40 Hair & Makeup Mistakes You Don't Realize You're Making

Each person is their own best judge of what looks good on them. That said, personal grooming and care can feel like a ton of work, and it’s easy to make mistakes you had no idea you were making. How do you actually get a perfectly swooped cat eye? What makes flyaways stop springing up everywhere? Why is it so hard to clean your makeup brushes as often as you’re supposed to?

Thankfully, the solutions and answers to so many common beauty mistakes and questions can be found below. So read on if you’ve ever wondered how to get bouncy waves without a hot tool, or why there isn’t an easier way to cover unwanted breakouts (spoiler: there is!). Each of the products on this list comes highly reviewed and is ready to rescue you from any beauty blunders.

Mistake: Not Prepping Your Under-Eye Area Before Applying Makeup

Solution: These Refreshing Eye Masks Made With Gold

DERMORA 24K Gold Eye Mask (15-Pack)

Give your makeup an optimized canvas by using these gold eye masks before products like concealer. They work with ingredients like collagen to moisturize, de-puff, and even brighten eyes so makeup will sit more smoothly. Just wear them for 20 minutes and you’re good to go.

Mistake: Using Lip Care Products That Are Full Of Chemicals

Solution: A Trio Of Natural & Nourishing Lip Balms

Ancient Greek Remedy Natural Lip Balm (3-Pack)

This three-pack of lip balms come in enticing scents like red mandarin, sweet orange, and Italian lemon. Better yet, they’re made with natural ingredients like jojoba oil, olive oil, almond oil, and more to hydrate chapped lips

Mistake: Using Hair Tools That Don’t Offer Volume

Solution: This Round Brush Set That Gives Your Hair Texture & Height

LILY ENGLAND Round Brush Set

Level up your at-home hair routine with this round brush set. These barrel brushes allow you to wrap hair as you blow dry it, creating tons of volume that’s enhanced by the metal interior of the brushes which heat up for extra shape. And because there are perforations in the brush, the extra ventilation helps hair dry faster.

Mistake: Snagging Your Hair With The Wrong Types Of Brushes

Solution: The Detangling Brush Separates Tangles With Ease

Crave Naturals Glide Thru Detangling Hair Brush

Give your hair the TLC it deserves with this detangling hair brush. It features an ergonomic handle that’s easy to grip and cone-shaped bristles of varying heights that gently separate and work through knots instead of tearing through them. It’s safe to use on all hair types and can be used on wet or dry hair.

  • Available colors: 9

Mistake: Skimping On Moisturizing Hair Products

Solution: A Keratin Hair Mask That Reviewers Say Makes Their Hair So Shiny

VITAMINS Hair Cosmetics Keratin Hair Mask Deep Conditioner

Sometimes you have to go above and beyond your everyday conditioner to give your hair the moisture it needs, and this keratin hair mask does the trick. It uses argan oil, coconut oil, collagen, and more to make hair look sleek and nourished. It has impressive 4.4.-star rating after ovger 13,000 reviewers weighed in, too.

Mistake: Juggling Multiple Products Like Brow Gels, Brushes & Pencils

Solution: This Brow Building Product That Fills In Brows By Itself

Elizabeth Mott Eyebrow Gel Makeup

Ditch the unnecessary tools and streamline your routine with this brow gel. It has a speciality formula that wraps around each hair to thicken the look of brows without looking fake. It’s smudge-proof, and the cone-shaped brush helps disperse the product while also styling your brows into the perfect shape.

  • Available colors: 5

Mistake: Forgetting To Add A Slight Lash Curl Before Mascara

Solution: A Chic Rose Gold Eyelash Curler

Brilliant Beauty Eyelash Curler

Enhance your makeup routine and give your mascara some extra oomph with this eyelash curler. Made from stainless steel, it features a long silicone pad for extra curling surface area, and it won’t pinch skin or tug at lashes. It even comes with a silk storage bag and two extra silicone curler pads.

  • Available colors: 4

Mistake: Struggling To Remove Long-Wear Makeup With Soap & Water

Solution: The Cleansing Balm That Melts Away Makeup

Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Cleansing Balm

It can be a struggle to remove long-wear makeup or waterproof products, but this cleansing balm melts your makeup off with ease. It uses ingredients like sunflower oil and ginger root oil to remove excess product without drying out your skin. It’s even got natural exfoliants to help your skin look even and bright after use.

Mistake: Neglecting To Remove Unavoidable Grease Build-up In Your Hair

Solution: This Special Shampoo Perfect For Oily Hair

Maple Holistics Degrease Shampoo

You don’t need harsh chemicals to deal with oily hair: Just try this de-greasing shampoo. Not only is it great at removing oily build-up, but it can also even help with dandruff since it’s soothing to the scalp. It’s formulated with natural ingredients like rosemary oil, basil oil, and lemon oil and without any parabens or synthetic fragrances.

Mistake: Applying Your Foundation With The Wrong Brush

Solution: A Kabuki Brush Suitable For So Many Makeup Types

KESHIMA Flat Top Kabuki Foundation Brush

Whether you’re applying a cream, a liquid, a powder, or more, this kabuki brush can do it all. Made with super soft and densely packed synthetic bristles that won’t absorb your product, this brush can create an even finish on par with sponges. It’s ideal for most skin types, from dry to oily to combination.

Mistake: Not Cleaning Your Makeup Brushes Often Enough

Solution: The Brush Cleaning Kit That Makes Washing Brushes So Easy

Neeyer Makeup Brush Cleaner

Many of us are guilty of not washing our brushes enough, but this makeup brush cleaner can help. It comes with eight rubber collars of varying sizes that fit around the handle of your brush. They then attach into the electric spinner, which quickly rotates your brush in a glass bowl of cleaning solution. To dry it, simply remove it from the water and let it spin out the excess liquid.

  • Available colors: 2

Mistake: Shampooing Colored Hair With Damaging Products That Contain Sulfates

Solution: This Gentle & Compact Shampoo Bar

superzero Restoring & Repairing Shampoo Bar

Cut down on your plastic use and repair damaged hair with this shampoo bar. It doesn’t contain any phthalates, parabens, or sulfates, making it a great choice for color-treated hair. It’s packed with nourishing ingredients like shea butter and avocado oil to leave hair feeling soft and frizz-free.

Mistake: Realizing You Didn’t Blend Your Makeup As Well As You Thought

Solution: This Affordable Pack Of Makeup Sponges

Zenda Naturals Makeup Sponge (5-Pack)

Applying product with fingers alone can leave patches and streaks, but these makeup sponges give you a smooth finish every time. They come in a pack of five and feature both a pointed and rounded end so you can blend both small, precise areas and larger, broader areas. The bold colors will brighten up your makeup pouch, too.

Mistake: Neglecting Face Primer As An Important First Layer

Solution: A Silky Smooth Primer That Doesn’t Feel Heavy On Skin

Beauty Bakerie The Butter HydraSilk Primer

Use this makeup primer as the first layer underneath your foundation or concealer to get a smooth, even finish. It even helps makeup last longer without flaking or fading. The formula is lightweight and can also help reduce the appearance of pores or unwanted blemishes, too.

Mistake: Applying Your Makeup Without Adequate Lighting

Solution: This LED Vanity Mirror With Magnification

Beautyworks Backlit Makeup Vanity Mirror

Set yourself up for success when you’re getting ready by stocking up on the tools you need, like this vanity mirror. It features LED lights plus three different levels of magnification so you can get a clear and precise view. The sides fold inward when not in use to protect it and take up less space, too.

Mistake: Watching Expensive Salon Color Turn Brassy

Solution: A Purple Toning Mask With Keratin

Vitamins Keratin Purple Hair Mask

You don’t have to let your professional blonde turn orange and brassy (unless you want to, of course). Instead, reach for this purple hair mask. It tones and brightens hair with its vibrant color while also moisturizing and protecting hair from breaking with jojoba oil and argan oil. It even comes with UV protection, too.

Mistake: Heat Styling Your Hair Without A Layer Of Protection

Solution: The Heat Protectant That Also Tones

BOLD UNIQ Heat Protectant Spray

If you’ve got blonde, silver, or platinum hair, make sure you use this heat-protectant spray before styling with hot tools. It tones brassy color while also coating each follicle to shield it from heat damage. Plus, the brand is PETA-approved and cruelty free.

Mistake: Using Dry Shampoos That Leave Behind Residue

Solution: A Natural-Looking Dry Shampoo That Blends In

Osensia Dry Shampoo

Sometimes, overwashing your hair can lead to dryness — so touch up your hair in between washes with dry shampoo. This formula won’t leave behind a white, powdery residue, so it’s safe to use even for brunettes. It helps to eliminate frizz and protect color, all without harmful chemicals.

Mistake: Running Out The Door Without Protecting Your Manicure

Solution: This Quick-Drying Top Coat That Seals In Your Polish

ella+mila Quick Dry Top Coat

If you want to protect your manicure from peeling and chipping, try applying this quick-dry top coat over painted nails. It’s made without acetone and formaldehyde and is approved by PETA as cruelty-free. Plus, it dries to a high-shine, glossy finish that amps up your look.

Mistake: Using The Same Mascara For Months & Months

Solution: A Volumizing Mascara With Tons Of Positive Reviews

essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara

If you’re like most people who don’t replace their mascara nearly as often as they should, you’ll want to give this false lash effect mascara a try. It volumizes and separates lashes for a dramatic look, and at just $5, you’ll be able to replace it more often. Plus, it’s scored a 4.4-star rating after nearly 300,000 reviewers have weighed in.

Mistake: Tying Up Your Hair With Elastic Bands That Break Your Strands

Solution: These Spiral Hair Ties That Are Much Gentler

Kitsch Spiral Hair Ties (8-Pieces)

These spiral hair ties have tons of qualities that elevate them over traditional elastics. For one, the smooth plastic construction ensures they won’t get tangled and cause breakage or pulling. For another, they won’t absorb liquids like sweat, and you can sanitize them easily with soap and water. Plus, they help reduce tension headaches from ponytails that are pulled too tightly.

  • Available colors: 5

Mistake: Forgetting To Set Your Makeup So That It Lasts Longer

Solution: A Translucent Powder That’s Highly Rated

Beauty Bakerie Flour Setting Powder

Finishing your makeup with this setting powder helps everything stay in place for longer. This version comes in five different shades, including translucent, and helps deliver a matte finish so you won’t have any shine where you don’t want it. It’s highly rated, too, with one reviewer writing, “Love this sheer but sturdy setting powder.”

  • Available colors: 5

Mistake: Letting Hard Water Wreak Havoc On Your Skin & Hair

Solution: The Filter That Helps With Itchy Skin, Dandruff & More

AquaBliss High Output Revitalizing Shower Filter

This shower filter simply snaps in place and works with nearly all shower heads to filter out chlorine, dirt, and other chemicals that can leave skin and hair feeling dry and itchy. It even helps balance the pH levels of your water and can lead to a reduction in dandruff. It’s just under 5 inches tall, so it won’t take up much space, either.

Mistake: Not Keeping Up To Date With Hair Trims

Solution: This Serum That Can Help With Split Ends

Olaplex Hair Perfector

While there’s no true substitution for maintaining your hair with trims, this hair perfector serum from cult-favorite brand Olaplex can help. Its proprietary formula helps repair damaged hair and split ends to leave your hair silky and shiny. Simply leave it on for 10 minutes and rinse it out.

Mistake: Letting Your Hair Frizz By Drying It Improperly

Solution: A Set Of Highly Absorbent Microfiber Towels

Hicober Microfiber Hair Towel (3-Pack)

Air drying your hair or using poor-quality towels can lead to frizz, but these microfiber wrap towels soak up more excess water to help your hair dry quicker and with a sleek finish. They’re durable, too; according to the manufacturer, these towels won’t shrink, even after 1,000 washes.

  • Available colors: 6

Mistake: Cross-Contaminating Your Makeup Brushes & Messing Up Your Look

Solution: A Sponge That Cleans Off Brushes Without Water

TailaiMei Color Removal Cleaner Sponge

If you dip your brush back and forth between different colored powders, your eyeshadow looks can easily become a mess. Fortunately, this color removal sponge which is small enough to fit in your makeup pouch, can save the day. The carrying case contains an anticarbon sponge that soaks up the pigment and leaves your brush looking fresh. Just swipe the brush back and forth and clean the sponge once a week.

Mistake: Using A Conditioner That’s Too Thick & Heavy For Your Hair Type

Solution: This Lightweight Conditioner That’s Great For Fine Hair

Aveda Rosemary Mint Weightless Conditioner

This weightless conditioner from Aveda is made with 97% naturally derived ingredients, so it moisturizes without leaving hair looking greasy or heavy. It’s made without parabens, phthalates, silicones, and more so it’s especially useful for fine hair that can’t handle heavy products. The rosemary mint scent is described by users as subtle and refreshing.

Mistake: Letting Fallen Powder Eye Shadow Ruin Your Makeup

Solution: The Eyeshadow Shields That Collect Loose Pigment

TailaiMei Eyeshadow Shields (120-Pieces)

No need to constantly wipe away shadow fall-out as you apply your makeup, because these eyeshadow shields have you covered. Simply adhere them directly underneath the eye and they’ll catch excess pigment before it settles on your face. Each pack comes with 120 shields.

Mistake: Forgetting To Schedule Your Root Touch-Up Appointment

Solution: The Powder That Lets You Cover Up Roots Between Salon Visits

PROTÉGÉ Premium Root Touch Up

Extend your time in between visits to the salon with this root powder. It comes in a convenient travel case with a brush and a mirror. Simply brush the powder onto your roots and you’ll have a temporary cover-up that blends into the rest of your hair color. Thanks to the product’s minerals, it will produce a natural-looking shine, too.

  • Available colors: 5

Mistake: Attempting To Freehand Your Cat-Eye Look

Solution: This Eyeliner Pen With A Wing Stamp On One End

Lovoir Flick Stick Winged Eyeliner Stamp

If you struggle to draw a cat eye, give this winged eyeliner stamp a try. It features a regular liquid liner on one side and a curved stamp on the other. Simply stamp on the wing and fill it in with the liner, and you’ll have an identical flicked liner on both lids. The formula is waterproof, too.

Mistake: Watching Flawless Eyebrow Makeup Melt Over The Course Of A Day

Solution: This Finishing Powder That Sets Your Brows


Set your brow look (and any other liquid or cream makeup) with this finishing powder. This translucent powder is made from minerals so it can absorb excess oil and deliver a matte finish that helps makeup wear longer. Better yet, it’s certified by PETA as a cruelty-free brand.

Mistake: Trying To Conceal Your Breakouts With Layers Of Foundation

Solution: A Simple Pimple Patch That Helps Heal Blemishes Fast

KEYCONCEPTS Hydrocolloid Acne Patches (120-Pieces)

Nearly everyone gets blemishes, but heaping layers of makeup onto a zit oftentimes isn’t the answer. Thankfully, these hydrocolloid acne patches cover unwanted pimples while actually treating them. Simply apply the sticky patch to your zit and wait until it turns white to remove it. You’ll have quick results and won’t be tempted to pick at it when it’s shielded, either.

Mistake: Buying Tons Of Makeup Products When One Can Perform Multiple Tasks

Solution: The Cream That Enhances Both Lips & Cheeks

stila Convertible Color Dual Lip and Cheek Cream

Save money in your wallet and room in your makeup kit with this lip and cheek cream that rolls lipstick and blush into one. It has a slightly sheer finish that offers up a subtle tint to enhance without overpowering. It comes in a compact with a mirror for easy application on the go, too.

  • Available colors: 7

Mistake: Constantly Re-Applying Powder To Keep Unwanted Shine Away

Solution: This Absorbent Rice Paper Perfect For Blotting

Palladio Rice Paper Facial Tissues

There’s nothing wrong with having a shine to your complexion — but if you’re hoping to remove oil for more of a matte look, these packs of rice paper can help. With them, there’s no need to lug around powder and a brush to keep unwanted shine at bay. Simply press a sheet to your face to absorb extra oil without disturbing your makeup. Plus, the brand is cruelty-free and paraben free.

Mistake: Applying Spray Tan Unevenly

Solution: These Tanning Drops You Can Add To Your Moisturizer To Touch It Up

Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops

If you’re hoping to get a perfectly even at-home tan, these self-tanning drops can make it easier. You can customize the level of sun-kissed you’re going for by adding anywhere from three to 12 drops to your moisturizer and rubbing it in. It’s made with skin-nourishing ingredients like avocado oil and eucalyptus oil and doesn’t use any parabens.

Mistake: Struggling With Messy Lash Glue When Applying Falsies

Solution: This Pack Of Lashes That Adhere To Magnetic Eyeliner

Luxillia Magnetic Lashes with Eyeliner

Ditch the glue for good with these magnetic lashes. The dramatic false eyelashes come with tiny magnets around the base that attach to the included liquid eyeliner. The eyeliner formula is waterproof and sweatproof, so you won’t need to reapply it throughout the day.

Mistake: Failing To Lift Out All The Dirt & Oil When You Wash Your Hair

Solution: A Silicone Brush That Massages & Cleanses

HEETA Scalp Care Hair Brush

Get a deeper clean with this scalp care brush that uses silicone bristles to clear away excess build-up that shampoo alone can miss. Plus, the soft and flexible brush feels like a blissful massage during use. It’s made with an ergonomic grip and it’s easy to clean, too.

  • Available colors: 10

Mistake: Getting Frustrated With Baby Hairs That Won’t Stay Down

Solution: A Mascara-Like Gel That Tames Flyaways

BestLand Hair Finishing Stick

Whether you’re wearing your hair up or down, your frizzy flyaways and unruly baby hairs are no match for this hair-finishing stick. It has a fine bristled wand like mascara, but inside contains a lightweight gel that blends loose strands into the rest of your hairstyle without looking greasy or crunchy.

Mistake: Forgetting How Much Of A Statement A Few Striking Hair Clips Can Make

Solution: This Set Of Assorted Clips That Come In So Many Different Styles

Magicsky Hingwah Pearls and Acrylic Resin Hair Clips (28-Pieces)

Spice up your hair routine with this massive set of 28 hair clips. They come in tons of different styles, from classic pearl-encrusted options to retro acrylic tortoise shell selections. Choose from understated geometric clips or bedazzled clips with statement baubles. Wear them separately or mix and match them for an eclectic look.

Mistake: Thinking Only Heat Can Create Waves

Solution: The Heatless Hair Curler You Wrap Your Hair Around

ROBECURLS Heatless Hair Curler

To get pretty, bouncy waves without the potential damage from hot tools, wrap your hair up in this heatless hair curler. It’s one long satin strip that sits across your head; you then wrap sections of hair around it and let it sit. In the morning, you’ll have natural waves. It even comes with two satin scrunchies.

  • Available colors: 4

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