• 01/11/2023

The Correct Makeup Steps In Order: A Definitive Guide

Makeup projects sit on a counter.

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Is there a correct order you should be applying your makeup? Yes and no. While everyone has their own beauty routine, there are some benefits to following makeup steps in order.

Luckily, we can break down the exact routine to ensure your makeup sits beautifully on your face and lasts throughout the day. Follow along to learn how we apply our makeup in the best order.

A graphic illustrating makeup steps.

What You’ll Need

You can choose which makeup products you want to use, but this list covers the basics of a full makeup routine:

You can simplify this routine or add other products depending on whether you want a natural look or full glam. Also, consider your complexion. If you don’t have acne or dark spots, you could skip foundation and stick with concealer under your eyes. In the summer, you may have a natural tan that can make bronzer unnecessary. All of these products are completely optional based on your preferences.

1. Prepping

First things first, you need a clean face. Make sure you have removed any makeup you may have on from another time. Cleansing away dirt and oil makes an excellent base for applying makeup. Make sure to moisturize after you clean your face. This can plump up your skin and reduce dry and flakey patches from forming when putting on your products. This step often gets overlooked but is essential to creating a perfect makeup look.  

A woman smiling.

2. Primer

Using a primer is optional, but it can go a long way if you want your makeup to last and sit well. It should be put on after you finish your skincare routine. This is the time to apply any color correctors as well. It will even out your skin tone and provide a smooth application. 

3. Foundation

Foundation is exactly how it sounds. It is the foundation of your makeup routine. It gives you an even skin tone complexion to build off of. Find a brand that fits your skin type. You can use tinted moisturizers for a more natural look or powder foundation if you prefer a matte finish. Your makeup routine may vary depending on the season. 

If you choose a powder foundation, you will want to switch the concealer steps and foundation steps. Applying the liquid product after the powder could risk a cakey skin look. The liquid on top of powder exception only works if using a liquid blush or highlight.

4. Concealer

The next step is to grab your concealer. You want to use it after to avoid any extra product use or to look cakey. You can apply concealer to your under eyes, blemishes or any spots that need additional coverage. If you have an even skin tone, you can skip your foundation step and only apply concealer to problem areas of the face. 

A woman applies makeup to her cheek with a brush.

5. Bronzer, Blush, Highlight

The last step for your face is to add any bronzer, blush or highlighter. These finishing touches can change your look completely. You can use bronzer to contour your face, emphasizing the shadows it picks up on and enhancing your features. 

Blush can add a pop of color to your face and lift your cheeks, depending on your preferred application. Adding color tones back to your face can give your face a softer and more natural look. Highlighter is perfect for the places your face picks up natural light. Spots like the tip of your nose or under your eyebrows look great with a highlighter. 

6. Eyebrows

Eyebrows are one of the features that shape your face. The brows can complement the rest of the look. You can shape and fill in your eyebrows with pencils or creams. If you have fluffier eyebrows, you can use a gel to set them into place.

7. Eyeshadow, Eyeliner, Mascara

Your eye look is where you can get creative. Using fun color combinations with eyeshadow and eyeliner allows you to express your personality. You will want to do eyeshadow before eyeliner to be sure you don’t mess up the precision you need with eyeliner. Mascara or false eyelashes should be the last step since they can get in the way of creating the look you want on your eyelids. 

8. Lips

Lip product is the easiest to reapply throughout the day. You can use lipstick, liquid lipstick, lipgloss, lip tints, or even just chapstick to finish off your look. Using a linear can give greater dimension from where you lips stop and skin starts. It is an optional step that can take your look to the next level.

A woman applies red lipstick.

9. Setting Spray and Powders 

You can use both of these products or either. The choice is yours! Setting powder can lock in liquid and cream products that might move throughout the day. It can be used under the eyes, forehead or places that tend to get oily. Setting spray can be applied before you walk out the door, leaving it secured.  

The Best Makeup Steps in Order

Next time you sit down to do your beauty routine, follow these makeup steps in order. You’ll ensure your makeup is glowing and flawless all day long. 

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