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How to Prep the Skin For Makeup

The easiest way to make your makeup look smoother and prettier (and last longer) is to first prepare your skin accordingly. So after you wash your mug and pat it dry, what's next? Find out your go-to guide for getting the skin ready premakeup when you read more.

Exfoliate: Once the face is washed with a cleanser appropriate for your skin tone, exfoliate with either a physical (like a grainy scrub) or chemical (such as a liquid) exfoliator that's gentle enough for daily use. Sloughing off dead skin cells will help create an even surface for makeup to glide onto. Bonus? Your skin will look brighter because of it. Tip: multitask and use an exfoliating cleanser.

Toner (optional): If you have really oily or acne-prone skin, or if you feel like you still have remaining traces of makeup or residue, a toner can help. It's not a necessary step but can provide extra "cleansing" as needed. It's also important to note that today's toners, unlike their ultra-astringent counterparts of the past, are often also formulated with soothing, calming, and hydrating benefits.


Serum (optional): Whether it's for firming, brightening, or minimizing hyperpigmentation, serums work to treat and correct. Think of them as if they were like vitamins for your face.

Facial moisturizer: Choose a moisturizer according to your skin type. You'll know it's too heavy for you (or that you've overapplied) if your face still feels greasy after about five minutes. Tip: multitask and use a moisturizer with an SPF.

Eye cream: Using your ring finger, pat your eye cream gently around the orbital bone area. By gently dabbing the product in, you'll increase circulation to the area to help move the cream deeper into your skin.

Sunscreen: If you haven't already applied sun protection, now's the time. Remember: apply sunscreen right before makeup.

Prime time: Finally, to ensure your makeup doesn't slip and slide all day long, use a primer prefoundation and preconcealer for flawless results. While it might seem like a lot of steps, you'll find that getting your skin in good shape first will give you the perfect palette for which to apply your makeup.

Image Source: Thinkstock
Annie-Tomlin Annie-Tomlin 5 years
 @Anonymous Have you tried Korres' version? It's silicone-free and, while it doesn't have the same slip that silicones do, it definitely makes for a smoother canvas.
Sarah2809434 Sarah2809434 5 years
Already been doing these steps from start to finish! Glad to know i'm doing it right :)
Grace-Wilcox Grace-Wilcox 5 years
Wow- this actually clears up a lot of questions! I have all of the items you listed but until now, I have had no idea the order in which to apply! Thanks so much.
Jaime-Richards Jaime-Richards 6 years
Thanks all!
azulsky azulsky 6 years
cara-s, ashleigh07, doubleuendy and Anonymous6:24pm thanks for the tip/s about silicone will definitely try your suggestions.
doubleuendy doubleuendy 6 years
try Hourglass primer. its all free from synthetics.
ashleigh07 ashleigh07 6 years
azulsky: choose a formula that is silicone free. i like nars a lot. there's is pore minimizing and it's water based. also korres makes a few great primers that are completely silicone free. that should help.
cara-s cara-s 6 years
Primer used to make me break out as well! Try using one with natural ingredients :)
azulsky azulsky 6 years
Every single primer I've tried so far has caused my face to breakout, I'm still fading marks from my last try (olay's primer). I have oily skin and it was wonderful having makeup last longer and not shining but the the bumps are not worth the hassle.
Jaime-Richards Jaime-Richards 6 years
I can't live without them, janetmouse!
janetmouse janetmouse 6 years
Totally notice a difference with a primer!!
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