Happy Halloween everyone! I’m a big fan of 31st October – and yes, that has a lot to do with the fact that it’s my birthday. I’ve always loved getting dressed up for parties, attempting to bob apples, handing over sweets to children at the door, and smelling bonfires in the crisp night air.
What I’m not so keen on, however, are the endless emails that arrive in my inbox from press offices promoting green nail varnish, orange eye shadow, or black lipstick. None of us really want to invest in expensive products for one night only (even if we are dressing up) – so this week, I’ve decided to ignore those spooky makeup buys and instead run through my ‘top five scary makeup mistakes’ and how best to avoid them. And I think you’ll agree, they are far more frightening than a skeleton or witch knocking on the door…
1. Smudged Mascara
Mascara smudges happen to everyone. It’s infuriating if you notice and embarrassing if you don’t. A makeup artist, however, recently taught me a brilliant trick to avoid it. Look down while you are applying your mascara – and before looking back up, place a finger in the upper socket of your eye. Your lashes will brush lightly against it when you look up, leaving behind any excess mascara on your finger, rather than eye area. Clever, huh? It also makes sense to invest in smudge-proof mascara – I love Too Faced Pinpoint Mascara, £16.50.
2. Foundation lines
I remember girls at my school having horrible marks on their jaw line where their foundation stopped in a harsh, unblended line – and it’s terrible, but years later I can still picture it so clearly in my mind. To avoid it, you have to be so careful to pick the perfect shade of foundation and to blend it into skin (make sure you pay attention to that jaw area, blending it down and under to prevent those tide marks). Better still, avoid foundation altogether and use a concealer to hide imperfections and dark circles. Daniel Sandler’s Camo Cover Concealer, £10.75, is ideal.
3. Panda eyes
If you wear kohl eyeliner on your lower lashline, you will know how easily it slides down your face on a night out. Pick the wrong product and you might be shocked when you peer in the mirror – pulling off the Halloween look well, but failing miserably on the chic, stylish front. The only way to avoid this is to swap to liquid eyeliner, which will stick better (but gives a very different look) or to invest in good waterproof pencils. Dior’s Eyeliner Waterproof Long Wear Pencil with Blending Tip and Sharpener, £15,50, are as good as they get.
4. Chipped nail polish
If someone has obviously chipped nails, it’s one of the first things I notice when I meet them. It just looks a bit cheap and shabby – and I say that as someone who often sports chipped nails, which makes me feel very self-conscious. Removing the polish and repainting the nails is always the best option, but lets face it – that rarely happens the moment we notice a chip. To prevent it happening, there are a few things we can do… Firstly, always apply a clear topcoat after the colour, which makes a dramatic difference to preventing chips – try Nail Girls Treatments Super Finish, £9.95. And if you are really lazy with your nails, the other tip is to stick to pale and pastel colours – chips are far less obvious and you can get away with it for longer!
5. Bright lips and eyes
Finally – and perhaps most frighteningly – is the mistake of wearing bright lips and bright eyeshadow at the same time. It takes us straight back to the 1980’s, but not in a good way. The rule here is to always pick one or the other – and never, ever dare to wear them together. For Autumn/Winter 2011, shades of green are bang on trend for eyes – I love Stila Eye Shadow Trio in Going Green, £13 – but keep the lip bare or with just a slick of clear gloss, such as Clarins Gloss Appeal in Crystal, £12.