Slowly put the contour palette down and your hands where I can see them.
Listen—I love a good, dramatic smoky eye as much as the next makeup artist—but there are some beauty trends that need to die. You know what I'm talking about—they're all over Instagram, YouTube and probably your favorite reality TV show.Here's the thing: Makeup is supposed to enhance our natural beauty—not homogenize our faces. While matte skin, blocky brows, heavy contour, beaming highlight and fake lashes work for some, that look is not the Gospel of Makeup. Keep in mind, too, that you'll rarely see A-listers (I'm talking Natalie Portman, Jennifer Lawrence status) wearing these trends on the red carpet.
When It's Right: The philosophy behind highlight is to catch light to add a soft radiance to your complexion. Say you're on a romantic night out. You turn your head in the candlelight—and wow—your date just realized how striking you are. Yeah, that beautiful, subtle (keyword: subtle) sheen is highlight at its best.
When It's Oh-So Wrong: Can you see white frost from all directions? Friend, you can direct airport traffic with all that illuminator. Turning heads is great but you want to look pretty, too—not be a distraction. A lot of people will see stars like Jennifer Lopez and try to recreate that glow, but that sheen isn't supposed to be a constant bike reflector.
When It's Right: If you don't take my advice as a makeup artist, take it from a redhead with strawberry-blonde, barely-there brows: Drawing and shaping your brows is the most important step in any beauty routine. It frames your face.
When It's Oh-So Wrong: There are two caterpillars suspended between concealer on your face. Feathered, bold brows are beautiful but when they are so filled in, they'll begin to look like Tetris blocks. It sounds obvious but don't forget brows are made up of hair—and so they should look like hair: strokes, opacity and all. Take full, messy brows like Cara Delevingne's—you can still see through them. Your brows shouldn't look like a stencil. Even Angelina Jolie has a beautiful arch in her brow, but it never looks fully opaque.
When It's Right: No one does a cat-eye and cut crease better than Dita von Tease, but it's not the be-all and end-all of makeup looks—despite what Instagram says. Winged liner accentuates the eyes, reiterating a sultry, retro vibe. Just remember: Precision is necessary to attain this look. Then there's cut-crease shadow, which is a technique used to accentuate the crease on your eyelid with a contrasting shadow color.
When It's Oh-So Wrong: While very dramatic, this makeup is not realistic and can sometimes look cartoonish.
When in doubt, take a black pencil and smudge it out for a pretty, natural look.