Preparing our skin for make up is possibly as important as the make up itself. The make up looks so much smoother, radiant and realistic, lips are not dry, eyes are not red, under eyes are not puffy… It’s just an overall better, more polished outcome regardless of the make up look you are doing.

Some things I always do before make up either on my self or on models:

Step 1 – Exfoliate

This will help your skin appear and feel smoother without any dry patches and flaky skin. Please refer to my “Exfoliating” article to find out about different ways of exfoliating and which is the best appropriate method for each skin type/skin concern. But just to add to it, a very quick, easy way to do it is by using Pixi’s glow tonic, a 5% glycolic acid toner that you swipe all over face and lips and dissolves any dead skin from the surface, or a stronger version of that will be the Alpha- H Liquid Gold, which can be used as a treatment a couple days per week. Otherwise, a good old scrub will do the job, like this one from Oskia.

Step 2 – Massage the skin

While you cleanse the skin, I would advice to take your time to do some lymphatic drainage massage, especially around the eye area. It helps with morning puffiness. Watch this video to see how to do it! If puffiness is a serious concern of yours, then I recommend massaging with the Jalue Ice Therapy too!

Step 3 – Exfoliate Lips

Especially important if you are wearing a bold lip colour. You can use sugar lip scrubs for example the ones from lush, or you can just do it yourself. The ingredients are minimal and you most probably have them in your kitchen. Sugar, oil, and if you have it, any essential oil for the smell.
Otherwise, a less messy option is to use a wet flannel or muslin cloth and just rub it on your lips until smooth. Then layer a really thick lip balm to have time to absorb by the time you get to the lipstick part. I love the Weleda Lip Balm, Absolution and the Lost Explorer.

Step 4 – Hydrate

After we exfoliate, the skin is more receptive to anything you put on top. So, for special occasions I would recommend doing a plumping mask at this stage. I like the Whamisa sheet masks, the Weleda Skin Food cream or the Oskia Renaissance Mask. If you don’t have the luxury of time, then just do your normal daily routine.I find that if you go slightly heaver on your serum and moisturiser and give it 10 minutes to absorb instead of going straight into make up, it gives chance to the skin to soften and absorb the needed moisture. If there is a lot of extra moisture left over after the 10 minutes, then just blot it off. Top tip: if you suffer from red eyes, then make sure you use brightening eye drops before you start the make up.

And that’s it! I haven’t recommended a primer, and that’s intentional. I dislike primers, especially the non-natural ones, because they are full of silicon and tend to block the pores. The idea that one magic cream can replace these 4 steps is ridiculous. Take care of your skin and give it your full attention, and I promise it will respond back with radiance and glow!

The Green Edit