makeup looks How to Apply Makeup: A Step-By-Step Guide

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February 04, 2022
How To Apply Makeup

When it comes to applying makeup like a pro, there isn’t one concrete way to do it 一 but there is a general order of application which will make things more cohesive. And if you’re struggling to find a method that works for you, or you’re wondering how you can level up your makeup game, you’ve come to the right place. To help you nail down a solid makeup routine, we’ve created a step-by-step guide you can use to learn how to apply face, eye, and lip makeup. Plus, we’re sharing our best application techniques and product recommendations for foundations, mascaras and more. 

How to Prep Your Face For Makeup

Before applying makeup, it’s important to prep your skin to create an even base. So, be sure to complete your skin care routine before diving into makeup. Check out our three tips below for a quick and easy skin care prep routine. 

Step 1. Cleanse Your Skin 

Applying makeup on top of clean skin is a must. Reach for a facial cleanser, like the L'Oréal Paris Revitalift Bright Reveal Daily Scrub Cleanser, formulated with gentle micro-pearls and glycolic acid to help exfoliate and reveal brighter, smoother skin.

Step 2. Moisturize 

A gorgeous complexion starts with hydration. Applying foundation on top of dry or flaky skin will detract from a smooth base. If you’re going to be wearing makeup during the day, it’s also essential to protect your skin from the sun by wearing SPF. Combine moisturizer and SPF in one with the L'Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Day Lotion SPF 30. It hydrates the skin and protects from sun damage while also addressing fine lines and wrinkles. 

Step 3. Apply Primer 

Face primers are great for combating specific concerns to create a more even base for makeup. If you have dry skin, go for a luminous primer, like the L'Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer, which adds glow to the skin without feeling heavy. If you tend to get oily throughout the day, try the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Matte Lock Makeup Primer which mattifies the skin while creating a blurred effect. 

How to Apply Face Makeup

Once your skin is cleansed, moisturized and prepped, it’s time for the complexion products. Keep reading to see the best order of application. 

Step 1. Apply Foundation

Foundation is among the few makeup essentials that you don’t want others to see, meaning it’s supposed to look just like your skin but better. So be sure to choose a formula that suits your specific needs. For example, if you have oily skin, you may want to consider using a matte foundation, like the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24H Fresh Wear in a Powder. Its breathable and weightless formula completely evens out your skin tone while staying put for up to 24 hours. Plus, it’s waterproof and sweatproof, so you won’t have to worry about touch-ups throughout the day. 

If you have dry skin, consider using a liquid foundation, like the L'Oréal Paris Infallible 24 Hour Fresh Wear Foundation, Lightweight. The thin liquid formula provides buildable, full- coverage and creates an even complexion that doesn’t look cakey. Use a damp makeup blender, like the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender, when applying liquid complexion products to get even and natural-looking coverage. 

Step 2. Apply Concealer Where Needed

Next, apply concealer under your eyes and over any blemishes or areas you want to brighten. Foundation does a great job of evening out the complexion, but concealer can target any stubborn imperfections. For a full-coverage option, try the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Full Wear Concealer Waterproof, Full Coverage, which has a matte finish and a long wearing formula. 

If you’re looking to specifically cover up dark under-eye circles and prefer a more lightweight option, try the L'Oréal Paris True Match Eye Cream in a Concealer, 0.5% hyaluronic acid. This multitasking product provides 24 hour hydration that works to keep the eye area looking fresh and brighter, thanks to its dose of hyaluronic acid

Step 3. Add Definition to the Face 

Now that you’ve created an even base, it’s time to add dimension by bronzing or contouring your skin. For a natural look, apply bronzer just under your cheekbones and around the perimeter of your face with a large, fluffy brush and a bronzer, like the L'Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Bronze It Bronzer. For a more sculpted look, you can contour your cheekbones and nose with a contouring product that’s a few shades deeper than your skin tone. 

Step 4. Add a Pop of Color to Your Cheeks  

Applying blush is a great way to add some color to your complexion and ensure your face doesn’t look one dimensional. Using a fluffy cheek brush, apply your color of choice at the apples of your cheeks and swipe up gently towards your temples to create a lifted look. We love the L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect Radiant Satin Blush with Camellia Oil because the formula is smooth, blendable and luminous without looking glittery.  

Step 5. Top Off the Skin With Some Glow 

Finish off  your skin by adding some radiance to the high points of your cheeks with a highlighter. The L'Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Glow Amour Glow Boosting Drops are great because you can pat them on with your fingertips for a more concentrated look, or you can blend them out with a sponge to make the shimmer appear more understated. 

How to Apply Eye Makeup

Now, it’s time to move on to the eyes — grab your eyebrow pencil, eyeshadow, mascara, and get ready to work!

Step 1: Define Your Eyebrows

If you have sparse brows, sculpt and define your eyebrows using the L'Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Waterproof Eyebrow Mechanical Pencil. Then set the hairs in place with a strong hold brow gel, like the L'Oréal Paris Unbelieva-Brow Longwear Brow Topcoat, Waterproof Universal Transparent, which keeps the hairs tame all day without feeling hard or crunchy. 

Step 2: Apply Eyeshadow 

When opting for a simple eyeshadow look, first apply color onto your lids with your fingers or a flat eyeshadow brush. Then, apply a mid-tone shade to your crease with a fluffy brush and place a dab of highlighter along your brow bone. For a neutral eye makeup look, use the L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche Pocket Palette Eyeshadow in Boudoir Charme 一 it contains four neutral shades in varying depths to create natural definition on the eyes.

Step 3: Line Your Eyes 

It’s easiest to apply eyeliner before mascara and after eyeshadow. For a liner that you can smudge or keep looking sharp, reach for the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Last Waterproof Pencil Eyeliner 一 you can even use this eyeliner on your waterline (this technique is called tightlining) for added definition. 

If you prefer to use liquid eyeliner for an ultra-sharp look, try the L'Oréal Paris Infallible The Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner which has a fine tip for precise application. 

Step 4: Finish With Mascara

Finally, define your lashes with a volumizing mascara, like the L’Oréal Paris Air Volume Mega Mascara Lightweight Mega Volume Washable. It features a cushioned double-bristle brush — the short side catches lashes from the root and the long side helps spread the product evenly for fully blown out lashes. Thanks to its air-whipped formula, your lashes won’t feel weighed down.

If you prefer length over volume, try the L’Oréal Paris Telescopic Original Mascara which separates the lashes and provides extreme length. 

How To Apply Lip Makeup

After you’ve finished your face and eye makeup, show your pout some love by swiping on a lip color. 

Step 1. Line Your Lips With Lip Liner 

Before you apply lipstick, use a lip liner to define your lip shape and help prevent color from bleeding, which happens when your lipstick runs or smudges outside of your lip lines. Using the L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lip Liner in a shade that closely matches your lips or the lipstick color you’ll be using, line the outer edges of your lips following their natural curve.  

Step 2. Apply Lipstick

Next, swipe on your lipstick. With so many different colors and formulas available, the possibilities are nearly endless. If you prefer a pigmented nude shade, go for the L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche Les Nus Intense Nude Lipstick. For a budgeproof, matte formula, you’ll love the L'Oréal Paris Rouge Signature Matte Lip Stain. If you prefer a natural look with a hint of shiny color, the L'Oréal Paris Glow Paradise Balm-in-Lipstick with Pomegranate Extract is perfect for you. 

Step 3. Top Off Your Lips With Lip Gloss

If you’re going for a shiny look, top it off with a nourishing gloss, like the L'Oréal Paris Glow Paradise Lip Balm-in-Gloss Pomegranate Extract. It comes in natural and pink shades that provide a luminous look to the lips while nourishing them thanks to pomegranate extract. 

How to Set Your Makeup Look

After all your work, it’s essential to set your makeup to ensure that it stays in place and lasts throughout the day. Apply a few spritzes of the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Spray and Set Make-Up Oil-Free Setting Spray, formulated to lock your makeup in place and prevent it from settling into lines. 

If you have oily skin or used a liquid complexion product, you can also set it in place with a translucent powder, like the L'Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Sweep & Lock Loose Setting Face Powder. Tap a fluffy face brush into the powder and sweep it onto the areas you want to set. 

Next: 7 Simple Makeup Looks For Everyday Wear

Edited by: Alyssa Kaplan, Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn