Makeup mishaps and skin care slip-ups happen to even the most diligent among us. But they not only compromise your overall look, they can also have a negative effect on your complexion and even make you look older. To help ensure you avoid the biggest beauty blunders (and look your best in the new year) we put together a simple but effective guide for what not to do.

Angela Peralta, Los Angeles-based makeup artist sees countless bad beauty habits every day in her line of work. She may not be able to fix all of them but she can offer guidance and some sound beauty tips. We asked her to share some of the worst skin and makeup don’ts, along with why it’s best to avoid them now and into the new year.

1. Sleeping with your makeup on

Sleeping with your makeup not only causes breakouts and clogged pores, but it can age your skin. Not to mention it’s one of the biggest bad beauty habits out there. “Each night you sleep in your makeup you make your skin look dull,” Peralta says. Make sure you remove your makeup to enjoy what she refers to as “true beauty rest.” By removing makeup before bed you give your skin a chance to breathe and avoid any potential irritations caused by whatever products are left on the skin. If you really can’t bear the thought of washing your face after a long night, keep a package of makeup removing wipes by your bed so you never risk hitting the sack with a face full of foundation.

2. Not exfoliating the skin

Dead skin cells accumulate on the surface of your skin making
exfoliation a can’t-miss skin care step. It is important to exfoliate one to two times a week (depending on your skin type) to avoid build up and dull, tired-looking skin, Peralta explains. “Exfoliating enhances your skin’s radiance and helps remove pore clogging debris,” she says. It also helps your products do what they are meant to do. “Your
skin care products will also work better because they aren’t struggling to penetrate through the dead cells build up.”

More bad beauty habits to break in 2012, and new skin care advice, on the next page …
3. Sticking with the same “look”

Makeup is like fashion – it changes with the seasons and trends come and go. To avoid falling into a beauty rut, try to incorporate something new each season into your makeup regime. “If you have been wearing the same look for ten years it’s probably time to change it up,” Peralta says. “If you are shy about changing things start with incorporating a new lip colour each season as a simple way to ease into newer makeup looks.” This winter opt for a bold red lip or rich wine-inspired hue (think plum or raspberry).

4. Over-lining the lips

“It still surprises me when I see women who wear a dark, thick line on the outside of their lips and light colour on the inside,” Peralta says. “This was a trend in the early 90s, but even then I didn’t like the look.” The overly lined look can make you look like you forgot to put lipstick on and err on the side of clownish – not a good look for anyone. It can also age you (especially if your liner is particularly dark), and brings the eye directly to your lips and away from the rest of your features.

5. Not wearing blush

If you’ve been skipping blush when it comes to your makeup routine, it’s time to add it into your repertoire. “I love
blush. Blush brings life to the skin,” Peralta explains. “It gives that healthy glow that makes us look alive.” Pick a shade that compliments your skin tone and gives you an instant pick-me-up when you put it on. Fair skin types look great with a pinch of rose-coloured blush; olive skin tones look great wearing an apricot shade; darker skin types can pull off a berry shade. Winter is an especially good time to try a cream blush. During this time, complexions are often drier and a cream blush will melt in to the skin for a healthy, hydrated effect.

6. Bronzing the entire face

Bronzer can help warm the skin and make us look like we’ve been to the beach (minus the sun damage). However, when bronzer isn’t applied correctly you can cause more harm than good, Peralta says. “It creates shadows in all the wrong places on the face and can age us up to ten years,” she explains. Apply bronzer only to the high points on your face, such as the cheek bones, tip of the nose and around the hairline to add warmth to the skin and avoid the ageing effect of too much ill-applied bronzer.

7. Chunky eye lashes

Lush lashes can make the eyes pop and bring a look together. However, when lashes look overdone and heavy it can just look messy, Peralta says.
Spider lashes may have been a fall beauty must, but for winter and spring, long and lush is in. “Don’t go overboard with your lashes. It can weigh them down and give them more of a clumpy look than a lush look,” she explains. Also avoid going too far with lash extensions to ensure a natural look rather than something too artificial, she explains.

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