How to Apply Makeup in the Correct Order (Because There Is a Right Way!)

June 12, 2020
By: Tembe Denton-Hurst | by L'Oréal
How to Apply Makeup in the Correct Order (Because There Is a Right Way!)
Is there a right order to apply your makeup in? 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 checklist for how to apply makeup in an orderly fashion.

STEP 1: Prep With Primer


Before anything else, start with primer. This includes primer for your eyes and lips, too. This step is key because it creates a clean, smooth working space for the rest of your makeup and will help following products stay put longer. We recommend Urban Decay Optical Illusion Complexion Primer for all of your base needs because it’s a lightweight formula that gives skin a soft focus effect.

STEP 2: Fill Your Brows


After primer, you want to focus on your eye area. Shape and fill in your eyebrows first — it will help serve as a guide when you're applying eye shadow. If you’re a beginner, try an easy-to-use pencil like NYX Professional Makeup Micro Brow Pencil and create hair-like strokes in the sparse areas of your brows.

STEP 3: Apply Your Eyeshadow


Next, we recommend applying your eyeshadow before the rest of your face in case you experience any fall out. The last thing you want to do is mess up your perfectly contoured face, right? The eyeshadow breakdown goes like this: base  lid shade first, followed by crease color and finally highlighter along your brow bone and on the inner corner of your eyes. For a palette that’ll meet your eyeshadow needs, try a versatile option like Urban Decay Born To Run Eyeshadow Palette, which offers vibrant reds, neutral browns, shimmery blues and every color in between.

STEP 4: Apply Eyeliner

Eyeliner is much easier to apply when your lashes are bare, so do your liner after your shadow but before mascara. If you want to go for a full, bold wing, try an easy-to-use eyeliner like IT Cosmetics Superhero No-Tug Gel Eyeliner, which offers high-intensity pigment and effortless application.

STEP 5: Finish Off the Eyes With Mascara


After you apply, wait a few moments until you move on to the rest of your routine so the mascara dries completely. While the mascara you choose largely depends on the desired final look, we believe the L’Oréal Paris Bambi Mascara will never let you down.

STEP 6: Move onto Foundation


Foundation should always be applied after your eyes because it literally creates a foundation on which the rest of your makeup will live. If full-on foundation seems a bit heavy for your day-to-day routine, opt for a BB or CC cream. We love the cult-favorite IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream, which offers ample yet lightweight coverage and a host of skin benefits too.

STEP 7: Conceal Your Under Eyes

Next, apply concealer under your eyes and over any blemishes. Foundation does a good job of covering up, but concealer can target any stubborn imperfections and make them nearly non-existent. For a full-coverage option, try Maybelline New York Super Stay Concealer, a buildable formula that has a real-skin finish.

STEP 8: Add Dimension to Your Face With Contour or Bronzer 

Whether you choose to do a full-on contour or just warm up the skin, adding some color back into your complexion can help create definition. To do this, apply a contour or bronzer product on the areas of your face where you want to create shadows. Common areas include the cheeks, jaw, nose and forehead. We recommend using a versatile palette like NYX Professional Makeup Highlight and Contour Palette.

STEP 9: Make Your Cheeks Rosy with Blush


There are lots of ways to apply blush but two things are key: blending and choosing right blush. If you can’t make up your mind, try a product with lots of shade options like Juvia’s Place The Saharan Vol. II Palette, so you can mix and match to find the perfect shade for you.

STEP 10: Apply Highlighter

Highlighter is the final step to your face makeup. Apply it to your cheekbones and the bridge of your nose and anywhere else natural light would touch and reflect. The kind of highlighter you reach for is really up to you. Try a liquid formula, like the NYX Professional California Beamin’ Face and Body Liquid Highlighter, for dewy, natural finish or something with lots of shimmer, like the Maybelline New Your Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter, for a bold finish.

STEP 11: Add Your Favorite Lipstick


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. To make sure it locks in place all day, don't forget the lip liner.

STEP 12: Spritz on the Finishing Touch 


Finally, the last step! Spritz on a setting spray, like the Maybelline New York Finishing Glass Spray, all over your face to help your makeup last all day.

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