Paula Begoun is The Cosmetics Cop, a name Oprah Winfrey gave her. Paula and her research team have written 21 books on beauty including her best-selling series Don’t Go To the Cosmetics Counter Without Me. Paula also launched Paula’s Choice Skincare In this article Paula explains makeup mishaps and how to resolve them.
Smudged lipstick, streaky foundation, clumpy eyelashes—we've all been there! Here are fast fixes and preventative solutions to avert the most common makeup mishaps.
Lipstick that Smudges and Bleeds
If you’re prone to lipstick smudging or have lines around the mouth that the color easily bleeds into, switch from a traditional creamy formula to using a matte lipstick with a matte lip-liner. This is an excellent way to keep lipstick on longer and minimize feathering (the greasier the lipstick, the more likely it is to bleed).
Alternatively, you can prep lips with a clear primer pencil such to help give the lip color better hold or apply a matte concealer over lips for a more adherent base.
Cakey or Poorly Blended Foundation
You apply your foundation in bathroom lighting, only to realize it wasn’t quite blended all the way or it looks a lot heavier in natural daylight.
Use a slightly damp makeup sponge and stipple it over your face to soften and blend out the excess foundation. Be sure to blend around the jaw and hairline, too. After you've finished blending, apply a light dusting of powder to smooth everything out. If your technique is OK and you still have problems, the issue is most likely your foundation, the lighting in your bathroom, or you really need to consider a magnifying mirror so you can see all the details of your application.
If the problem is the texture of your foundation, it could be too thick or too thin. If either is the case chances are it won't apply evenly no matter what you do. Make sure your foundation is appropriate for your skin type.
Smooth out clumpy mascara by applying a very small amount of water on a clean mascara wand. If it’s a waterproof formula, a silicone-based makeup remover works best. Wiggle the brush across the base of the lashes to soften the dried mascara and then roll up to separate the clumps. The key is to use only a teeny-tiny bit so you don’t break down the mascara too much and create a smeary mess.
If your mascara is always clumpy, it’s time to try a new one.
Concealer that Creases into Lines Around the Eyes
Be sure to prep your eye area with a thin layer of a good moisturizer that isn’t too greasy, and apply it sparingly because overdoing it will cause more creasing. Choose a concealer that is smooth, easy to blend, long-wearing, and opaque enough to cover any under-eye darkness. The thinner the texture, the less likely you are to experience creasing.
But what if you’re already midway through the workday and notice your concealer has settled into the lines? Use your ring finger to smooth out any concealer that has begun to crease, and if you have any powder with you, set it with an extremely light dusting. For best results, use a small brush or sponge, making sure to blend the powder from where the eye and nose meet, softening out to the temple where any crow’s-feet lines may reach; you want to avoid putting excess powder on wrinkles.
Accidentally applying too much blush happens to the best of us! Tone it down by using a clean brush and blending a light layer of loose or pressed powder on top.
Another option is using a foundation brush or sponge that has a bit of leftover foundation on it to smooth and sheer your blush out.
Avoid over-applying your blush by using a soft, fluffy brush that grabs the color evenly and builds intensity slowly. Paula’s trick is to first put the blush color on the brush and then dab it into her pressed powder before applying.
We fully embrace the dramatic brow movement—we just want to help you to do it in a way that flatters your face. Instead of assuming you should choose a brow filler that is a shade darker than your natural brow color, go for a color that either matches it or is slightly lighter. This will give you full-looking, naturally defined brows without the harsh contrast.
Blonde eyebrows are the exception. Try a color that’s a shade or two darker to prevent brows from looking washed out or nonexistent.
If you realize you filled in your brows a little too heavy-handedly and they end up looking a bit rigid, use a brow brush or spoolie to comb through the hairs to help soften the look and break up solid the block of color for more realistic-looking, hair-like results.
Eyeliner for Watery Eyes
Do you have the issue of dry eyes causing excessive tearing? My trick for this is to use a truly waterproof eyeliner. It can chip off a bit but is easily touched up. I keep one in my makeup bag at all times (along with a travel size magnifying mirror).
It all started when Paula was very young trying to take care of her own problem skin that progressively got worse in spite of the professional help sought. Acne, super-oily skin along with debilitating eczema over 60% of her body at the age of 11!
She tried numerous options but all led to disappointment. In early adulthood after working as a makeup artist to send herself through university she came to the realization that most skincare claims were either seriously misleading, or at best delusional. Determined and resolute to find out the truth about skin and skincare—it became a compulsion eventually leading her to take her first steps into a career in the world of cosmetics.
It was by no means a straight path, and she had no idea that it would lead to where she is today. She knew she was on a personal pursuit, which eventually became a global mission.
“I didn’t want anyone to go through what I went through ever again. In looking over my evolving career, I believe I’ve accomplished much of what I set out to do. But I’m not quitting! There’s still a lot of work and research yet to be done and this blog continues my lifelong work” Paula Begoun www.paulaschoice.com
Written byPaula Begoun