3 Infamous Makeup Fails Explained

3 Infamous Makeup Fails Explained

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Nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes, even professional makeup artists. But if you look closely enough at most mistakes you’ll find they are the product of someone trying their best and missing the mark. For most of us, a makeup mistake is something we deal with for an evening or maybe from age 13-15. If you are a celebrity, or the 90s, photos will make that mistake a part of your very public permanent record. We’ve picked three of the most infamous crimes against makeup and tried our best to explain them.

Nicole Kidman’s Powder Problem:

There is no worse place to have a makeup mistake show up than under the scrutinizing lights and camera lenses on a red carpet. Unfortunately for Nicole Kidman (and a ton of other celebrities), a great makeup trick and an unfortunate product choice resulted in an embarrassing public spectacle.

What (Probably) Happened

Makeup artists routinely protect the under eye area from loose eyeshadow that would ruin all their hard work with the heavy handed application of translucent powder. In most cases this works brilliantly, the lack of pigment in the powder wont affect the makeup underneath or make the foundation and concealer look caked on. Once you are finished the makeup, you simply dust the powder and any bits of eyeshadow away. In this situation, a silicone powder was being used that while in real life looked flawless, caught all of the lights from the cameras and the eye of the public.

How to avioid it: If you’re not walking down a red carpet any time soon, this problem is probably not one you need to worry about. However, when you’re using powder to prevent eyeshadow fallout, it is a good idea to be extra thorough when removing it. After a few cursory swipes with your fan brush or powder brush, make sure to use another brush or a clean sponge to gently pick up or blend in any excess powder that might be lurking. An even better solution is to ditch the powder all together an use Shadow Sheilds. They are great for providing clean lines, and not leaving behind any messy powder which can get all over your clothes and your floor after taking it off.


Avril Lavigne’s Self Inflicted Raccoon Eyes (And Red Eyebrows)

In the early 2000’s pop punk was all the rage, it was cool to wear neck ties with tank tops, people insisted on spelling words like “skater” with an 8 and “boy” with an i, and we can blame it at least partly on Avril Lavigne. It was a simpler time, a time before video tutorials rose up an army of teenagers with perfect makeup, a time when all a girl needed in her makeup bag was foundation, 30 black eye pencils and a can do attitude. Avril became notorious for her signature smudgy racoon eyes and often had an unnaturally reddish tinge to her eyebrows. It wasn’t great.

What (Probably) Happened: I remember watching a much music interview where a young, carefree Avril sitting crosslegged on a counter in front of a mirror proudly declared ” I always do my own makeup”. With the exception of photo shoots, she always did her own makeup.

How to avoid it:

While doing your own makeup is more affordable and certainly more fulfilling as a creative individual, getting a few pointers from someone who knows what they are doing is invaluable. As Avril evolved and got older her makeup game tightened up, no doubt in part because of her exposure to tips and tricks from professional artists that worked with her on shoots. Private or public classes like the ones we offer are a great way to pick up tips and break bad habits.

Dark Lined Lips


Brown Lined Lips 

Oh the 90s. The makeup and fashion crimes committed during this decade were innumerable, but the most heinous and infamous was the use of brown eyeliner outside of light lipstick.

What totally happened:

As unredeemable as it seems, the root of this trend came from the mind of one of the greatest makeup artists of all time. Kevin Aucoin was a god among makeup artists. His unconventional techniques and understanding of shape and colour paved the way for many trends. Unfortunately the use of dark lip liner mixed with a lighter colour was one of his ideas that became lost in translation for those that weren’t paying attention. In reality, it was all about playing with perspective.

How to avoid it:

First of all, research trends before committing to them. This is one trend that is coming back the way it was meant to, and being done the way that it should have in the first place. Contouring is hugely popular and lips are no exception. The key is to blend. Blend, blend, blend. This goes for any contouring, but especially with lips. And choose your colours wisely. You don’t need colours on the opposite side of the spectrum to get the right effect.


Christa Lalonde is the Blogger/Coordinator for Faye Smith Makeup and Hair. She would love it if you subscribed to this blog.

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