The High School Makeup Mistakes You’d Rather Not Remember - QC Makeup Academy

Remember when your beauty tips came in via your best friend’s careful sleuthing through her sister’s makeup stash? Before the YouTube tutorials and the instructional graphics stamped onto your makeup kits, you were the guinea pig for ever makeup look you experimented with.

Even though your mom promised to teach you how to use makeup when you were older, you told her “no thanks”! You and your circle of friends were grown up and had it all figured out. In reality, those days were some of the darkest times in your beauty career—but let’s not dwell on the dreadful mistakes of yesteryear. Thankfully, we’ve stopped gooping on the sheer, glittery lipgloss (good riddance!), so let’s take a look back at just how far we’ve come.

Bronzing nightmares

In our quest to give ourselves a healthy summer glow, we looked far and wide for shortcuts that would save us some pocket change. But why in the world did we think that bronzer was a suitable substitute for a fake tan? Sure, Jergens was messy, but it got the job done, and it lasted longer, too!

The worst part about using bronzer was the glitter that cosmetic companies dumped into their powders. Instead of giving us a nice, sun-kissed glow, we looked like oompah loompahs who were shipped glitter by our worst frenemies.


Vaseline on our eyelids

We all wanted our eyes to pop. With our blundering use of shiny lipgloss (we’ll circle back to this later!), we had to find some way to make our eyes pop in direct competition with our lips. In brainstorming ways to make our eyes appear larger and twinkle under the classroom lights, for some reason, we turned to Vaseline.

Many of you have probably heard the moisturizing wonders of petroleum jelly—some bloggers swear by the product to condition their eyelashes, but to walk out in public with this one is a no-no. Even now, we still see some makeup blogs recommending Vaseline as a good eyeshadow primer—really? If you have oily lids, you might already have naturally shiny looking lids, and packing on some extra Vaseline will only make your makeup products crease and slip around.

Overextended eyeshadow

Remember when we misguidedly pulled our eyeshadow all the way up to the brow bone? Looking back, we probably wanted to cover our bases—every inch of them, and all to make our eyes larger.


As with all the Disney princesses, the doe-eyed peepers of Ariel in the Little Mermaid seemed achievable. But our efforts were all for nought because in trying to channel Ariel, we instead pulled an Ursula with our inexperienced hands. But don’t worry—if Prince Eric wasn’t impressed back then, he surely will be now if he gets the chance to see your much-improved makeup skills!

Going nuts with kohl liner

Our racoon-rimmed eyes barely saw the light back then. We all collectively channelled our inner Avril and never dared leave the house without our trusty kohl liner smudged in and around our eyes. Those were simpler times— all we needed to complete our look was eyeliner and lip gloss. What was blush, anyways?

While the look may have worked for our rebellious, youthful selves, the stark black liner doesn’t do us any favors as the crow’s feet set in. If dramatic eyeliner is still a staple in your routine, look up your particular eye shape and find the best liner placement for you before going crazy on your waterline.

Sticky lip glosses


Remember watching Lizzie McGuire and her bestie, Miranda, discuss the subtle differences between the tinted peach lip gloss and the sheer coral tube? They ended up buying both and you made sure that you did just the same.

Gooping all that extra lip gloss every 10 minutes on our lips was not flattering. If you were extra tenacious with your lip gloss application, the shiny coat probably looked, and acted, like out-of-control slobber instead of a cosmetic product meant to make your lips more kissable. Oh, the naiveté!

All that glitters

While the glitter hair trend has started to fade with the end of summer, the glitter-bombed era of the ‘90s is still fresh on our minds. From glitter gel rollers to glitter body mist (okay, these are actually still on store shelves!), we still sometimes wake up in terror of the glitter-tossing bogey monster.


We can definitely say that glitter had a hold on us that was downright embarrassing, but could you really blame us? Not even getting some shiny specks in our eyes could deter us from buying up all of Wal-Mart’s glitter glue reserves. At least now, in the sunny days of 2016, we can say that we’re glad that those days are long behind us.

Not blending

Blending seems to be a cross-generational problem. Whereas nowadays we seem to be having trouble with blending our contours, before we had trouble blending the bare minimum of face makeup—our foundation!

Our younger selves swore that we would be able to pick out our perfect foundation shade on the first try—we were makeup wizards, or so we thought. But eyeballing our foundation products did us more harm than good. Haphazardly picking up a pencil crayon to color in our self-portraits in art class worked out well for us, but how did we think that that same logic could work out for us in real life? Yes, everyone definitely noticed how our necks didn’t match our faces!

What high school makeup crimes did you commit? Let us know in the comments!

Author Celina Feng

More posts by Celina Feng

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