The most perfect makeup application begins way before you even pick up a brush. It’s all in how you prep the skin that gives your makeup the natural and beautiful finish that you’re looking for. Here is your step-by step-guide on how to properly prep your face for makeup that stays fresh, flawless all day.
Why is it important to properly prep your face before makeup?
Every makeup routine begins in the bathroom, at the sink, with a great skincare routine. Cultivating a solid skin care routine sets the foundation for how your makeup will turn out and give you the most naturally flawless finish.
The better your skin is cared for, then the less amount of layers that are needed to cover the skin to create a smooth and uniformed tone.
How do I prep my face before applying makeup?
Before you get into toners, serums or even expensive procedures, you have to nail down a simple 3 step skincare routine. This consists of a Cleanser, Moisturizer and a Sunscreen.
Step 1: Cleanser
Select a cleanser that caters to your skin type. And as your skin’s needs change throughout the month, with the change of seasons or even as you travel, you may need a few different cleansers on hand to address each one.
I have 3 main cleansers on rotation right now. One to address the occasional breakout (Cerave Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser $13.69 at Target), a light morning cleanser (Fresh Soy Face Cleanser $39 on Sephora.com) and a night cleanser for washing away the day’s dirt, sweat and makeup (Youth to the People Kale + Green Tea Spinach Vitamins Superfood Cleanser $12 for the mini on Sephora.com).
I find that too many people think that they have oily skin and are using cleansers that are too harsh for their skin. So, a simple way to know that you’ve selected the right cleanser for your skin is that when after washing, your face feels clean but not tight or dry.
Pro Tip: wash your face for at least 60 seconds to allow your skin to soak up all those active ingredients in the formula and give your skin a thorough cleanse.
Step 2: Moisturizer
After cleansing, your skin needs a great moisturizer to rehydrate, replenish and leave your skin soft and supple.
Once again, depending on your skin type and needs, you might need more than one. For my dry skin, I use a light moisturizer for the daytime (Youth to the People Superfood Air Whip Moisture Cream) and a richer more emollient formula at night (Olay Regenerist Retinol 24+Peptide). And sometimes I even find myself using them both when my skin feels extra dry.
Step 3: Sunscreen
No matter the level of your melanin, you need to be wearing sunscreen every single day and in every season. Even if you spend most of your time inside, if you drive a car or work near a window, you need to put on sunscreen to protect your skin.
Sun protection is our greatest defense against aging and for clearing up dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
But, you must also make sure you are wearing the correct amount of sunscreen to get the full protection. That’s where the 2 finger rule comes in.
The 2 finger rule is a measurement of how much sunscreen is enough to adequately protect your face. Following this is a fool proof way to know that you’re always protected.
And, I already know what you’re thinking, “I hate sunscreen, it makes my face greasy” or “It leaves me looking white as a ghost“. But, thankfully there are products that address all of that. No excuses. Below are some of my favorites for you to try.
Now that the skin on your face is clean, moisturized and protected. We can’t forget the lips. They need to be prepped too.
Coffee, sugary drinks, cold weather and even lipstick, over time, dry out the skin on your lips. Have you ever tried to put your lipstick on when your lip were dry and cracked? Yuck, it’s a whole mess.
No amount of lip balm can hide dry lips, so it’s important to take the time (as needed) to remove all of the dead skin. In between the steps of cleansing and moisturizing your face, take a few seconds to exfoliate your lips with a lip scrub.
You don’t need anything fancy, check out my blog post for a simple DIY 2 ingredient lip scrub. It’s so easy and all the ingredients are probably already in your kitchen cabinet.
Don’t forget to protect the lips post scrub. Slather on a lip balm, Aquaphor even good ole Vaseline to continue the moisturizing and prep process before you put on a lippie.
How to prep your face before foundation?
Your face needs something in between it and the foundation and that’s where a good primer comes in.
Primer is used to grip your foundation and extend the life overall life of your makeup base.
It can also be used to even out skin tone, smooth texture, blur, mattify and hydrate. Similar to the skin care products there is an option for whatever your skin needs.
My two go-to face primers are the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer when I need makeup to be camera ready and perfect. And E.L.F Power Grip for everyday wear, it gives my skin a nice healthy glow.
Don’t forget the eye primer as the step before you apply eyeshadow. In addition to all the benefits of a primer for you skin, it also helps your eyeshadow to stand out more.
I highly recommend this step if you’re a woman of color. Many times are eyeshadow looks washed out and the pigment doesn’t stand out enough on its own. Eyeshadow primer is the best solution
Pro Tip: In between each prep step, give your skin a chance to fully absorb the product, about 30 seconds or so. You can speed this process up with a handheld fan if you’re in a rush.
Follow these steps and you will notice how much easier it is to apply your foundation. You won’t need to use as much and your makeup will look better for much longer.
3 tips to make your makeup last all day and night
I wrote an entire blog post with my best tips to sweatproof your makeup. They are the steps I used to maintain flawless makeup throughout my cousin’s sweltering hot summer outdoor wedding last year.
1. Apply setting spray after every step
Use setting spray to blend out and seal all of your cream face products as you apply them. That goes for concealer, contour, bronzer, etc. Go over them with setting spray after every step. And make sure that you give it a chance to dry before applying the next product.
Lastly, don’t forget to go over your entire face with setting spray one final time after you’re done.
2. Set all creams with powder
For makeup that lasts all day, top every cream product with either a setting powder or powder of a complementary shade to prevent it from smearing throughout the day. This includes eyeliner. I always top it with a eyeshadow and I never have to worry about racoon eyes at the end of the day.
3. Dab don’t rub!
You don’t want to smear or smudge all that hard work you put in. So be careful not to disturb your makeup when removing oils and sweat.
If you start to get oily or sweaty, please resist the urge to swipe it off. Instead use a napkin or better yet a blotting sheet to carefully dab the moisture away.
And that’s it! Lol. I know that this makeup prep process might seem like a lot, but it takes a little extra effort to properly prep your face for makeup that lasts all day. And trust me sis, the extra effort is worth it.
Now don’t keep all these tips to yourself, share this post to your socials, so we can all have fresh and flawless makeup this year.
With Love & Confidence,