Mistake 1: too much make-up
Applying too much foundation and mascara are common mistakes. Foundation must never give the impression you are wearing a mask – too much can also emphasise fine lines and wrinkles. Too much mascara can look unnatural and become messy by the end of the day.
Solution: Invest in a good foundation or concealer and apply only where necessary. Give your eyes and lips a natural look by day, and ensure that your mascara doesn't leave clumps.
Mistake 2: not blending make-up properly
When it comes to eye shadow, the rainbow effect is taboo, as are hard lines around the eyes and lips. If you try to create 'contours ' with bronzer or blusher, or try to emphasise your cheekbones in this way, chances are the result will be a grubby- looking face.
Solution: Take a critical look at your made-up face: Are any lines visible? If so, blend them for a softer effect. Avoid liquid eyeliner unless you are able to apply it extremely neatly. Alternatively, use a small, stubby brush to apply eye shadow instead of eyeliner for a softer effect. When applying blusher, concentrate on the apples of your cheeks – the colour will emphasise the rounded part of your cheek and naturally accentuate the hollow beneath it.
Mistake 3: neglected teeth
Your smile is often the first thing that people notice on meeting you. Teeth that are well cared for are not only healthy but will take years off your appearance.
Solution: Floss and brush regularly, and have broken or chipped teeth attended to. If your teeth have yellowed, consult your dentist about whitening them
Mistake 4: unkempt or over-plucked eyebrows
Eyebrow fashions change as often as hemlines do – don’t follow the latest eyebrow fashions slavishly. Never pluck your eyebrows too heavily – sometimes they don’t grow back or they grow back in all directions.
Solution: Maintain eyebrows of fair thickness and pluck in a neat, natural line. Fill any gaps with brown eye shadow and a fine brush, but ensure that there are no obvious lines.
Mistake 5: make-up that is too bright
Brightly coloured eye make-up and mascara may be the height of fashion but is not intended for everyday use, because it looks hard and unnatural. It can also make you look older. Forget about the old-fashioned idea of matching your eye shadow with your eye colour. Shades of bronze and brown flatter all eye colours.
Solution: Leave the bright-blue eye shadow, eyeliner and mascara to the teenagers and rather go for neutral brown, grey-brown, beige and bronze, which always look more stylish. Experiment with different shades of lipstick, but avoid colours such as shocking pink and make sure that the shade suits your complexion.
Mistake 6: lip liner competing with lipstick
This is probably one of the commonest make-up mistakes: too-dark lip liner contrasting with lighter-coloured lipstick. Lip liner has many advantages – it prevents lipstick from 'bleeding ' and helps it last longer – but it must be applied correctly.
Solution: Choose lip liner in the same shade as your lipstick – especially if it is a dark colour. Otherwise, choose one that is one or two shades darker than your natural lip colour. Apply it over the entire lip area before applying lipstick or gloss, as this will prevent you ending the day with a line around your mouth.
Mistake 7: end-of-the-day make-up
Check your eye shadow regularly. Because of the natural oils protecting the eye area, shadow tends to smudge, especially if it is cream-based. Foundation can also appear streaky during the day as a result of an oily T-panel or perspiration.
Solution: Apply foundation to the eye area followed by powder to set it before applying powder eye shadow. Restrict cream shadow to the eyebrow area. Set foundation with loose powder.
Mistake 8: neglected hands and feet
Well-cared-for hands and feet neatly round off your appearance and, with little expense and effort, are within everyone's reach. Neglected hands and nails, or cracked heels can ruin your entire appearance.
Solution: Apply hand cream regularly – keep a tube in your handbag and at every tap in your home. Prevent cracked heels by regularly applying moisturising cream to your feet and buffing hardened skin. Give regular attention to your fingernails and toenails, or have a regular manicure and pedicure.
Mistake 9: no hairstyle
A hastily tied ponytail, hair clipped to the top or sides of your head, or scraped back with an elasticised headband are temporary solutions for a visit to the gym or for working in the garden, but cannot be called a hairstyle.
Solution: Visit the hairdresser at least every two months for a good haircut – it can transform your appearance and crown a well-groomed face and body.
Look after yourself!