Browsing through my family album the other day, I found a picture of myself wearing blue liner on the inside rims of my eyes. What was I thinking? I wondered. If you've been guilty of similar cosmetic crimes—and think you may still be an occasional makeup outlaw—read on for tips on turning these makeup don'ts into do's.The wrong foundation shade
Foundation smudged on a woman's shirt collar is a dead giveaway that she's applying foundation on her neck to make it match her face. If your foundation changes the color of your face, it's not the right shade; it should match your complexion exactly. To find your perfect match, smooth foundation along your jawline and check your reflection in natural light (carry a compact mirror with you, and step outside).
You know you've found the right shade when you can't see it. Yellow-toned foundations look the most natural on all skin tones, from fair to dark. Avoid pink-toned foundation, which can make you look like you're wearing a mask. Ring around the lips
An obvious line between your lip liner and lipstick is not only dated, it's unflattering. For the most natural look, pick liner that is the same shade or one shade darker than your natural lip color. Line lips after applying your lipstick and follow your natural lip line; you may then want to use a lip brush to soften and blend the liner. If you have small lips, don't try to create the illusion of bigger ones by drawing outside your lip line; the best way to enhance them is with a medium-toned lipstick or a creamy gloss. Drawn-in brows
I love a defined brow—except when it's drawn in with a hard pencil, which makes it look cartoonish. Eye shadow in a tone that matches your brows is the most natural way to fill in and enhance brows. Use a small, hard brush that's flat and angled at the tip. Dip the brush into the shadow, and lightly tap off any excess. Start at the inner corner of the brow and, following its natural shape, work your way outward using light, feathery strokes.Blush on eyelids
If you've been trying to shave time off your beauty routine by using your blush as eye shadow, stop right now. The rosy coloring of blush isn't designed for the eye area and can make eyes look tired. If you like the idea of simple eye makeup and want to wear only one shade of shadow, try shades such as beige, toast, or barely-there pink. They give you instant polish with minimal effort.Concealer on blemishes
Concealer is designed to lighten dark under-eye circles and is usually one or two shades lighter than your skin tone. So using it on a blemish actually draws more attention to the problem. The best way to hide a blemish is with stick foundation or cover-up that matches your skin exactly. If possible, buy one in the same product line as your foundation so everything matches up. Use fingers or a small brush to apply the foundation directly on the blemish, and pat gently with your fingertips to blend. Blush stripes
Unless you want to look like a crosswalk, don't apply blush in a horizontal stripe across your cheeks. To create a flattering flush, smile, and dust blush on the apples of your cheeks. Sweep the blush brush up and back toward the hairline, then downward to blend.Partly lined eyes
Lining only the outer half of the eye is the best way to make your eyes look smaller—and that defeats the purpose of eyeliner. Whether you're lining just the top lash line or both top and bottom, always make sure that you fully extend the line from the innermost corner of the eye to the outer corner.