Other than when shopping for the occasional new lipstick or eyeshadow color, we often don’t stop to question whether the products we’re using or the way we apply them are right for us. Certain behaviors become rote, and beliefs about what we can and cannot wear—whether because we think we’re too pale, old, or oily—become ingrained in our psyche to such a degree that we avoid certain sections of the makeup counter. Here to help us separate fact from fiction (and fix some of our misguided cosmetic tendencies), the experts from Little Rock, Arkansas-based cosmetics and skincare product retailer and salon Pout debunk some of the most common myths about makeup.

Myth #1: “Bottom eyeliner makes my eyes look bigger and brighter.” The fact is, bottom liner actually closes the eye and enhances imperfections and dark circles, making the eye look tired. Keep the bottom eye area bright with just a little concealer for a fresh, rested look. Pro product tip: Try Chantecaille’s Le Camouflage Concealer topped with Laura Mercier’s Secret Brightening Powder.

Myth #2: “I can’t wear red lipstick.” So many women say that they love red lips but can’t pull off the look. Truthfully, there is a red for everyone, and your local makeup artist can help you find one with the right undertone and texture. From creamy lipsticks to sheer glosses, there’s a red for you! Red lipsticks with an orange undertone are great for both fair and tan skin types with a warm undertone (Amy Adams, Rihanna). A berry-toned red is great for golden complexions (Jessica Alba). For fair skin with cool undertones (Reese Witherspoon), go for a red lipstick with a blue undertone. Pro product tip: Red with orange undertone to try: Chantecaille’s Lipstick in Tulipe. Berry-toned red to try: Chantecialle’s Lip Chic in Red Juniper. Blue undertone to try: Laura Mercier’s Creme Smooth Lipstick in Haute Red.

Myth #3: “I only need matte eyeshadow. I’m too old for shimmer.” Let us clear this up right now. All-over matte eyeshadow can look dark and muddy, and it actually enhances fine lines, while a little bit of sheen on the eyes makes them look bigger and brighter. To play it safe, use a mixture of Matte and sheen for the perfect age-appropriate eye. To achieve this look, sweep a soft sheen all over the lid with a full soft brush such as Laura Mercier’s All Over Eye Color Brush. Contour the eye with a ponytail brush using a neutral, matte tone for an easy daytime look. Pro product tip: Pair Chantecaille’s Iridescent Eye Shade in Lilac Rose with their Patchouli Lasting Eye Shade to create a bright, refreshed look.

Myth #4: “I don’t need primer.” So false. Primer is designed to prolong the wear of your makeup by creating a smooth, even texture for makeup application. Using a primer before your foundation then setting with powder will keep your makeup looking fresh all day long. Look for primers that are lightweight and lotion-like. Pro product tip: A great sunscreen primer for all skin types in Chantecaille’s Ultra Sun Protection. It is lightweight, oil-free, and has SPF 45. For dull skin, use Laura Mercier’s Radiance Primer. This tinted primer is pearlescent and leaves the skin bright and glowing. Laura Mercier also has a Blemishless Primer that is perfect for oily and breakout-prone skin. Don’t forget to set your foundation with powder for a flawless finish. Laura Mercier’s Translucent Powder is the best!

Myth #5. “Makeup doesn’t expire.” The truth is, every product has a shelf life. If used beyond its expiration date, makeup changes color and consistency, and the integrity of the product is compromised. Here’s how long different products last:

  • Liquid, cream or gel eyeliner: 6 months
  • Pencil eyeliner: 1 year
  • Mascara: 4 to 6 months
  • Powders, including blush and eyeshadow: 1 to 2 years
  • Liquid foundation: 1 year
  • Lipstick: 2 years (sanitize with alcohol quarterly to keep it fresh)
  • Organic or natural makeup: 3-6 months (These products don’t contain preservatives, so their shelf life is much shorter. As a rule of thumb, if the product’s scent has changed, toss it.)

TSG Tip 208 from Pout in Little Rock, Arkansas. Pout is featured in The Scout Guide Little Rock.