Putting on makeup like a pro—without smudges or re-dos—isn’t easy, even if you’ve been doing it for 30 years. One of our biggest beauty blunders is simply applying products out of order. Learning the right order for applying makeup will minimize mishaps and maximize results.
There is a natural order to accomplishing most anything in life: Lather, rinse, repeat. Love, marriage, baby in a carriage. High school, college, job (if you’re lucky). But some things, like putting on a fresh face of makeup, are a little more complicated.
What do you do first: Apply lipstick or focus on eyes? Where does blush come in? Can you get away with putting liner on after mascara? Of course, not everyone will use all steps, but even if you skip the powder or cheeks, this is a still a good working order to follow!
1: Primer or Moisturizer
“Choose one, not both,” Bartolucci says. “Moisturizer, no matter how light in texture, will interfere with the function of a primer.” Also, always remember to get in your sunscreen, whether SPF is built into your primer, moisturizer, or foundation.
“I do not believe in doing the eyes first to avoid fallout,” Bartolucci says, noting that fallout is bound to happen when you are using eye shadow. ”When product falls onto bare skin, the pigment can be even harder to remove. It’s better to create a canvas with the foundation and then correct any mistakes as a finishing touch.”
“Here is where you look at your face with a critical eye and add concealer sparingly,” says Bartolucci. She recommends only on blemishes or dark circles. “You want to wait until after the foundation because foundation will do a lot of the job for you.”
“Set it all with a very light dusting of translucent powder. This will help make it easier to remove fallout from eye shadow and give the base time to settle in while you apply the rest of your makeup.”
5: Eyes or lips
“I like to mix them up,” says Bartolucci. “After the face, I usually do the eyes first, but sometimes I’ll start with the lips because it gives me time to think about what I really want to do on the eyes.”
For Eyes: shadow > liner > then mascara. This is the order Bartolucci follows for applying eye makeup. “But always go back and layer,” she suggests. “Add a little more liner at the lash line, an extra pop of shimmer shadow in the center of the lid, etc.”
For Lips: balm > liner > lipstick > then gloss. Bartolucci suggests smudging liner all over your lips and rubbing it in with fingertips before applying lipstick. And of course, use gloss only if you want!
“I do the cheeks last for two reasons. One, it ties the eyes and lips together. Two, if you’re using a powder, you can sweep it across the lids after the eye makeup is done to add an extra pop.”