Over the many decades there have been so many fashion  and makeup trends, some certainly more desirable than others. Looking at pictures, one could easily pin point the decade or era it was taken simply by looking at the makeup.

Today, we are all inundated with the number of makeup artists, beauty gurus, influencers, YouTubers and Instagrammers all trying to tell us what’s good, what’s not and also trying to tell us what the hottest make up trends are.

But really, lets get real … half of what is being put out there is over the top and the everyday woman does not need to keep with these trends. It’s all too “extra” and given the number of filters used and photoshopping being done to these pictures the everyday woman will not be able to achieve what’s being put to her in the manner in which the trend is presented.

YouTube videos are also shot with camera filters and professional studio lighting, which means that in reality we are never going to look like the images on the videos and Instagram posts that we follow. So that makeup tutorial you followed didn’t turn out the way you expected for, but not limited to, the reasons above.

Everyone who knows me will agree that I always believe in keeping makeup and fashion real and classic. That will never go out of style.

Trends are often fun, and hey to each their own, but do we really want to look back at our pictures and cringe? When you’re young, in your teens and early twenties, it’s wonderful, bold and exciting to push the boundaries of trends and to enjoy that time of your youth expressed through makeup.

However as we mature and the roles we play in our careers, homes and social environment become more serious, the manner in which we present ourselves through fashion and makeup also changes. So keeping our look fun but appropriate is always a balancing act. As much as we would love to continue to try on every trend, you run the risk of actually looking dated as opposed to trendy. Therefore, I once again stress classic looks with pops of a specific trend.

This now brings me to the crux of this post! The point I’ve been making about makeup trends being taken too far and resulting in cringeworthy photographs is highlighted in no particular order, my opinion of the top 5 cringeworthy moments in makeup in recent times.

1. Brow Things

The Designer Brow

I completely understand that the creation and wearing of “designer brows” works for the runway and for editorials however for a date, a party (unless costume) or a wedding it is down right ridiculous. These designer brow trends went from the wavy brow to feathered brow and the most recent being the horns. Seriously, save that one for Halloween. May these designer brows RIP.

The Overdone Brow

Don’t we all love a full, beautifully arched brow? Sadly not all of us are blessed with a full set of follicles, others are dealing with that which is left of the brows that were severely over plucked back when the thin brow was all the rage. In pursuit of the fuller brow many women take to their brow pencils, pomades and gels to create the ultimate brow. Here I’d like to say three things:

1. Your brows are sisters not twins,

2. Easy on the pigment. A light hand with fine strokes will go a long way and always remember not to draw downturned Nike or sharpie brows, and

3. Stop trying to create a brow too much fuller than what you already have. Your brow fullness must complement your face shape. Keep it real and not such that your brows enter a room before you.

It looks strange when one can see that you’ve created a brow out of sparse hairs and worse still when you wash it off and scare your partner when you’re getting into bed. For fuller brows if you really have too little, try either a brow growth serum e.g. Rapid Brow available at Sorbet salons at R999.00 or microblading, which is a more invested option but does yield amazing results. This might be the answer to all your brow problems.

2. Dolled Face

You know what I am talking about here. It’s the face that you see in daily life that is Insta ready. Layers of makeup in the fullest possible coverage paired with every element of makeup being extra. Darling, we need to understand the difference between the makeup tutorials being done for camera and lighting purposes and what is sensible for a day out. If you have an event and go full glam with your makeup that’s understandable but going ape everyday makes you seem ridiculous.

3. Fake Freckles

While freckles may be cute in young girls, as women age, they are pretty much (in my experience) in pursuit of the most flawless canvas. These women with freckles (myself included) try to cover these up as best they can. So when I saw the trend to create fake freckles after makeup application, my irritation levels escalated. Especially annoying is the fact that these look fake over a full face of perfectly applied makeup. Who are we trying to fool here?

4. Highlighting and Contouring Incorrectly

Highlighting and contouring has been around for decades but made popular and common place through Kim Kardashian and Mario Dedivanovic and the thousands of YouTube tutorials and social media.

People follow the trends but do they understand how to do this correctly for their face shape? Not always. For example, not everyone needs to contour their forehead, you may just need to contour your temples. If you already have a thin nose, why would you contour the sides? These common mistakes leave me wanting to whip out my brushes and start blending and correcting random faces passing me.

In the same speed highlighter and highlighting is fun and it’s easy to get carried away but really there is a line that can be crossed into too much highlighter or highlighting in the wrong places. Highlighter is meant for the highest points of your face or parts of your face you want to lift or draw attention to. So can someone please enlighten me as to why people highlight the tip of their noses. In my opinion, that’s the most ridiculous spot to place highlight. The bridge of the nose… yes please but the tip of the nose … definite no. It’s not cute it’s all I look at when you’re speaking to me. You do not need to highlight your face to look like a disco ball. Sometimes less is more. If you’re not sure about your highlight and contouring routine, get some advice. There are a ton of makeup artists and beauty gurus available on social media who will gladly break it down for you. Remember that watching a specific YouTube is great for tips and tricks but they are applying makeup in ways suitable for themselves. Rarely will they talk about the how to’s for various face shapes.

There are also insane amounts of product options regarding highlighting and contouring. There is the use of cream and powder products. Again it is easy to just let your excitement run away with you and go crazy. I just want to emphasize that you should find a routine that works for you and keep it looking simple. More chiseling and baking is great for an event but ensure that everything is blended to perfection (because stripes are not attractive on your face) and that you don’t have any flashback from the products you’re using. Also note unless you have Angelina Jolie bone structure you’re not going to be creating bones by contouring so go easy.

5. Over-Drawn Lips

Kylie Jenner and the over-lining of lips (not getting into the issue of fillers here) took the pursuit of the fuller pout to an all new level. As a women with relatively thin lips myself, I understand the desire for a poutier pout and I know the impact that a slightly over-lined and contoured lip can achieve. However, once again we need to understand that there is a point where over-lining can be taken too far. Again, I make reference to the use of these techniques on Instagram given the lighting and photography to showcase lipstick shades, which works well on that platform. However the effect is quite comical in daily life. Whenever I see this I think of a potential kiss and the disappointment of realizing that the voluptuous mouth is a hoax. That’s me and my crazy mind.

So there you have it! My top 5 WTF moments in makeup. Do you also have pet peeve makeup styles? Tell me about them in comments and I will share them on my Instagram stories. Remember to leave me your Instagram handle as well.

**Please note that none of the pictures used in this post are mine. They are images used of Internet stock and are used merely for illustration of a point of view.

With love and gratitude

-Aarthi