People constantly ask others what was the best makeup advice they were ever given.

Of course, we could nerd out for hours with tip after tip (have and done so), but this tidbit of advice is definitely of the most value. Why is that, you ask? Because no matter how expertly you apply your makeup, how long it took to do, if you don’t check it in differently lighting, you’re just asking for trouble.

You’re liable to be walking around with a bristle stuck on your cheek, your jawline wasn’t blended enough, or god forbid, there’s something stuck in your teeth. Or your nose! (I’ll never understand why that wasn’t possible to catch in the bathroom mirror but noses are like that.)

Now, I feel like I’m damn good at blending my makeup but many times, even I catch my reflection in another lighting and I’m a little clowny, which was not the intention at all. I’m not trying one of those new contouring methods, I’m just applying my face! It’s quite a shock.

Another time, I stopped at a stoplight (as you do) and discovered that I had one long, rogue hair that was just hanging there from the middle of my neck, and I hadn’t noticed it at all in the bathroom. That’s just so wrong.

Anyway, you’re starting to get the idea at this point, right? Do yourself a favorite and double check your makeup, skin, and hair (in natural light!) before heading out on your way to work or your night out. Just a few extra seconds doesn’t cost you anything!

1. Apply makeup in front of the mirror.

This won’t change from your normal routine in the slightest, but be sure to check all angles for rogue hair so you don’t repeat my mistakes! But this is only going to be looking at yourself in bathroom lighting, which leads us to the next important steps:

2. Grab your compact and check yourself in front of a window. 

Obviously, we’re utilizing natural light here. Natural light is our friend, not our foe. We should look just as we intended in the bathroom light that we do in natural light. If not, well, you’ve got the compact with you, so either do some touching up right there or run to the bathroom to start again (if it’s bad enough!)

3. Check in the car.