I'm definitely not an beauty expert, but every lolita -hell, every PERSON - knows that make-up has two affects on your overall look: it either enhances or detracts. There are some lolita make-up moves that I've noticed in the past few years which seem, to me, rarely to do the former and almost always do the latter.
As with any part of your coordinate, everything you do with your make-up should be considered objectively to make sure it's enhancing the image you're going for. If you were wearing a completely sweet coordinate, for example, entirely of mint and pink, would you put on a big, black, gothic headdress? It may be interesting circumstantially, but for the most part, I'd advise against it. It's the same with make-up: if it detracts from the look of the rest of your outfit or overpowers it or negatively draws attention to itself, you're better off going without.
As always, remember: there are exceptions to every rule, so don't think of these as hard, concrete facts. Almost everything I mention here, while I'm typing, I think, "Yeah, but there was that really cute girl at the meet-up who..." or, "Yeah, but what about that picture you saw on Tumblr the other day?" So if I knock down your favorite make-up tip, please don't be offended! There are right ways and wrong ways to do everything.
A Loose List of Lolita Make-up Don'ts:
♥Over-concealing: One of the biggest parts of lolita make-up is a porcelain, doll-like appearance, and that's not always very easily-achieved by us humans, who're prone to redness, blemishes, and even skin tone. However, it's important to resist the urge to go really crazy on the Erase Paste, as concealers and foundations and primers and powders can cake up really easily and look overdone. Over-doing it will draw attention to whatever it is you're trying to cover up and can settle in the lines in your face and make you look old, which is not exactly the way to achieve effortless, light, child-like beauty. Lord knows I can be prone to this one myself, hence why it's right at the top of the list!
♥Lining the lower lash line: Now, this isn't always bad, but in a lot of alternative fashion I often see heavy black liner under the eye with nothing in the lid. Here's the problem with that: a dark, heavy line along the bottom of the eye pulls the onlooker's eye down and makes it look like the wearer has heavy undereye circles (could I have said the word "eye" more in that sentence?!) Instead, what looks better is a thin line of eyeliner all along the upper lash line (maybe getting a little thick toward the outer edge, or finish with a cat-eye if you're feeling fancy) and line only the outer third of your lower lash line- from the outer corner to the iris, or colored part, of your eye; this will make your eyes look wider and brighter, and therefore more awake. Bonus points if you use a soft shadow instead of thick, heavy liner on the lower lash line.
♥Pink or red eye shadow: To be perfectly honest, I almost didn't include this one, because I see it often, and it's very often done right. However, with certain skin tones, pink or red eye shadow or liner will make your eyes look red, making you look tired, like you've been crying, or like you have pink eye, none of which are very loli at all! If you're very gung-ho about using one of these colors in your make-up look, try to either find a shade that compliments your skin tone, or pair it with a neutral and use the pink/red as an accent color.
♥Wash your face at night!: This is such a big one for everyone, but especially lolitas, to go back to that porcelain look we try so hard to emulate. If you don't wash off your make-up and sweat and all the other nastiness we accumulate during the day, it'll cause breakouts. I'm pretty sure everyone knows this, but it bears repeating! A daily cleanser and a moisturizer should be used once a day, and deep exfoliation once a week. Another quick fix are make-up remover wipes. Or, if you're thrifty, bathroom wipes with vitamin E and aloe- they have to same active ingredients but are much less expensive!
What are your least-favorite make-up techniques that show up on lolitas often?
(No naming names!)