How to Prep the Face for Makeup

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Just as artists prepare their canvases before attempting their next masterpiece, we need to prep our canvases – our faces. Here’s how.

The key to flawless makeup is skin that looks and feels its best, and in order to achieve that perfection a 3-step process should be done twice daily.

1. Wash the face (and not with bar soap!). Doing this will remove any dirt and oil that has accumulated on the surface of the skin.

2. Tone the face using a face toner, which is a very mild exfoliant. When used on a freshly washed face, toner gets the dirt and oil that your face wash missed.

3. Moisturize. The reason we have this crucial step is to hydrate the skin, promoting elasticity for a healthy, young-looking face. Try to use a moisturizer with a minimum SPF of 15 in order to avoid the harmful effects of the sun.

We’re not quite done there yet. Exfoliating the skin once per week is also a great habit because it gives the skin a chance to really breathe by removing all of the dead cells. You will notice a much fresher face if you keep this step up.

Now that we are clean and hydrated, we are ready to play. About ten minutes after you apply moisturizer, it’s time for primer (the perfect amount of time to get dressed and fix your hair, for those who are thinking ten minutes is an eternity to wait for moisturizer to be absorbed by the skin). Whether doing a full face or not, always start with a makeup primer. The purpose of this is to allow any makeup you apply to stay on longer and looking fresher. There are also different primers for specific areas of the face (eyelids for shadow, under eyes for concealer, and lips for… lip products!).

To apply face primer, I like to use a foundation brush since it allows me to ensure smooth and even coverage. If the primer you’re using comes in a pump, as many do, one pump will be enough for the whole face. If you’re using a product out of a squeeze tube, you want to use about a nickel sized squirt, and either dip your brush into the product or if you’re using your fingers, apply as you would a moisturizer – in circles, against gravity, making sure the product is even and fully absorbed.

And now… let’s get some base makeup on our faces!

Natasha Kohli