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Not even the most die-hard makeup artist is completely perfect when it comes to their own makeup habits. We all get busy, forgetful, lazy. But there are some makeup missteps that could end up being detrimental to not only your makeup, but your skin. Thankfully, though, these are all easy fixes, and once you incorporate them into your routine, you’ll be back on track in no time!
- Not cleaning your brushes – Not only can this lead to bacteria growth in the brushes, but it can also end up costing a fortune! As dirt, dust, and makeup accumulate on the bristles, bacteria can thrive there too. And that same accumulation of gunk can cause the bristles of your most loved (and most expensive) brushes to break and fall out (sometimes sticking to your face during application). Yuk! Be sure to give your brushes a good cleaning with a mild cleanser every month or two.
- Blowing on your brushes – You’ve picked up a little too much product? Might as well give the brush a little blow to remove some of it, right? Wrong. Blowing on the brushes can transfer bacteria from your mouth and the air onto the bristles, which grows with each subsequent blow. Try tapping the brush on the side of the product or the edge of some other hard surface instead.
- Not washing your makeup off before bed – You’ve heard this a million times, we know. The reason you’ve heard it so much is because it’s true. Not only do your pores need to breathe, but your skin will have a harder time making room on the surface for new, pretty skin cells while the old, gunky cells are caked there. If you are really, really exhausted, using makeup wipes will do in a pinch, but you’re better off making it a practice to wash your face properly each night before bed.
- Not moisturizing before applying makeup – You might not think you need to follow this little practice, especially if your skin tends to be oily. But moisturizer has nothing to do with adding oil, and everything to do with keeping your skin hydrated. Also, skin that is not moisturized can often effect makeup application, making it look uneven and blotchy. Try adding a light daytime moisturizer with SPF to your routine before applying foundation. That way your skin stays hydrated, receives foundation more smoothly, and is protected from those harmful UVA and UVB rays.
- Using your hand to match your foundation color – Newsflash: your hand is not your face. It’s not even near your face. So why would the skin there be a good indicator of the skin on your face? The skin on our hands is exposed to sun and the elements a lot more often than that of the skin on your face, so it will almost definitely be a different color. If you’re out shopping and don’t want to mess up your makeup by swatching a new foundation across your cheek, try turning your head and applying a vertical line of foundation that is closer to your ear and one along your jawbone area. Those will give a better indication of a true match.
- Pumping your mascara – We admire your thriftiness. You want to get every last drop of that mascara out of the bottle. Or maybe you just want a little extra product on the wand. Either way, the only thing that pumping the mascara wand is doing is pushing air into the bottle…which is making the product dry up quicker. Opt for swishing the wand around the sides of the bottle instead.
- Matching your eye shadow to your outfit – Ok, so we all did this as kids. As far as we were concerned, it was a major cool thing to do. Then. But now, we know better…or, at least we should. Eye makeup, particularly shadow, is designed to make the most of your eye color. And its application is meant to make the most of your eye’s shape. So don’t cut your potential beauty short. You can Google the best eye colors/eye shadow combos, or just check out a color wheel to see what colors opposite your eye color will best make your peepers pop!
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Dress for Success.” Well, that’s easier said than done, especially if your budget is a bit thin. It’s a frustrating Catch-22: you need to dress the part to get a better job, but you can’t afford to dress the part until you get a better job. Luckily, there are some things you can do (yes, even on your current anorexic budget) to plump up your work wardrobe while you climb the corporate ladder.
- Sign up for sale alerts – Many websites, such as ShopItToMe.com, provide customized sale alerts. Simply choose which items you are looking for (in your initial wardrobe-building, focus on wardrobe staples such as pencil skirts, trousers, cardigans, etc.), and the site will email you with alerts when those items go on sale across the internet.
- Know what compliments your figure – If you are pear-shaped, you know to pick styles that hug your waist and flow away from your hips (A-line skirts are great). If you have an hourglass figure, you know you can pull off more body-hugging styles (but try to avoid items that are too clingy). If your figure is more boyish, you know to pick more feminine, flowing pieces. Once you know your body shape, a simple internet search will show you the silhouettes that flatter you the most.
- Find a tailor – Now that you know your best silhouettes, and you’ve found the deepest sales, you will be amazed at the difference a good tailor can make. In the skilled hands of someone who can nip, pin, and sew, a good article of clothing can be transformed into a fantastic article of clothing in no time flat. The best use of a tailor can be seen in that all-important professional wardrobe staple…the suit. Great suits can cost a small fortune, but a suit bought at a less expensive retail chain can be made to look as if it cost a small fortune…and made to look as if it was made for just for you… after your tailor has had their way with it.
- Focus on basics, not Louboutins – Sure those leopard print Louboutins look fierce, but when you are just starting out in the working world, spending an entire month’s salary on one or two pairs of shoes is absolutely ridiculous. And even though your feet will look fab, the rest of you will look like an impulsive, childish noob. You need decent quality shoes in black, brown, and nude. Those will work with just about anything in your closet.
- Invest in undergarments – No, we’re not talking about clearing the sale racks at Victoria’s Secret. We’re talking shapewear and bras. These are your foundation pieces for everything, and if they are ill-fitting, everything looks off. They don’t have to look pretty…they have to work. So go for form over fashion here. And don’t just go after the size you think you are… go get fitted for a bra, which is a free service in many stores.
- Know when to splurge and when to scrimp – There are certain wardrobe pieces that will never go out of style: black trousers, pencil skirts, a classic cashmere sweater, a fitted white button-down shirt, a large leather tote, etc. As you begin shopping with a more skilful eye, and as you begin earning more money, start filtering these “splurge-worthy” pieces into your closet. For now though, stick to the basics, and, most importantly… IGNORE LABLES. Besides, after you get through with the targeted sales, the flattering silhouettes, the shapewear, and the tailor, you’ll look like a million bucks!
You have never been afraid of trying new styles and trends. After all, you know better than to judge any outfit from how it looks on the hanger. The only problem is, once you’ve tried on that fierce top and you’ve fallen in love with it, how do you know what type of jewelry will compliment it, not distract from it? Matching a necklace to a neckline is all about creating a visually similar line. Fashion is a balancing act, with all the little individual pieces coming together to bring out the best in you, so let’s take a look at winning top/jewelry combos that will be guaranteed to hit all the right notes!
First, consider the occasion. You need to figure out if your chosen jewelry is not only appropriate for the neckline of your top, but also for where you plan on going. You may find that your great Grandma’s pearl and diamond necklace looks amazing with that top…but is it really practical for a weekend trip to the zoo with your 3 year old nephew who loves to grab things and pull them until they break? Probably not.
Once you decide the occasion, you can move on to the fun stuff…accessorizing!
Type of top: Turtleneck
Perfect jewelry for it: A longer chain or pendant, or layers of those
Reason: If you wear a shorter necklace it will tend to make your neck look shorter and thicker.
Type of top: Crew
Perfect jewelry for it: Bib or collar necklace
Reason: The length will hit right at the neckline of the shirt and mimic its shape, making it look aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Type of top: Scoop
Perfect jewelry for it: Shorter chains and pendants with some bulk and width to them, like a chandelier bib necklace
Reason: The scoop will expose a little more skin, providing a blank canvas for your necklace. A necklace with more bulk to it will also help to keep you from appearing over exposed.
Type of top: Strapless
Perfect jewelry for it: Choker or short pendant
Reason: Adds visual interest and splits the attention so all the focus won’t be on your cleavage.
Type of top: One shoulder/Asymmetrical
Perfect jewelry for it: There are two camps of opinions here. Some say avoid a necklace altogether and go with long, dangling earrings, while some say wear a necklace that is asymmetrical in design itself.
Reason: Most tend to let the top speak for itself and opt for earrings. Reason being, the neckline of an asymmetrical top is visually interesting enough, and not overly revealing, so it can stand on its own.
Type of top: Collard button-up
Perfect jewelry for it: Short pendant
Reason: If you keep the necklace above the area where the buttons meet, you can avoid a messy look. The shorter, dangling pendant can still be seen, and mimics the shape created by the top, which is visually appealing.
Type of top: V-neck
Perfect jewelry for it: V-shaped dangling pendants or chandelier necklaces
Reason: You can safely add a v-shaped necklace that falls about an inch above the neckline of the top. This will mimic the shape of the neckline and elongate the look of your torso.
Type of top: Square
Perfect jewelry for it: Square or angular pendants
Reason: The straight lines of angular pendants will compliment the neckline of the top, adding even more visual interest.
Type of top: Cowl
Perfect jewelry for it: A short pendant or opt for earrings instead
Reason: A cowl neckline already has a lot going on with the folds of material, so a necklace might make it look too messy. It’s safer to stick with longer earrings.
Type of top: Sweetheart
Perfect jewelry for it: Longer drop pendant, Y-shape, lariat, or delicate v-shaped bib
Reason: The sweetheart neckline is one of the most popular shapes for wedding dresses. While you can pull off a shorter, simple necklace (like a single strand of pearls), you might instead want a necklace with a drop pendant…something to mimic the downward point of the neckline.