It is no secret that healthier skin makes for easier and more flawless makeup application. A regular skin care routine is important but using the right products for your skin type before and after makeup is even more important to get the best makeup application results and to avoid breakouts. Women use more or less of 10 steps to prep the skin for makeup, but these are the 5 most important steps.

Step 1: Start with a clean skin This is necessary to remove all dirt and impurities on the surface of the skin and create a smooth canvas for your skin work. Saturate a cotton pad with Q7 paris or Ganier micellar water or any gentle facial cleanser, then wipe the face in circular motion until the face is clean.

Step 2: Restore skin PH

balance and tighten pores The alkaline in cleansers can lower your skins PH balance and leave you pores open. Toner restores you skin PH balance and helps to close and tighten pores to reduce the penetration of impurities and environmental contaminations. Apply some toner to a cotton pad and gently clean the face in circular motions. @Hudabeauty swears by Clinique No2 toner but you can opt for budget friendly options like Thayers alcohol-free rose petal witch hazel toner.

Step 3: Hydrate your skin
Hydrating the skin is a critical step no matter what type of skin you have! People with sensitive or acne prone skin tend to skip moisturizers when they are doing makeup but skipping this critical step may leave you plagued with rough and flaky skin which only brings more attention to your breakouts. Instead, when purchasing a moisturizer, look out for labels like “oil-free” or “noncomedogenic”. If you have large open pores, you want to look out for firming lotions which will help shrink your pores like Olay regenerist regenerating serum. If you have dry but sensitive skin, opt for a hydrating moisturizer. Many moisturizers like CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 work for all skin types and for acne-prone skin as well.

Optional: Hudabeauty

advises that you use a facial oil to lock in all the products you have applied. Several makeup artists insist that Facial oil can help foundation apply more smoothly. However, Carmindy, the western celebrity makeup artist from What Not to Wear, advices not to use face oil before makeup as your complexion can get really slippery and your foundation won’t ever really dry down, and even if it does, it won’t dry evenly, which results in your foundation melting. This can happen if you have a very oily skin and if you don’t give the product time to settle or dry it down with a fan. Generally though, if you want to achieve a dewy youthful finish, @dorannebeauty says facial oil or an extra layer of moisturizer is a must.

Step 4: Hydrate your lips
Lipstick never applies well on dry chapped lips. If your lips are particularly dry and scaly, you can use a lip scrub or just mix sugar, lemon and honey and use it scrub your lips to exfoliate dead skin cell build on your lips. You should do this when you’re cleansing. If your lips are already smooth, just dap on some lip balm not gloss o.

Step 5: Apply face primer.

This is mostly a makeup artist product and it shouldn’t be. Every woman should have a face primer in her makeup bag. Primers create a smooth base for your makeup application and helps your makeup last long. If you have an oil skin, use mattifying or oil control primers like becca primer or ponds oil control to stop your makeup for shinning a few hours later. When applying, focus on the areas that get oily the most, like your nose, chin, and forehead. If you have dry or combination skin, you can use silicon-based primers like smash box photo-finish or soft matte primers like fentybeauy instant retouch primer.

After primer, you are ready to do the rest of your makeup. If you have booked a makeup artist, you want to let your artist know on arrival what skin care routine you have just indulged in. Most artists may assume that the client has done nothing and start from step 1 again! Remember that your skin is your biggest organ and has to be taken care of according to your skin type, before and after makeup, and always. Learn more on the best skin care routine for sensitive skin.

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