10 Makeup Lessons We All Learn The Hard Way
Photo: mariotestino.com | Fine Art Edition by Mario Testino.

Do you remember the scene in Pitch Perfect where Rebel Wilson’s character Fat Amy says, “I sometimes have the feeling I can do crystal meth, but then I think, ‘hmmm, better not,’”? That scene really resonated with me. I mean, why not learn from other people’s mistakes whenever you can, right?

Unfortunately, there are some lessons in life that everyone has to learn the hard way, and many of those lessons involve makeup. The following are 10 beauty lessons we’ve all had to learn by way of trial and error.

1. It is very, very important to find the right shade of foundation

The very first time I bought foundation, I took a quick look at the shades available and grabbed one almost at random. Needless to say, it was entirely the wrong color, and wearing it made me look thoroughly awful. Unfortunately, it usually takes a few years of regular makeup application (or one brutally honest friend) to get out of this dark place.

2. If you glob on the mascara, you’re going to wind up with spidery eyelashes

Oh, man. This one pains me to write about because the wounds are still very fresh. I spent my preteen years seeing the world through a filter of spidery eyelashes, and I’m so glad I won’t ever be there again.

3. Going overboard with blush is never a good look

Blush often seems to be the first beauty product that young people get their hands on, so it should come as no surprise that it’s one of the most abused products of them all.

4. If your lips are dry and chapped, your lipstick will be a mess

I wish I could forget about the first time I left the house wearing lipstick. It was a total disaster. My lips were chapped, and my lipstick settled into the dry cracks, leaving me looking like a parched mess. This is a one makeup lesson I really wish I didn’t have to learn the hard way.

5. Don’t forget to blend your foundation at your jawline

Is there any moment more upsetting than the one where you realize you’ve been living your life with a visible line of foundation on your neck? Honestly, there really isn’t.

6. Your eye shadow should never touch your eyebrows

I blame Barbie for this one. Her eye shadow was out of control, so it’s no wonder so many of us went through a blue-eye shadow-up-to-our-eyebrows-and-beyond phase.

7. Speaking of your eyebrows, leave them alone!

I am so glad I made it out of the early 2000s with my eyebrows intact. Many of my friends were not so lucky. Let your preteen photos serve as a reminder that you don’t ever want to over-tweeze again.

8. Glitter should be used on rare occasions, and even then, very sparingly

Children of the ’90s have a particularly strong attachment to glitter, and as a proud ’90s kid myself, I would never suggest that glitter has no place in your makeup bag. But with that being said, all ’90s kids have to learn that there’s a time and a place for sparkle, and that time and place comes around very rarely.

9. When it comes to bronzer, a little goes a long way

This one’s a hard pill to swallow, because bronzer is so much fun, and it’s so tempting to go totally overboard with it. Unfortunately, going overboard with bronzer can leave you looking like a rejected Jersey Shore cast member. Needless to say, 2009 was a dark time for all of us.

10. Your makeup does not need to match your clothing

distinctly remember being 12 years old and rifling through my Caboodle for a baby blue eye shadow to match my baby blue top. Today, I realize that matching your eye makeup to your clothing is an art that is very, very difficult to master—the only person who really pulls it off well is Lupita Nyong’o—and not something that should be attempted in your everyday life.

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