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Benefit Cosmetics LLC

Beauty Blunders

Mistakes that are easy to make, easy to fix

I'm constantly looking at people's faces--when I'm walking down the street, sitting in a restaurant, and especially when I'm at a makeup counter. I'm inspired when I see women who've figured out what works for them, and I get satisfaction out of helping women who've missed the mark with makeup. Some of the missteps are the result of trying a trend; others are simply mistakes. Here are a few of the most common problems I see, and pointers on how to apply makeup to make sure you're always a beauty "do."

The Trend: High-Intensity Eye Makeup Colors

The blunder: Crayon-bright matching shadow and liner that results in color overkill

Why it happens: You think that you can't go wrong as long as colors match, but it's really not a flattering look.

The solution: Choose a muted tone for the lid and a deeper tone for liner. For example, if you're itching to wear green, choose a pale mint shadow and pair it with a hunter green liner to create a flattering contrast.

The Trend: Neutral, Glossy Lips for a Plumped-Up Pout
The blunder: Applying a too-pale lip color that looks milky and washed out

Why it happens: You choose a lipstick that's lighter than your natural coloring in an attempt to make your lips look fuller.

The solution: To create the appearance of plump lips, use a shade that matches or is one shade deeper than your lips. Try a high-shine gloss-it reflects light from lips and creates the appearance of fullness.

The Trend: The Healthy, Suntanned Look All Year-Round
The blunder: A fake tan that's more Day-Glo orange than sun kissed

Why it happens: Your bronzer has too much orange in it.

The solution: For a glow that might actually fool people into thinking that you went on vacation, choose a brownish-red bronzer; these are the tones of naturally tanned skin.

The Trend: The "Fresh-Faced" Look

The blunder: Chalky-looking matte makeup that makes skin look pasty

Why it happens: Many women mistakenly think that translucent powder is invisible. It actually has pinky-gray undertones that leave your complexion pasty and ashy.

The solution: For the most natural look, choose a sheer, finely milled powder with pale yellow undertones.

The Blunder: Ultrathick and Clumpy Tarantula-Like Lashes

Why it happens: You want thick and luxurious-looking lashes, so you apply one heavy coat of mascara.

The solution: To create volume, apply several thin coats. Before you start, be sure to wipe excess mascara off the brush with a tissue. When applying mascara, always work from the base of lashes out to the tips.

The Blunder: Creased and Crepey Eye Shadow
Why it happens: You used moisturizer on your eyelids or you applied foundation to create a base.

The solution: Nix the eye cream on lids during the day. The best way to prime eyelids is with a light dusting of face powder. This creates a smooth, oil-free surface that allows eye makeup to adhere.

The Blunder: Feathery Lipstick

Why it happens: Using a greasy lip balm before lipstick is a big culprit.

The solution: Keep lipstick in place by creating a barrier around lips with lip liner. After applying lipstick, line lips with a shade that matches your natural lip color for the most flattering effect.

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