Molly Nover-Baker Feb 8, 2017

 Is there a right order when it comes to applying makeup? This may be one of the oldest questions in the beauty book. The topic is much debated, even among professional makeup artists. And while there's no hard and fast rule when it comes to your beauty routine — different things work for different people — there are some general guidelines. So, to help you with the sequence of events, we've come up with an easy-to-follow makeup checklist.


First things first. Before anything else, start with primer. This includes primer for your eyes and lips (although concealer can be used for those, if you don’t have specific products). This step is key because it creates a clean, smooth working space for the rest of your makeup and will help product stay put longer.


Step 2: Brows

After primer, you want to focus on your eye area. Shape and fill in your eyebrows first, as a well-defined arch will help serve as a guide when you're applying eye shadow. If you need some help in the brow department, take a look at a few of our fave tutorials:

Why You Should Also Be Contouring Your Eyebrows

The Secret Trick to Full Brows

Brows 101: Everything You Need to Know About Brow Products

Try: NYX Eyebrow Powder Pencil, Maybelline New York Brow Precise Perfecting Highlighter

Step 3: Shadow

Eye shadow should be done before the rest of your face in case any spills occur and you need to do a little clean up. The last thing you want to do is mess up your perfectly contoured face, right? The eye shadow breakdown goes like this: lid shade first, followed by crease color, then swipe a little highlighter along your brow bone. Here’s a little eye shadow inspo to play with:

The Best Eye Makeup Tutorials

How to Use an Eye Shadow Palette (Like an Adult)

Color Theory: The Best Eye Shadow Combos

Try: NYX Perfect Filter Shadow Palette, Maybelline New York The 24Karat Nudes Palette


Step 4: Liner

Eyeliner is much easier to apply when your lashes are bare, so do your liner after your shadow but before mascara.

Try: NYX Faux Blacks, L’Oréal Paris Infallible Paints Liquid Eyeliner


Step 5: Mascara

The last step in doing your eyes is mascara. After you apply, wait a few moments until you move on to the rest of your routine so the mascara can dry completely.

Try: Maybelline New York The Colossal Spider Effect, YSL Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils THE SHOCK


Step 6: Foundation

Now onto your face makeup. Foundation should always come first because it literally creates a foundation on which the rest of your makeup will live. If full-on foundation is a bit heavy for your day-to-day routine, opt for a BB or CC cream.

Try: Giorgio Armani Power Fabric, Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Makeup Stick, L’Oréal Infallible Total Cover Foundation

Step 7: Concealer

Next, apply concealer under your eyes and over any blemishes. Foundation does a good job of covering up, but concealer will get in there and make the any stubborn imperfections non-existent.

Try: Dermablend Smooth Liquid Camo Concealer, L’Oréal Paris Infallible Total Cover Concealer Kits, Maybelline New York Dream Brightening Creamy Concealer

Step 8: Bronzer

Whether you're using bronzer to contour or to just get a bit of glow, make sure it comes before blush. Dust bronzer along your forehead, down your nose, over your cheekbones and chin.

Try: YSL Les Sahariennes Bronzing Stones, The Body Shop Honey Baked to Last Bronzer

Step 9: Blush

If using your blush after your bronzer then dust it overtop of the exact same areas. If you’re using blush solo (minus the bronzer) then dust over the apples of your cheeks and sweep it back to your hairline.


Step 11: Lip liner

Depending on the other lip product you plan on using, lip liner will either come first or second. If you’re using a gloss or lacquer, apply liner first so the gloss adheres to it. If going for a lipstick, apply liner second to help define and perfect the edges and shape of your lips.

Try: Maybelline New York Color Sensational Shaping Lip Liner, NYX Slide On Lip Pencil


Step 12: Lipstick, gloss or stain

Lipstick or gloss should be one of the very last steps, as you don't want it to smudge while trying to do the rest of your makeup.

Try: Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro, YSL Volupté Tint-In-Balm



About the Author:Molly Nover-Baker is a freelance beauty expert, writer, television personality and consultant.

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