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Are you sabotaging your beauty routine?

Professional makeup artists have it all: a kit full of creams, brushes, sponges and a range of shadows and colors that often fill a suitcase. Now, we don’t all need a beauty product fix for every skin tone or type at home, but the pro’s method can teach us an important lesson: It’s all in the preparation and the details.

Pay attention to the little things because you may be committing some major beauty faux pas without even knowing it! Read on to see if you’re committing any of these common offenses and the simple things you can do to stay on the right track.

Woman applying makeup

You rely on SPF in your makeup for sun protection

Think you’re safe from the sun’s rays because your powder or liquid base has an SPF? Think again. For the SPF in a foundation to be effective, you’d have to slather it on as much as you would a normal sunscreen. Instead, use a face cream with sunscreen underneath your makeup. Let sit a good five minutes and then apply your concealer or foundation. No need to break the bank for sunscreen either. Olay has terrific options for all skin types.

You’re wearing too much product

Less is more. Chances are you don’t need a layer of concealer and foundation, plus five eye shadows, three blushes and three lip products to look gorgeous. There are plenty of multi-tasking products out there that will leave you looking polished (and you’ll save yourself tons of time!). Try slimming down your makeup wardrobe with a versatile palette that can take you from day to night in a snap, like this 5-product palette from Three Custom Color Specialists. The best part? A beauty product like this is great for travel, too!

You’re putting bacteria on your face

Admit it: You’ve probably been applying your makeup with brushes that haven’t been cleaned in a while. Maybe you powder your nose and then place the puff back directly on to your pressed powder. Look out! Over time, you may be building up harmful bacteria that can lead to acne or eye infections. Be diligent about cleaning your brushes and using fresh applicators. Replace that mascara about every two to three months (which is easy when you have great affordable options such as this one by Maybelline.

Your base doesn’t match your skin tone

Concealer and foundation are meant to create a flawless finish, so avoid any telltale signs of demarcation by finding shades that are a perfect match. Keep in mind that our complexion’s tone and texture changes throughout different times of the year. During winter months, you’ll probably need to make the switch to a more emollient moisturizer and go a shade lighter with your concealer or foundation. In the summer time, instead of sweating through layers of products, try to let your skin breathe a bit: Just spot conceal any blemishes or dark circles with a shade that matches exactly. Have a few shades in your arsenal to blend a perfect match at home, or get a custom blend concealer/foundation from Three Custom Color Specialists. With this professional, high-pigment formula, you control the coverage simply by blending!

You’re stuck in a beauty time warp

Have you been wearing the same pink lipstick since you were 15? Don’t be afraid to try something new, whether it be an application technique, a color or a texture. Makeup should be fun, and you just may be surprised by the change! Feel free to play and learn from new advancements in color and textures! For example, instead of a pink powder blush, try a coral cheek stain! It’s a fresh, new take on rouge. Try Three Custom Color Specialists’ Poppy Lip & Cheek Stain.

Watch: How to clean your makeup brushes

Makeup brushes can harbor dirt and bacteria. Watch this video to learn how to properly clean and care for your makeup brushes.

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