Prepping Your Skin Before Applying Makeup Is Vital - Here's How To Do It Right

As warmer temperatures approach and our collective desire to be out and about is slowly thawing, it's time to brush off the dust on the foundation that matches your tan and get ready to be outside all summer long. Whether you're having picnics in the park or partying for hours on end, long-lasting makeup is probably high on your priority of needs.


Although the bitter winter cold can be more forgiving towards dewy tinted moisturizers and lightweight concealers, heat hath no mercy on a base set with setting spray alone. While you definitely don't have to pack on the products to make your makeup last through a humid day, swiping on the skin tint and running out the door is not going to cut it this time around.

The secret to the perfect base that lasts through the sweat and heat? It starts before you even apply your makeup. Prepping your skin with the right skincare and products will help lay the foundation for a look that stays all day.

Start out with a clean base

Before you do anything, giving your makeup a fresh foundation to work on will help everything stay intact. The deciding factor for whether you should opt for a cleanser or face wash is your skin type. If you have dry or sensitive skin, use a gentle cleanser like the Hyper Gentle Brightening Gel Cleanser. It contains mandelic acid, which will clean out pores then smooth away any appearance of them.


If you fear that oily skin will make your makeup greasy, prep with something simple, yet effective, such as La Roche-Posay's Toleriane Purifying Face Wash.

Exfoliate, then hydrate

This is an additional step that isn't completely necessary, but it will definitely help reduce texture irregularities before you apply makeup. Exfoliating beforehand can remove dead skin cell buildup that will get in the way of a smooth base. The Paula's Choice UnScrub Gentle Cleansing Scrub is a great physical exfoliator.


Using a gentle chemical exfoliant like lactic acid or fruit enzymes is also a good choice if physical scrubs aren't your thing. After sloughing away old skin, refresh the new skin cells that have emerged with a hydrating serum, such as The Ordinary's hyaluronic acid serum.

Serums and toners bring the glow

If you're extra, use more skincare products to really up the "glow from within" ante. When you use skincare products for radiant skin, the more naturally radiant your skin will look. Find serums and toners with ingredients like Vitamin C or squalane that will brighten the skin. The Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops is known to be a popular pre-makeup step, delivering a reflective glow that competes with your highlighter.


For extra hydration, spritz on the Biossance Squalane + Hyaluronic Toning Mist. With both a hydrator and a humectant, your skin will stay moisturized even in the driest heat.

Don't forget SPF

After you apply all your serums and toners, go in with your daily moisturizer. If you've spent time ensuring that your skin is hydrated, there's no need to pile it on. To not sweat through makeup or have your face feel heavy, you can go with a gel moisturizer instead of cream.


Once that's on, apply your SPF. Even if you skimp a bit on moisturizer, still aim to abide by the two-finger rule. For something that feels lightweight, use a stick sunscreen, like the Shiseido Clear Sunscreen Stick SPF 50+.

It's prime time

Once you've waited for your moisturizer and sunscreen to sink in, it's time for one of the most important steps before makeup. Regardless of its purpose, at its core, your primer creates a smooth, even base for your foundation. For makeup that will stick to your face and not budge, try the Milk Hydro Grip Primer or its dupe, the elf Power Grip Primer. For extra oily skin protection, apply a translucent powder after moisturizer. Spritz on a setting spray and then finish off with your primer.