Makeup-Wise, What Have You Suddenly Discovered You Were Doing Wrong?

Published in: Just For Fun

filling browsHave you ever had any “Aha!” makeup moments? Ones where you felt like you were the last person in the world to figure something out?

I’ve had my share.


One came a couple of years ago while I was filling in my eyebrows. You wouldn’t think it could take someone more than 30 years to figure this out but SURPRISE! — it can. 🙂

I’ve been using the MAC 266 brush and Concrete eyeshadow to fill in my brows for as long as I can remember. One day I was doing them in front of a mirror and happened to tilt my chin up to check my work from a different angle.

BAM! Filled in, my left eyebrow looked considerably shorter than my right. Because of how I’d been doing it all these years, holding the brush with my right hand, I’d always made my left brow look shorter by not filling in the inner part (the side closest to my nose) as fully as the inner part of my right.

At least it only took a few decades to figure it out…

Makeup-wise, what have you suddenly discovered you were doing wrong?

Thanks to Lifehacker for coming up with the idea for this question!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 42 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Trinidad says:

    I keep buying the same colors over and over again! And when I try to venture out, I use them a couple of times and then go back. It’s hard for me to break out of my ruts… But this blog is helping because all the new make up looks like so much fun! And seeing how you put it together makes me wanna try things out more often!
    .-= Trinidad’s last blog post… What’s on Sample Sale 7-9 =-.

  2. great post! I used to alway get annoyed that my face makeup (foundation, powder, etc) would rub off when I pulled my eyelid taut to apply eyeliner. Then one day on someones youtube makeup channel I saw that they patted their index finger with powder before doing so and voila! no makeup rubbed off!

  3. Lindsay says:

    not blending my foundation down my neck! looks my heads part of a different skin tone! so embarassing

  4. Natalia says:

    I have an embarrassing one. For the past 6 years or so that I have been doing makeup I thought that having brushes was just for makeup artists or to do dramatic stuff and since i am the queen of neutrals they wouldn’t be for meor that they weren’t worth the money. I always used my fingers or the stupid spongy eyeshadow applicators. Well one day on a whim I bought a 217 brush and saw oh wow my eye makeup looks more natural. Now I have a bunch of brushes and don’t know how I lived without them. I never realized how they are actually essential and not just splurges, they are investments!

  5. Kelly says:

    Oh god bad eyebrows were my issue. When I look back on pics of me in the 90’s my brows were filled in unevenly or too thick or too dark. Horrific!

  6. Jennifer says:

    OMG. I just discovered as wonderful as Urban Decay Primer Potion is, I don’t need to use every bit that comes out on the applicator. A little bit goes a long way and anything more is just wasted.

    The same goes for Loreal Primer Studio Secrets. Why I thought I needed so much, I’ll never know. 🙂

  7. Molly says:

    Oh god… black eyeliner just SMEARED around my eyes in high school. Thought it was “smoky”.. it was really just gross and messy. One day, I tried fixing it with a Qtip, and miraculously my eyes looked AMAZING.
    Also, amusingly, my little sister had the exact same routine with astringent as I did, until I asked her “you do know you’re not supposed to wash that off, right?” Yeah. I went through four years of wondering why it never did anything.

  8. emma says:

    gosh ive had a lot of these…i used to just PACK on blush on the roundness of my cheeks, thinking thats what you were supposed to do, but then looking at photos it made me realize that my already round face looked even ROUNDER. now i stick to highlighter and contour haha
    .-= emma’s last blog post… Great Scott =-.

  9. Gina says:

    What I discovered I was doing wrong, was not filling in my eyebrows at all! I’d put together a beautiful eye of eyeshadow, then leave my brows as they were, because I always thought my filled-in brows looked clown-like. Then I finally invested in a good quality pencil, and wow! I was missing out on so much.

  10. Lowelli says:

    Setting your liquid makeup with powder!!! I have heard this rule sooo many times and seen so many youtube gurus do it. I think I was either afraid of looking cakey or I just never found a powder that I liked or maybe I’m just plain stubborn but I never did it. The first time I did it, it was like the heavens opened up to reveal a wonderful world of lasting concealer and a non-greasy face. Needless to say, I use powder to set my makeup now (most of the time).

  11. Lowelli says:

    Oh yea, and I just tilted my head in front of the mirror and VOILA! My left eyebrow is shorter than my right one. Go figure.

  12. Thea says:

    Not using primer. Turns out your makeup CAN stay on all day…

  13. Lucia says:

    I actually had the EXACT same thing happen to me with my eyebrows. I realized it when i got my ID pictures taken for my new job…one was filled in shorter than the other. I can only hope that nobody else noticed :).

  14. blending eyeshadow! i was doing it wrong by not doing it at all! :p
    .-= dani@callitbeauty’s last blog post… Have Luggage- Will Travel =-.

  15. Kate & Zena says:

    I had the awful years of using way too much and way too thick black eyeliner…with raspberry lipstick. I looked like a painted raccoon!

  16. Tango says:

    EYELINER. I clearly remember being frustrated for years wondering why I couldn’t get my eyeliner to look like certain magazine pictures, and then one day before a party being all “but what if I take this pencil and draw on the INSIDE (waterline) of my lashes?” Boom! You can still see how psyched I am in the pictures from that party that my eyeliner looks awesome.

  17. gio says:

    I have very small eyes and when I was younger I used to line my waterline with black eyeliner, which made them even smaller. Shame I only realised it years later. 🙁 Also I only recently started to use powder to set my makeup and now it finally stays on a lot longer. I don’t know why I hadn’t tried that when I first got into makeup.
    .-= gio’s last blog post… Looks- Warm Summer Eyes =-.

  18. Nina says:

    I was afraid of mascara … and refused to use it. It made my eye makeup look undone. Turns out I just needed to find the right mascara wih the right brush.

    I still dont use mascara everyday but often enough so that I dont look “unfinished” … 🙂

  19. Suji says:

    I have definitely done the eyebrow thing – too thin or thick.. also the foundation blending into the neck thing! recently my mistakes have involved shimmery blushes and bronzers. I LOVE shimmer because I think it’s looks gorgeous, but I don’t exactly have the nicest skin, and unfortunately the shimmers sometimes spotlight my less than perfect skin 😛 so I’m learning to play better with matte facial powders.

  20. Shannon says:

    Figuring out how to do a smokey eye! Goodness sakes, I just could NOT get the hang of it in high school (and through most of college, to be honest). It always ended up making my eyes look tiny and closed in. Finally, one day when I was getting a makeover at Bare Escentuals, I asked the makeup artist to show me how to do a smokey eye. She did a dramatic take on what, coincidentally, was my everday eye look: she only placed the dark shades/liner on the outside corners of my eye, blending to about mid-pupil (same with the contour shade in the crease – I’d been trying to blend it too far in). Turns out I just shouldn’t try to rim my eyes in black, ha. 🙂

    • Shannon says:

      Also – realizing how put-together foundation can make you look! For the longest time I never used the stuff, and my eye makeup never really looked crisp, and I was limited to very few shades (pretty much pinks and browns). I just hated applying it and didn’t like how it felt. Bare Escentuals came to the rescue again and changed my makeup mind. I’m still amazed with how many different colors I can pull off when my skin tone has been smoothed out by foundation. And that was like… a year ago. And I’ve been wearing makeup and reading books on beauty for years. Sheesh! Silly me.

  21. Christian says:

    While not make up related, I recently discovered that the RIGHT moisturizer makes a WORLD of difference! I only started following a skincare routine religiously for the past 2 months…before that all I did was remove my make up with a MAC wipe and be done (I was so lazy before). I used to hate moisturizer because I always thought it made me feel more greasy and I was thinking “why am I putting grease on top of a pimple when I want it to dry out?”. Anyway, by finally finding out that there are moisturizers without mineral oil aka Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing LOTION…sucks!…then I was able to try out different types of moisturizers that SINK RIGHT IN. 🙂 Currently finishing up my sample of Ole Henriksen’s Sheer Transformation and I’m pleased to have tried this!
    .-= Christian’s last blog post… Golden Lotus earrings- =-.

    • Kam says:

      I have oily skin that’s why I use Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing GEL. The lotion is for dry. They make the GEL for oily skin. If you ever go back to Clinique, make sure you specify the GEL. Whenever I get the lotion in a bonus buy or gift with purchase, I give it to my mom if I can’t get an exchange. Hope that helps.
      .-= Kam’s last blog post… Make it work- =-.

  22. knownever says:

    I wouldnt really call this doing it wrong but I never liked how lipstick looked or felt comfortable wearing it out until I got a clear lipliner. It makes lipstick so much less upkeep to wear and it doesnt bleed so you look totally put together. Also, not my doing it wrong moment but I was happy I could help out. my roommate started using a bit of makeup after never doing so and she would put a color over her lid and was amazed the change in effect you get when you put a highlight color under the brow. it is essential!
    .-= knownever’s last blog post… Street Style for Idiots =-.

  23. Tiffany says:

    when I was younger – wearing too dark foundation and not blending into my neck. yuck!

  24. BioGeek says:

    2 things:
    1. I never (and I mean never!) used to wear mascara. I thought “I already have black lashes…why should I wear mascara?” Yea. Yea… 10 years later & well into my mid-20’s, i am a mascara diva! L’Oreal drugstore mascaras done me right!!!

    2. Like Shannon said above: not realizing how put-together foundation can make you look! I just recently got into makeup (25 yrs. old here) & I’m so glad I did. The first thing I got into was eye makeup (shadows + mascara; I’ve always been an eyeliner girl). My eyes always looked great, but when I would look in the mirror, all the splotchiness of my red cheeks + uneven skin tone around jaw line would kind of ruin the look. Once I found a great foundation, I look so much better & feel so much better about the time I invest into my makeup ritual.

  25. AtelierGal says:

    I have been using too much highlighter! To the point where I look “shiny” or worst, “oily” in my pictures!!!
    .-= AtelierGal’s last blog post… A Cheesy Predator Monday =-.

  26. Sara says:

    i don’t know if i was doing it “wrong” before, but i’ve started using more force when i wash my face [i.e., rubbing rather vigorously for 1-2 minutes] and moisturizing straight out of the shower or post-face wash. durrr

    i’ve also started using copious amounts of concealer. now concealer actually works! wow….yes.

  27. Lexi says:

    i totally agree with brows – also bronzer – I’ve seen pics of myself from the early days (read: using fake ID for the bars) and thought – WOW…too bad that Vampire stuff didn’t come along until now because I probably would have looked lovely and Vampirically pale back then!

  28. Amelia says:

    year eight: wearing blue eyeliner every day and thinking it looked really good
    year nine: wearing black eyeliner, black eyeshadow, black liquid eyeliner and black mascara every night and looking like… well let’s not say

  29. Amy says:

    I used to curl my eyelashes by holding the curler down mid lash. I got crazy bent at a right angle eyelashes so I just kind of gave up curling. One day I saw a YouTube tutorial on the proper way to do it… Changed my (makeup) life!!

  30. wehkwas says:

    mixing a water-based foundation with a another foundation that wasn’t oil-free. i note this as one of my biggest makeup mistake as it simply goes against common sense:P

  31. Jeni says:

    I get obsessed with my wrinkles, so I have dark, flattering lighting in my bathroom so that I always look good and don’t over-obsess. I try to never look at myself in bright lighting or bright sunlight, so for all I know, I’m doing my makeup all wrong, but I have no idea! Every now and then my boyfriend will point out something wrong on my face that I missed in my dark bathroom, but he’s not always around to catch me before I leave the house…
    .-= Jeni’s last blog post… Discontinued Makeup And Beauty Products =-.

  32. Melessa says:

    it wasnt recently, i actually cant remember when or what made me realize, but some how it finally clicked that i have to stop buying makeup just because it looks pretty in the pan (or tube etc) , and buy colors that actually work for me. its a sad realization that theres so many pretty colors you can never wear, but a necesary one.

    and for maybe half a year or so ive been using less foundation. iv been sacrificing coverage
    =( but i think the overall appearance is better. more natural. pretty sure (and i hope!) the change is for the better

  33. Melessa says:

    oooh yesssssss! how could i forget lol. when i was younger it was ALWAYS thick, black eyeliner. ive since switched to brown and normally smudge it. muuuuch better! especially when youre white lol

  34. Stef says:

    Blush! I had a bad blush experience when I was young, put it on too much and my Mom laughed and told me my cheeks were “too big.” Totally the wrong thing to say to me at that age. So I went 20 years never wearing blush. Finally I broke down and bought a NARS The Multiple Stick in Orgasm, and OMG! Wearing blush makes me look 10 years younger! I’m 35 and look pretty young as it is, but blush is the best! I now own several blushes and I love each and every one of them!

  35. Kathleen says:

    I cringe when I think of my brown lipstick and gray sparkly eyeliner in middle school….yech.

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