So You Put on Too Much Makeup? Here’s What to Do

Victoria Moorhouse


Whether it’s not paying attention to how much product you just swobbed up on your brush, bad lighting, or overdoing it when you thought you were putting on the finishing touches, we’ve all been a little too generous with our makeup and even hair care products. Putting on TOO much makeup happens, and you usually know you did when you look in the mirror and you’re not happy with the result—or you notice that you unintentionally went for a high-impact lip, liner, and highlighter look all at the same time. So what to do? Depends on how much time and energy you’ve got. Check out the tips below to get your makeup back to what you intended for it to look like.

Washing It Off?
It all depends. This is the very obvious answer to applying too much makeup—just head into the bathroom, grab some cleanser, give your skin a good scrub, and reapply. But it’s not so simple when you’ve got five minutes to spare before whatever is taking up a few chucks of time in your agenda. If you’re skin is feeling extremely dehydrated, even if you do have the time, maybe this isn’t the best solution. Taking it all off with a cleanser could further strip your skin of the oils it needs. You’re also going to need to take that all off before you hit the sheets later that evening. And washing your face three times in one day? Not the most ideal schedule for a girl who deals with dry, taunt skin.

If you aren’t on the dry side and want to take it all off, by all means, do so. Just make sure to reapply moisturizer before going through your primer, foundation, and concealer steps.

MORE: The No-Makeup Makeup Look, Broken Down

An abundance of blush?
A subdued flush is usually the desired outcome—not two well defined shapes, whether they be circles, squares, or so on—sitting on your cheeks. If you put on too much cream blush, the solution is simple. Blend. Cream blush is rather user-friendly, as all you really need to do when you get down to it, is use your fingers to distribute the pigment at an angle on the apples of your cheeks. Keeping blending out and up—not down—to distribute the product.

If you can’t get the color to fade to your liking, using the remnants of your foundation brush could help. Take that brush, before you’ve washed it of course (which, reminder, you should be doing regularly!) and lightly pass it over your skin where the color is just too severe. Keep the consistencies in the same family, so if your blush is cream, go for what remains of a cream or liquid foundation.

Drawing on your top liner too thick doesn’t mean you have to settle for a stripe-y look. Using a makeup remover pen will allow you to trace the line, making it thinner with precision. e.l.f cosmetics makes one that is shaped like a felt-tipped marker that you just run over an area you need to clean up. You can also dip a Q-tip in some makeup remover to clean up the line, too.

Another option, but not exactly a fix if you were really craving some dramatic top liner, is to smudge in that line with a brush or your finger to create a smokey eye look. The excess of liner should distribute over your lid.

Eyeshadow? Brows?
A solution to heavy hands with a darker pigment is to blend in lighter shades, subduing the original shade. That’s if color is the main issue. If not, you might be– to grab a small removal pad, like Almay’s Makeup Remover Pads, to take off the product to start over again. The same goes for brows. Lighten up brows that are just a tad too dark and dramatic for your hair color with taupe shades layered on top. Blending will also help you distribute an excess of powder or gel.

That’s where those little spoolies come in. To help remove globs of mascara from your lashes without smearing them all over your skin, take a disposable mascara spoolie that doesn’t have product on it and run it through your lashes. This should pick up the chunks you don’t want.

Another option is to invest in a lash comb, like Sephora’s Contoured Eyelash Comb. It’s shaped to fit over your lashes, similar to a lash curler, and consists of tiny metal bristles placed closely next to one another. All you need to do is brush it through your lashes, from near the root to the tip so that it can pick up product and separate lashes stuck together. This saves you the aggravation of taking of mascara completely, only to reapply 10 minutes later. Hey, mascara takes a long time to remove.

MORE: The Highlighters You Didn’t Know You Already Had

Blot, blot, blot! The answer is simple.