How to Prepare Your Skin Before Applying the Makeup

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All of those YouTube tutorials and Instagram video guides can make getting a perfect makeup look seem to be a piece of cake. But the reality when it comes down to actually nailing your makeup is quite in contrast to that. You might be tired of your makeup looking cakey, unblended and unnatural despite your best efforts. If you have already tried using various types of foundation, blush, setting powder and none of them is able to satisfy you, then maybe the problem doesn’t lie in your makeup, but your base.

And contrary to popular belief, primer is not the only step involved in preparing your skin for makeup application. If you pile on layers on makeup on the primer without the other step of preparing your skin to hold it first, then your makeup will naturally tend to look patchy, uneven, and will lack a flawless finish. Keep on reading to find the perfect step by step guide that will help you to prepare your skin before you start applying makeup so that it looks perfect all day.

Prepare Your Skin Before Applying the Makeup

Step 1: Thoroughly cleanse your skin


The first and extremely important step when it comes to preparing your skin to apply makeup is cleansing it thoroughly. Your face might have a lot of dust and other impurities on it, which can interfere with the application of the makeup products you choose to put on it. It might even cause acne and pimples to break out on your skin at later stages.


Use lukewarm water so that you can remove all the dust and get a smooth and even surface for application. You should always wash your face with a cleanser that suits your skin type and is very gentle on your skin, especially if you have very sensitive skin. Make sure that your cleanser does not adversely affect the pH level of your skin. If you have skin that is prone to acne, you should go for a slightly acidic cleanser that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide so that you can fight the acne effectively. People with skin that tends to be dry and dehydrated should go for creamy cleansers which can restore the moisture to the face while simultaneously washing the dirt away. Foam or gel-based cleanser can be used by persons who have oily skin.

Make sure not to rub your face with the towel to dry it and instead, just gently pat it with a soft towel to absorb the moisture. You can even use micellar water for cleaning your skin instead. Just take a little bit of the product on a cotton pad and gently wipe it across your face until your skin becomes clean.

Step 2: Exfoliate to avoid a cakey look


A primary reason why your foundation ends up looking cakey and ruins your look might be because you have not exfoliated the skin on your face in a while. This means that even if you apply a good quality foundation, it will not sit well on your skin because of the unevenness caused by the layer of dead skin underneath.

More layers of makeup will only end up looking cakier on your face. Exfoliating these dead skin cells will make your skin smooth and reveal the newer brighter layers of skin inside, making your skin look even more radiant.


For exfoliating your skin, you can use any scrub which contains small granules, that will remove the dead skin cells on your face and neck when rubbed against it. You can even make your own scrub with natural ingredients by mixing a little bit of sugar in some honey. However, always make sure that you are very gentle because over-exfoliation might tear at your skin and damage and completely dehydrate it too. Remember that this step is only necessary if your skin feels a bit dull or rough and only needs to be repeated once or twice in a week. Reddish, irritated skin might be a sign that you are exfoliating your skin more often than is necessary.

Step 3: Tone down your skin to tame your pores


Toner is the very last step of the cleansing routine. It will be able to remove all of the smaller particles that your cleanser or scrub might have missed. It also hydrates your skin, soothing it after the intense cleaning process that it went through. Toner is a very significant part of your preparation routine since it closes the pores on your face, and this will immediately make your makeup look much more natural and flawless. It will prevent acne or pimples later because the products will not end up clogging your pores.


All you need to do is squirt a little bit of the toner on a cotton pad and wipe your face with it. Make sure that you do not apply any pressure while doing so as there is no need to rub the toner into the skin. It will naturally permeate into the skin. Stay clear from alcohol-based toners as they tend to dry the skin out. If you already have very dry skin, you can choose to use a serum instead of a toner.

A serum will additionally moisturize your skin and nourish it with various vitamins and other nutrients. Wait for the toner to completely dry before you move on to the next step in your routine.

Step 4: Moisturizing is the key


Moisturizer will hydrate your skin and make sure that the layers of makeup that you apply on top of it do not dry your skin out. Additionally, it acts as a great base and ensures that the layers of foundation on your face are perfectly stable and have a natural look. Whether you have oily or dry skin, this is an important step that you should not skip while preparing your face for applying makeup.


You should choose a moisturizer that suits your skin type and will keep your skin hydrated all day. An oily moisturizer is a strict no because it will only make your skin more slippery and the products you apply on it will have a tendency to smudge. Also, make sure that the moisturizer has an SPF not less than fifteen so that it can protect your skin against the harmful UV rays of the sun. If you have dry skin, you can choose a moisturizer that is quite thick, and this can help you get a dewy, fresh makeup look. Choose a moisturizer that is free form oil if your oily skin or skin that is prone to acne. Do not rub or massage the moisturizer onto your face. It is a better idea to press it into the skin by patting it gently so that it can seep inside and lock in the moisture of the skin cells. This will also stimulate blood circulation and give you a rosy glow.

Make sure not to use a lot of the products or your pores will get clogged and you might end up with acne later. And remember that the skin on your neck needs that moisturizing just as much as the skin on your face does!

Step 5: Not using a primer is a sin


The primer will form a protective barrier between the moisturizer and the makeup that you apply on your face. It will prevent the oil on your face from causing the makeup to slip off or become an unsightly, greasy mess. It will help your makeup look more even and last throughout the day. It will also fill up any lines on your skin so that there are no creases when you layer your makeup on top of it. There are many types of primer available, so make sure to choose one that is suitable for your needs as well as your skin type.


Primers with silicone work well as they form a protective barrier and also fill the gaps in the skin on your neck and face to even it out and prevent creasing. If your skin has a reddish appearance due to acne or some other skin condition, primer with a slight green tint will help you cancel out the pigment so that your makeup looks better. If you have skin that tends to be oily, you should choose a matte primer which will help you attain a shiny look and prevent excess oil buildup. Make sure to target the areas on your face that tend to be more oily. You can choose to only prime the necessary parts of your face or all of it, depending on your need. Just take a little product on your fingers and gently massage it into the skin.

Even if you skip foundation for a more simple look, you should still prime your skin so that your makeup reflects a more finished look.

Now that you have completed all the steps, your skin is ready for applying makeup just as you usually do. If you incorporate all of these steps into your regular makeup routine, your makeup will look much more polished and will last longer. It will also prevent your skin from experiencing any unnecessary skin problems.

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