The Beginner’s Guide to Applying Your Makeup in the Correct Order

The Beginner’s Guide to Applying Your Makeup in the Correct Order


For many, makeup is an enjoyable part of our day-to-day routine. Though it’s not completely necessary to feel beautiful, it can certainly have a positive effect on how we feel. At the same time, it can make us feel crummy if something goes wrong. For instance, if we forget to put on mascara, well, our eyes just don’t flutter the same.

So to help relieve any of your makeup application woes, we touched base with Emmy-winning makeup artist Andrew Sotomayor, who gracefully perfects the faces of stars like Jourdan Dunn, Kerry Washington and Jennifer Lawrence. He gives us the proper order to apply your makeup, just in case you forgot and need a refresher course.

MORE: 5 Beauty Editor-Approved Body Moisturizers We’re Counting on This Winter

Step 1: Hydration

Flawless makeup application starts with great skin care. You should never apply makeup without hydrating first. “I apply moisturizer first so it has time to absorb into the skin,” shares Sotomayor. “It’s important to keep in mind that dry spots on your face will appear dry once you apply foundation.”

We all know what it feels like to have that one patch of flaky makeup and it never looks good. During spring and summer, opt for a lightweight moisturizer in a gel or serum formula. If you’re applying makeup in colder months, you may consider a thicker, hydrating cream to lock in moisture all day long.

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Step 2: Base Makeup

Now that your face is fully hydrated, it’s time to pull out your makeup. You may have been wondering, Which base product goes first? Sotomayor says the pro move is to start with foundation and follow up with concealer.

Concealer goes second so it can color-correct things that foundation doesn’t,” he suggests. “You’ll want to avoid yellow-based concealers because they are too neutral to counter gray, blue or brown tones.” If your eye area is a concern for you, opt for peachy or pink concealers to help brighten dark areas surrounding the eyes.

MORE: Expert Tips for Applying Liquid Foundation Flawlessly

Step 3: Eyes

Your complexion is complete and it’s time to add some pizazz to your look. If poppy eyes are your specialty, pay close attention to the proper order for applying eye makeup.

“I apply my eyeliner first, trace the liner with a dark shadow and reapply the liner after I’ve completed the shadow look to make it last longer and look the darkest,” says Sotomayor.

If you’ve got sweaty lids, like me, this trick will help avoid raccoon eyes and keep your peepers properly lined throughout the day or night. Sotomayor suggests applying mascara last to hide any shadow spills or imperfections on lashes by coating them with mascara.

Step 4: Sculpt & Define

When it’s time to shape and chisel those cheeks, accuracy and precision are key to making your look red-carpet ready. “I recommend applying bronzer then blush then highlighter,” says Sotomayor. “You want these cheek colors to go on specific areas of the face, not all over.”

According to Sotomayor, bronzer goes all the way across cheekbones and on the temples so it’s important to apply that first. Next, apply blush on the apples of the cheek and blend the color throughout your cheek area. And finally, the highlighter is placed on the high point of the cheekbones with a smaller brush for a small touch of glimmer.

orange lipstick green eyes1 The Beginners Guide to Applying Your Makeup in the Correct Order

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MORE: The Beginner’s Guide to an Eyeshadow Palette

Step 5: Lips

The final step to perfecting your makeup look is adding a splash of color to your pout.

“To make your lip liner last longer, apply it to dry lips before you apply balm or lip color,” Sotomayor recommends. “Once your liner is complete, add a hydrating balm and lip color with either lipstick or lip gloss.”

Voilà! You’ve mastered your entire makeup routine, just like a pro would!  





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