Skin Prep Secrets For Long Lasting Makeup & Foundation

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Skin Prepping Techniques Guaranteed To Keep Your Makeup In Place For Longer


When it comes to skin preparation, the very first and most important step that you need to do is to wash the client's face with a pH‑neutral face wash. Even if the client turns up and they swear blind they don't have any makeup on, nine times out of 10 you'll find that they probably at least have a tinted moisturizer on or that they didn't actually wash their face prior to coming to the appointment.  Which just generally means that they're probably going to have some dirt and oils built up on their skin, which is going to impact on the way that your makeup gets applied.

So to play it safe, always wash the client's face first. One of the best products that you can use for this is a pH Neutral water based cleanser such as Cetaphil. Cetaphil is a great face wash, it's a great all-rounder and a must have in your kit.


After you have washed your client's face with Cetaphil or a similar face wash, the best thing to do after that is to use a toner. The toner not only helps smooth out the skin; it also removes those extra impurities and dirt and oil that may not have completely been removed from the face wash.

Primer Vs Moisturiser

Next is a primer or a moisturizer. And here's another insider secret, a lot of people make the mistake of using a primer and then continuing with their usual skin‑care routine and use a moisturizer…….Don’t make this mistake!  Only use one or the other. If you use a primer and then you use a moisturizer on top of it, you've got too many layers of product on the skin, and by the time you put the foundation on, you'll find that the product will just slide off and will only last for an hour or so before it starts to go blotchy.

The only exception to the rule that I have, in terms of using a primer or moisturizer on the face, is on the eyelids. The eyelids actually contain a large amount of oil, comparable to the T‑zone on the face. So I'm sure you've all been in that situation where you've gone to a lot of effort and created an amazing look with your eye shadows, only to find that within an hour or two the pigment has started to lose its intensity, it starts to look dull and goes a little bit blotchy. This is more than likely because the eye area wasn't prepped properly or that there was too much oil still left on the eyelids before the eye shadow was applied.

The best way to avoid this happening is to follow the skin preparation techniques that we've already been through, particularly when it comes to using the toner. Just wiping a slight bit of toner over the eyelids with a cotton bud can dramatically reduce the amount of oil on the eyelid area and really help towards you creating a flawless finish for your eye shadow.

Red and Blue Eyelids....What The?

Another important step when preparing the eyes is to make sure foundation or concealer is always applied to the eyelids. Just a light coverage of it, but nonetheless, you still need to make sure that there is some foundation or concealer over the eyelids.  Looking in the mirror, if you close one of your eyes, you'll notice that the eyelids still contain a little bit of red and blue colouring to it. So if you don't put any foundation on them, and go straight to applying the eye shadow, the underlying tones of the skin will interfere with the colour of the eye shadow, making it appear more dull than it looks in its original packaging.  

After you have washed the face, used a toner, applied a primer or moisturizer (excluding the eye area), you can then go ahead and put a light coverage of foundation over the face where needed. A lot of the time, too much foundation is used on people's faces. There is absolutely no substitute to having beautiful skin. 
So if you've got a younger client, or somebody that has really great complexion try using a light coverage of foundation and allow the client's natural skin tones to shine through.

Once you’ve applied the foundation, the next step is to conceal any blemishes, dark circles under the eyes, pigmentation etc. A lot of people make the mistake of using concealer before your foundation. If you do this, what will happen is, after you've spent all this time using your concealer, covering all of the blemishes etc, you'll go over it with the foundation and you're going to move the concealer off the areas that you were just trying to hide! So make sure you always use concealer after foundation.

Setting Powder/Translucent Powder

Once all these steps have been followed, one of the most important steps before you can move forward is using a translucent powder all over the face. The reason we use a translucent powder, or any sort of a powdered foundation, , is that it sets the liquid foundation which you've just used on the face. If a powder isn't used, then, again, you'll find that you'll just lose a lot of longevity out of the foundation that you've just applied. So this is a very important step of skin preparation and making sure that you can keep the makeup on your client for anywhere up to eight to 12 hours without having to reapply.

Another really good tip which you may not have heard before is before you put on your eye shadow, go to that extra effort and just put another quick, light covering of translucent powder on the eyelids. Again, as I've already mentioned, the reason for that is because of the amount of oil that's carried on the eyelids. But also, another reason for putting the additional amount of powder on the eyelids is it'll also just help the blending process when it comes time to apply the eye shadow.

Again, you've probably been in that situation where you've applied the eye shadow, you've got some really beautiful colours to work with, but when it comes time to blending those colours out, you might find that it could be quite difficult and, instead of blending it, you either just lose the colour altogether or it just ends up looking blotchy. A way to avoid this happening is by applying that additional coverage of translucent powder over the eyelids. It'll just make your job as a makeup artist so much easier, so definitely don't forget that step.

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