When I was first experimenting with makeup, I had so many questions. Where does everything go? Does foundation or concealer go first? What do I highlight and what needs contoured?
I would have loved to have a "step by step" guide to walk me through the "Order of Operations" of makeup and skincare, and what their intended functions were.
First, I think it goes without saying that you don't need go through each of these steps every day. But if you do incorporate these products into your routine, this guide can be your "makeup cheat sheet" to prevent from looking blotchy, cakey, and uneven.
1. Facial Cleanser: remove oils, dirt, and dead skin cells.
2. Toner: (best for oily skin) removes excess oil, dirt, and residue left behind from your cleanser, as well as restores your skin's natural pH levels.
3. Serums/Treatments: these products deeply penetrate the skin and should be applied onto clean skin first because their molecules are much smaller than those of moisturizers.
4. Moisturizer: hydrates the skin and creates a barrier that keeps healthy oils from escaping and free radicals from causing dryness or irritation.
5. Primer: provides a buttery-smooth base and an even surface for makeup to glide over. This will help your makeup blend effortlessly and last longer.
6. Foundation: conceals general redness/discoloration to provide an even base.
7. Concealer: concealer--often a thicker/fuller coverage formula--can be applied to the discolored spots that still remain visible after your foundation is applied. (If applied first, concealer will wear off and/or slide around underneath.)
8. Powder: will "lock" your makeup into place, mattify oily areas, and provide a smooth surface that will help you blend your remaining face products.
9. Bronzer/Contour: since your skin is now one "uniform" color, we want to add dimension & life back into the face. Apply your bronzer lightly along the hairline (where the sun would naturally hit) and just beneath your cheekbones to define your natural bone structure.
10. Blush: for a healthy pop of color, apply onto the apples of the cheeks (just above the bronzer) and blend upwards toward the hairline.
11. Highlight: as its name implies, this product brings light to the high points of the face, or the areas that we want to bring forward. Apply in a "C shape" formation along the orbital bone/top of the cheeks, on the inner corners of the eyes, browbone, and the cupid's bow.
You can apply your lip color in any order you choose, but I tend to apply it last. If desired, finish off your look with a mist of makeup setting spray to ensure all-day wear.