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How to Prep Your Skin for Makeup Application

Here’s to smoother, more skin-like makeup.
April 06, 2022

Foundation makeup is just what it sounds like — it’s the foundation for an even complexion and a base for the rest of your makeup. But the truth is, the proper skin prep might just be even more foundational to a great makeup look than the product itself. 


You may have discovered the foundation of your dreams, but if you’re not preparing your skin for makeup application, the product won’t look as flattering as it could. So, we’re sharing what you need to know about prepping your skin for makeup so that your makeup look is both beautiful and long lasting. We’re breaking it down in five easy to follow steps. 


1. Cleanse Your Skin 

Prepping your skin makeup begins with your skin care routine, and all good skin care routines begin with cleansing. Choose a cleanser that works well with your skin type — we recommend the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof – All Skin Types for dry skin and the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 3.5% Glycolic Acid Cleanser for oily skin. Gently work your cleanser into your skin and pat dry. 


2. Exfoliate to Smooth Skin Texture

Your next move after cleansing should be gentle exfoliation. This step is important because makeup will lay best over smooth skin that’s free of dry patches and flakes. 


We love the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 5% Glycolic Acid Peeling Toner because it’s a lightweight, liquid formula that gently smooths texture and brightens the complexion. It’s also formulated with hyaluronic acid and aloe vera to ensure the skin maintains its moisture. 


3. Apply Moisturizer 

Regardless of your skin type, moisturizing should be a non-negotiable part of prepping your skin for makeup application. Applying a moisturizer is key for ensuring that your foundation and other base products sit on top of your skin nicely and feel comfortable throughout the day. If you have oily skin, moisturizing is still important — so opt for a lightweight product to prevent your skin from getting slick.


If you’re prepping your skin for makeup during the day, be sure to apply SPF on top of your moisturizer, or combine two steps in one with the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Day Lotion SPF 30. This moisturizer also works to address the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and it’s suitable for sensitive skin


For nighttime, the L’Oréal Paris Collagen Moisture Filler Day/Night Cream is great because it’s hydrating enough to keep your skin from feeling dry, but it’s not too thick or heavy so it won’t make your makeup appear greasy.


If you have oily skin, apply a light layer of this moisturizer to your skin concentrating it on your least oily areas. 


4. Exfoliate and Moisturize Your Lips 

No one likes the look or feel of applying lipstick on top of dry, cracked lips. To prep your lips for your lip color, gently exfoliate them with a damp washcloth and then apply a hydrating lip balm on top. 


The L’Oréal Paris Glow Paradise Balm-in-Lipstick with Pomegranate Extract is perfect because it’s a nourishing lipstick and balm hybrid that has the best attributes of both formulas. If you’re short on time, make this your go-to. 


5. Smooth On a Primer That Suits Your Needs

Not all primers are created equal, nor do they have the same functionality. Makeup primers can help create a smooth base for your makeup application as well as aid in extending the wear of your makeup. The key is to select a primer that suits your skin and your needs. 

Best Primer for Oily Skin 

If you have oily skin, you’ll want a product that can keep excess oils at bay, the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Lock Makeup Primer does just that. Focus this mattifying formula in areas that are prone to being oily, like your T-zone.

Best Primer for Oily Skin 

People with dry skin will need primers that add moisture and glow. The L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Glow Lock Makeup Primer leaves your complexion with a radiant glow that lasts all day long. Apply it evenly onto your face using your fingers. 


Another luminous option is the L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer. It can be applied all over the skin as a radiant primer, mixed into foundation to give it some glow or applied on top of foundation for extra radiance. 


Next: Why a Tinted Face Balm Will Be Your New Makeup Staple This Year


Edited by: Alyssa Kaplan, Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn

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