prep, prime {& set}

A lot of girls miss this essential first step in their beauty routine not realizing that it is one of the most important steps and should never be skipped. Preparing the face for makeup is just as essential to your look as your foundation or blush. Skipping this step can leave your skin looking flawed and cause your makeup to wear off quickly. Here’s how you prepare your skin for your makeup application:

Start out with a freshly washed face. I like to avoid face washes with those little rocks in them: they can break your capillaries and really hurt the skin. If you like an exfoliating wash, try one with the spherical balls instead that roll around the face rather than scratch it.

Next, you’ll want to moisturize. This is a product definitely worth investing in, especially if you have sensitive skin. If you’re on a budget, there is no shame in asking for samples of high end products. Try a few different ones until you land on one that makes your skin happy. You’ll want your moisturizer to soak into your skin for several minutes. I like to do my hair while I let the moisturizer set. If you apply your makeup too soon after moisturizing, your makeup will not last very long and will sometimes streak. Give yourself a little extra time and avoid touch ups later.

Primer is one of the most important tools in your beauty routine, yet I find that so many people haven’t even heard of it, let alone use it. Think of is as the base coat of your manicure. Primer creates a barrier between your skin and your makeup for a long-lasting look. Some primers also act as pore perfecters or color correctors.

Finally, after applying all of your makeup, you’ll want to set it. This is the top coat of your manicure. Laura Mercier makes a great loose setting powder that leaves the skin feeling really soft and flawless, and also soaks up any unwanted oils. You could also try Urban Decay’s All Nighter setting spray. To avoid caking, finish off your look with beauty essential: Mac Fix +.

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