The power of makeup is undeniable; our favorite products help us create the beauty looks we love, enhance our favorite features, and encapsulate our individual definitions of beauty. The best makeup routines help the modern woman boost her confidence and face the world head on—no matter what the day has in store.
When it comes to makeup, skillful application can make all the difference. Applying your favorite products the correct way can do two things: help you achieve the beauty look you crave, and help you get the most out of your makeup.
STEP 1: MOISTURIZER
Before you begin applying your makeup, take the time to prep your skin with a high-quality moisturizer. Choosing the right kind of moisturizer is a crucial piece of the puzzle. Let’s take a look at the different types you can use, listed from lightest to heaviest:
Face Mists: These are water-based solutions that may contain certain skin-boosting vitamins and fragrances. Facial mists aren’t designed to return the moisture to your skin, but they can be a helpful tool for maintaining a dewy look all day long. Simply spritz throughout the day when your skin is feeling dry.
Serums: This is a lightweight solution that’s easily absorbed by the skin. There are a wide assortment of serums designed to target specific problem areas. Some serums help you moisturize the skin to prevent wrinkles, while others contain ingredients that may add brightness to a dull complexion.
Lotions: Lotions are the most common type of moisturizer, and can benefit a variety of skin types. Opt for lotions that are labeled as “non-comedogenic”; these products are designed to avoid clogging the pores.
Creams: If your dry skin needs extra help, it might be time to invest in a cream moisturizer. This is a thicker, heavier solution that can hydrate excessively dry complexions. Day creams can be used as a base under your makeup, but night creams are designed to give your skin an extra dose of moisture while you sleep. Apply before hitting the pillow, and in the morning you’ll be greeted with soft, supple skin.
Oils: If you need further moisturizing, consider oils. Certain oils can be a great option for those with dry, sensitive, or normal skin. However, if you’re acne-prone or struggle with oily skin, avoid oil moisturizing products.
Learning how to apply moisturizer correctly is half the battle. Pour a small amount onto your fingers—the dollop should be roughly the size of a quarter. Start by spreading the moisturizer across your forehead; begin from the center of your face, then move outwards and up. Then, do the same starting at your nose, spreading the moisturizer across your cheeks. Ensure you’ve rubbed in the moisturizer evenly across your skin to avoid clogging your pores. Once you’ve applied enough moisturizer, gently rub it in using circles, and give it a few minutes to dry before moving onto the next step.
STEP 2: PRIMER
Now that your skin is well moisturized, prep your face with primer. Whether you’re planning on applying a light coat of foundation or a full face of makeup, primer is an important first step. Using primer under your makeup will make your look last longer.
So what exactly is primer? Think of primer as a base for your foundation or face makeup that will help it go on smoother and last longer. Primers are silky smooth gels and creams that fill in the lines and pores on your face, smoothing out uneven textures and creating the ideal canvas for your makeup.
To apply your primer, begin by squeezing a small amount onto your fingertips, or onto your preferred makeup brush or sponge. Pro Tip: A little bit goes a long way. Start with a dime-sized amount of primer in the center of your face, and slowly work it out towards your cheeks, forehead, and chin.
If you want to apply primer to the sensitive skin around your eyelids (and keep that smoky eye looking professionally applied all day long), be sure to find a dedicated product for this area of the face. Our eyelids can collect grease throughout the day, causing a “creased” look in eyeshadow. If your eyelids are oily and you apply eyeshadow or eyeliner without primer, application may prove to be patchy and uneven.
STEP 3: LIQUID FOUNDATION
When it comes to foundation, finding the perfect shade for your skin is priority number one. The right shade of foundation can make all the difference. So how do you go about picking? Test foundation colors against your jawline. After applying, if the foundation disappears without any sort of blending, you’ve found your true match. This may take a bit of trial and error, but taking the time to pick the right shade is crucial.
After you’ve selected a product, consider the tools you’ll use to apply it. Some women prefer to use their fingers, while others opt for beauty tools like brushes and sponges. If you’re looking for a light coverage look, your fingers may prove to be the right applicator; however, never touch your face without thoroughly washing your hands, and be sure to wash them after application—you don’t want to find your makeup handprints all over the house. For a more full-coverage look, opt for an applicator brush or beauty blender.
Start from the center of your face and blend the liquid foundation outwards. As you sweep your foundation across the skin, be sure to buff it in. Some women like to stipple a damp sponge over their foundation to help ensure it gets into those lines and creases, which can create a smoother, more even texture. Certain types of makeup brushes are also great for buffing foundation into the skin.
STEP 4: CONCEALER
There are two main categories of concealer: liquid and stick/compact.
Liquid concealer is best for the times you want light coverage over a large area of your face. Liquid concealer also works well for those looking to create a light finish, especially in areas of wrinkles, like around the eyes and mouth.
Stick and compact concealers are well-suited for heavier coverage on smaller, more specific areas of the face.
Picking the Color of Your Concealer
It’s wise to invest in two shades of concealer. One should be very similar to your skin tone, and can be used to cover dark spots, pimples, and other facial blemishes. The other should be lighter than your skin tone, and can be used to highlight certain areas of the face or add clarity to your makeup look.
STEP 5: FOUNDATION POWDER
Applying foundation powder can be a tricky process; too little and you may as well have skipped the step altogether, too much and you’ll be sporting the dreaded “cake look”. In your quest for a flawless complexion, you’ve likely heard plenty of tricks of the trade regarding powder foundation. Keep these tips in mind to get that perfect complexion.
Using a large, fluffy powder brush, begin by dusting a light coat of powder all over your face. Press the bristles into the powder, then sweep across the skin in long, arching strokes. Here