Ever left the house for a party thinking that your makeup was perfect, only to find out that your concealer looked like two bright headlights under your eyes after looking back at numerous pictures from the night before? You’re not alone – lots of us have had the experience.

Image: Ratthaphon Bunmi / 123rf.com

So to avoid feeling slightly embarrassed when looking back at awkward pictures on social media this new year, we’ve asked makeup artist Larry Yeo for his tips on how to solve the top three makeup mistakes most of us make during this season.

Why it happens: There’s no hard and fast rule to choosing an undereye concealer, because it is dependent on what each person needs. Some of us use concealers that are slightly lighter than our skin tone to brighten up the undereye area. But here’s where the problem comes in: Powder is used to “set” the concealer to prevent it from slipping and sliding. If that shade of powder is too light, then it will bring about the overly bright undereye or “reverse panda” effect.

How to avoid the problem: “Use the right concealer. The best thing to do is to apply what is needed to counter the discolouration – use peach correctors to cancel out grey tones and yellow concealers to neutralise redness,” says Larry. It pays to be a little less kiasu here by applying your concealer to specific areas of darkness, instead of the entire under eye area; then set it with a translucent powder, not a powder foundation.

What to use: “MAC Cosmetics’ NW range of colours are all of peachy tones and Laura Mercier does excellent yellow-toned concealers,” says Larry.

Why it happens: Check what you’re using for drawing in your brows, and how you’re applying the product. The problem can occur when only powder shadow is used to fill the entire brow, or when product application is inconsistent. Of course, Singapore’s humidity plays a part too, as brow products can fade when you perspire or rub them off in the heat.

How to avoid the problem: “Remember: Colour products should ‘touch’ the skin,” says Larry. This means that brow powders, pencils and gels should be applied directly onto the skin at the eyebrows for it to photograph properly. You should not be applying any base makeup at the brows too, as it affects how brow products apply on your skin.

“You can get better adherence of colour to the skin by using an eyeshadow primer on the brows. Make sure that your brow product is applied directly onto the skin and is blended out with an angled brush,” says Larry.

What Larry normally does during photoshoots and on his clients is to use an eyebrow product that is two to three tones lighter than the model’s hair colour. After filling in the brows, he uses a coloured brow gel to lighten or darken the hair and hold the brow hairs in place.

What to use: Urban Decay Anti-Ageing Eye Potion, Shu Uemura Eyebrow Manicure

Why it happens: Besides using a foundation that is lighter than your skin tone, there are two other possible reasons for this: Powders tend to reflect more light than cream and liquid base makeup because of the way it sits on the skin. “The flashback from liquid and cream (foundations) is less obvious due to the pigment distribution and structure. Liquid and cream foundations allow light to pass through the skin and light is refracted all over, creating a more diffused finish,” says Larry. Sunscreen is another culprit, as physical filters and optical diffusers in the formula can reflect light and bring about that “flashback” effect.

How to avoid the problem: Get the correct shade of foundation and make sure that you’re applying it such that it evens out the skin tone, instead of completely “masking” your natural skin.

What to use: “These appear beautifully on screen and in flash photography, and even better in person,” says Larry.

ZA True White liquid foundation, Kose Esprique Smooth On Foundation UV, Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide, MAC Cosmetics Pro Longwear Liquid Foundation, Laneige BB Cushion Anti-aging SPF50+ PA+++