Perfect Skin Prep: What to Apply Before Makeup

Skincare before makeup routine

How to know what to apply on the face before Makeup for your skin type?

Wondering if washing your face and applying primer is enough?

Below I’ll share with you the best Skincare Routine for flawless Makeup. 

Every skin is different and has different needs; below, I share the basics for every skin type that will end in the best Makeup finish. 

Be careful with all that the beauty industry offers because you DON’T need every skincare product that is out there. 

And I’ll talk more about that in a moment, but you DO need is to get a proper skin prep to reach the best skin AND Makeup results.

You won’t look glowing, flawless Makeup without the right skincare steps before you even apply your Primer. 

So let’s get started.

AM Skincare routine for Makeup, what to apply on Makeup for flawless skin, best prep-skin routine

This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click and buy, I may receive a small commission (at zero cost to you). Please see my full disclosure policy for details.

How to prep your skin for flawless Makeup 

What is flawless Makeup? 

As a Certified Makeup Artist, for me, Flawless Makeup is a Makeup look that it doesn’t look cakey, with flakes of dryness; instead, all the skin looks even, smooth, and with a natural glow.

That’s the result that I want every time I apply makeup on a client or for me. 

And I need to tell you that without a Skin-prep Routine, this is impossible to reach. 

Dry skin and oily skin, both skin types need to follow some steps that will even your skin pores and prepare it for the Makeup layer that will go after. 

Usually, this skincare Routine is for mornings.

And It is different from the Night Skincare Routine, where we add more hydration products and some anti-aging retinol serums that can’t go with the sunlight. 

But do I have to do it every time, even if it is for a natural makeup? 

Full coverage glam makeup and Natural looking Makeup needs the proper preparation, and no matter what Makeup looks you will be doing.

it will have better results with the prep skin routine that I will share with you next. 

NOTE: This is the first part of the series “Makeup like a pro,” after reading this post, don’t forget to check the second part: “The right Order to apply your Makeup for flawless Makeup.”

Step 1. Perfectly Wash your face

Even if you love Face wipes as much as I love them, this won’t deep clean your face enough for flawless Makeup.

Check this post about how to properly use Makeup remover face wipes.

This time you will need a face cleanser and not any face cleanser.

We need a SOAP-FREE face cleanser

And this will be mind-blowing for some people,

but almost all the cleansers that are out on the market have soap, and science says this ingredient is not goodfor your skin. 

“Soaps marketed for skin cleansing can contain chemical ingredients that damage human keratinocytes and cause skin barrier subclinical irritation”

our the natural skin barrier combat microbes and bacterias. 

So we kind of need to pay attention to take care of it.

So yes, If you are washing your face with a face cleanser that contains soap, you are changing your natural skin PH.

BUT you can remedy this with a TONER

Toner balance your PH, and your good to go!

However, why do you need a toner to stop changing your skin PH in the first instance?

And that’s the thing, and I recommend a soap-free cleanser like this amazing one from Bioderma,

that won’t touch your natural PH, will clean your face, and will save you from adding another extra skincare step with the Toner

After that, wait a couple of minutes to continue with the next step. 

Step 2. Apply the perfect Serum 

The Serum has become my favorite Skincare step since I started using it!

Why? Because what Serum does is to go in the more deep skin layers with vitamins and active antioxidants to make your skin more youthful. 

What’s the difference between Serum and Moisturizer? 

“A serum hydrated in more depth your skin than even the heaviest face cream. Because it can reach the most depth skin layers, this skincare step not replace your Moisturizer but boost the hydrating effect of it.”


You got to select your Perfect Serum according to your skin necessities.

In general, Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C serums are a perfect fit for any skin. You can try this one

The Serum can prevent the aging process and combat fine lines and wrinkles.

It also provides that extra hydration we need to prevent cakeynesss or flakes after makeup.

That’s why it is so important to do this every day before applying Makeup on our face. 

Apply your perfect Serum all over the face and neck and wait a couple of minutes for the Serum set into your skin.


Step 3. Eye cream

Next, it is super necessary to apply eye cream under your eyes, outer corner, eyelids, and brow bone.

This area is the most sensitive area of our face, and it has to be treated with care to prevent early wrinkles and expression lines in that area as well as cakey under eyes after concealer.

You can try this eye cream from Neutrogena at an affordable price, and you get an excellent product for what you pay.

NOTE: Try lightweight hydrating eye creams and leave heavy thick formulas for your skincare night routine not for makeup. Some times heavy thick eye creams doesn’t pair well with concealer/under eye makeup.

Step 4. It’s time for Moisturizer 

Moisturizer is KEY for a glowing and flawless Makeup look.

I need to clarify the common myth that girls with oily skin don’t need Moisturizer

Without Moisturizer, the skin is not correctly hydrated for the Makeup,

and mixing that with matte makeup products will end in the skin begging for some hydration, causing your skin to produce more oiliness. 

The Moisturizer comes to set and being a barrier for all the effective ingredients that we apply with the Serum.

It creates a layer of protection to lock our natural water and prevent our skin from dehydrating. 

For dry skin, you can use this Moisturizer from CeraVe.

And for Oily or combination skin, I will not be tired of recommending this amazing Neutrogena Hydroboost Water gel.

it feels like it says, like water in your face that absorbs super fast and hydrates your skin without the oiliness sensation.

I just loved it and used it every day. It’s the best affordable Moisturizer in the market.

Related Skincare post: 15 Best Drugstore Anti-aging Night Creams under $20

Step 5. Facial Oil

Next, it’s time to definitely set all the previous steps for keeping the hydration all day long, and that will be with face oil

Because we are starting the day and don’t want oiliness during our day that can ruin our Makeup,

we will ONLY apply 1 or 2 small drops of face oil for all the face. 

This is because we just want to create a thin layer to protect our skin from losing the hydration that we add with the Serum and Moisturizer. 

If you have an oily skin problem, you can avoid this step for the morning or opt for a face oil for oily skin like this one.

I know that this can be an not so common step for some people, but it is a necessary step!

It’s the top of the cake for the perfect glowing skincare routine to put on before Makeup.

But this is not the final step.

Master Makeup Program – Online

Transform your passion into expertise with the Master Makeup Program: from makeup basics to professional tips from a working makeup artist! Includes digital guides, a MAKEUP MANUAL delivered to your home, 1:1 FEEDBACK, and a CERTIFICATE PLUS bonuses– all in one online self-paced program!
More than $480 value, regular price $97

Step 6. Sunscreen

Apply your sunscreen that has at least 30 SPF and 50 SPF on sunny days.

This sunscreen is the best because it specializes in facial skincare. It’s oil-free and does not clog your pores. 

Pro Tip: If it is a special occasion, apply an extra step on this skincare routine and before anything, start with exfoliating your skin with a face exfoliator. This pro tip will clean your face from all the dead cells and create a better Makeup finish. However, you should do this step 2 or 3 times a week at the max because it is not healthy for your skin to get exfoliated every day.

Master Makeup Program – Online

Transform your passion into expertise with the Master Makeup Program: from makeup basics to professional tips from a working makeup artist! Includes digital guides, a MAKEUP MANUAL delivered to your home, 1:1 FEEDBACK, and a CERTIFICATE PLUS bonuses– all in one online self-paced program!
More than $480 value, regular price $97

How to protect your skin from Makeup 

Makeup is a combination of extra beauty products that our skin doesn’t need, but we add them because it looks really nice, and we love how we look wearing it!

But for protecting our skin from that extra products, we need to follow some quick tips: 

1. Never skip Serum 

The Serum will repair, hydrate, and deliver antioxidant ingredients to our skin, and that way, our skin will not look affected for any extra-chemical components.

I know we now have natural Makeup without parabens and other ingredients to avoid.

However, the reality is that every makeup product still has some chemicals that can be unbeneficial in significant quantities.

Protect your skin using a vitamin C and hyaluronic acid serum every day. 

2. Never skip face oil 

Facial Oil locks our natural moisture in the skin and prevents that the air particles steal your H2O molecules, which means avoiding the dehydration of your face skin. 

3. Apply Primer

This Makeup Step is crucial! Primer is like the foundation of a house, so bad Primer will end in bad Makeup. 

If you have oily skin, a mattifying primer will be excellent for you, and dry skin, use a hydrating primer like this one.

4. Clean your face at nights 

After a long day, we all want just jump into bed and not knowing anything about the world until the next morning,

but we need to try to do that AFTER we wash our face correctly!

With soap-free face cleanser. After that, follow your night skincare routine. 

What Serum to use before Makeup? 

A Serum with hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C is ideal to use before Makeup.

On the other hand, Retinol serum is a great option but for the night skincare routine. 

Can you use Moisturizer as a primer? 

You can’t use Moisturizer as a Primer for applying Makeup correctly.

It is necessary to apply the right Primer for your skin type before applying any kind of Makeup.

Moisturizer is another skincare step that you need to do before sunscreen and before Primer. 

Moisturizer hydrate your skin, and the function of the Primer is to create a thin layer of protection between that hydrating skin and the Makeup product. 

How to apply sunscreen Before Makeup? 

Sunscreen is just as important as any other Skincare step, or I’d dare to say that is one of the most relevant steps because the UV light is super aggressive for our skin

and can cause early wrinkles, skin cancer, blemishes, and more skin problems that you can prevent applying 30-40 SPF sunscreen every day before your Makeup routine. 

The proper way to apply sunscreen before Makeup is to select the right oil-free and non-greasy sensation sunscreen,

and with your clean hands, take some product and apply directly to your face and neck.

Avoid the eyes and mouth area to prevent irritation. 

Sunscreen is essential, not only when you are directly exposed to the sun for hours, like going to the beach or other outdoor activities.

It is necessary to use it every day in your daily lifestyle routine because the UV lights can be anywhere where the sun can enter, like in the car or through a window. 

And yes, Moisturizer and sunscreen are different Skincare routine steps!

First, you need to moisture your face and after setting it with a face oil, apply the sunscreen for sun protection.

And that can relay to…

What is the best Moisturizer to wear under Makeup?

Every skin type has different needs when it comes to Moisturizer, for oily skin, you need to seek oil-free and non-comedogenic formulas.

Usually, they are water-based and can hydrate your skin without exposing it to pimples and oiliness.

Like this fantastic Moisturizer from Neutrogena for combination to oily skin. 

And for dry skin, you need to seek an effective hydrating formula that will erase your skin needs in the best way!

That can be this fantastic Moisturizer for sensitive and dry skin from Aveeno 

And like you already see, I don’t include TONER in the list of what to put on the face before Makeup, and I’ll tell you why. 

Can I use Toner before Makeup?

There’s a myth out there that says that you can use a toner before Makeup like using a primer before Makeup, and that is so far from the truth.

Just don’t do that. 

If you are using a face cleanser containing soap in its ingredients,

you will need Toner to balance that change of your natural pH.

You can totally avoid the toner step cleaning your face with a soap-free cleanser like my favorite from Bioderma, which is soap-free and paraben-free.

Final thoughts on what to apply on face before Makeup

After following all these skincare steps before my Makeup, I found a significant and noticeable change on my skin and Makeup since the first time I did it.

And eventually, my skin improves a lot, and now I feel it with more glow and youthfulness. 

This post is the first part of a complete Makeup routine, so check the next part where I share a complete guide on How to apply Makeup properly (Makeup application Order) for even better skin results. 

I hope you found this article helpful; if so, please tell me in the comments what do you put on your face before Makeup for better makeup results? I’d love to read from you. 

Related Makeup posts:

what to apply on face before makeup

What to apply on Face Before Makeup (#1 Simple Guide)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real Beauty School