What Is The ACTUAL Correct Order To Apply Makeup?

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There are many areas of life where "less is more"...and generally speaking, makeup isn't one of them. Every little facet of our routine requires a special technique to help achieve that flawless look we all seek. What does this add up to? A very full bag of makeup products with no indication of which order to use them in.

Most of the time, we come to our own conclusions about what products go on first, often failing to understand the impact it can have on our skin. That being said: is there an ACTUAL correct order to apply makeup? Yes! We asked the experts to break it down to a science for us so you don't have to wonder anymore.

1. Moisturizer

Don’t even think about putting on any makeup without washing your face and applying moisturizer. No exceptions. The last thing you want is dry, flaky looking skin because your skin is lacking in hydration.

2. Sunscreen

If you want to keep your skin looking youthful as long as is humanly possible, always always always wear your sunscreen. If you feel like it’s too heavy for your skin, try to find a moisturizer or foundation with SPF in the formula to begin with.

3. Primer

As you know, primer is intended to keep your makeup looking flawless for as long as possible. Not everyone needs to use it (especially not if you’re prone to bad breakouts - it can make it much worse), but putting this stuff on before your makeup is a no brainer.

4. BB Cream/Tinted Moisturizer/Foundation

Next, apply your BB cream, tinted moisturizer, or foundation. If you’ve already applied your primer, your skin should be looking incredibly smooth.

5. Concealer

Oftentimes, people get steps 4 and 5 mixed up. Generally speaking, it’s best to apply foundation first and concealer second to cover up your spots as much as possible so it doesn’t look quite caked on.

6. Powder

You have two options here: a lot of MUA's prefer doing steps 9 and 10 prior to adding powder in case there is any rogue eye shadow left around the lid that needs touching up. Both ways work here, depending on your preference and use of eye shadow. 

7. Bronzer

Bronzer acts as a guideline on where to apply blush and highlighter. If you feel like you've applied it too strongly, you can always use your powder brush to blend it out and minimize any areas that were hit too hard.

8. Blush

Next, add your blush in accordance with your outlined bronzer. Different face shapes are often complemented by different placements of your blush, so don't be afraid to mess around to see what works best for you.


9. Highlighter

Add some brightness to balance out your contouring with good old fashioned highlighter. Again, make sure your powder has already been applied by the time you get to this step!

8. Brows

Depending on your brow preferences, you can either outline your brows with a pencil and fill them in for a more refined look, or fluff them up a bit with a designated toothbrush if you like them looking more bushy and natural.

9. Eyelid Primer

Ever heard of eyelid primer? It’s something you may want to invest in if your shadow is notorious for going AWOL on you on the regular. Well worth it, in our opinion.

10. Eye Shadow and Liner

Note: this does NOT include mascara. Do your darndest to keep your shadow where it needs to go! And depending on the look you're going for, you can either apply eyeliner before or after you're done with shadow.

11. Setting Spray

Setting spray is used to further ensure that everything stays in place, as well as give your skin a little extra hydration. For an extra dewy look, apply once, wait until dry, and apply again.

12. Mascara

Make those peepers pop - and make sure to wait well after you've used your setting spray so there's no moisture on your lashes.

13. Lips

Last but not least - seal it with a kiss. The right order here, should you choose to use these tools, is: lip liner, then lipstick, THEN gloss. Pucker up!

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Posted by Sadie Upwall

Project Manager and Editor for the best little beauty business in town.

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