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I Finally Learned How To Properly Prep My Skin Before Applying Makeup, And It's Been A Game Changer

It's less about the specific products and more about how you apply them.

Hi! I'm Fabiana and I'm here once again to declare my love for all things beauty by sharing one of the best tips I've recently learned: the importance of skin prep.

While the term might sound basic or obvious, there's a lot more to it. Skin prep — or the routine of properly preparing your skin prior to putting on makeup — can make a ton of difference in your final application. Nothing is worse than spending money on an expensive makeup product only for it to look mediocre once it's applied on your face because you didn't ready your skin beforehand.

A few months back, I fell deep into the skin prep rabbit hole after stumbling upon makeup artist Kelli Anne on Instagram. What Kelli Anne taught me (and her many followers) is that if we're not properly prepping our skin for all the makeup we slather on our faces, our makeup products will not be able to reach their full potential — nor will they wear very long.

One big takeaway for me is that skin prep goes beyond just applying moisturizer all over.

It's more so about addressing any skin concerns you have by using skincare products in very specific areas of your face so that makeup goes on a nice, smooth canvas — and stays put.

As Kelli Anne sums up on her IG: "To get that glowy skin look, the key is to make your skin so glowy with skin prep before foundation so by the time you slap foundation on top, your skin is radiating through," she said.

To further explain why skin prep is so crucial prior to makeup application, I spoke to a few makeup professionals. They were:

Ada Hsieh, founder of Ada Lip Beauty and special effects makeup artist

• Eri Vincent, celebrity makeup artist 

• Keri Blair, senior national makeup artist at MAC Cosmetics

Something I learned from Kelli Anne is that if you have dry patches on your skin and you notice that your expensive "hydrating" foundation is still allowing your dry skin to peek through, your skin needs extra hydration in those areas. No foundation — no matter how hydrating it's deemed to be — is going to mask that.

There's even a scientific reason to why skin prep is so crucial before applying makeup, explained Ada Hsieh.

You want to give your skin and your makeup the best chance for 'survival', she said. 

"Think of it as two different layers, because it is. Your skin — depending on if it's dry, oily, or combination is going to inevitably mix with the chemistry of the makeup — and vice versa," Hsieh explained. "By prepping the skin, you can help your skin's pH level stay more balanced and the actual layer of makeup stay fresh longer throughout the day," she said. 

With all this in mind, I've spent the last few months experimenting to find what works for my own skin prep routine. After some trial and error, I think I've now nailed my skin prep regimen — and I feel like my makeup has honestly never looked better. (Or glowier!) Here's how I personally prep my skin before a full face of makeup.

I have combo skin so my T-zone gets oily and my cheeks are more on the dry side. Because of that, my routine begins with my existing skincare regimen. (Which is separate from the prep.) I'm including the products I use for any fellow combo skin readers — but I would note that a big learning for me has been that it's less about the specific products, and more about the way you apply them.

After giving my skin some time to absorb those products, the pre-makeup skin prep begins.

A picture of my three go-to skin prep products

I start by moisturizing the area under my eyes and on the side of my nose (where it's dry and sometimes prone to redness) with an oil.

Me applying my beauty oil to my under eye area

From there, I apply a super thick moisturizer to the area right above my jawline — where my skin is particularly dry.

Me showing where I apply my thick moisturizer on my cheeks

The second-to-last step in my skin prep routine is to calm down the shine in my T-zone area with a primer — but *only* in specific spots, as opposed to your whole face.

An up-close picture of the First Aid Beauty Hello FAB Pores Be Gone Matte Primer

Last but not least, I make sure my lips are hydrated so that any lip color I apply afterward goes on smoothly and is less likely to dry out or collect in creases.

An up-close picture of my favorite Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

Once the prepping of my skin is done, I wait several minutes to let all of these products do their magic before diving into my makeup routine.

After all that prep work, here is the finished result! The biggest changes I've observed are that my concealer no longer creases under my eyes (thanks to the oil prep), my foundation doesn't gather in dry spots (thanks to spot-applying thick moisturizer), and my T-zone isn't as quick to shine (thanks to the primer).

Me with a full-face of makeup on

Do you prep your skin prior to applying your makeup? If so, what specific products do you use? Do you have any other tips and tricks for long-lasting makeup? Tell me all about it in the comments below!