I was going too heavy because I still have a bit of post-inflammatory pigmentation going on after this: http://beautyeditor.ca/2010/11/15/my-brief-traumatic-foray-into-the-oil-cleansing-method-or-how-overreaching-can-sometimes-backfire-on-your-skin/

I think the key with the sponge is to press it into your skin in sort of a rolling motion. I think a lot of us tend to wipe with the sponge and that just removes the foundation. You could use the sponge either alone or after you use the foundation brush… I’m coming around to the idea that it’s the secret to coverage without the heaviness.

Watch this space because I’m determined to get to the bottom of this – am tempted to email Carmindy to get more tips.


Sunday, May 8/2011 at 10:12 am

All right, can’t wait! Lately I’ve been using the Beauty Blender, just “bouncing” the foundation on, which mostly works great, but maybe the problem is my foundation is too heavy. Don’t know…also it seems that liquid and cream blushes just wipe the foundation right off my cheek! I’ll experiment with adding a bit of moisturizer to my foundation today.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, May 11/2011 at 11:32 pm

Do you really need it on your cheeks? Just curious – I never put foundation there because I really like when the natural flush shows through.


Nomadic D
Friday, May 6/2011 at 4:57 am

I LOVE mixing my foundation with moisturizer, in fact I mix up a small batch and keep it in a little sample vial so I don’t have to mess with it on busy mornings. It’s like your own personally formulated tinted moisturizer. I posted mine here:


I usually used pressed powder to set my more oily spots, do you think there’s a real advantage to getting a loose one? I think I always just thought powder is powder.

The rest all sounds good to me, but I think it’s important to remember that playing up our best features and using lots of neutrals for everyday looks doesn’t mean never playing with color again. I think it’s fun to be more playful and adventurous from time to time, and then most days just enhance the real me.



Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, May 8/2011 at 10:08 am

I think most makeup artists prefer translucent colourless powders to set makeup, just because they look like there is nothing on the skin and can add more luminosity – some regular powders can go a bit heavy and/or ashy.
However – I mentioned this in my video the other day, if you have found a pressed one you like, then I think it’s fine as long as you’re not reapplying throughout the day – that’s when it can start to build up and look cakey.


Nomadic D
Sunday, May 8/2011 at 11:20 am

that’s my feeling too. I use a lorac pressed powder with a big kabuki brush just to set stuff in the mornings, and I think it works pretty well. Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog too! So nice to see you over there!



Friday, May 6/2011 at 1:04 pm

I do #4 by accident: I forget to touch up. Meticulously crafted AM skin (I love my pale skin) makeup application + nada maintenance = migrating or missing makeup by lunch.

I also forget lipstick. My guy hates to taste it, so no kisses if I wear it (understandable). So I got out of the habit. Since I always do eyes & am way pale, this often makes me look unbalanced.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, May 8/2011 at 10:16 am

What about a lip stain?


Monday, May 9/2011 at 9:33 am

So far, the ones I’ve tried have been too drying. Lip balm under or over the stains have made them lift off. I made the stained effect with dark lipstick smudged into lip balm, but it doesn’t last any longer than lipstick. If you know a moisturizing stain, I’m interested!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, May 11/2011 at 11:30 pm

Tarte’s lip stain is fantastic! I know what you mean about them being drying but theirs really isn’t.


Friday, May 6/2011 at 2:59 pm

I think provided you get your base right, you can do whatever you want colour wise. Neutrals are great, but it is fun to play with colours. Makeup is after all about having fun and play up your best features. I really loves mixing my moisturiser with Chanel Pro Lumiere, but as I’ve heard, this line is betting discontinued. :(
As for primer vs powder, sometimes powder is too drying for setting makeup. I certainly can’t set with powder in the winter and would use a primer instead. :)


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, May 8/2011 at 10:18 am

Totally agree with you re: powder and I think that’s why I wasn’t using it lately. But I have to admit it made a huge difference. Hmmmm…


Lisa P
Friday, May 6/2011 at 5:05 pm

Pretty! Carmindy’s stuff is on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart right now, so I’m going to try a couple of things.

Do you remember what shade of blush she used on you? Do you also remember which translucent powder she used? There are a couple to choose from. I’m not sure which one to try. Thanks!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, May 8/2011 at 10:24 am

I didn’t get samples but I think the blush was either Ethereal or Cherub – looked A LOT darker in the pot than it went on (and keep in mind I’m very pale). The powder I think was Natural… Neutralizer looks a bit yellow. Really liked the powder quality, it looked and felt undetectable!


Tuesday, May 10/2011 at 4:28 pm

My beauty crutch is… winged liner. One one hand, I’ve practiced so long and hard with my liquid liner to finally get the hang of the perfect old-Hollywood winged shape that I feel like I’ve earned my right to show it off, but on the other hand, I’m not even comfortable drawing it any other way now. I tried using a normal, non-liquid liner recently-ish and couldn’t get it to look good, so I went back with liquid liner and thought it looked silly without the wing… so there it was again! Granted, I don’t always wear liner (most of the time I just put on black mascara), but if I bother putting anything on my eyelids, there will be some winged action going on!

As for powder, I’ve completely forsaken it since my skin randomly turned super dry and sensitive on me a year ago. :( Now it’s just concealer and foundation. I’ll definitely give the less-is-more trick a try and see where that takes me!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, May 11/2011 at 9:25 pm

Gosh I know what you mean! The traditional eyeliner application can look so wrong (I feel like it drags the face down) so I’ve generally avoided that. But Carmindy’s method—using an angled brush and powder shadow instead of a liner—seems to work well. Also you could try doing pencil but smudging it –
the smudger brush I wrote about here is a fabulous invention: http://beautyeditor.ca/2011/04/14/the-makeup-brush-im-suddenly-in-love-with%E2%80%94plus-4-more-essentials-that-every-woman-should-own/

Have you ever tried lining just the waterlines, either just the upper, just the lower or all the way around the eye? I love this trick and you can do the smudgy thing with it as well.

The wing will always be in style though so no need to give it up!


Leave a Comment