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12 Flawless Makeup Application Tips

After a long Winter hibernation of doing the bare minimum when it comes to beauty, I am finally ready to start putting myself together again. Anyone else? These few warm(ish) days remind me that Spring is almost here! I can already feel the seasonal depression lifting. Even though we are still in a pandemic, things are starting to feel a little more normal. I will admit that after a YEAR of staying home and in quarantine it's almost as if I've forgotten how to do my own makeup. That is an embarrassing confession from a makeup artist with over 17 years of experience. So, I decided to get back to basics and remind myself, and anyone else who needs it, of how to get your makeup to look smooth and stay put all day.

Below you will find all of my tips for the best application techniques. Remember, makeup is subjective! Do what makes YOU feel beautiful, don't worry about the newest trends and products if that isn't for you. Have fun with it!

1. Start with clean, hydrated skin

Well cared for skin is the KEY to flawless makeup. If you have dead dry skin or a layer of oil sitting on your face all that time you just put into your makeup was wasted. Your makeup will cling to whatever is on your skin and flake or slide off. Cleanse and moisturize your skin twice a day and exfoliate once a week. This will help balance your natural oils and prep your skin for makeup application.

2. Use a face primer...sometimes

Primer can be a great product to help your makeup stay in place. However, if the foundation you are using has a silicone/dimethicone base a primer isn't necessary. As long as you are doing your skincare routine listed in #1 your skin is already primed and good to go! I usually save a face primer for powder foundations, this gives them something a little stronger to stick to.

*Pro Tip: If you are oily, apply your moisturizer and then lightly dust a translucent setting powder on entire face. Next, apply your foundation. This creates a great barrier to keep oil from seeping through to your makeup and breaking it down.

3. Apply eye makeup before foundation

Doing your makeup in this order will prevent you from having to touch up or fix anything from eyeshadow fallout.

4. Use clean brushes and sponges

Not only are you spreading around dead skin and bacteria by using dirty tools but your makeup won't look nearly as polished. You don't want to set yourself up for a breakout, that just defeats all that work you put into your skincare routine. Let your tools do the work for you, they are made for it after all. Clean your brushes after each use with a daily brush cleaner and wash them once a week in a brush shampoo to keep them working for you for years and years.

5. Use the correct brushes

Speaking of brushes and tools it's important to use what's best for your routine and skin. Did you know that natural (animal) brush hairs can carry oils? These sometimes aren't the best option for oily skin and oily eyelids. Synthetic brushes are easy to clean but can sometimes be stiff. Sponges are a great option for dry skin, you can pat makeup on instead of brushing and stirring up dead skin. Do some research and invest in your tools. Let your brushes work for you, that's what they're for after all!

6. Creams before powders

Aside from the tip I mentioned in #2 it is important to apply creams and liquids before powders. Working in this order will keep your makeup from getting "muddy" and ensure that everything lasts all day.

7. Use a lash primer

This is not a must have but it's definitely one of my favorite tricks. A lash primer will double the appearance of the length and thickness of your lashes immediately. It also prevents your mascara from clumping and flaking. Most formulas also condition the lashes. It is definitely a great hero product to have in your arsenal.

8. Use a lip scrub

Use a sugar based lip scrub every day to keep your lips smooth (I just keep mine in the shower). This will also allow products like balms to penetrate deeper and allow your lipstick to last even longer.

9. Set lipstick

While we're on the subject of lips, set your lipstick. The best way to make sure your favorite lipstick lasts is to apply, blot with tissue, apply again, dust a very small amount of translucent powder over. Voila! Longwear lipstick.

10. Enhance your favorite features

Ignore beauty trends and enhance what makes you feel and look your best.

11. Set your makeup

Use a setting spray to keep your makeup water proof and sweat proof. Setting powders should be used very sparingly and only where needed. this will keep you looking fresh and dewy and avoid the dreaded cake face.

12. Use products that are suitable for your skin type

If you are dry you will want to avoid using products labeled as "Mattifying" or "Oil Absorbing." If you have oily skin you will want to stay away from items that say "Dewy" or "Glowing" finish. Do your research on ingredients and learn what is best for your skin type.

I hope this post helps you achieve an amazing makeup application. If you are unsure of your skin type see my blog post on "How to Determine Your Skin Type." You can also view my Instagram post on how to read product labels here. Happy Make-up-ing!


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