Should You Apply Cream Or Powder Makeup Products First?

Online, there seem to be hundreds of rules and tips for makeup. Everything from eyeliner hacks to highlighting techniques fill our timelines on apps like Instagram and TikTok. Need a tutorial for a bold look? It's there. Looking for something more minimalistic? You've got options. Need to know if powder or liquid foundation is better for your skin type? There's advice.

When it comes to makeup application, there's no shortage of content either, but distinguishing fiction from fact can be confusing and require lots of trial and error. Besides, something that works seamlessly for one person's skin doesn't mean that it'll work the same way for you. Understanding your skin type can help make navigating makeup a little bit easier.

In addition to knowing your skin type, keeping basic makeup tips in mind will also help improve your look. Some common problems include makeup pilling, breaking, but there are steps you can take to prevent this. "In reality, there are only so many products you can successfully put on — and they must be applied with a strategy that's not 'more is better'," makeup artist and global educator for Jane Iredale Cosmetics, Shawn Towne, told Well+Good.

Traditional methods and potential hacks

One crucial tip to prevent caking, pilling, and breaking makeup is to apply cream and liquid products before powder. Makeup artist for Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, Sabena Collier, called this the golden rule of makeup. "Always apply your powder last and focus on the T-zone to avoid looking dry and flat," she told Byrdie.

With that being said, there is a TikTok trend rebelling against the "golden rule" suggesting that you apply powder before liquid. This method, they say, is particularly good for those with oily skin. It's supposed to give the skin a matte finish and last longer than when you apply liquid before powder makeup. The thought behind applying in this order states that the powder will fill pores, giving your skin a smoother look. "This is something that I do frequently because I have oily combination skin. This is also a great oil-controlling technique," makeup artist and YouTuber Jackie Aina said on her channel.

Additional tips to elevate your makeup look

Figuring out what works for your skin is key. What works well for some may not work for you and vice versa. You can stick to the tried and tested liquid before powder, or you can break from the conventional rules and test out powder before liquid. Regardless of which foundation application technique you use for fuller coverage, starting off with a clean, moisturized face is vital. Applying primer, while not necessary, is also helpful. "[Makeup can separate when] the skin is not properly prepped with a moisturizer and primer that works for the specific skin type," Collier told Byrdie.

Another tip that can help elevate your look is simply taking your time when you apply your makeup. "Rushing your skincare application can mean wiping off one product when you apply the next," founder of skincare brand Dr. Sam's, Dr. Sam Bunting, told Get the Gloss. "You lose some of the benefit and it can make a mess when you try to apply makeup as it won't adhere well to skin."