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Step 1: Skincare
Always, always, always start off with clean, exfoliated, hydrated skin. Otherwise, base makeup will only highlight the fact that your skin is is dry, dull and dirty. In fact, if you don't have your skincare in order, you should stop reading this blog post and get your life together.
Step 2: Eyes
I am going to end The Great Face Makeup First vs Eye Makeup First debate right here, right now. Unless you're a pro, (and at this point you probably don't even need to be reading this), eyes should come first. Eyes come first because no one's invented a formula of eyeshadow that doesn't generate fallout (stray eyeshadow that somehow winds in other places on your face.) They need to especially come first if glitter is involved. Doing your eyes first allows you to easily clean off eyeshadow fallout without having to worry that you'll remove face makeup in the process. Sure, there's that baking technique which takes care of eyeshadow fallout, but now you're just using more powder than you really need.
Step 2a: Eyelid Priming, Brows, Eyeshadow
Apply eye primer to the lids first. As a tip, you can actually apply excess eye primer to your brows -- this helps your eyebrow makeup stay on longer. Doing your eyebrows next will help determine eyeshadow placement since they frame the eye and provide a clear view of how eyeshadows should contour your eye to complement your eye shape. At this point, the eyelid primer should be set and ready for eyeshadow.
Step 2b: Eyeliner & Mascara
Eyeliner goes on before mascara because it's extremely difficult to apply eyeliner if you've got product already on your lashes. Go ahead and curl your lashes after applying eyeliner if your eyeliner is dry and set. If you use a lash primer, apply it after eyeliner and curling your lashes, before mascara. If you use a makeup setting spray to finish your look, do not apply mascara at this step.
Step 3: Face Makeup
If you have any sort of eyeshadow fallout, especially glitter from Step 2, now would be the time to wipe it off. Follow that up with face primer. If you use a beautyblender, go ahead and prep it for use. If you use a liquid or a cream foundation, apply that first then conceal. I recommend using concealer after face makeup. You always want to give your face makeup a chance to cover up flaws so your concealer doesn't need to work hard and thus you avoid wasting concealer.
After this, set your face with a setting powder if you plan on using highlighting and contouring powders. Especially set the undereye area to prevent from creasing regardless of what consistency your highlight and contour products are. As a general rule, powder sets liquids/cream. If you plan on using highlight and contouring products that are not a powder consistency, skip to Step 4.
If you use a powder foundation, you should conceal first if your concealer is a liquid or cream consistency. If you apply liquid or cream concealer over powder, you run the risk of caking. Powder foundation does not require a setting powder. At the same time, you cannot highlight and contour with products that are not powder over powder foundation.
Step 4: Highlighting & Contouring
If you've used a liquid/cream foundation and you plan on using highlight and contour products that are not powder, do not set your face prior to using these products. After you've highlighted/contoured your face with these products, then set your face with powder.
If you've used a powder foundation, you can immediately jump into highlighting and contouring.
In either case of foundation used, highlight the face prior to contouring. If you contour first then highlight, you run the risk of accidentally blending a darker contour shade into the highlighted areas of your face, especially if you're using a brush/beautyblender that serves both highlighting and contouring purposes.
To finish this step, apply your favorite luminizing highlighter if you have one.
Step 5: Bronzer & Blush
Add warmth back into your face over the areas you've contoured with bronzer. Apply blush afterwards since it's usually the first piece of face makeup that wears off.
Step 6: Lips
If you like lining your lips, apply lip liner first than your desired lip product.
Step 7: Makeup Setting Spray
Spritz your favorite makeup setting spray! Then curl your lashes (if you curl your lashes), then apply mascara. Always apply mascara after using a setting spray to prevent from smudging. If you use false lashes, pop them on after applying mascara.
So true gurl!