To be honest, we don't put a ton of effort into prepping our faces for makeup — especially if we're just applying our everyday products. It's one more step at the bathroom sink that feels a little unnecessary. But the proof is in the primer. Our makeup looks
so much better when we go that extra mile (okay, millimeter). The secret to priming, though? Different kinds of makeup require different kinds of prepping methods. What works for your full-coverage foundation doesn't necessarily work for your tinted moisturizer. So, we tapped beauty expert and makeup artist Nick Barose to find out how to prime for every product. Ahead are his tips and tricks for creating a flawless base — across the board.
Dramatic, Glam-Level Makeup
While we may not have a red carpet to walk down, there are times when we need to break out the foundation. And the concealer. And the contouring products. And those times call for preparation. "You have to make sure all the layers stay put and don't turn cakey," Barose says. To keep everything intact and in place, you need a heavy-duty base.
Barose swears by Mally Beauty's Face Defender for this very reason. "It helps control oil, smooth out imperfections, and create the perfect canvas for layering makeup," he says.
Face Defender, $40, available at
The secret to dewy skin is…skin. The trick is to let your complexion shine through your makeup, not hide under a matte finish. "It's all about the glow," Barose says.
To achieve healthy, glowy perfection, Barose recommends applying a creamy mask right before your makeup. "I swear by hydrating, moisturizing masks that add that glow, but also work well with your makeup," he says. Just pop this guy on for 10 minutes pre-makeup, and you'll be halfway to gorgeous, dewy skin.
Black Rose Cream Mask, $162, available at
You always, always want to start with a well-prepped lip — especially when applying an opaque, pigment-rich hue. Start with a little lip scrub (honey and sugar works in a pinch) and then slick on a silky (not gloppy) balm. "Use one that isn't too rich, because it will make the lipstick fade and feather," Barose says.
He favors Kiehl's Facial Fuel No-Shine Moisturizing Lip Balm, followed by a long-wear lip pencil and matching lipstick. "Fill in the whole mouth [with pencil] before applying the color," he says. You'll get maximum depth and intensity that doesn't bleed.
Facial Fuel No-Shine Moisturizing Lip Balm, $9, available at
Aside from, you know, just buying waterproof foundation, Barose actually has a pretty genius tip. "Mix a water-resistant sunscreen, like Shiseido Sun Protection Lotion WetForce, with your foundation," he says. This is brilliant for two reasons: The sunscreen dries matte, so you're shine-free all day, and the high SPF offers a great degree of UV protection.
Sun Protection Lotion SPF 50+ WetForce, $40, available at
Ah, the beauty industry's new favorite style: makeup that looks like you aren't wearing makeup. Prepping for this kind of effect can be tricky, though. "It's about looking natural and fresh, but making sure your skin doesn't turn greasy," Barose says.
After massaging in a lightweight moisturizer, he suggests following up with a thin layer of oil-free, shine-control primer. But don't apply it all over your face. Just stick to your T-zone to minimize shine and keep the rest of your skin looking fresh.
La Base Pro Pore Eraser, $38, available at
If you want your makeup to stay put for hours (and hours), you'll need a two-pronged approach. "Prep with a long-wear makeup primer, like Tarte Clean Slate Poreless 12-Hour Perfecting Primer," Barose says. Then, after you apply your makeup, lock it all down with a mist of setting spray. Barose likes
Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray
Clean Slate Poreless 12-Hour Perfecting Primer, $31, available at
Bold Eye Makeup
There are a few things to keep in mind when prepping for eye makeup. Firstly (and obviously), you don't want shadows and liners to crease, flake, or smear. Secondly, you want to ensure that the color on your lids stays true. That's why Barose loves Urban Decay's Primer Potion. One small dab keeps things bright and sturdy.
Eyeshadow Primer Potion, $20, available at
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