Makeup, start to finish: preparation

Over the year and a half of posting makeup looks weekly, I’ve had several requests for tutorials and more detailed explanations. I think a good makeup is just the icing on the cake, and everything starts with the skin. I will be posting a close up of steps I take, from skin prep to colour correction, to eye makeup, to face makeup.

If you are happy with how your skin looks, then I’ll tell you to keep doing what you’re doing. I know it took me quite a while to figure out what worked for me, and quite a bit of trial and error. Skin loves consistency, not always more products or active ingredients is better, and sometimes improvements take a while to show, so jumping from one treatment to the next in a few weeks might not be the best choice. However, I am *not* a skincare expert, so take what follows as a description of my experience and usage, and not as a guide. Your skin is very likely to be different than mine!

Whenever I can (that is, when I’m not getting ready in between a workshop and a hafla) I like to do a full skin prep before makeup. This consists of cleansing, toning, serums, hydration/moisture, and SPF if the sun is still up and I’ll go outside before it sets, and is a repeat of my morning skincare steps. I like to do this about half an hour before starting the makeup, and after 15 minutes or so, add a new thin layer of eye cream on my undereye area, because this plumps the skin and helps prevent fine lines as the makeup sets.

What do I use? I start with Micellar cleanser with a silicon sonic brush. Follow up with a few products from The Ordinary: their Glycolic toner, Buffet & Matrixyl, Argiriline and Caffeine serum for my eye area, then Q10 from The Inkey List, Simple hydrating cream for the face, and a vit E cream for the undereye area. For SPF right now I’m using Altruist SPF50, although I need to be careful with it as my skin takes a while to absorb it, and too much leaves me with a greasy residue. I also use a foundation or BB cream with SPF if I can, but more on that later when I talk about the rest of the face. I always dispense a few drops of the serums on my hand, warm them up then apply a very thin layer. Same with the creams and SPF. I do not use too much of anything because my skin doesn’t respond well to that, and I always let everything sit and absorb before applying makeup. I never, *ever*, do the “influencer” thing of dripping directly onto my face. I try to never let the glass droppers touch anything at all, as it’s unhygienic.

All of these are steps to get my skin as good as it can be. You will no doubt need a different routine, as your skin needs are going to be personal. They don’t need to cost a ton, I don’t spend a lot of mine, and use mostly products from The Ordinary and The Inkey List, two inexpensive but very good brands that offer a wide variety of products to cover most needs. They require a bit more work to figure out what will work for you, but they give lot of information, and The Ordinary in particular is very good about offering set routines to get you started, if you don’t know where. Paula’s Choice also does have these in test sizes, and their products are great quality, so are good starting points if you are a bit at a loss. Most skincare expert at spas or beauty salons are probably going to be happy to offer you advice and options, so maybe have a chat with them (and compensate them accordingly, their time is valuable!).

Other good practices for skin care don’t require any extra product: drinking enough water, sleeping a decent number of hours, and eating a balanced diet. These should be your first points of approach to improve your skin, no serum will make up externally for what you are not giving your skin internally.

So, you’ve done the skin prep, what’s next? For me, it’s priming and colour correction. I use a hydrating primer on the outer parts of my face, and a pore filling primer along the lines of Maybelline’s Babyskin or Benefit’s The Porefessional; I’ve also heard great things about ELF’s putty primer but I haven’t tried it. What these do is effectively fill in pores and plump them just a touch to add a sort of soft, smoother look. Your primer of choice will depend on your skin situation and preferences: you might want a mattifying one, or a hydrating one. The primers will also help the cosmetics adhere better and remain longer on your face. If you are going to be under strong lights, sweating, or waiting around for a long while, you definitely need to prime!

Next is colour correcting. This aims to tone down or brighten certain areas that are different from the rest of your skin. I have a few broken capillaries on my cheeks and chin, some redness over my eyebrows, and need a bit of brightening in the inner and outer corners of the eyes. The colours I use for correcting are very gently tinted, and I apply them in a very thin layer, then blend with my finger or a damp sponge. The idea is to create as much of an even canvas as you can, so you can then build up better.

Final step is to add some concealer and eyelid primer. I often use the concealer for this too, because it’s there and I keep forgetting to use the primer I’ve got. This I also blend carefully with a damp mini sponge. Watch the video to see the whole process so far!

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