Lisa Eldridge wrote the book on beauty, literally. Face Paint: The Story of Makeup is a New York Times best seller, and a must-read for makeup junkies. And with fresh-faced celebs like Keira Knightley, Kate Winslet, Cara Delevingne, Katy Perry and Emma Watson all on her clientele list, the global creative director for Lancôme clearly knows what she’s doing. Here, Eldridge shares the most mistakes she’s seen—and how to stop making them. You’re going to want to take some notes.
Mistake #1: Drawing your liquid liner in one swoop
Eldridge recommends starting in the middle, then going along the lash line. “Do it slowly,” she says. “Everyone’s eyes fold differently when they are open.” If you don’t get it perfect on the first try, don’t panic, says Eldridge. “When you get to the outer edge, let it dry… then look straight ahead and map [everything] out with your eyes open.”
Mistake #2: Fighting your genetics
“You can’t really fight your genes; you’ve got to go with them,” says Eldridge. “Get your routine down early. It will help with the genetic side of things down the road.” So if you’ve got relatives who tend to suffer from sun damage, get started on sunblock early instead of trying to fix damage later. If you’re prone to acne, find out what triggers it and try things like lactic or salicylic acid to keep skin calm.
Mistake #3: Relying on creams and potions
Moisturizers and serums can be great, but pay attention to your skin’s needs. Just because night creams exist doesn’t mean your skin needs one. Likewise, do more than just apply a cream. “Facial massage is kind of my thing. I love it,” says Eldridge. “It brings all of the blood supply back into the face, it helps drain the lymphs and detoxes your skin.” So next time you’re cleansing, give yourself a little facial massage. Watch the video below to see Eldridge’s technique.
Mistake #4: Slapping on foundation too thick
Eldridge has seen lots of women putting on too much foundation, and much too thick. She recommends applying foundation in very thin layers, buffing and massaging as you go, to avoid letting it just sit on top of your skin. Long-lasting makeup is Eldridge’s forte, and she recalls clients like Kate Winslet texting her with photographic evidence at the end of a glamorous night of partying, saying, “Look at this makeup, it hasn’t moved at all!”
Mistake #5: Applying lipstick straight from the tube
“It’s all about the stain,” says Eldridge. She begins by applying a sheer layer of lipstick with her fingers or a brush, then uses pencil all over the lip, and finally blots. She then applies another thin layer of lipstick, blots again, and repeats the whole process multiple times. Behold, the power of the stain: at the premiere of Titanic 3D—despite drinking water all night—Kate Winslet’s lipstick didn’t budge a bit.
Mistake #6: Filling in eyebrows without shaping first
Eldridge always begins by brushing brows down first and creating an arch, then she brushes them back before filling them. “I always do eyebrows from underneath to out,” she says. “Otherwise, you’re just kind of filling them in from the front, and you’ve got no structure behind it.”
Mistake #7: Using wipes for heavy makeup
Before you reach for a wipe to remove a heavy makeup look, heed Eldridge’s advice: “Use anything that liquefies and dissolves makeup instead of just rubbing it off like makeup wipes do.” In a pinch, if you’ve forgotten to pack a makeup remover, grab olive or coconut oil, massage it into your face, then remove your makeup with a hot wet towel.