7 Beauty Products You’ve Probably Been Using Wrong For Years

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7 Beauty Products You’ve Probably Been Using Wrong For Years

How long have you been using beauty products? Five years? 10 years? 20 years? 30, 40, 50 years? However long you’ve been dabbling in the world of beauty, we’re guessing that you think you’ve pretty much nailed how to use each item you own. And hey, maybe you have.

Or maybe, like a lot of people out there, you’re using them, but not to the best of their abilities. Or even worse, you’re sabotaging yourself and ending up with bacteria-ridden mascara wands and cakey foundation.

So, in the hopes of making your beauty routine seamless and simple, here are seven products that are commonly used incorrectly and advice re: how you should be using them.

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Your beauty sponge

How you’re using it:

You load that bone-dry bad boy up with foundation and get to work.

How you should be using it:

Yep, the rumours are true; your beauty blender should actually be damp before you apply your base. When they’re used dry, not only will they apply a heavier (and potenitally cakier) coating of coverage, but dry sponges also tend to ‘eat’ a fair bit of your precious foundation. Not okay!

bh recommends: Manicare Flawless Complexion Sponge

Your eyebrow pencil

How you’re using it:

You’re using a darker shade of pencil to draw in your brows to make them look more bold and defined.

How you should be using it:

Drawn-on brows can look a little unnatural and overdone. Instead, you should use a brow pencil that’s actually a shade or two lighter than your brow hair and apply the colour using gentle flicks to emulate what a hair follicle would look like. We know, we know; grabbing a ‘blonde’ or ‘taupe’ pencil for your brunette brows may seem counterintuitive, but if it’s fluffy, feathery arches you’re after rather than block-y ones, going lighter will put you on the path success.

bh recommends: MUD Brow Pencil

Your nail polish

How you’re using it:

You’re shaking the bottle before applying the colour so that the liquid is completely mixed. It just feels right, right?! Wrong. Very wrong.

How you should be using it:

Shaking polish can create bubbles meaning you won’t have a smooth finish. Instead, roll the bottle between the palms of your hands to warm the polish and mix the colour, then get ready for the smoothest mani of your life.

Sally Hansen Color Therapy Nail Polish

Your eyelash curler

How you’re using it:

You curl your lashes to lift, apply your mascara and then curl your lashes for extra oomph and hold.

How you should be using it:

Using your eyelash curler after you’ve applied mascara will lead to clumping (even if you’re lucky) and lost lashes if you’re not (eek/ouch). Remember to only use your eyelash curler on clean, dry lashes to be safe. If you’re finding that the curl drops too quickly, though, you can also try working with a heated lash curler or one that’s just been blasted with a blow-dryer.

bh recommends: Glam By Manicare® heated lash curler

Your shampoo

How you’re using it:

You quickly wet your hair, apply your shampoo all over, lather, rinse and repeat.

How you should be using it:

Shampoo should always be applied to completely wet hair to ensure you benefit the most from the formula, so soak your hair under the water for a good few minutes before lathering up. You should also only be applying your shampoo to the roots of your hair and focusing the washing there, where the majority of oil is concentrated.

bh recommends: Sukin Naturals Hydrating Shampoo

Your bobby pins

How you’re using them:

With the bumpy side up and the flat side resting against your scalp.

How you should be using them:

Prepare to have your mind blown! The bumpy side should actually go face-down as this helps grip your hair better and ensures the bobby pin stays in place. For even better results, use two bobby pins and crisscross them (in the shape of an X) to hold your style.

bh recommends: Lady Jayne Contoured Bobby Pins

Your mascara

How you’re using it:

Pumping the wand in and out of the tube pre-application to maximise the amount of mascara you’re working with.

How you should be using it:

Straight out of the tube; yep, you draw the wand out once and you’re good to go. Resist the urge to pump with everything you’ve got; doing so will only push air and bacteria into the tube causing your beloved lash-lifter to dry up (and get gross) quicker. Going in first with less product will also help you steer clear of clumpy territory, a destination we’d like to avoid at all costs.

bh recommends: Maybelline New York Colossal Big Shot Mascara


Main image credit: Getty

*This article has been updated since its original publication.

How many of these beauty products have you been using wrong? Are there any other tips you can think of?

Share your thoughts

Comments 28

  1. Mine are too cosmoslyn! See lynx’s tip above for getting bubbles out (leave bottle sit, opened for bubbles to disperse, before applying polish) I’m going to try this next time.

  2. That sounds like a good beauty tip that makes sense, lynx; I’ll go on shaking as I think it mixes the polish better but I’ll try this before applying next time, thanks

  3. I am guilty of the shaking of the nail polish bottle but that ends now. I didn’t know you can use your hair dryer to warm up your eyelash curler, will be doing this from now on. Thanx BH for the fabulous advice on proper use of beauty products. ‘S

  4. I never pump the wand in my mascara as I was aware of the consequences! I remember seeing the podium girls at the Tour Downunder over 10 years ago wearing their white bobby pins crossed over and thought it looked great so I did the same when I need to wear them.

  5. I prefer a subtle enhancement of my brows. I always buy an eyebrow pencil in shades that say blonde or taupe, and I apply it with a light touch. It would be great if companies would sell more brow pencils with a cool undertone as many of them are slightly too warm-toned for me.

  6. Turns out I have been applying my eyelash curler correct – yes! I also use an eyelash comb when there are clumps in mascara. Good tip about the nail polish though. Also was not taught that shampoo is only applied to roots and from when I was a kid I was applying it all over my hair. Only in the last decade have I finally gotten that right. Great article!

  7. I know that bobby pins are supposed to go bumpy side down, but it’s harder to open them that way. Also, the contoured bobby pins are contoured the wrong way for bumpy side down application.

  8. Well, at least I’m using shampoo correctly. The bobby pin trick I knew but it’s sure hard to get the bumpy bit on the underside. It’s harder, at least for me, to open them that way.

  9. Most things I have done correctly with the exception of the mascara. Yes guilty like just about all of us as we want more on the brush. I don’t use bobby pins so no problem there. I always roll my nail polish before use, didn’t even know why before.

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