Order To Apply Face Products

I really didn’t think I needed to write this post. I thought everyone knew what order things went in and I’d be insulting you guys if I broke it down. However, I found that time after time, women seemed confused on what comes when. And ok, I’ll be honest. I had more than a few women describe the order in which they applied their face products and it was so backwards I just had to clarify!

And it’s not their fault either, so I’m not poking fun. It often begins as “Well I read you are supposed to apply foundation, then primer to, ya know, really seal it all in!” Sometimes it is “my friend said…” and other times it was “the girl at X makeup counter said to…” At any rate, the chart below describes the order in which I apply products and have found works best. I will tell you my rationale below the chart as well.

1.) Cleanser: to remove any oils, bacteria, dead skin cells

2.) Serum/Treatments: your skin will absorb these more readily after cleansing and faster than a moisturizer

3.) Moisturizer: to seal in your serums or treatments, hydrate skin cells, plump up any fine lines and wrinkles makeup could settle in

4.) Primer: to create a smooth, even surface for foundation to glide over, filling in pores, fine lines, wrinkles and giving foundation an anchor

5.) Foundation: to even skin tone and conceal imperfections. Liquid foundation will glide over well-moisturized, primed skin.

6.) Concealer: we can now see the level of coverage our foundation provided and simply build upon that as needed. Applying foundation over concealer can move it around too much or dull a brightened under eye area.

7.) Powder: to set the liquid/cream portion of our application and ensure our powder products won’t grab onto sticky spots and appear blotchy.

8.) Bronzer: to bring color back into the face and add dimension. I prefer to work dark-to-light when it comes to cheek products and apply bronzer under cheekbones, at temples and around hairline.

9.) Blush: to add a pop of color to the cheeks, placing it just above the bronzer and sweeping back towards hairline.

10.) Highlighter: to bring the top of the cheekbones out and other areas of the face we want to bring forward. I create a small c-shape around my eye socket, from my cheekbones to my brow’s end.

Please know that some steps may not be part of your daily routine, serums or treatments for example. I love the effect highlighter has but to be honest, when I’m in a rush, I skip that step and sometimes even bronzer too. An additional step like setting spray is optional for times when your makeup needs to go the distance.  I hope this has been helpful and cleared up some confusion!


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