5 Reasons Your Makeup Looks a Mess and How To Fix It

You don’t have to be a beauty professional to be good at applying makeup. Just like anything else, the best way to get it right is to study and practice. If you’re struggling in this area here are some tips that could help.

*This post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.

I believe all women are pretty without makeup, but with the right makeup can be pretty powerful. ~Bobbi Brown

Wearing makeup is a necessity for some women. Often it’s not because they need it, but because it’s just so blasted fun to wear. I’ve enjoyed playing in makeup for most of my life. I don’t wear it every day, but when I do, I try to do it right (according to my standards of course).

One thing I’ve learned about makeup as a woman over 40 is, I’m not trying to look younger. My goal isn’t to look good for my age, but to simply look good. I’m also aware that I can’t necessarily get away with some of the looks I wore when I was in my twenties. My idea of what beauty is has evolved and I’ve pretty much found my individual style.

I know there have been plenty of times that my makeup was a wreck and I have the pictures to prove it. The art of flawlessly applying makeup isn’t difficult, but there is a science to it. Every woman has their own style, still, there are certain guidelines one should follow when aiming to look their best.

Sometimes women get frustrated with not knowing why a foundation they spent so much money on isn’t performing, or why they can’t achieve the perfect pout. It’s all about know-how and trial & error. Here are a few factors to consider when attempting to put on your best face.

Your skin-care regimen is either broken or non-existent.

5 Reasons Your Makeup Looks a Mess and How To Fix It
I love a good face mask.

I cannot stress enough that you must take care of your skin if you expect makeup to mesh with your face beautifully.  No amount of foundation, eyeshadow or highlight can take the place of effective skin care.  Adequately moisturized and exfoliated skin plays a big factor in makeup that looks nice when applied. Proper face prep is also important. You want to use products that enhance your skin and play well with the makeup you’ll be applying.  Search for quality skincare that is made specifically for your skin type and corrects issues such as oily skin, dry patches, and dark marks. Implement an effective regimen and stick to it.

You need better products.

The way makeup performs has a lot to do with how it’s formulated.  There is a huge difference between professional cosmetics and those of lower quality. For instance, pro makeup tends to be more pigmented due to being made with superior ingredients.  As a result, it lasts longer, wears well and has a better value overall.  On the flip side,  high-performing makeup can be costly. If budget constraints are an issue, build your collection little by little.  There are so many wonderful options for quality makeup on the market.

Also, remember that some products can be multi-use. My lipstick often doubles as a cream blush some days.  Just make it a point to invest in products that are going to work for you, not against you.

You have no idea what you’re doing. 

This is nothing to be ashamed of. The most talented makeup artists had to start somewhere.  You may be surprised at how many women struggle with makeup application. I have YET to draw on the perfect winged liner, but I’m a lot better than I used to be, thanks to online tutorials and practice.  With so many resources available, there is no reason to have the mindset that we cannot achieve something. If it’s not practical to take a class in person, search for online instruction or purchase a book that teaches proper technique.  Practice until you master your ideal look

5 Reasons Your Makeup Looks a Mess and How To Fix It
Pin to read later.

Your makeup is no longer effective.

If you were to really go through your makeup stash, you just might find a lipstick or two that needs to be thrown out. I know you’ll probably find a few favorite items hanging around that you are in love with and have a hard time letting go of. However, trust me, they are most likely doing you more harm than good. For one thing, when you use expired products, you’re potentially exposing your skin to harmful bacteria that could cause breakouts or even worse, nasty infections. Also, those old eyeshadows, blushes and lipsticks ect., may not wear as nicely as they did when you originally purchased them. When you get some free time, go through your inventory, get rid of any old, outdated items and replace them. It’s always fun to go shopping for new cosmetics.

You could use better lighting.

When applying makeup, the right lighting is crucial. Have you ever set your foundation to perfection at home only to realize it’s two shades off when you get outside? I prefer natural light, but when that isn’t possible, I use my trusted Riki Mirror.  One of my favorite features of this mirror is the magnifying attachment that allows me to see all the things I normally try to avoid.  Investing in a well-lit mirror or installing proper lighting in your makeup area will truly make a difference in your finished look.

Remember, makeup should be fun. With the proper technique, practice, and tools, you can master any look you set out to achieve.

As always, thanks for reading.


Shop the post.


  1. Thank you for the great make-up tips. I’m always looking for tips to have my make-up look more natural and at age 51, it gets to be more of a challenge. LOL

    • Absolutely, the same goes for me. Just remember that less is more and quality matters! If you ever need help, let me know 🙂

  2. I can totally relate with #1! I have definitely had to upgrade to a quality skincare regimen. It truly makes all the difference! Great tips!

  3. Loved this! It is so so important to invest in your skin and I totally notice a difference between designer and drug store brands. Sometimes if I don’t have the budget to buy my $60 foundation (yikes!) I will alter the consistency of drug store makeup with a spritz or two of rose water. Works like a charm to give me the right consistency for my skin!

    I wrote a blog post on my secrets to flawless skin, would love if you could check it out and let me know what you think!

    • That must be some good foundation! Yes, rose water is the best. I use it all the time. I will definitely check out your post 🙂

  4. Lovely tips! Lighting is really important! I like to do my make up in front of natural lighting “sunlight”. If I don’t I will get outside and look like a clown lol.

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.