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How to prep your skin for makeup application

  • 4 min read

Looking in the mirror only to see that your carefully applied makeup has smudged, faded, or needs a touch up is a disappointment many of us have experienced. It’s a moment you can avoid by learning how to prep your skin for makeup with the best products and techniques.

We know how frustrating it is to discover your foundation and concealer have melted away. Preparing your skin before applying makeup is the only sure-fire way to ensure your carefully applied cosmetics stay in place. It’s worth taking a little additional time and effort for the longer lasting effects you’ll get.

Factors such as humidity, rain and the skin’s natural oils can all affect how long your makeup will last. If you want to know how to prep skin for makeup, continue reading and discover how to prepare skin for a flawless makeup application that won’t fade. We’ll have you looking and feeling your finest all day!

Apply makeup to freshly cleansed skin

To get the most from your makeup application, you need to ensure your skin is clean. It’s about creating a blank canvas that’s ready to hold makeup. Always wash your face with a gentle cleanser that is suited to your skin type as a first step before applying any makeup.

After cleansing, rinse with warm water to remove all traces of the cleanser and pat dry with a soft towel – don’t rub as this can cause redness. You’ve now got a good basis from which to continue your preparation routine.

Use a gentle exfoliator

Cakey makeup doesn’t look good in any situation. To avoid a cracked-looking complexion you need to buff away the dead skin cells that will cause your makeup to look flaky. 

Using an exfoliating face scrub will give your makeup a smooth, solid base to grip onto. We recommend exfoliating your skin three times a week to remove excess dead skin cells and keep your skin smooth and prepped for your makeup application. It also helps to give you a bright and vibrant complexion which makes your makeup pop, rather than simply cover up the dullness.

Try our range of UpCircle Coffee Face Scrubs, with formulas designed for dry skin, acne-prone skin, and sensitive skin to gently slough off dead skin cells, creating a flake-free base for your makeup application.

Don’t forget to tone your skin

Toner is an important step in your skincare routine before applying makeup, since it refreshes the skin and shrinks pores. A toner also helps to remove any last traces of cleanser and trap moisture for a smoother complexion, acting as a base for better-looking makeup.

Revive tired eyes

Concealer is your best friend when it comes to covering up dark circles and puffiness around the eye area. But eye cream is another essential component of your pre-makeup skin preparation that can revive tired eyes.

Before you get busy with the cream, cool your dark circles with a cold flannel or even a tea bag. This will cause the blood vessels to shrink, reducing puffiness and making the dark circles appear brighter.

A cooling eye cream will help to reduce the appearance of dark circles and soothe the delicate skin around your eyes. Apply gently with your ring finger and avoid dragging the skin. For an added eye-refreshing boost, pop a slice of cucumber over each eye then lie back and relax for a few minutes – bliss!

Eye cream should be used after cleansing and exfoliating as the first step of your pre-makeup moisturising routine. Choose a cream with hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture. For an added boost, look for one with caffeine listed in the ingredients to minimise dark circles.

Apply a light moisturiser

Choose a light moisturiser that absorbs into the skin and offers all-day hydration. Even if you have oily skin and feel that adding a moisturiser will cause your makeup to slide off – don’t neglect this important step. Oily skin still needs moisture!

Pat the moisturiser into your skin gently and allow the product to fully absorb before moving on to the final steps of your makeup skin preparation.

Always remember to protect your skin from the sun. Opt for a hydrating sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 25 for your face, to add a layer of protection against harmful UV rays all year round. Even if you’re applying makeup, you need to take care to protect your skin from the sun’s rays.

Prime your skin for a flawless finish

Before you reach for the foundation and mascara, apply a thin layer of makeup primer to fill in any enlarged pores, even out any small blemishes and create an ‘anchor’ to hold your makeup in place. It’s the way to ensure everything else looks great and stays put.

Select a primer that suits your skin type. If you have redness or rosacea, you can opt for a colour correcting primer. Or if you have large or open pores, opt for a thicker primer to reduce their appearance.

Now you’re ready for your makeup!

Taking the extra time to prepare your skin for makeup ensures that it goes on smoothly and stays put from morning to night without the need for retouching.

By following our simple skin prep for makeup routine, you’ll be amazed at how flawless your foundation looks, and how long your eye makeup will last without smudging or fading.

Shop our UpCircle range of skincare products to help you to master the perfect pre-makeup skincare routine and discover what a world of difference a good base makes when applying your makeup.