Because "always" and "never" are no fun!
I hear the most ridiculous “makeup rules” behind the counter and see the most ridiculous “commandments” around the internet about what to do and what not to do, and a lot of them make it sound like you’re a terrible person with terrible taste and you should be ashamed of yourself for wearing that out of your house.
I’ll be the first to admit I can be a bit of a makeup snob. I see a lot of bad makeup walk into the store, I see bad makeup on professional photography, I see bad special effects makeup at conventions. I’ve done bad makeup, looked at myself in the mirror in horror, washed it off and started over. I will pick apart what I find “wrong” in a makeup, what I would have done differently, what I think it “should have been."
However, none of these critiques are because of someone "breaking the rules". They're usually because a color isn't blended, eyeliner is uneven, foundation doesn't match, eyebrows clash with hair, colors aren't flattering. I don't like it when it isn't done well, not because of some arbitrary rule that someone's Grandma told them or someone on the internet decided. If a woman wants to wear neon orange lipstick, I might not like it, but more power to her for wearing what she wants. I'm only going to say it's bad if it's all over her teeth, unevenly applied, or feathering out onto her skin.
From the internet:
Commandment: Thou Shall Not Use Pencil on Thy Eyebrows
"When you pencil in your eyebrows, it almost never looks good. With a pencil, you can always tell someone has filled in their brows.
If you opt for an thin and stiff-angled brush with a powder that best matches your hair color, you will end up looking much more natural, yet still can have defined brows."
I can agree that it's often done badly, but "it almost never looks good" is automatically assuming that because lots of people do it wrong that nobody should ever do it. Really? There are a lot of different pencils on the market, including powder pencils. I hear a lot of "I don't like pencils" when someone wants to fill in their brows, without even trying one of the three different kinds of pencils I can show them. When I ask what they've tried on their brows before, roughly half have never even tried using a pencil, but just "don't like the way they look." It's just like saying "I don't want to try a foundation because I don't like the line at my jaw and I don't like that it makes me orange" before even trying to find a shade.
Try pencil, get the proper color, formula, and application technique, and if you still prefer powder, use powder. But don't believe that just because a few people draw their eyebrows on with a protractor and crayon that all brow pencils are bad. If a filled in brow is done well, you won't be able to tell whether it was done with pencil or powder.
Commandment: Thou Shall Not Wear Black Eyeliner in the Daytime
"I know, this one is a harsh dose of reality. It is a fact that dark colors shrink and recede/make things look deeper. Does that sound like it would be flattering to your eyes in the bright of day?
Light colors accentuate and bring forward. If you want to look more awake during the day, skip the black liner and get a good mascara which should be enough for your bottom especially. If you absolutely need some liner on the bottom, try using a brown. It will be much softer in the daytime."
Some people, including myself, look terrible with brown eyeliner. I have black hair, black eyebrows, and cool toned skin. Using brown tones on me and many others breaks color theory, which follows scientific rules of light and color, instead of assigning colors to certain numbers on a clock. It's correct that dark colors recede, but any dark eyeliner, regardless of tone, on outer corners and a lighter color in the inner corners makes eyes appear bigger, not smaller. It has nothing to do with whether you're in sunlight or candlelight. Yes, bold makeup is more popular at night, but color theory is more important than time of day.
Commandment: Thou Shall Not Try to “Sculpt” Thy Face
"I can sum up this mistake in one sentence that you should always remember: There is only so much that makeup can do. What this means is yes, we would all love to have amazing cheekbones. If you weren’t born with them and aren’t planning on getting an extremely invasive plastic surgery procedure, you will not have them.
It is probably better to leave this for a professional at contouring the face with makeup, however the only time this may be ok to do yourself is for photography/film."
You can try anything you want! That's the best part about makeup, you can try anything, wash it off, and try it again. Yes, there's only so much makeup can do if you're trying to get Angelina's Maleficent cheekbones, but if you aren't even trying contouring because you're afraid of doing it wrong, you're missing out on one of the most dramatic ways to enhance your face and bone structure. Go to a professional and get the right contouring colors for your skin tone. Find the lines of your cheekbones by poking yourself in the face- seriously- and apply the lighter color directly onto the bone, a darker color just underneath the bone, and blend. This is easiest to do with powders and a very light touch. Experiment until you get the best combination. This is another "rule" created by the idea that since some people do it poorly, nobody should do it.
"Never wear eyeliner on your bottom lid" has been repeated to me more times than I can count, yet nobody can give me a reason for it other than "it's too harsh," which is only true if you apply it harshly! There are eyeliners available that create millimeter-thin lines, which applied right under the lower lashes, stopping when the lashes stop, it's not harsh at all. Even "don't wear harsh eyeliner on your bottom lid" is an opinion, not a rule. If this rule was "don't wear harsh eyeliner on your bottom lid, bright lipstick, shaved-and-drawn on eyebrows, and circular cheek color, unless you want to look like a clown," then I could agree with it.
"Where should I be applying these colors in this palette?" always gets answered with "wherever and however you want!" Yes, I'll show you some of my favorite combinations, but a color palette is just that- a color palette- not a diagram for paint-by-number. You can use one or all of the colors, add the darkest color in the contour or along the lash line, add a highlight under the brow, in the inner corner, or both, all depending on what you like on you.
"Never tweeze above your eyebrows" is one of the most ridiculous ones I've heard. Trust me, you do not want me to stop tweezing above my eyebrows. My certain clients do not want me to stop waxing hair off of their temples and foreheads because their eyebrows would connect with their hairline if I didn't.
"Don't wear black mascara if your hair is brown or lighter" is one of the most common. I prefer black mascara on nearly everyone because I like dramatic makeup. I find a platinum blonde with silver and black eye makeup to be striking and beautiful. On redheads I find both black and brown mascara to be gorgeous as long as it's coordinated well with the rest of the colors on her face. If you prefer brown mascara, wear brown mascara.
"I'm over thirty so I can't wear shimmer." Yes you can! There are lots of eyeshadows from matte to shimmer to glitter than can be worn at any age.
So here's what you "should" do: Whatever makeup you want!
Try new colors, wash them off, try other new colors. Try new application and contour techniques, wash them off, try again. Take tips and tricks from everywhere and find what you like, not what someone else tells you to like.
What are some of your pet peeve "makeup rules" you love to break? Post in the comments below!