Everyone is different when it comes to makeup and as a colour, style and makeup consultant, I look at makeup as a method of enhancing your look and hiding other bits! It’s much like your clothes; choose the right colours and wear them to flatter you and ultimately to feel good!

Colour can have such an amazing impact – makeup as much as clothes! Wear wrong-for-you colours and it won’t do you any favours I’m afraid.

As with the clothes you choose, makeup is merely an extension of your overall look and the image you want to portray. Buying cosmetics is also an area I find people can waste a lot of money on. Trying to find the right shades of makeup in the shops can be really challenging and it’s where mistakes are often made. With this comes enormous guilt when you don’t wear what you’ve bought!

So, here’s three tips to help you avoid making the same mistakes.

Identify your style

How you apply your cosmetics, the look and how much/little you wear is determined by your style and lifestyle. If you don’t feel like you have the time or you prefer a more natural look, then you won’t spend hours putting on a face! What’s more, if you did, you’re not likely to recognise the person staring back at you in the mirror either. If you love the art of getting ready or creating different looks then you will spend the time, the money and enjoy it too. Equally, you’ll feel bare faced and exposed going out with just a flick of mascara and a bit of lippy!

Know your colours

When you wear makeup which flatters and enhances your features and hides and disguises any flaws; you’ll feel good – nice even! Choosing shades which compliments your features is always best as they will make you look radiant rather than unhealthy or age you prematurely.

If you don’t know what colours to go for – think about how you’d describe your overall features and what colours your eyes, hair and skin tone is. During my colour and makeup consultations, I will apply the shades of cosmetics which suit your colouring type and give you a list of the shades which suit you. You can also buy the range from the studio or online too.

If you’ve got colours which don’t suit you then see if you can mix and combine them with other colours to make them work for you. For example:


Wrong foundation shade? Try mixing it with another shade to make it a better colour match to your skin tone. (It should blend in with your jaw line with no visible ‘tide mark’.

Wrong shade of lipstick? Wear with another shade of lipstick or apply a lip pencil underneath. Both will create a ‘new’ lip colour which could be a more suitable colour match for you.

Eyeshadow too heavy? If you’ve got lighter features, richer shades of makeup can overpower your features so perhaps try a little bit in the corner or use it as a contour rather than an all over colour.

Wrong blusher? If you’ve got a warmer skin tone you’re better with peachy shade and if you’re a cooler tone you’re better with pinky. The wrong way round and you’re skin tone and texture will look ‘off’, grey or sallow.


Don’t be wasteful

When was the last time you checked the contents of your makeup bag? If you’ve got items lurking in the bottom that you’ve had for years, be warned. Makeup has a shelf life too just like any toiletries. As a general guide, bin anything which is more than two years old and if something doesn’t look or smell as you might expect; bin that too.

Putting to one side the wrong cosmetic shades you might have, count up how many of the same item you have and assess how often you use them. If you store your supplies in multiple places or frequently forget that you’ve already got one (or three) then it could be worth a clear-out! You’re arguably buying more than you need and can use.

Most packaging these days has a use by date which is indicated by an open pot sign with the number of months written inside. By way of an example, if the little pot says ’12’ then the shelf life is 12 months. It’s a bit like food really – beyond this, it’s not at it’s best. Ideally, throw it out to avoid infection and keep your products hygienic.

As a guide, keep the following life spans in mind from the time they are first opened:


Mascara – 6 months

Lipstick, Lip gloss, foundation, concealer – 12 months

Pencils, Cream Eyeshadows and cream blushers – 18 months

Powders, eyeshadows, blushers and bronzers – 24 months


Finally, don’t forget to regularly clean your makeup brushes and tools too. For any help with your makeup, get in touch – Toni.carver@tlcstyleandcolour.co.uk