1. Using a dark shade of foundation to appear more tanned.
Some of you, especially the clever makeup artist-y types might disagree with this, (but they are much more talented than us at everything so we forgive them) but I do agree with it being a faux pas, “it” being using a darker tint of foundation to tan one’s face. You see, foundation exists to match and even out the skin tone and lightly conceal imperfections (and in some cases add radiance or mattify shiny skin) and make you look, well, better, as well as create a uniform canvas for the colour cosmetics you’ll apply next. By using a shade that is too dark for your skin you risk looking muddy and all of the great benefits of foundation listed above don’t really work. A better way to go about it is to either apply face self tanner (I like Lavera Faces Calendula Summer Glow) to cleansed skin under your skin care (let it sink in for 20 minutes or so before applying your skin care) and let that bring on a more natural, all over tan, or, finally and as most of us do, gently use bronzer on the points of the face where the sun would naturally touch, were we stupid enough to let it. I think liquid or gel bronzers (such as The Body Shop Honey Bronze Face Gel or Dr.Hauschka Translucent Bronze Concentrate) are the most subtle and “skin-like” and look terrific and gleaming when buffed in gently with a fluffy blush brush. Set with a translucent powder or a soft wash of powder bronzer.
2. Going overboard on the luminisers.
Glowing skin is terrific. It’s a beacon for wide-eyed, vaguely envious compliments and a sign of skin that is in buoyant health. And if you’re clever, you’ll fake all of this with illuminators and luminisers as the final touch of your makeup. The risk is, sadly that some of us think more is better, because more gleaming skin = even more proof of great skin. But this is as wrong as Crocs with socks. Illuminating and luminising products work best when applied subtly and sparingly: on the high points of the face, (I did a video on how to apply them here) or a teeny bit mixed in with your liquid foundation and used all over. (I like the NARS liquid illuminators and Clinique UpLighting for this.) Otherwise they start rebelling and making your skin look WORSE than when you started. Too much shimmer and shine on the face will make pores more pronounced, exacerbate fine lines and wrinkles and highlight blemishes. (Like some mineral makeup, which is why you should tread lightly and apply thin layers, rather than one big smack of powder that is too full of sparkly mineral pigments and will do your complexion not only no favours, but actually create a deficit of favours). So, go easy. Simple.